Bankruptcy can be an incredibly stressful experience. Here are a few proven ways to reduce your stress, stay calm and complete the bankruptcy proceedings successfully – and maybe even with a smile on your face.
Know What’s Coming
One of the paths toward less stress is knowing what to expect in the coming months. As you may know, there are two different types of bankruptcy, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Each bankruptcy progresses very differently. A Chapter 7 will eliminate many (but not all) of your debts entirely, but has more dire consequences for your financial records. A Chapter 13 will help you reorganize your debts, possibly discharging some of them and consolidating others under a plan that will last for several years. Lawyers in Athens, Georgia, can help you understand what to expect from your particular case and the type of bankruptcy you have chosen so that you don’t get caught by surprise.
Stay in Contact
Don’t be out of the loop when it comes to important court dates, decisions, creditor responses and other key moments during the bankruptcy. Stay in regular contact with your trustee (in the case of a Chapter 13) or bankruptcy lawyer. Do not expect them to handle everything for you, and avoid getting bewildered by unexpected news. When you do meet, pay close attention to the details and make sure that you understand everything that is happening. Knowledge can be a very calming thing.
Ask Questions and Provide Information Immediately
Additionally, ask your trustee or lawyer any questions that you have. Are you not sure what debts can be discharged? Ask! Are you still getting calls from creditors after you have started the bankruptcy process? That shouldn’t be happening – talk immediately to your lawyer or similar party and see how to get that stopped. Are you worried about losing your home or your car? Ask about what court decisions mean for your house, your vehicle and your livelihood. If you have a compelling case for certain items, you may be able to hang onto them even if they once served as collateral for a debt.
Be Open About Your Situation
If you want to stay calm and peaceful during the bankruptcy process, one of the best things you can do is be open about what’s happening. You don’t have to bring it up all the time, but it’s a good idea to let your friends and family know, especially if it affects your relationship with them in some way. Pretending that you aren’t going through bankruptcy is a great way to increase stress and strain relationships – be open about it. Remember, bankruptcy is not a problem, it’s a solution, and there’s no reason to be ashamed about it. As for your employer, it is illegal for an employer to change your compensation or position in response to a bankruptcy, which should take some of the weight off of your mind.
Seek Financial Advice
Your state probably offers a lot of financial advice and similar types of aid when you go through bankruptcy – make sure to take advantage of them. There are pre-petition classes that can help you find alternatives to bankruptcy or prepare your paperwork for a bankruptcy if necessary. Post-bankruptcy classes can help you plan new budgets, get ready for your taxes after a bankruptcy, and much more.
Use these tips and others from the lawyers at Morgan & Morgan to stay calm during your bankruptcy case.
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