If you have fallen on hard financial times, you may decide that your only way out of the situation is to file for bankruptcy. If so, avoid making the following mistakes when filing for personal bankruptcy.

Neglecting to List All of Your Assets and Debts

While you are filling out the paperwork for your bankruptcy claim, you may feel that you only need to list your major assets, such as your house and cars. Also, you may think that you only need to mark down your credit card debts. However, only listing these items could get you into serious legal problems.

If you do not list every asset and debt on the claim paperwork, even if you did so by accident, this could be seen as you trying to commit fraud. At the very least, your claim could be denied. At the most, however, you could be convicted of bankruptcy fraud and face heavy penalties.

When you are filing out the paperwork, sit down with a bankruptcy attorney to have them help you. They may be able to make suggestions that can spark your memory of anything you may have forgotten about.

Not Paying Your Mortgage

Another thing you should not do is to stop paying your mortgage in the months before and during the processing of your bankruptcy claim. If you do stop paying the mortgage, you may end up losing your house.

Depending on the state where you are located, certain chapters of bankruptcy state that your house cannot be taken in an attempt to pay off debt after you have filed. However, if you default on your payments, this could lead to a forfeiture of this right. Talk to your attorney to find out what your specific state's laws say about this situation.

Using Your Credit Cards 

Some people who file bankruptcy think that since their credit cards will be discharged, they can run the balances up before the claim is made. Then, they do not have to pay. However, doing this could put you in a stressful situation financially.

Usually, any credit card debt accrued within a certain time frame before a bankruptcy claim still remains your responsibility. So, while the previous debt would be taken care of, you would still have to pay the balance. Consult with your lawyer to find out the time frame for your area so you do not make this mistake.

Avoiding the above mistakes can help your bankruptcy claim go through without problems. However, if you have any further concerns, speak with a bankruptcy attorney who can help guide you through the filing process, as well as advise you on what to do before, during, and after you have filed your claim.