Thirty-Four “DON’TS” in preparing to file a Chapter 7

Here’s a tidy list of “Don’ts” to think over if you’re considering whether to file bankruptcy. Timing can be everything with many of these–so talk to your bankruptcy attorney to determine how and when doing anything on this list will affect the success of your case.

1. Don’t leave out Bank, Checking, Savings, Brokerage, Credit Union accounts.

2. Don’t file if your income is greater than your expenses.

3. Don’t use your credit cards.

4. Don’t take Credit Card Cash Advances.

5. Don’t use convenience checks.

6. Don’t do balance transfers.

7. Don’t pay money to Family.

8. Don’t pay money to Friends.

9. Don’t tell a creditor that you intend to pay.

10. Don’t leave assets off of your paperwork.

11. Don’t file if you are about to receive a tax refund or inheritance. Discuss the timing with your attorney.

12. Don’t fail to tell your attorney about your small business, sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, LLP, LC, corporation, or hobby.

13. Don’t purchase a home shortly before filing bankruptcy without consulting your attorney.

14. Don’t give or gift property to anyone.

15. Don’t pay more than $600 on any past due bill.

16. Don’t transfer property to anyone.

17. Don’t cash out retirement plans or 401k’s.

18. Don’t take out a second mortgage.

19. Don’t gamble.

20. Don’t hide assets or debts.

21. Don’t take out “payday loans”.

22. Don’t put your money in your kids’ bank accounts.

23. Don’t omit or ‘save’ a credit card for after your bankruptcy.

24. Don’t fail to list debt to family or other “insiders.”

25. Don’t write bad checks.

26. Don’t borrow money.

27. Don’t forget to tell your attorney about liens you may have on your home or unpaid judgments so they can be avoided.

28. Don’t make major financial decisions without talking to your attorney.

29. Don’t get married before filing if your spouse has a high income.

30. Don’t misrepresent facts to your attorney.

31. Don’t run up your credit cards in advance of filing bankruptcy.

32. Don’t fail to appear at State court hearings, trial or proceedings; coordinate with your attorney.

33. Don’t hide from your attorney. Keep them up-to date with your address, phone number and email address.

34. Don’t bank where you owe money.