As summer approaches, a person considering bankruptcy may wonder whether they should pursue it before or after the warm months of summer. How could summer affect your bankruptcy plans? And when should it not? Here are five questions to answer for yourself.
1. Is Your Bankruptcy Urgent?
First, do you need the protection of bankruptcy as soon as possible? If you face or are about to face a wage garnishment or foreclosure, you may need to get the ball rolling on bankruptcy to avoid losing any valuable assets. If your finances are in immediate danger, don't put off filing bankruptcy just because it's inconveniently timed.
2. Will You Be Busy or Out of Town?
Summer can be a slower time if you're out of school or between holiday periods. But it may be busier if the kids are on summer break or you plan to be gone for extended periods. Filing bankruptcy is a complicated process and requires not only time but also gathering of documentation and making calculations. If you can't focus on these or don't have access to your records, you may want to wait until you can shift your focus.
3. What Are You Spending?
Everyone who pursues bankruptcy needs to avoid accidental bankruptcy fraud. This includes charging up debt before bankruptcy with no intention to pay it back and making luxury purchases. So, consider your summer vacation plans. Do they look extravagant? This rule doesn't mean you can't take a vacation, but it should appear normal (or even restrained) given your debt levels and true financial situation.
4. Which Jurisdiction Is Better?
One factor that some debtors must consider is where they want to file bankruptcy. Snowbirds, who spend part of the year in one area and the rest in warmer climates, need to factor in the bankruptcy rules in both of their available jurisdictions. Because each state is different, your ability to protect assets through exemption may be better in one state than in another.
5. How Ready Are You?
If bankruptcy is a hard decision for you, you may want to strike while the iron is hot, so to speak. Are you mentally and emotionally ready to take this big step? Then don't delay and risk talking yourself out of it. On the other hand, if you're not quite there yet, perhaps some reflective downtime could help you become ready in the fall.
Where to Learn More
The timing of your bankruptcy has many factors, and the decision to delay it for the summer or push ahead can have many factors as well. Consult with a bankruptcy law firm in your state today to find the right time no matter what your challenges.