Finding yourself in a situation where you need to declare bankruptcy can be one of the most difficult and stressful periods of anyone's life. Many people go in to a bankruptcy proceeding with no idea of what to expect, and the desperation that comes from realizing that you're unable to pay your debts and rectify your financial situation can lead to compounding stress.

The best way to combat that stress is to work hard to stay informed. Below, you'll find a guide to some questions you should be sure to ask your attorney during a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding. Keeping these suggestions in mind can put you in a position to come out of the process with a new lease on your financial future.

Ask About Discharges

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding, your tangible assets will be turned over to a trustee who will convert them into cash in order to satisfy the repayment plan set out by the judge. Obviously, this means that you should do all you can to protect as many of your assets as possible.

Your attorney may be able to assist by discharging some of your debts. This process will allow some of your creditors to be removed from the proceeding entirely, and while some debts may not be discharged, it can still be a vital tool in salvaging some of what you've worked hard to earn.

Ask About Credit Counseling

For some people, their belief that bankruptcy is a necessity may be inaccurate. Indeed, many services exist in order to divert people away from filing for bankruptcy, and your attorney may be able to assist you in finding some that are right for you.

Credit counseling is a common service that many people use in lieu of bankruptcy. The information provided in credit counseling sessions may shed new light on the reality of your financial situation, or it may provide additional information that makes your bankruptcy proceeding more tolerable and successful for you.

Ask About Timing

As with many other things, when it comes to bankruptcy filings, timing is extremely important. Filing for bankruptcy while you're still anticipating further debts coming in may only complicate the process and leave you still insolvent even after you've completed the process. Be sure to talk openly and frankly with your chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney about your anticipated financial obligations, as your bankruptcy filing must be timed in order to provide you with the maximum relief.