Personal bankruptcy is a big step for many people, and it is a legitimate tool that helps people get out from under a mountain of debt. Many borrowers successfully build their credit after filing bankruptcy, and continue on with success in their financial lives. Read on to find out more about personal bankruptcy, and what it means to you financially.
A huge mistake people make before filing for bankruptcy is maxing out their credit cards. This can lead to disaster when you file and the credit card companies might not discharge the debt. If you can, you need to stop using your credit cards at least six months before you file, and ideally for a year prior. Also, do your best to pay the minimum payments on these cards for at least six months before you file.
Don’t think of bankruptcy as the ruination of your financial future. Once your bankruptcy has been discharged, you can begin to work on re-building your credit right away. By continuing to make timely monthly payments and not applying for new credit, you can significantly raise your credit score within 6 months. And, if you maintain good credit for that amount of time, you may find it possible to get approval for loans to make large purchases, such as a home or car.
Make sure you have a solid understanding of which debts can be eliminated by bankruptcy, and which ones cannot. Debts like student loans, child support or alimony payments, and taxes, are generally not discharged through bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can help if your wages are being garnished or if you have large unsecured debts, like, credit cards and utility bills.
Find out what the homestead exemption limit is in your state before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you have too much equity in your home to qualify for the exemption, you could lose your house in the bankruptcy. You can’t change your mind once you’ve begun the process, so make sure you will be able to keep your home before you file.
Educate yourself about the bankruptcy process. You can increase your knowledge of the bankruptcy process by conversing with a bankruptcy attorney or by carrying out independent research on the internet. Whichever method you chose to increase your knowledge of the bankruptcy process, it is vital that you comprehend how filing for bankruptcy will affect yourself, your family and your creditors.
Consider seeking advice in an online forum before you make any permanent decisions regarding personal bankruptcy. From there, you will see many people who long ago went through what you are now facing. It can give you a great perspective to help avoid making their same mistakes, and learning their lessons without first suffering those consequences.
A great way to reestablish your credit after you have filed for bankruptcy is to get a low-balance credit card. This way, you can make small purchases and be able to pay it off each month, making you look more responsible and raising your credit score. But, just make sure that you can pay off the amount every month.
Do not cosign on any type of loan during or after your bankruptcy. Because you cannot file for bankruptcy again for many years, you will be on the hook for the debt if the person for whom you are cosigning is unable to meet his or her financial obligation. You must do whatever you can to keep your record clean.
Before you file, make sure you understand the laws as much as possible. There are many pitfalls you can easily fall into, such as transferring away assets to prevent them from being included in the filing. Also, a person cannot legally increase their debt amount on credit cards prior to filing.
Pay as much attention as possible to the information in your required education classes. Remember that your goal is to avoid having to file for bankruptcy again in the future. If you learn better financial management skills, you’ll be able to use your bankruptcy as an opportunity to start over.
If you intend to file bankruptcy soon, you may want to discontinue paying all debts. Some bankruptcy rules do not allow you to send money to creditors within three months of filing; this can extend up to a full year if a loved one is involved. Know the laws prior to deciding what you are going to do.
Credit scoring companies do not always stay on top of things, when it comes to removing your bankruptcy from their files when the time has come. So be sure to stay on top of this. If you notice that it is not taken off your records, make a copy of your discharge notice, along with a letter requesting that they remove this.
After filing for bankruptcy, get your life back on track. Ensure that your credit reports are updated, with each closed account and discharged debt correctly reported. Start paying your bills on a timely basis, as these accounts for one third of your credit score. On-time payments are the first step in rebuilding your credit.
When you meet with your lawyer, bring along all of your financial records. Your lawyer will want to see loan documents from your car and house. They will also want to see your credit card bills and any other financial documents you have that show you are in debt. You will also need to bring any documents showing your assets.
If you are facing a potential divorce, as well as, bankruptcy, carefully calculate which move you make first. You may benefit by waiting until after the divorce is filed so you will qualify for Chapter 7 instead of Chapter 13. This will keep you from being responsible for monthly payments that are associated with Chapter 13.
Filing personal bankruptcy can provide you with a safe haven from creditors and bill collectors. Navigating your way through bankruptcy to a debt-free life can help get you on the road to a more positive financial future. Personal bankruptcy is not for everyone, but it is worth investigating to see if it makes sense for you.