Filing for bankruptcy is never an easy or straightforward decision. It’s a very serious procedure, and while the benefits can be great, many individuals often find themselves worrying about the negative consequences of filing for bankruptcy before making the decision.
One of the biggest issues surrounding bankruptcy is the effect it can have on credit.
If you are wondering about the implications of filing for bankruptcy on your credit and whether or not it is possible to rebuild your credit after bankruptcy, there is some good news.
Rebuilding credit after bankruptcy is indeed possible. While bankruptcy does negatively affect your credit score, it may not be as drastic as you think. So what exactly happens to an individual’s credit after bankruptcy?
Depending on which chapter you file under, a bankruptcy filing can stay on your credit report for 10 years (Chapter 7 bankruptcy, liquidation), or 7 years (Chapter 13, rearrangement).
After this period of time, your pre-existing debts should be fully paid off (in the case of Chapter 13) or erased after the forfeiture of non-exempt assets (in the case of Chapter 7).
In the years between your filing and the removal of the filing from your credit report, you will have ample opportunity to build your credit back up through responsible financial discipline.
The greatest benefit to filing for bankruptcy is that it can give you a fresh start financially. With fewer debts to pay, you can start focusing more on your existing financial obligations. Certain payments are not absolved by bankruptcy.
Student loans, child support, and property taxes are just a few common examples of these types of payments. After filing for bankruptcy, it is important to focus on making any existing payments such as these on time and in the correct amount.
This is a great way for you to both establish personal financial discipline, and also demonstrate to future credit agencies that you are financially responsible and trustworthy.
Another way to start rebuilding is to open a new line of credit and, again, focus on making all of your payments on time and in the correct amount. If you can consistently make credit payments after bankruptcy, your credit will in turn improve consistently.
Two things to avoid after filing for bankruptcy, for the sake of credit rebuilding possible, are borrowing money too quickly and job hopping.
Borrowing money too soon after bankruptcy, before you have had a chance to rebuild your credit, is likely to result in either rejection or a bad loan with high interest rates for you to repay.
This can erase your financial fresh start before you have had a chance to capitalize on it. If you must take out a new loan after filing bankruptcy, consider borrowing with a co-signer.
It will improve your chances of having the loan accepted, though it is always more important to be sure that you can afford your loan payments.
Job hopping is also discouraged after a bankruptcy filing because future credit agencies will want to see that you are capable of maintaining a steady source of income.
If you consistently hop from one job to the next, credit agencies may view you (or at least your financial situation) as volatile and inconsistent, and therefore may be less willing to lend you money or allow you to open a new credit line.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, the safest thing you can do for yourself is to work with a lawyer who understands your case and the laws surrounding it.
A good lawyer can not only help you file for bankruptcy, but also help set you up for success once the filing is complete.
Parker & DuFresne has been Jacksonville’s most trusted bankruptcy law firm for over 25 years. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.
If you must file for bankruptcy, working with a lawyer who understands the law and your case will help you as you work through the case and get settled afterward.
An experienced lawyer can help you before, during, and after the process so that you not only get your financial security back but are set up for success as well.
Parker & DuFresne is one of Northeast Florida’s most trusted and experienced bankruptcy law firms. Contact us today for a free consultation.
It’s important to hire an experienced bankruptcy attorney as one of the steps to take when you’re facing bankruptcy, and you are worried about credit rebuilding after.
This is because there are many different types of bankruptcy. Only an experienced lawyer will know which one would work best for your specific situation.
It might seem like it makes sense to do this yourself. But most people don’t have the time or patience to understand all of the details involved in bankruptcy. That means they make mistakes by not choosing the right type, or by not filling out paperwork correctly. Both things could lead to delays and ultimately hurt your chances of getting any debt relief at all.
This is not a journey to take lightly, but it is also not one to take alone. If you need to file for bankruptcy, reach out to us today to start your journey with us.
If you want to learn more about the options you have and steps to take, call us for a free consultation.
Parker and DuFresne