bankruptcy filing mistakes tampa fl

Consult with an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney Before Filing

Bankruptcy offers a much-needed legal shelter to distressed individuals and businesses that are unable to keep up with all their financial obligations. However, many individuals buy into bankruptcy myths or false information offered by well-meaning friends and family. Unfortunately, certain actions can end up magnifying your financial problem, or may even disqualify you from declaring bankruptcy.

If you are considering petitioning for bankruptcy, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer before you take any actions to alleviate or add to your credit! At Dion R. Hancock, P.A., I can provide you the legal strategies you require for safe and efficient debt resolution. Contact my office today to schedule a free bankruptcy evaluation.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Bankruptcy

As a Tampa bankruptcy lawyer in practice for over 12 years, I have seen firsthand the devastating impact certain actions can have on a person’s ability to declare bankruptcy. A few bankruptcy pre-filing common mistakes include:

  • Running up credit cards right before filing: Debts incurred within 90 days of filing may not be dischargeable! Also, a bankruptcy trustee is more likely to enforce the repayment of luxury goods or services.
  • Paying back friends and family instead of creditors: While a nice gesture, the bankruptcy courts don’t see it that way. In fact, if the payment was made within the previous year, the trustee may take action to recover the funds and allocate it to your creditors.
  • Transferring property out of your name: Gifting, or otherwise transferring property to a friend or family member, in an effort to protect a house, car, or other equity from dissolution can backfire and result in the property being reclaimed by the bankruptcy trustee. If you are caught doing this, you could face charges of fraud.
  • Cashing out retirement funds to pay down debt: Most retirement accounts are protected from bankruptcy dissolution. Cashing them out prematurely can cause you to accrue financial penalties as well as endanger your future financial stability.
  • Ignoring pending lawsuits: Until a bankruptcy court takes control of your financial situation, all lawsuits and legal actions will continue to proceed. Failing to appear in court or address legal requests for information may subject you to liens and wage garnishments, as well as annoy your creditors.
  • Withholding important information from your bankruptcy attorney: Lack of information can limit your bankruptcy lawyer’s ability to protect your rights and safeguard your assets. Remember, your attorney is your advocate, not the creditors’ representative.
  • Failing to file tax returns: Tax returns are used to determine your current and past earnings and assets. If you have not filed tax returns for the past few years, your bankruptcy petition may be immediately disqualified.
  • Providing an inaccurate or falsified account of you assets: Hidden assets are almost always discovered. The bankruptcy process is a court procedure and thus subject to the laws governing perjury. If you knowingly misrepresent your complete financial situation, you may be subject to prosecution.

Qualified Tampa bankruptcy lawyer working for you!

At Dion R. Hancock, P.A., I can assist you with every aspect of your bankruptcy, including completing all the necessary paperwork. Protecting the viability of your bankruptcy petition is first and foremost in my dedication to garner you a financial fresh start.

If you are seeking debt relief through bankruptcy, it is vital that every step of the bankruptcy process is completed correctly and in a timely manner. In addition to serving Tampa residents, I also assist clients in Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota Counties.

Don’t allow a simple mistake to hinder your future financial future! Call my firm today to obtain the insightful legal counsel and compassionate guidance you need throughout your bankruptcy declaration.