Recovering from Bankruptcy

Recovering from Bankruptcy

Every year more than 1.5 million Americans file for bankruptcy for a variety of reasons. While bankruptcy has many negative effects, it does offer people with devastated finances a fresh start. While most bankruptcies remain on your credit reports for 7-10 years, there are several things you can do to start re-establishing your credit after filing.

The first step in managing your credit is to clear your credit reports of errors. Check that your credit reports from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian have accurately recorded your pre-bankruptcy debts as "Included in BK." Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have the right to dispute inaccuracies.

After clearing out any errors in your credit reports it is best to keep a regular eye on your finances and use your credit conservatively. Keep your employment stable, be cautious with spending, and pay all your bills on time.

You may want to apply for a secured credit card that can be used in moderation and paid off each month. Secured credit cards use your savings account as collateral for the credit limit and are easier to be approved for than a standard credit card.

As early as 1-2 years after bankruptcy you may be able to receive a home loan. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) have specific guidelines for accepting borrowers who have filed for bankruptcy. For example, the FHA will insure mortgages to individuals who have filed Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy two years after the discharge if "the borrower has reestablished good credit (or has chosen not to incur new credit obligations), and has demonstrated an ability to manage financial affairs."

You may want to contact a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved housing counselor or local support program for advice and assistance with purchasing a home. Unfair lenders can sometimes target people recovering from bankruptcy so be sure to research your loan options, know your rights, and read the small print.

After 7 years, the accounts that were marked as "included in BK" should be removed from your credit reports. The bankruptcy record itself will be removed after 7-10 years depending on the chapter that you filed. If your records are not removed by the credit reporting agencies automatically, you can send a letter of dispute to have the records taken off your report.

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2 Contributions
260 People Helped

Helpful to 257 out of 278 people

Bankruptcy is not right for everyone.  You have to make sure that you talk to a reputable bankruptcy attorney.  If you make over a certain amount of money for your household size, you may have to file a Chapter 13.  A Chapter 7 is the quickest relief, but may not be the best option for everyone.  A good attorney will advise you of anything foreseeable, even if it's something you may not want to hear.  My boss has told people before that bankruptcy is not a good option for them.  We would never want to steer anyone in the wrong direction.  We care about the clients where I work.  Also, some people have the misconception that if you file for bankruptcy, you will lose everything which is simply not true.  There are exemptions for homes and vehicles, but they vary from state to state.  The best suggestion that I can offer regarding bankruptcy is to do your homework about what attorneys are reputable and also make sure you disclose everything.  For example, if you do not disclose that piece of property you transferred or your antique car to your attorney, he/she cannot properly advise you and you will most likely end up in a horrible situation with your case trustee.  Although filing for bankruptcy is not fun, if you work with a good attorney, you will feel much better once it's over and you can move on with your life.

Reply by
lele70301

1 Contribution
103 People Helped
Helpful to 103 out of 124 people

I myself had to file chapter 13 in 2007, To me, I was ashame, But what happen to me was horrifying someone stole my identiy and none of my credit card people would work with me and trust me I appealed all of them and they told me I was still responsible for paying half of it instead of 30 thousand. Yes, thanks to this person that stole my ideanty and I had awesome credit at a young age. It tore my world upside down. You hear of people that had this done to them and never think it will happen to u, well it happen to me. NOw, I'm just trying to build up my credit but to be honest with u I never want another credit card again; Bc if i can't pay for it with the money I have then I don't need it. I'm not a shopping person, I only get what i can afford and what i need and that it. what is another way I can build up my credit without getting credit cards

Reply by
ChgtoVA

1 Contribution
233 People Helped
Helpful to 233 out of 251 people

I definately agree with you dear.. i filed for Chapter 13, as advised by my attorney - who is the best out there..  because i make decent money and had perfect credit before the filing - i compared notes with others  who had not a decent lawyer, and it makes a world of difference.  With this kind of bankruptcy, i am able to keep two houses one i live in and the other back home, my current truck (new) and already paid everything else up.  Creditors will keep harrasing you but you need to report that to your lawyer, they'll send them a cease and dissest - and then they WILL take them to court and get you money for the harraassment.  I also opened a credit card from my bank (with my money) and paying it regularly to rebuild my credit.  I think in this year i went up 100 or more points..    I was always great with my credit - but the real estate market killed me in the 3 investment condos I had..  it was painful for me to see my soaring credit in the mid 800's plummit into the 500's!!!   i had to pull the plug which was the hardest thing i ever had to do - not to a fault of mine - NEVER missed a payment my whole life..  but life happens.. and the whole country is under - so i did it - and now feeling a bet better..  no more investments for me though!  :)))

Thanks for all your stories people - and good luck to all..

Reply by
happyfatmonkey05

5 Contributions
1 Person Helped
Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

A shady bankruptcy attorney will try to get clients to file a chapter 13 rather than a 7 because they'll get more money out of it.  As a bankruptcy paralegal, I cannot fathom a reason an attorney would try to trick someone into a 7 rather than a 13.

1 Contribution
138 People Helped

Helpful to 138 out of 144 people

I filed bankruptcy last year and have already witnessed my credit score go up quite a bit. I know that I have a lot of work to do to ensure that my credit score continuously goes up and to keep it that way. The hard lesson I learned will remain with me forever and I will never allow myself to get into the financial trouble I was in when I filed.

One thing that I would like to comment on for people who are filing or plan on filing soon, be careful like the article states to watch your reports and to make sure that everything that was supposed to be included in your filing is actually taken care of. I received a couple of phone calls from various companies that should have gotten the notice that I filed Chapter 7 and that these accounts were now closed and dissolved but they somehow did not get the notice and called to "work out repayment arrangements", one company of which I talked to on several occasions and finally kindly reminded them that I was legally protected from them calling and harassing me about this debt that was now legally resolved through bankruptcy. I wasn't trying to be rude or anything, but I think they were just trying to manipulate the situation and get some sort of money from me. Luckily after the third time or so they stopped calling after I stopped being so polite :)

Be careful and make sure everything is sorted out. The months after my bankruptcy was completed and I had my Chapter 7 filing in front of me, I kept it right by the phone. If any debt collector called, I would give them my case number and my lawyer's information and that was enough for them (usually) to close the account on their side. 

Reply by
bcu0776

5 Contributions
73 People Helped
Helpful to 72 out of 96 people

I just went through the same process myself back in February. I already started reestablishing my credit. it went up over 100 points in two months. You should email this company and explain your situation its a miracle what they do info@mycreditbooster.com. I dealt with Gene. Great service too. 

Reply by
pboo7

1 Contribution
36 People Helped
Helpful to 36 out of 44 people

hi, ditto! same thing here.  amazing how these credit card companys operate. never again. thanks for sharing

Reply by
debtfree11408

1 Contribution
7 People Helped
Helpful to 7 out of 8 people

I just went thru bankruptsy in March. I always had good credit, and was also ashamed and embarressed about it. I have just looked up my credit score and it did go up. Why- I dont know. But I'm not complaining. I feel so much better. I will  not be getting any new credit cards. If I cant pay cash, I do not need it. What a lesson learned!

3 Contributions
440 People Helped

Helpful to 219 out of 242 people

This article is simply and basic I would go to several websites such as www.Bad2GreatCredit.com and others to truly get an opinion of what should be done. Getting a secured card along with verfiying the accuracy of your credit report is just a start. You should also monitor your credit and make arrangements with any creditor that GOOD payment history will encourage them to remove all negative information they have recorded. Also making sure you are aware of who will accept you before you APPLY for Credit Cards and Loans. Making sure you modify the behavior which brought you to bankruptcy also read RICH DAD POOR DAD. Make sure you SAVE ADDITIONAL FUNDS and make sure your debt ratio is below 30% to Gross Income for at least 18 months so as to control your DEBT and increase your savings as the larger your savings account becomes the less likely you are to need your credit which in the long run the less you use it the hirgher it gets. Paying off your secured card every 60 days and not submitting any applications for 12 months will raise your score 100 points as long as nothing is over the limit and you have no other late payments in that time frame.

Reply by
jordan39759

1 Contribution
1 Person Helped
Helpful to 1 out of 11 people

I have been trying to get back on this site that sells the book but it is down. I was wondering is there anywhere else I can go to purchase the book? You can email me back with a response please at jordan39759@gmail.com

Reply by
msuzara

1 Contribution
81 People Helped
Helpful to 81 out of 95 people

The website you recommended "bad2greatcredit" has been suspended to to non payment. Now there's irony!

Reply by
cdavis1277

1 Contribution
41 People Helped
Helpful to 41 out of 50 people

It's funny that you are referring people to Bad2GreatCredit.com, because their website has been suspended, apparently for non-payment.

Reply by
d4hilliard

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

i understand what you are saying but how do you know who is going to accept you

Reply by
dtyallen

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

Thanks for sharing!!!!!

Reply by
dms1704

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

When I tried accessing this website, it said that this account has been suspended. Anyone else have another website to go to?

1 Contribution
59 People Helped

Helpful to 59 out of 61 people

Filed for BK in 2010 was discharged in 2011 then came offers for credit cards. I noticed some offered 36% interest and a $75 first year $99 each year after annual fee oh and a $99 processing fee. Oh yeah these are secured cards btw, THESE ARE RIP OFF ARTISTS taking advantage of people who came upon hard times weather it was thier fault or not... I was semi fortunate to come accross a Cap One offer $300 limit no fee card unsecured, catch 22% interest better than nothing. I do realize i have a BK that will be in reports till 2020. limit raised to $500 6 months later (on time payments) Just approved for 2nd card last night $1000 limit cap one and they were included in my BK. Lets not kid BK is a very serious decision and dont ever want that kind of stress again, but for those of us who have filed or will file please don't be cheated by annual fees or rediculous intesrest! You can start to rebuild your credit with a secured card from a better source, if you dont get an offer for an unsecured card with no fees. BK means you ran into trouble not need to get riped off!

1 Contribution
130 People Helped

Helpful to 130 out of 144 people

I filled lat year. I had lost my job in 2010 like a lot of people. It was determined that at the time of my BK  that I could repay 100% of my debts. I now pay 500.00 a month. Thats more than my payments on my debt. I don't mind paying the money but I feel I should be put in a diferent catigorey when it comes to my credit rating. I could have filed a chapter 7 and had no payments and still had the same results. My credit report just shows a BK and has no notation that I am paying my debts in full.

Anyone else agree with me?

Reply by
mimihall

1 Contribution
0 People Helped
Helpful to 0 out of 1 people

Yes, same situation here. I have just finished my 5 yr sentence and are waiting to see my score go up which  I hope it does. does anyone know how much your score increases after being released from the paid debt?
I

Reply by
addysweet

1 Contribution
62 People Helped
Helpful to 62 out of 73 people

I filed chapter 7 due to no helath insurance and no job and had a heart attack - prio rto that my credit was outstanding.  I had a heart attack on advandia and when I go tmy chek from a settlement they took all of it and paid OFF my debts - meanwhile I still have 6+years left with BK on my record - I also find this unfair!  I feel taht if your debts are paid off on BK then your credit should indicate that and credit score should raise agian -- the Credit people are there for them ....

Reply by
Missjbaby30

1 Contribution
0 People Helped
Helpful to 0 out of 1 people

Yes I do and it takes forever for a discrepency to come off but quick to be added on your credit.

Reply by
lynnbob27

1 Contribution
0 People Helped
Helpful to 0 out of 1 people

yes, I agree. That is totally unfair, have you asked to have a notation added to your credit report stating that? Seems to me that should make a big difference.

Reply by
craftygirl960

2 Contributions
86 People Helped
Helpful to 71 out of 78 people

I agree that there should be a notation in your file to help future creditors know exactly what is going on.  You are also allowed to add notations to your file.  Since no one else has noted the payments, perhaps you should consider adding your own notations.

Reply by
dbrown43059

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

I also filed Chapter 13 and my payment's to the court were very high, about $500.  I realized I was able to get a loan modification on my house at 2% interest.  So I went ahead and filed Chapter 7 it was much easier than a 13 and you can re-establish credit almost instantly.  Actually the court's make it much easier on you if you do file Chapter 7. In the end a bankruptcy is a bankruptcy regardless if you file 7 or 13.....My advice change your 13 to a 7 and save yourself $500 per month....You will be that much ahead in boosting your credit score!

Reply by
familyfare

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

I TOTALLY agree with you.  We did the same thing and pay almost $1600 per month plus have to give our tax returns to them every year.   I'm all for paying back what I owe also but now I have a 13 on our record and we could have just had one of us quit our job and filed a 7 to get it totally wiped out and start "fresh" by now.  ****es me off that when you try to do the right thing, you STILL get burned.   Good luck to you fb79.

Reply by
Killerdude1

2 Contributions
0 People Helped

I agree, I did the same thing. Should have done 7 and got it over. 

Reply by
jerryrutlnad

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

Yep... I filed ch. 7... in 2011... it ruined my credit either way... ch. 13, or 7... 

If i were you, i would move it all to ch. 7,,, re-affirm on what I wanted to keep.. house; car; etc... and let all the rest go.

you're credit is ruined either way for 7 years.

Reply by
928porsche

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

I'm doing the same, and shows BK, not that I am paying All the debt back... What  was killing me was the High Interst Rates they kept Pyling on me, nothing I did made a difference.....

Reply by
RedGlare

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

AGREED!

Reply by
bjmzdodge3

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

The only thing your going to get is peice of mind, should have just filed chapter 7 and saved your money!

Reply by
johnnystephenson

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

u filed wrong B/K man, I mean hell, your gonna have a black eye on it ffor 7-10 years , so why did you make it harder on yourself. You should have gotten better advice !

Reply by
Ranger1945

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

Just had the same thing happen to me, not looking forward to the next seven years.

Reply by
tinytico1

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

I totally agree, same thing with me.

Reply by
bigcliffy89

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

Well, the reason your payments are so high is because you have a bad lawyer! In the George Bush bankruptcy bill that was written by The credit card company MBNA it states that all of your disposable income must be paid to your trustee for the first part of your payment plan. This can be worked around with a good lawyer!

Reply by
sherry9172

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

Your chapter 13 will only stay on for 7 years. And if you are current on all your bills, when it is discharged, your credit will be A1. Even with the chapter 13. But I do agree with you. The creditors that are involved in you 13 should state on your rerpot that you are paying through thev13. Your bk attorney can explain it better than me. I had to convert my 13 to a 7 so I have 2 bk. Hang in there. It will get better.

Reply by
wkingsland

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

yes i agree with u your work hard to pay the bk thay should show that your paying it

Reply by
getnow

2 Contributions
0 People Helped

I agree, it should show what type of bankruptcy you are doing and give you a better score being as you are paying it back. It sounds like the chapter 11 costs so much and the score don't show that you are paying it back but people who do the chapter 7 their scores are built up quite quick and they are able to purchase things, while chapter 11 your score still stinks and you have to suffer for 5 years with making the payment.

Reply by
hlmrrhd

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

yes its real sad maybe others thing play apart in like who you is where you from youre not a buddy

Reply by
Jaybird11111

2 Contributions
0 People Helped

You still can file a chapter 7. Same thing happened to me.

Check out the maximum income for a 7 for the state you live in. Its based on how many dependants you have.

Reply by
eylus

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

I also have chapter 13 paid off year early and can not get credit bureau to put discharged on credit nor do they report the payed off accounts have been writing to them every mo. about accounts, opened credit card and pay off ea. mo. and fingerhut account paying ea. mo. but the three credit burea's do not seem to understand that we payed over 50,000. in debts off. also pnc mortage is showing behind on mortage and will not change , although bankruptcy pays with our money ea. mo. So tired of trying to deal with three credit bureas that  do not no what chapter 13 means.  do they care   no

Reply by
karaokesuzee

3 Contributions
4 People Helped

we are doing a chapter 13, and i, too, feel because we didnt shirk our debts should be regarded better than if we had filed a chapter 7, which relieves us of our responsibility totally....we pay about 930 a month and we are almost done with bankruptcy...the reason we had problems was because of the economy and my hub works in the auto industry and he was laid off for over a year, and i became disabled and had to file for disability, which took me 3 yrs to get...of course, we got behind...hopefully we should be on solid ground, even if we cant get credit for awhile, by the end of the year...it's all cash for us after that, no credit cards!!

Reply by
cmc7661

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

I agree 100% I am in the exact situation.

Reply by
outtatown53

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

Yes we too paid our debt back at 100% and paid off the Bankruptcy in 2 1/2 yrs of the 5 yrs we were granted.  You are correct, you don't see your positive comments at all on any of the 3 reporting agencies.  There should be something done about this for those of us who paid ALL of our debt back and did not have it written off!

Reply by
yhatsy7

8 Contributions
0 People Helped

I paid CCS 500.00 a month for 8 months and still my debt showed only a decrease of 500.00 total. SCAM are these sites. My Judge at BK court just shook his head in disbelief when he reviewed my  situation.

Reply by
DBBofFL

5 Contributions
4 People Helped

I feel for you. I was in somewhat the same situation. Paid my bills on time, then a separation happened, so there was about a year period of severe moneyissues, then I broke and BK'd, now 9 years later and perfect payment history, my only negative thing is my BK. I still have a year to go, my score is 706, should be around 780 when BK comes off.

Reply by
Liz5317

2 Contributions
0 People Helped

I agree that there should be some way that you can see that you filed the 13 instead of the 7. They both just show the same regardless that your still paying on the one.

Top Contributor

Reply by
ANT289

50 Contributions
148 People Helped
Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

To my understating your report will show a discharge of your debt when a chapter 7 is filed.When a chapter 13 is filed, you will not have a discharge on credit report, which is the distinction in the two bk's

Reply by
JaeJaeJones

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

You may want to think about converting to a 7.  I was in a 13 and couldn't afford the payments any longer.  I talked my lawyer and converted 2years after my 13.  Just FYI for you.

Reply by
tmw

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

Same here.  We had a 5 year stretch of unemployment and underemployment followed by the death of a child.  We ended up filing Chapter 13 (repay 100% of our debt) and our monthly payment is in excess of $1000.  We are 4 years in to the 5 year plan and have never missed a payment.  I am discouraged to find that my score is still under 600 mainly because I have no "new" credit.  It's a frustrating system that I do not know how to navigate. I feel like I will never recover and be able to get a mortgage. 

1 Contribution
30 People Helped

Helpful to 30 out of 33 people

I filed Chapter 13 in September 2007 and all my debts were discharged by January 15, 2008. As soon as I got the discharge letter from the judge I was able to buy a car at one of those places that guarantee you will get a loan. The interest is excessive but what do you expect after just declaring bankruptcy? I was able to keep my home and I had a good job. My score is just over 700 and I'm happy with that. I have lots of new credit cards which I use sparingly and pay them off right away. When I retire in a few years, my mortgage will be paid off and I'll be debt free to enjoy my golden years. Getting an experienced attorney is key...don't be ashamed, don't worry another day.....just make the call and do it. You will recover and be able to sleep at night.

Reply by
karatemomma51

1 Contribution
3 People Helped
Helpful to 3 out of 4 people

How did you get a discharged in less then a year?

1 Contribution
1358 People Helped

Helpful to 1358 out of 1405 people

I had my debts discharged through chapter 7 bankruptcy in December 2008. I immediately got a credit card through Orchard Bank and got a secured loan with my local credit union. In addition I've had to dispute errors a few times on all my credit reports because some of the discharged debts weren't displaying accurately. I've paid off the loan, and I only have a recurring charge on my credit card (my gym membership) and pay the full amount automatically with my bank's online bill pay. As a result, my credit score has gone up 130 points in one year.

Great approach and thank you for sharing with community.

Review by
CK Moderator

Reply by
toby9852

1 Contribution
4 People Helped
Helpful to 4 out of 8 people

great we are going thru chapter 13 now cant wait till its discharge

tobhy9852

Reply by
SanDiegoDays

1 Contribution
129 People Helped
Helpful to 129 out of 151 people

Your story is encouraging. Thank you.....

Reply by
ibnkhaldon

1 Contribution
2 People Helped
Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

Its comforting when I hear others experience, doesn't make me feel I'm the only one with a bad credit experience, its almost over for me with the BK it been 10 years coming April 2014.never again abuse my credit.

1 Contribution
35 People Helped

Helpful to 35 out of 43 people

Im about to finish my chapter 13 in march of 2013...I will be so glad..I have struggled in the last 4 years to keep a roof over my family heard and food on the table. even when Im cleared of my bk . i still have to pay off my student debt. I should have not done this..i will be so glad when this nightmare is over...and i will think twiced before letting myself get into this mess...never again

Reply by
mindy0879

1 Contribution
16 People Helped
Helpful to 16 out of 22 people

I know what you mean.. I had to fill a chapter 13 as well after a divorce.  I have been struggling for the last three years with my two boys and working fulltime with no car. My plan is to try to get a car in june.  I will be done with my chapter 13 March 10 :)... I hope I can get car...:)

Reply by
47pshide

4 Contributions
13 People Helped

Just don't forget that a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 7 years.  This doesn't mean you can't get a good credit card account before the 7 years is up.  I got a great card through my online bank.  They noticed my payment record and their associated credit card company offered me the card I needed.  Now I use the credit card and pay the full balance with my checking account each month.  Great for establishing a good credit score.  My 7 years will be up in November 2015. Can't wait to get the one derogatory remark off my credit reports.

1 Contribution
5 People Helped

Helpful to 5 out of 7 people

I filed for Bk-Chapter 7and discharge.in April of 2014.  I cannot get a job.  Now everyone comes after the fact and tells me,  I should have offered to pay off my credits for less than the amount.   At one point 2 people didn't have jobs.  All my jobs involved dealing with money one way or another. I had good credit; however, the balances were high.  Someone told me, do you think someone will hire you to take care of there monies.  When you cannot handle your own finances.  After I thought about that, I understand that people make mistakes.  It would be great if some businesses are a little more understanding and give people with Bankrutcies another chance.   

Credit Karma Team
Top Contributor
2497 Contributions
2698 People Helped
Helpful to 0 out of 1 people

Sorry to hear about this. We wish you all the best in findind a new career and rebuilding your credit. 

1 Contribution
26 People Helped

Helpful to 26 out of 31 people

 I to went with a debt settlement company to help eliminate my debt.  However I had to pay them up front their fees first before anything started going to my credit cards, which was about 6 months after I started with them.  I was with them for 3 years and was getting nowhere with my credit cards, and my account with the debt settlement company was in a negative state. I would pay them almost $400 dollars a month and like other people my credit cards kept coming after me.  I had lawsuits filed against me and i had to take money out of my 401K to settle some of them on my own. I now have no 401k left.  After 3 years of getting nowhere with them I finally said this is it, im going to file bankruptcy,  not what I wanted to do but it was my last resort.  Also I could never call the person with the debt settlement company, I always had to deal with him through email I don't think that is right.  Anyway i filed in January of 2012 and it has not been completely settled as of yet but I am hopeful.   By reading other peoples stories I feel there is a light at the end of the tunnel

Thank you

Reply by
Zanderlovesme

1 Contribution
29 People Helped
Helpful to 29 out of 33 people

This is what I did. I had in the 800's  and this ruined our credit. We had gone over our income in debt I lost my job so we had to file BR WE still lost our homes and one car. Because we were unable to pay the debts.. It hasn't been too bad except for losing the property. We have been able to buy cars I don't have any credit cards except a line of credit through our bank..  and a retiel cc Don't do the fix your credit companies they are thiefs

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