If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you are not alone. It is more common than you think and has actually significantly increased among retirees, shares U.S. News and World Report.
Whether or not you have made the decision to file, it is smart to know common mistakes people make that put their bankruptcies in jeopardy. Avoid these three things, among others, to improve the outcome of your case.
1. Use social media
In this age of digital footprints, anything you post online can become evidence against you in any type of court proceeding. What you may believe is an innocent post may prove to be problematic if a judge believes it contradicts the information you gave regarding your situation.
For example, a photo may reveal a side job you have but did not disclose or a luxury vacation you took right before filing. Privacy settings are no guarantee your posts are secure, so it may be best to stay off of social media before and during the process. And of course, always be honest on the paperwork.
2. Spend money carelessly
The court will look at all your expenditures in the months leading up to your bankruptcy to ensure you are not acting fraudulently. Even attempting to pay off some debts can come off as favoritism or put assets in danger, so be careful how you spend your money.
Also, note that bankruptcy only covers the debt you have acquired up to filing. Debt you incur since that moment you have an obligation to pay.
3. Wait until you are broke
To be bankrupt does not mean that you literally have no money left. You do not have to, nor should you, wait until you are completely broke to file. Without cash on hand, you will be unable to pay not only daily expenses but also the court and legal fees that come with declaring bankruptcy.