Bankruptcy is a great way to wipe out some of your existing debts, consolidate the ones you'll still need to pay, and give you a fresh financial start. If you're planning on filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy soon, is it a wise decision to continue paying off your debts? There are some debts that should and should not be contributing to if bankruptcy is in your future.
The mortgage on your home is a secured debt when filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and your mortgage lender can foreclose on the home if you are no longer making payments. While bankruptcy will help eliminate the personal liability of the loan for those that need financial relief, the lien on the home will remain.
If you plan to stay in your house you will need to continue making all mortgage payments throughout your bankruptcy proceedings.
Much like a mortgage, auto loans are also a secured debt. Your Chapter 13 bankruptcy will give you the option to relieve yourself from the responsibility of the loan, or consolidate it into your bankruptcy repayment plan. If you plan on keeping your car, continue making regular loan payments until it is eventually included in the repayment plan. Plan on giving up your car because too much is owed on your loan? Then you should stop paying off the loan immediately.
Credit Card Debts
Any outstanding balance on a credit card is an unsecured debt, and will be completely erased when filing for bankruptcy. Since this is one of the debts that you will not have to repay, it does not make sense to continue making any payments on your credit card debts.
Do not mistake this for an opportunity to rack up a ton of credit card debt. Doing so would show an intention of fraud. Your credit card issuer many file a complaint that requests the court to make your credit card debt non-dischargeable. If the court sides with the credit card issuer, you will have to repay the debt.
To learn more, contact a bankruptcy law firm like Wiesner & Frackowiak, LC.
Hospital bills are also unsecured, and you will not have to pay them back with Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It does not make sense to pay off any of your medical bills since they will eventually be discharged.
Your gas, water, and electric bills can be included in a bankruptcy filing. However, not paying these bills may result in the services being turned off until the utility is paid. Depending on if you are staying in your home or losing it, decide on if you need to keep your utilities running. It may make more sense to pay your utility bills as long as you are living in your home.
Now that you are aware of what bills should and shouldn't be paid, you will be able to save some money by not paying off some creditors prior to a bankruptcy filing.