Life After Bankruptcy

An attorney can help you do so much more than just file paperwork. One of the many advantages of partnering with an experienced bankruptcy attorney is that a lawyer can help you develop an exit strategy and goals for your financial future. A successful bankruptcy puts you back on the starting line, and a good attorney can give you a gentle shove in the right direction.

Rebuilding Credit

The most common fear people report is that they will “never be able to get credit again”. This simply doesn’t happen! Once you have filed for bankruptcy you no longer owe pre-bankruptcy debts, and you cannot file for bankruptcy again for at least a few years. As a result, you are actually more creditworthy than when you filed!

One easy way to rebuild credit is to pay your bills on time, especially for secured debts like your house and car. Consider using an automatic bank draft every month to avoid late payments. Many creditors may even allow you to break up a monthly installment payment into biweekly amounts. If you prefer writing a manual check, make sure it’s in the mail at least five business days prior to the due date.

Many clients report receiving credit card solicitations within 6 months of when their bankruptcy cases are over. Find one with a low limit, definitely under $1,000 and maybe even below $500. Use it responsibly and pay it off every month!

If you are looking to purchase a home, government sponsored FHA and Fannie Mae programs allow a mortgage a mere two (2) years after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing.

A surprising number of lenders are willing to work with people who have poor credit scores. In any case, when you go to the furniture store or car dealership, be upfront about your credit problems and do not sugarcoat your financial past. If one business isn’t willing to lend you money, don’t take it personally, just move on down the street.

Contact John Hargrave and Associates

We have provided comprehensive counsel to individuals in and around Barrington, New Jersey, since 1977. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact our office by e-mail or call us at 856-547-6500.