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Home / Firm Blog / Bankruptcy / 33 Things Not to Do When Preparing to File Bankruptcy

33 Things Not to Do When Preparing to File Bankruptcy

One question that often comes up in a pre-bankruptcy filing office conference is what the client needs to provide to the attorney and what they should be doing to prepare themselves for filing. If you are contemplating filing bankruptcy, the following is a list of items you should pay particular attention to:


  1. Don't leave out bank, checking, savings, brokerage, and credit union accounts.
  2. Don't file if your income is greater than your expenses.
  3. Don't use your credit cards.
  4. Don't take credit card cash advances.
  5. Don't use convenience checks.
  6. Don't do balance transfers.
  7. Don't pay money to family.
  8. Don't pay money to friends.
  9. Don't tell a creditor that you intend to pay.
  10. Don't leave assets off of your paperwork.
  11. Don't file if you are about to receive a tax refund or inheritance. Discuss the timing with your attorney.
  12. Don't fail to tell your attorney about your small business, sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, LLP, LC, corporation, or hobby.
  13. Don't purchase a home shortly before filing bankruptcy without consulting your attorney.
  14. Don't give or gift property to anyone.
  15. Don't pay more than $600 on any past due bill.
  16. Don't transfer property to anyone.
  17. Don't cash out retirement plans or 401k's.
  18. Don't take out a second mortgage.
  19. Don't gamble.
  20. Don't hide assets or debts.
  21. Don't take out "payday loans."
  22. Don't put your money in your kids' bank accounts.
  23. Don't omit or ‘save' a credit card for after your bankruptcy.
  24. Don't fail to list debt to family or other "insiders."
  25. Don't write bad checks.
  26. Don't borrow money.
  27. Don't forget to tell your attorney about liens you may have on your home or unpaid judgments so they can be avoided.
  28. Don't make major financial decisions without talking to your attorney.
  29. Don't get married before filing if your spouse has a high income.
  30. Don't misrepresent facts to your attorney.
  31. Don't run up your credit cards in advance of filing bankruptcy.
  32. Don't fail to appear at state court hearings, trial or proceedings; coordinate with your attorney.
  33. Don't hide from your attorney. Keep her up-to date with your address, phone number and email address.


  • Item Tag: bankruptcy, guideline, list

Author; Pat Gallagher Categories: Bankruptcy

About the Author

Pat Gallagher

Pat Gallagher

Attorney Pat Gallagher is founder of The Gallagher Law Firm overseeing its day-to-day operations, as well as the long-term strategic planning of the firm. He focuses his law practice on the needs of businesses and specializes in a wide variety of transactional matters, litigation and mediation. He received his J.D. legal degree from the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri. Mr. Gallagher has litigated cases throughout Michigan before the American Arbitration Association, State and Federal Courts, Michigan Court of Appeals, Michigan Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals.