When is the right time to file

While filing for bankruptcy can be an excellent debt relief solution for many individuals and couples, sometimes the timing of filing can make or break your case. For some, it makes sense to file for bankruptcy right away; for example, when a foreclosure or vehicle repossession is right around the corner, but in other circumstances it may save you a lot of money if you wait. Whether that waiting period is a matter of days, weeks, or months will depend on the facts of your case. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy protection and your situation involves any one or more of the following, you should definitely speak to an attorney about the timing of your bankruptcy filing:

  • You are getting a divorce
  • You owe back taxes
  • You are about to lose your job
  • You just moved to the area
  • You will be incurring more debt in the near future
  • You are considering a loan modification
  • Your recent income is too high

When filing for bankruptcy, it definitely makes sense to evaluate whether it would benefit you to wait or file right away. If any of the above situations applies to you, the timing of your filing can make all the difference. As a bankruptcy law firm, we hate to see it when people are ill-advised by other lawyers and wind up losing a lot of money or valuable assets due to poor timing. If your income decreased recently and you want to file a Chapter 7, you may become eligible for a Chapter 7 by hanging in there for a few more months. The reason is because when you file for a Chapter 7, the bankruptcy court will look at your income over the past six months. If you file too soon, you may be required to file a Chapter 13, which means you would have to repay a portion of your debts. If you anticipate accruing debt in the near future or if you foresee significant expenses, you may want to hold off on filing. With a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can only include debt incurred before the filing date, and any debt incurred thereafter is yours to deal with. For example, if you anticipate the delivery of your unborn baby and will have to pay the hospital bill, those expenses will be covered by a Chapter 7 if you wait to file after the baby is born. But, if you file for bankruptcy before the baby is born, they will not be included in the bankruptcy. Critical timeframes apply to certain tax debts as well, so if you owe back taxes, you want to consult with a qualified bankruptcy lawyer about the situation before you jump into filing. For further information about filing for bankruptcy, contact The Nesbitt Law Firm today to schedule your free consultation with a Columbus bankruptcy attorney!


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    Laura M. Nesbitt

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