If you have made the difficult decision to file for bankruptcy, you may have a challenging question on your mind. You may find yourself wondering what bills or debts you should continue to pay on until your paperwork is filed and your case is in front of a judge and what bills you can set aside. Here are a list of bills you should continue to pay as you prepare to file for bankruptcy.
It is extremely rare that an individual is able to wipe away their tax debts by filing for bankruptcy. This is because an individual has to be in dire straights and meet very specific criteria to qualify for their tax debt to be wiped clean in bankruptcy.
Because it is so rare that tax debts are discharged in a bankruptcy, it is advised that you continue to pay your tax debts if you are already on a repayment plan with the IRS. If you fail to make your payments, the IRS can demand you pay your tax debt back in full, come after your bank account, file a lien against any property you own or even garnish your wages. As such, it is always best to continue to pay your back taxes back as agreed upon until the courts have determined that your debt will remain or be wiped away.
Court-ordered payments can never be discharged through bankruptcy. The only way to put an end to these payments is to pay off what you owe. If a court has ordered you to pay money for child support, alimony, or restitution, you should continue to make those payments even if you plan on filing for bankruptcy.
Just like with tax debts, it is rare for student loans to be discharged by filing bankruptcy. You have to meet very specific requirements and be in a dire financial position to even attempt to discharge this type of debt.
If you have student loans that you are having trouble paying for, you should contact your student loan company. They have the ability to grant you a deferment, forbearance or change the terms of your loan to lower your payments. Under certain circumstances, they may even be able to qualify you for a student loan cancellation.
Once you make arrangements with the company who holds your student loans, be sure to keep them, even if you find yourself ready to file for bankruptcy.
Your Car or Home Payment
If you are getting ready to file for bankruptcy, you may wonder if you should continue to pay your car loan or your home loan. While there are a lot of factors that come into play in this scenario, the simple answer is that yes, you should continue to pay these items if you wish to attempt to keep them.
Ultimately, a judge will have the final say in whether you get to keep a car or a home that you still have a loan on once you file for bankruptcy. But, as long as the payments aren't considered to be excessive and you can afford them, you will most likely be able to keep them. However, if you have not been paying for them, they can and most likely will be repossessed or foreclosed on. Bankruptcy does not prevent or stop foreclosure or repossession actions.
Current Living Expenses
The last bill type that you should continue to pay if you are filing for bankruptcy is your current living expenses. This includes your rent, insurance, and utility bills. Filing for bankruptcy will not stop your landlord from evicting you, your power from being turned off or your auto insurance from being cancelled if you fail to pay. As such, it is important that you continue to pay your normal living expenses as you prepare to file for bankruptcy.
If you are getting ready to file for bankruptcy, you may wonder what bills you need to pay. Generally speaking, you want to continue to pay your tax debts, court-ordered payments, student loans, car or house payments for items you wish to keep and your current living expenses. If you have any questions about other payments you may have, you should continue reading more or speak to a bankruptcy attorney about your situation. They can best advise you on what payments you can skip and what payments you should stay current on.
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