For those seeking lasting debt relief and a fresh start in life, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a great option. This type of consumer bankruptcy allows you to discharge many of your debts like medical bills and credit cards, while protecting certain assets. If you’ve made it this far, you’re likely getting started with filing for bankruptcy, or you’re about to begin. And you probably want to know how to keep things running smoothly.

Too many people, either intentionally or unwittingly, end up making their bankruptcy case much harder than it has to be, or end up sabotaging their chance at this kind of financial freedom. These are five common ways that people sabotage their bankruptcy case:

  1. Failing to complete their credit counseling

Everyone who files for bankruptcy is required to complete credit counseling, which is often a series of short online courses. However, if you don’t complete these before your official filing, the judge may throw out your case.

  1. Failing to appear for the meeting of creditors

The most important meeting of your bankruptcy case is the meeting of the creditors, also called the 341 meeting. If you do not show up on time, show up prepared, or show up at all, your case will likely be dismissed.

  1. Failing to be honest on financial forms

Sometimes, in an attempt to safeguard certain assets, people may omit some financial information on their bankruptcy forms. Whether you leave off certain debts, or try to lie about how much money you make, this is a big mistake. This type of dishonesty can have your case dismissed, and potentially result in criminal fraud charges.

  1. Failing to watch spending

On occasion, when someone knows they are about to have a fresh financial start, they will go on a bit of a spending spree. Do not go out and buy things that aren’t necessities, or things you cannot justify; often there is a limit (both time and amount) on spending before a bankruptcy filing, and if you suddenly put a bunch on your credit cards, this may be a red flag to your judge.

  1. Failing to stop making payments

When you’re under stress from creditors, it may be tempting to keep making payments on your debts, especially if they are pressuring you. However, before your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Memphis, it’s critical that you stop all payments on your debts. These kinds of financial decisions can derail your bankruptcy.

Want to learn more about how to keep your bankruptcy filing on track? Reach out to us at the Hurst Law Firm today, and ask for your free consultation.