The number one thing that slows down a bankruptcy case is the speed with which clients can assemble the necessary documents. By following these five tips, you can ensure that your bankruptcy moves quickly, and that you’re prepared for any issues that could arise during the process.
It’s time to get rid of that mountain of paperwork and bills. Sign up to receive digital statements from your bank and financial accounts, and request to receive your pays stubs digitally. It also pays to switch your utilities, mortgage, car payments and regular payments to e-bills. This allows you to stay up to date on your assets and liabilities, and makes submitting your documents to your attorney as easy as sending an email.
Track your spending.
Whether or not you are planning on filing bankruptcy, it’s good practice to keep track of where your money goes each month. How much do you spend on groceries? Entertainment? How about your pets? Often, its more than our clients realize. We recommend apps like ‘Mint’ or ‘You Need a Budget’ to keep track of your expenses. This info can go straight into your bankruptcy petition and will ensure a high level of accuracy.
Separate your business and personal accounts.
Many of our clients are business owners. Whether you manage your own company or sell crafts on weekends, you need to track your company’s profit and loss. It’s not only bad business to conflate your personal and professional expenses and funds – it can also get lead to you getting audited by the court after you file your bankruptcy.
Organize Your Important Documents …
Designate one spot for your important documents. It can be anything from a drawer to a folder to a safe. Whatever it is, only put important documents in it. Car titles, your social security card, birth certificates, your insurance policies and court documents are all great things to keep together. Keep things like bills, statements, and mail separate from this.
…and Shred the Unimportant Ones.
People are often afraid to throw away anything that looks ‘official’. People end up with piles of bills, collection letters, and spam mail, along with a whole lot of anxiety. Shred anything that is outdated, useless, or irrelevant. There is no reason to hold on to more than one copy of the same bill. Only keep the most recently dated one. By getting rid of excess, a seemingly enormous pile can be quickly whittled down to only the necessary things. Also, if you have already switched to paperless statements, your past statements will be readily accessible, so there is doubly a reason to hold onto them.