Bankruptcy and Rebuilding Your Credit

The biggest misconception the majority of my clients fear is that bankruptcy will devastate their credit forever. The truth is, the filing of a bankruptcy may be the only tool to fix their credit. You see, most of my clients have fallen victim to divorce, job loss, or medical bills. Most of my clients still have perfect credit when they first visit my office. They usually have made the appointment because they can see it is just a matter of time before they fall delinquent on their bills. Unfortunately, once your credit deteriorates to the point of no return, bankruptcy may be the only way to fix it. The public has been forced-fed a host of myths and lies (usually from the credit industry itself) on how horrible their credit lives will be if they declare bankruptcy.

Here are the facts:

  • While chapter 7 will remain on your credit report for ten years, and chapter 13 will stay for seven years, it will not take you a decade to reestablish your credit. An independent study has shown 96% of consumers were offered new credit within one year of declaring bankruptcy!
  • I will never get credit again. False! While life after bankruptcy is no cakewalk, this statement is flat out wrong! The most desired credit sought by my clients is new car loans, new credit cards, and new mortgages. The majority of my clients have told me they received a slew of credit card and car loan offers immediately upon receiving their discharge. Why? Because they are no longer a high credit risk!. They have relieved themselves from the tremendous financial burden which was weighing them down, now creating disposable income. Plus, they cannot file a new bankruptcy for several years. I even know of one local car lender who will finance cars (at reasonable rates) immediately after the filing of a bankruptcy.

Because credit scores are weighted more towards recent activity and not past mistakes, a consumer who pays his or her bills on time after the filing of a bankruptcy and responsibly conducts his financial affairs should see an above-average credit score within one year of filing a bankruptcy. The idea that filing a bankruptcy will condemn you to a life where you’re treated like a financial outcast and banished to years of credit exile is just not true!