Whether it is a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your interactions with your bankruptcy attorney can range from a few months to five (or more) years. A lot can happen during that time that can affect your case, so it is important to keep your bankruptcy attorney in the loop of recent developments. Here is a list of some of the most important things to keep your attorney appraised of during your case:
- Your employment. If you lose your job, or take a new job, especially one with a large increase or decrease in pay, it can greatly affect your bankruptcy. An increase in pay may mean you need to do a Chapter 13 repayment, while a decrease may allow you to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A change of employment could also affect your wage attachment in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, so let your attorney know as soon as possible (with your new employer's contact information) so the wage attachment can be amended promptly.
- Your address. Moving may mean the court, or your attorney, will be mailing important notices or paperwork to the wrong address. Ideally, you will let your attorney know about any moves beforehand. Always make sure your attorney can reach you by phone and mail. A change in address may also involve a change in expenses, so make sure to update your bankruptcy attorney if that is the case as well.
- If you inherit money, or receive money from a lawsuit or insurance. This money should be disclosed to your bankruptcy attorney for up to six months AFTER your case is discharged. Lawsuit, insurance, or inheritance money is considered property of the "bankruptcy estate" which must be exempted from liquidation by creditors. A competent bankruptcy attorney should ask about and know about these potential situations before filing, but, if you inherit money while going through the bankruptcy process, for instance, inform your attorney immediately. It could have significant consequences.
- Lawsuits filed against you. If you are served with a lawsuit while preparing to file a bankruptcy, let your attorney know right away. All creditors must be informed of the bankruptcy filing in order for you to enjoy the protections afforded under bankruptcy law, so it is very important to give your attorney the opportunity to contact anyone suing you. Lawsuits can also lead to deadlines for repossessions and foreclosures, so time may be of the essence.
- New credit or transferring property. If you wish to take out new credit or transfer a major piece of property while preparing to file a bankruptcy, contact your attorney immediately. Doing either could result in your case being delayed or possibly prevent you from filing entirely, so make sure you speak with your bankruptcy attorney BEFORE doing either!
Bankruptcy is a process with multiple steps, make sure your attorney is informed all the way through. If there is any bankruptcy information you would like to learn more about, contact us to set up a free consultation.