Today we’re going to be talking about how will you filing bankruptcy affect your case?
We hope that none of our clients ever have to file bankruptcy. But you know if a person is in an accident and they’re out of work and they don’t have money coming in and they’ve got bills to pay then they may be considering going bankrupt to get out of debt. First word of advice do not do it. And if you feel that you absolutely have to do it please talk to your personal injury attorney first, talk to us first. And I’m going to tell you why. When you file bankruptcy and you have a personal injury claim that your attorney is working on or you’re trying to negotiate it yourself with an adjuster the trustee in bankruptcy now owns your case it’s the trustee in bankruptcy that is going to look at your case as an asset. And when he makes a recovery on your case no money is going to go to you at first he’s going to collect the settlement, he’s going to pay your creditors more than just your medical bills and your hospital bills, he’s going to be giving money to your settlement to your credit card company and anybody else you owe money and you’re going to be left with a very, very small amount money called the homestead exemption.
Well some people think, well I’ll file bankruptcy but I don’t see my personal injury case as an asset. It is an asset. And if you fail to list your personal injury case as an asset on personal bankruptcy filing the insurance company is going to find out because it’s public record, and then they’re going to move to have your case dismissed because you failed to comply with the bankruptcy law and it really does work that way.
Alright, what should you do? You’re stressed, you owe money, you’ve got creditors and you’re thinking what should I do with my personal injury claim?
First and foremost, I hope you have an attorney representing you. Second you should be telling that attorney about what’s going on in your considering filing bankruptcy. He at that point can do several different things. He could be looking at the settlement process and he might speed it up if there’s a good offer on the table. Or he might advise you, if you’re going to file bankruptcy how to make sure you comply with all the disclosure requirements.
Personal injury cases and bankruptcy don’t mix very well. But bankruptcies often come from personal injury cases because you’re hurt you’ve got bills to pay and you don’t have any income coming in. The most important thing you can do if you find yourself in that situation is to either call your attorney or if you don’t have one call us we want to concentrate on your particular problem we understand its financial, and its medical, and it’s emotional and it’s job-related there’s a lot of things that are pending and bearing down on you. We understand what you’re going through we’re here to help.