Top 5 Things to Do If You Are Considering Bankruptcy

Every day I counsel with debtors from all walks of life about their remedies under the Bankruptcy code. The biggest hurdles that most debtors face is meeting the document requirements of the new Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA). Below are the Top 5 things that I would recommend to consumers who may be considering bankruptcy now or possibly in the future.
1. Keep all your paystubs. You will need to show six months of paystubs to your attorney. If you haven’t been keeping paystubs, start keeping them now and get a report from your employer of the missing stubs.
2. Always keep a copy of any tax returns you file. Too often people rely upon the tax preparer to keep a copy of the return and are disappointed when they realize the preparer has closed up shop until next year. If you don’t have copies of the last four years returns, contact the IRS now and request a transcript.
3. Keep track of your household expenses. If possible, keep receipts for household bills such as vehicle expenses, utilities and charitable contributions.
4. Stop getting credit. Sounds like a no-brainer but you would be surprised at the people who continue to apply for credit even up until the day they file.
5. Stop using credit cards now. Period. No explanation necessary on that one.