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How one's role changes after filing for consumer bankruptcy

Once the decision has been made to seek bankruptcy protection, a number of changes will take place. Understanding what to expect within a consumer bankruptcy is important for those in Maryland who will go through this process, and it can greatly relieve stress and anxieties connected to the event. Once the process is underway, the individual who filed becomes the Debtor; all of the entities to which he or she owes a debt become Creditors. The bankruptcy court appoints a Trustee to oversee the case. These parties become the main players within the process.

The Debtor will be required to submit comprehensive information concerning his or her financial standing. This includes one’s income, assets and debts. It is important to be truthful and accurate in this paperwork, as the Debtor will be asked to swear under oath that the information given is correct. Being deceitful in this regard can lead to a charge of perjury for the Debtor.

Most of one’s personal property can be retained throughout the bankruptcy process. There are a number of laws governing bankruptcy exemptions, and each individual’s circumstances are unique. However, it is a myth that those who file for bankruptcy must walk away from all of their possessions. In some cases, it is even possible to retain one’s home during and after a successful bankruptcy case.

Understanding one’s role within a consumer bankruptcy case can help Maryland residents feel more comfortable with the process. As with any other significant financial decision, those who are well-informed about the process and potential outcomes are in a better position to make wise decisions as things move forward. Consumers should realize that bankruptcy offers a chance to begin anew, and that the process requires their assistance in providing up-to-date information on assets and debts.

Source: Michigan State University, "Should you file bankruptcy? Part 2", William Hendrian, June 14, 2014

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