It is really scary to be way over your head in debt. Sometimes, financial issues just get out of control quickly. You may realize that your options at this point are limited. In some situations, filing for bankruptcy might be the best option.

A huge mistake people make before filing for bankruptcy is maxing out their credit cards. This can lead to disaster when you file and the credit card companies might not discharge the debt. If you can, you need to stop using your credit cards at least six months before you file, and ideally for a year prior. Also, do your best to pay the minimum payments on these cards for at least six months before you file.

Before you file for personal bankruptcy, be sure that you are cognizant of all current laws. Bankruptcy laws are in constant flux, so just because you knew the law last year doesn’t mean that the laws will be the same this year. To learn about these changes, try contacting your state’s legislation office or checking their website.

If you are facing a necessary filing for bankruptcy, take a break from your troubles. After seeking reliable legal advice but before signing on the dotted line, give yourself a few days to think it all over, make sure you have disclosed everything and that you have selected the best options. Bankruptcy is permanent and you will live with consequences for a long time to come.

Many times, when a debtor files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, their home can be protected. This is because of the homestead exemption. This exemption can protect the home, if the debtor owes below a certain threshold. Laws concerning this exemption do vary between states. Be sure to consult with a bankruptcy attorney before, assuming your home is safe from liquidation.

Knowing that you are required to disclose anything that you have sold, given away or transferred in the two years prior to filing can help you avoid a costly mistake. Full disclosure is required. Not disclosing everything can land you in jail or a discharge of your personal bankruptcy petition.

Once you determined that you want to file for bankruptcy, it is important that you figure out which kind is best for you to file. For instance, with Chapter 7 most of your debts will be relieved, and you can keep certain aspects. With Chapter 13 your debt gets reconstructed, and you are given a certain amount of time to pay it off.

Look into proper timing. You can keep your tax refund even when filing bankruptcy. You have to time it just right to do so. Wait until after your tax form has been processed, and you have received your tax return. One of the sneakiest things that a trustee does is to take an income tax return that debtors rely on. Waiting can keep that money in your pocket.

Sometimes life just happens and you feel like there is little that you could do about it. When you’re ready to proceed with filing, the above tips should provide a few solid guidelines to follow. Make sure that you don’t take them for granted. Integrate the tips here into your financial plans and work to make a positive change in your situation.