Do’s and Don’ts

Bankruptcy Do’s & Don’ts

Don’t deed your house to your kids.

This is a variation on don’t give anything away. People sometimes deed their house to their children and reserve a life estate for themselves. That would be a fraudulent transfer if it happened within four years of filing bankruptcy, and the trustee would be able to obtain title from the children. Your life estate would still be good, but your children will lose their remainder interest.

Don’t pay down your mortgage or other secured debt.

You Should Have Thought of This Earlier. If you have some cash lying around (most people don’t, but you may be the exception), don’t use it to make extra payments or pay ahead on secured debts, like your home or your car. That may be evidence of bad faith and can result in your case being dismissed. Moreover, having secured debt can sometimes be a good thing when going through bankruptcy. Remember the means test? Secured debt payments are often one of the juiciest deductions you can take on
the test.

Don’t file again within a year.

So-called serial filers lose the benefits of the automatic stay. If you have been a debtor in any kind of bankruptcy case within the past year, and it was dismissed for any reason, be sure to talk to a qualified bankruptcy attorney before filing a new case. On the other hand, if your old case was dismissed because you lost your job, and now you got a new one, a judge should understand.

Don’t use your charge cards – Goodbye Plastic!

If you put something on a charge card and you’ve got bankruptcy in the back of your mind, that’s probably fraud. Don’t do it.

If you have questions about bankruptcy do’s and don’ts, contact Lee Ringler Law Offices today. We proudly serve clients throughout the greater Augusta area and CSRA, including Evans, Martinez, and Grovetown, GA, North Augusta and Aiken, SC, and surrounding counties.