Before you file for bankruptcy in Maryland, think how it could affect you now and in the future.
Filing fees and court fees. If you have trouble making ends meet, paying filing fees and court fees may be an added burden. These may be waived but only upon approval of the court.
Appearance in court. You need to appear in court when ordered. If you fail to appear without a valid reason, your petition may be dismissed.
Filing documents and testifying. You may need to prepare schedules, affidavits or sworn statements. You may need to testify. Bankruptcy proceedings may take time away from your job, business and family.
Providing truthful and accurate information. Your bankruptcy petition may be dismissed if you do not provide information that shows you complied with requirements or you are eligible for bankruptcy relief.
Disclosures. You must truthfully list all your assets or properties and your liabilities or debts. You cannot hide properties from the court as this is fraud. Personal properties such as your grandmother’s ring or coin collection may not be exempt. They will be sold to pay your debts.
Meeting creditors. Your creditors will stop collecting the debts you owe but when your assets are sold, the proceeds will be divided among your creditors. Like bloodhounds, they will sniff out all your properties.
Privacy concerns. Bankruptcy proceedings are public records. Any person, including prospective employers or potential future creditors may access your records. Laws protect you from discrimination, bankruptcy records remain on your financial profile. You may have difficulty applying for a credit card.
No blanket discharge. Not all debts will be discharged even if your bankruptcy is approved by the court. Tax debts, unpaid child support or alimony will not be discharged. You will still need to pay them.
Bankruptcy is a complex that eats up time and resources. Many legal technicalities involved. It would be advantageous to be represented by a lawyer in bankruptcy proceedings.