Filing for bankruptcy can be a sound financial decision when hardship strikes and debts become unbearable. If you are considering filing for an Elk Grove bankruptcy there are some important timelines in bankruptcy to evaluate prior to your filing.

Timelines In Bankruptcy

Prior Filing

There are no rules as to the timing of your bankruptcy filing if you have never filed in the past. A prior filing will require you to wait a set number of years before filing again if your goal is to obtain a discharge of your debts rather than just an automatic stay. If you obtained a discharge in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the past, you must wait 8 years before filing for another Chapter 7. The wait is 4 years before seeking a discharge in a subsequent Chapter 13. If you obtained a discharge in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the past, you must wait 6 years before filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Preparing To File

The months leading up to your bankruptcy filing are crucial for your case. A good rule of thumb is to not make any major changes in your income, debts, or assets. There should be no changes for the 6 months leading up to your case. If you acquire new debt during this time, it may not be eligible to become part of your case. If so, you could remain liable for these debts after your discharge. So, don't go buy a bunch of new things expecting to have the charges erased. Similarly, any sale, transfer or gifting of assets could be viewed as suspicious by the court. Do not attempt to hide or profit from a sale of any assets prior to a filing. Changes to your income could influence whether you are eligible to file for Chapter 7, or how much you may be responsible for paying in your Chapter 13. So, keep your job and try not to take any extra cash in the form of gifts.

Filing Day

The Bankruptcy Code requires the completion of a debtor’s education course within the 180 days before your case filing. You cannot file your case until you provide the court with the certificate of completion unless exigent circumstances exist, so be sure to have this done before filing day. You will also be required to pay the filing fees on the day of your case filing unless you request an extension of time.