The economic downturn of recent years has made personal bankruptcy a virtual necessity for millions. By gaining a comprehensive understanding of what personal bankruptcy entails, it is possible to make an educated decision about whether it is the right decision under any given set of circumstances. Study the tips and guidance in this piece, and you will be able to make the best choices for your financial future. Make sure that you have all of your financial paperwork with you when, you go to meet with your attorney about bankruptcy. They should tell you what you will need to bring. Generally, the paperwork will include car loan documents, home loan documents, and various financial records like credit card bills. Don’t charge up your credit cards knowing you are going to file bankruptcy if you have already started the process or made recent purchases for luxury items. While this type of purchasing is still part of your “˜debt,’ it is likely that you’ll still be responsible for repaying the money for those items. In most cases, what you are attempting to do is obvious. Make sure that you pay all of your bills on time since this will contribute to 35 percent of what is on your credit report. This looks good if you are trying to rebuild your credit after you have had to file for bankruptcy. Making on-time payments will increase your credit score. Personal bankruptcy should be a last resort if you’re in insolvency. This is due to the fact that it will take years for the bankruptcy to work off your credit report and new law changes make it harder to escape paying the debts off. In other words, you could have bankruptcy on your credit report and still be paying off several of your debts. Safeguard your home. Bankruptcy filings don’t necessarily have to end in the loss of your home. There are mitigating factors, such as lose of value, or multiple mortgages. You are still going to want to check into homestead exemption either way just in case. Before you file for bankruptcy, make sure that you hire the services of an experienced local bankruptcy attorney. Hiring a bankruptcy attorney who’s located geographically close to you will mean that you can contact him or her with ease. You will then be able to meet up with your attorney in person, in order to discuss your petition in greater detail. Look into proper timing. You can keep your tax refund even when filing for bankruptcy. You have to time it just right to do so. Wait until after your tax form has been processed, and you have received your tax return. One of the sneakiest things that a trustee does is to take an income tax return that debtors rely on. Waiting can keep that money in your pocket. Personal bankruptcy filings have grown increasingly common in the aftermath of the financial crisis experienced over the past few years. Gaining greater knowledge about the bankruptcy process, what it can and cannot do, and the best ways to ensure successful discharge of debts, is critical for anyone facing serious financial difficulty. Keep the tips in this article close at hand, and you can soon seize back control of your financial destiny and get the fresh start you need.