If you are contemplating about filing for Chapter 13 or 7 Bankruptcy in Sacramento CA or Modesto CA Bankruptcy Court, you should NOT DO the following:
1. Don’t transfer any properties out of your name. The bankruptcy trustee will consider such transfer as “fraudulent”.
2. Don’t charge anything to your credit cards before filing. (It may be perceived as “bad faith” or actual fraud)
3. Don’t take out a loan or use cash advance before filing. Avoid payday loans. (Again, it may be perceived as “bad faith” or actual fraud)
4. Don’t transfer balances from one credit card to another. Using Peter to pay Paul does not solve anything and may complicate your bankruptcy case.
5. Don’t pay off one creditor so you won’t have to list them in a bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy Trustee has the power to get that money back because the transfer is considered “preferential“.
6. Don’t give or repay money to family members or friends. The trustee can view such payments or transfer as “fraudulent” or “preferential”.
7. Don’t hide any business or company or partnership or even any hobby business in which you participate.
8. Don’t buy a new house or residence when you are considering bankruptcy without discussing it with a bankruptcy attorney first.
9. Don’t sell your house or residence when you are considering bankruptcy without discussing it with a bankruptcy attorney first.
10. Don’t give your house or residence to your friend, family, acquaintance, etc. when you are considering bankruptcy. Better not to give anything to friends, family members, or acquaintances when you are considering bankruptcy.
11. Don’t give away any property as a gift. The Bankruptcy Trustee might view this transfer as “fraudulent”.
12. Don’t withdraw money from your 401(k) or other retirement accounts. Retirement money is usually protected in a bankruptcy filing. If you withdraw it beforehand, then it will likely go to creditors.
13. Don’t file for bankruptcy If you’re about to get a large tax refund, inherit money or settlement or judgement from lawsuit. This should be disclosed to your bankruptcy attorney to determine if you have enough California exemption to protect the asset.
14. Don’t forget to disclose all lawsuits and claims that are pending. Lawsuits and claims are considered an asset in bankruptcy and should be disclosed to your bankruptcy attorney to determine the proper bankruptcy chapter to file or if bankruptcy is even a good option for you.
15. Don’t leave out any financial accounts (e.g., savings, checking, brokerage, credit union, PayPal, stock, bond, mutual fund, etc.). Even if none of the money belongs to you, if your name is on it, you at least some of the funds are presumed to belong to you. You must disclose ALL assets. Penalty of Perjury in U.S. Bankruptcy Court is a very serious matter as it involves large fines or years of imprisonment or both.
16. Don’t leave out any assets during consultation with a bankruptcy attorney. Bankruptcy attorneys cannot protect assets that we do not know about. Did I mention the Penalty of Perjury in U.S. Bankruptcy Court? Yes, emphasis here because the penalty is no joke.
17. DON’T HESITATE TO ASK YOUR BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY ANY QUESTIONS. DO NOT TAKE ADVICE ON MATTERS INVOLVING YOUR BANKRUPTCY CASE OTHER THAN FROM YOUR BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY. Taking advice, especially relating to the matter of law or bankruptcy, from someone who is not an attorney of that field usually does not end well. Common sense, right? I can tell you stories after stories. So much that I feel I have to stress it here.
Call to schedule an appointment with Sacramento Bankruptcy Attorney for further discussion of the do’s and don’ts of filing bankruptcy as well as whether you qualify for protection under Chapter 13 or 7 Bankruptcy.