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In 2016, there were 7,696 Chapter 7 and 8,019 Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases in South Florida alone. Bankruptcy is a significant problem in Miami and the surrounding area, but we are here to help. As your bankruptcy attorney, we want to help you out. Make sure that you are not making these five common mistakes.

Telling Lies

Bankruptcy is an embarrassing situation. We understand that. As a means to save face, people might not reveal their whole situation to their lawyer, creditors, or judge. Alternatively, it can be tempting to try and hide a certain asset, like a bank account, from your creditors as a rainy day fund.

The first instance is a bad idea. Our attorneys can only help you if they understand the full story. It can be difficult, but you need to lay everything on the table, so to speak. The more we know, the more we can help you.

The second instance is a terrible idea. If you are not upfront about all of the potential assets you have, you may be violating the law. In some cases, you may even go to jail. Other punishments might include a fine. When you are already bankrupt, you do not need to go to prison or face a fine.

Going on a Spending Spree

The ‘logic’ is fairly simple. If all of your debts are about to be discharged, then why not accumulate more debt? Many people go on shopping sprees right before they file for bankruptcy, thinking that they may simply wash their hands of it.

This is an awful idea. Certain debts, especially in excess of $500, might not be discharged if they have been incurred within 90 days of filing for bankruptcy. Your fresh start may not count for much if you have a number of smaller debts that you have to deal with.

Transferring Property Out of Your Name

This is not quite the same as hiding assets, but it is similar. Many people think that if they transfer property to a friend or family member, their creditors and the court cannot access it. This is false. When you transfer assets to loved ones, the court can transfer it back. This renders your actions null and void.

Repaying Anyone Before Your Legal Debtors

Let’s say a family member lent you a little bit of cash to help you make rent one month. You love them and value them more than any bank. There is a great temptation to repay them first, but it is important to remember that you probably do not have a legal obligation to them. You have a familial obligation, and maybe an ethical obligation. But you do not have a legal obligation.

Bankruptcy is a legal process. You need to pay back your legal debts first.

Not Hiring a Lawyer

Going through bankruptcy is a difficult process. An experienced attorney can help make it easier. There are legal terms that many people do not necessarily understand. The entire process can confuse and scare people.

That is where Patrick Cordero steps in. He is a quick-witted, qualified, and quintessential lawyer who can help you out today. Contact us today.