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Steps to take before filing for bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy isn't something you should do on a whim. Instead, it takes a lot of planning to ensure that you're making the right decision.

There are several steps you can take before filing for bankruptcy that will help you better understand your situation and what the process entails. Furthermore, taking these steps will put you in position to make a final decision in regards to whether or not you should proceed.

  • Stop using your credit cards. Don't fall into the trap of running up credit card debt with the idea that it'll be discharged in bankruptcy.
  • Do your best to keep up with payments. From your rent to your utilities, do whatever you can to continue making payments.
  • Stop automated payments. If you have these set up, cancel them before you file for bankruptcy. This is important because creditors are required by law to stop collecting payments from you once you file for bankruptcy.
  • File past tax returns. If you've fallen behind on your tax returns, you must file these before you proceed with bankruptcy. It's not always easy to catch up on filing back taxes, especially if you don't have all the documents you need, but it's a requirement of filing for bankruptcy.

If you take these steps before filing for bankruptcy, you'll feel better about where you stand and what's to come.

Once you're sure that bankruptcy is the right decision, learn more about the process itself and the steps you can take to protect your legal rights and finances along the way. It doesn't matter what form of bankruptcy you choose, knowing what to expect will put you in a better situation.

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