It may not seem obvious, but a simple thing like the timing the filing date of your bankruptcy petition can have a great effect on the outcome of your bankruptcy case.
Exemptions. Have you lived in Florida continuously for two full years? If not, you may not be able to use Florida bankruptcy exemption laws. The exemption laws of some other state or even the Federal bankruptcy exemptions will apply. You might even prefer other exemptions laws to Florida's in which case you want to be sure to file your case before you have lived in Florida for two years.
Repayments to friends and relatives. Have you repaid friends or relatives during the last year? They may be forced to give up to the Trustee your repayments during this time; it might be wiser to delay your filing until a year has passed since significant repayments were made.
Moving property out of your name. Have you transferred property to other people so that it will not fall into the hands of your creditors? (Hint: huge No-No.) If so you almost certainly will want to delay the filing of your case for a year to avoid risking your discharge.
Tax Refunds. Are entitled to a significant IRS refund? Again, you may want to delay your case until you have had a chance to receive the refund – perhaps it can fund your bankruptcy case.
Income tests. You might want to file as quickly as possible – maybe your income figures for the past six complete months pass the median income test and you don't want to take the chance that the median income test limits might fall again at the next revision and disqualify you from a Chapter 7.
Mortgage foreclosure. If you are trying to save a home from a foreclosure, you should plan on filing your Chapter 13 case before the public auction of the home takes place. Under the old Florida law you had until 10 days after the auction, but that's not the law anymore. As soon as the hammer comes down at the auction and the clerk files the Certificate of Sale... it's too late.
Trap doors everywhere. As you can see there are circumstances where you need to move as quickly as possible to file a bankruptcy case and there are times when you need to delay the filing until a particular date in the future. Above we have listed just a few examples, but there are many more and this area of bankruptcy law is a minefield. Other issues affected by filing date include tax debt discharge, recent credit card charges, inheritances, homestead investments, and transfers to exempt status. Sometimes the best date to file can be calculated ... if you know what you are doing!
Timing the filing of your case is one of the few factors within your own control. Make sure you make the most of it.