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.

Laws regarding bankruptcy vary by state, so you need to find a lawyer that can walk you through the entire process and help keep your rights protected. In several cases, you can keep your car and your home, but it’s your attorney that will tell you what rights you have, what you can keep, and what you will need to surrender.

Once you have filed for bankruptcy, you will have to do your best to build your credit all over again. Do not be tempted to allow your credit account to have nothing on it, so it will appear to be fresh. This will send a bad signal to anyone who is looking at it.

Don’t let bill collectors convince you that you are ineligible for bankruptcy. Debt collectors do not want you to file bankruptcy under any circumstances because it means that they will not get the money you owe them, so they will always tell you that you do not qualify when given the chance. The only way to truly know if you qualify is to do some research or speak with a bankruptcy attorney.

Remember you still have to pay taxes on your debts. A lot of people don’t realize that even if their debts are discharged in the bankruptcy, they are still responsible to the IRS. The IRS usually does not allow complete forgiveness, although payment plans are common. Make sure to find out what is covered and what is not.

Be prepared to see your name in the news when you file bankruptcy. While the story isn’t going to make front-page headlines unless you are a very prominent or famous figure, all bankruptcy cases are public record. As such, they are often reported in a section of local newspapers. The good part is that not everyone reads that part.

Consider filing Chapter 13 rather than Chapter 7, if you are facing foreclosure. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to create a restructured payment plan which includes your mortgage arrears. This will allow you to get your mortgage payments current, so that you won’t lose your home. Chapter 13 doesn’t require you to turn over property, so you don’t have to worry about the homestead exemption, either.

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.