Are There Any Options Other Than Filing For Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy should be your last resort and last resort only there are other less drastic options to consider. Debt settlement is one of them. This is a negotiation between debtor and creditor where they agree on a reduced balance to be paid off, after which the account is closed, Gonzalez says.
Another option is a debt management plan. This is an agreement between the debtor and the creditor to modify the terms of the outstanding debt, such as fees or interest reduction for a certain period of time. This should allow you to pay back the amount owed, and help you regain control of their finances, Gonzalez says.
You can also try consolidating your debts or even asking a family member for help. While improving your finances may seem hopeless, it can be done. Get inspired by the story of this couple who paid off $78,000 in debt in two years.
What Happens When Declaring Bankruptcy
If you’re struggling financially, bankruptcy gives you the opportunity to pay down a portion of your debts over time or have some of them eliminated entirely.
Either way, declaring bankruptcy grants what’s called an automatic stay, which is essentially a block on your debt to keep creditors from trying to collect. They can’t deduct money from your bank account, garnish your wages or go after any of your other assets.
You’ll then have time to work with the court and your creditors to determine the next steps.
The Bottom Line On Bankruptcy
The U.S. Bankruptcy Code exists for a reason — to protect individuals who get in over their heads on the debt front and need relief. Filing for bankruptcy could be the best solution for dealing with your outstanding debt, or it could end up being a mistake you regret. If youre even considering filing for bankruptcy, consulting with a bankruptcy attorney is a good idea because a lawyer can walk you through your options and help you weigh the pros and cons involved.
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Find Out How Bankruptcy Initially Hurts Your Credit Score But Might Help You Rebuild Credit Over The Long
Updated By Amy Loftsgordon, Attorney
Bankruptcy laws were enacted to provide you with relief from your creditors by giving you a fresh start. This fresh start usually comes with a high price, namely, a major hit to your credit. But there are ways that bankruptcy can actually help your credit in the short and long term. This will depend on your , financial circumstances, and other factors.
What Happens To Your Credit Score When You File For Bankruptcy:
When you file for bankruptcy your credit score is likely to drop between 75 to 200 points, depending upon where your credit score was at to begin with. The new credit score will be based on how many points have been lost, the higher the score, the more points will be lost. For example if your credit score was close to 750 your new score would be close to 550, where as someone with a credit score starting closer to 550 would end up with a score around 450 after filing for bankruptcy. The chart below shows the approximate losses you can expect to see on your credit score you have at the time you file for bankruptcy.
Do you know what it will take to pay off your credit cards? Use our free calculator to find out.
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How Does Bankruptcy Affect Your Credit
Personal bankruptcy is a legal process to eliminate debt, but there will be short term effect on your credit rating and credit score.
Here is how bankruptcy will appear on your credit report:
- When you file bankruptcy the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy will send information to the credit bureau who will add a note at the bottom in the legal or public record section stating the type of proceeding and the date you filed. When you are discharged, the date of discharge is added to this section.
- Individual creditors will also update the debt information they provide in the trade account section to say that the debt was included in bankruptcy.
How long does bankruptcy say on your credit report in Canada?
In general, a first bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for six to seven years after discharge, depending on the credit bureau. This is extended to 14 years for a second or subsequent bankruptcy.
Each credit bureau is slightly different so it is important to understand what they say specifically:
Both credit bureaus have updated their policy regarding how long a consumer proposal remains on your credit report which shortened the window for most people. A consumer proposal is now removed the earlier of six years after you filed or three years after you complete your payment. This means that for a five-year proposal, the proposal is removed just one year after you complete the proposal terms.
Why the effect on your credit is not what you should focus on
The Final Steps Of Your Journey Towards Lasting Debt Relief
Getting all of your bankruptcy forms prepared and filed with the bankruptcy court is usually the most time-intensive process of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. But that doesnât mean that your job is done. There are a few things everyone filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy has to do to successfully complete their bankruptcy case and receive a discharge. Letâs take a look at what you can expect will happen in your Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Pay Filing Fee in Installment Payments
If you can’t pay the entire Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fee and you don’t qualify for a fee waiver, then you can apply to pay the filing fee in installments. You can ask to make four installment payments. The entire fee is due within 120 days after filing.
If the bankruptcy court approves your application, it will grant an Order Approving Payment of Filing Fee in Installments. Your installment payment due dates will be in that order. You must pay all installments on time or your case is at risk of being dismissed.
Take Bankruptcy Course 2
You will complete a credit counseling course before filing bankruptcy. There’s a second course you must take after filing bankruptcy. It covers personal financial management and can help you take advantage of your fresh start after erasing your debts through bankruptcy.
You have to take this course after your case is filed but make sure itâs be completed within 60 days from the date of the meeting of creditors. A certificate of completion must be filed with the court.
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Howard Dvorkin Cpa Answers
More so than any other financial topic, bankruptcy is both complicated and depressing. Think about it: Mortgages are also complex, but after you navigate the process, you own a house!
Bankruptcy, however, is simply a fresh start, says the federal government. Unfortunately, the governments explanation of the process isnt exactly user-friendly its called Bankruptcy Basics, but it looks like this. Not very basic, is it?
So here are three crucial things to know, Vanessa
How Will Bankruptcy Affect My Life
Bankruptcy is an extreme measure and can affect your life in several ways:
- You may lose valuable possessions. However, you can keep basic items needed for living and working . Note that you may need to trade in these items for cheaper versions. While it’s upsetting to lose your belongings, just remember what youâre working towards: a life free of debt.
- Your bankruptcy will be public knowledge. It’ll appear in the London Gazette and on the Insolvency Register. Worrying what the neighbours will think? You probably don’t need to â unless there’s a high level of public concern about your bankruptcy, it’s unlikely to be covered by local or national newspapers.
- Your bank accounts may be closed. This can make day-to-day life difficult, since bank accounts are used for everything from receiving your salary to paying bills. But you may be able to open a basic bank account. These are designed for people with bad credit, and enable you to store and pay money without accessing overdraft facilities.
- The courts may take away your passport. This is called being impounded, but itâs unlikely to happen to you unless the courts believe youâll travel abroad to sell your possessions.
- It can be a stressful experience. From doing the paperwork to telling friends, bankruptcy can be a difficult process emotionally. That said, some people find a weight has been lifted from their shoulders, as bankruptcy lets them turn over a new leaf.
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Be Careful With Cash Advances Before Filing
Cash advances on your credit card can also be a negative factor when you file for bankruptcy. The debt is not discharged if you take out over $950 in cash advances 70 days prior to filing for bankruptcy. This stands regardless if you use that advance for essentials or luxury purchases.
There is an exception for the cash advance penalty. For example, lets say you took out a cash advance to repay student loans. You then get diagnosed with a severe medical condition that renders you unable to work, so you file for bankruptcy. Because you are unable to repay this debt due to extreme hardship, it will be discharged. Note that if you took out the cash advance to pay your student loans intending to discharge the debt in bankruptcy, you can be sued for nondischargeability.
Connect with top-rated bankruptcy attorneys to make sure you avoid issues when you file.
However, if you can prove that the recent purchases are necessary items, such as heat for your home and medical expenses, those may qualify for discharge.
Should I File For Bankruptcy Or Default On My Loan
Defaulting on a loan and filing for bankruptcy are not opposite choices. In fact, Fleischman recommends defaulting on a loan before filing for bankruptcy. If you havent defaulted, it might indicate that you havent given yourself enough time to allow your financial situation to improve.
If you do default, then filing for bankruptcy can protect your assets from being seized by creditors. It can also protect you from having future wages or an inheritance garnished. Bankruptcy is useful not only for protecting what you have, but also for protecting your future, Fleischman says.
Bankruptcies Last For Seven Years On Your Credit Report
While you may think that undergoing bankruptcy will help you to start out on a new financial chapter in your life, its not that easy. A bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for a total of seven years. Over this time, any lenders who are pulling your credit report to authorize the administration of credit to you will be able to see the bankruptcy.
In most cases, new lenders will not offer to lend money to you because a bankruptcy shows that youre unable to manage your credit properly. Lenders are only looking to give money to individuals who have a strong record of paying that money back. If you have a bankruptcy on your credit report, it shows them that you may not repay that loan, and they may lose out on their money.
When assessing whether or not bankruptcy is right for you, its important to think about the impact it has on your credit score. Your credit score is an essential part of your financial health as it gives you access to things like a home mortgage or even an auto loan. If youre not sure whether or not bankruptcy is the right decision to make, it may be advisable to contact an attorney to assist with your situation.
How Long Does A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Stay On Your Credit Report
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy stays on your credit reports for up to seven years. Unlike Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves creating a three- to five-year repayment plan for some or all of your debts. After you complete the repayment plan, debts included in the plan are discharged.
If some of your discharged debts were delinquent before filing for this type of bankruptcy, it would fall off your credit report seven years from the date of delinquency. All other discharged debts will fall off of your report at the same time your Chapter 13 bankruptcy falls off.
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Maxing Out Your Credit Cards Before Filing Bankruptcy Can Be Fraud
Every time you use your credit card, you are obtaining creditthe credit card company lends you money with each swipe. Even when you use your credit card to buy a $2 candy bar, you’re being lent money for the purchase of that candy bar. Under federal bankruptcy law, credit obtained by “fraudulent means” can be deemed nondischargeable.
Is running up your credit cards right before you file bankruptcy considered to be “fraudulent means”? It can be if you do so for the sole purpose of getting what you can out of the credit card before wiping all the debt out in bankruptcy and you have no intention of repaying the debt.
As an example, suppose you visit with a bankruptcy attorney and make the decision to file Chapter 7. Then, knowing you won’t have to pay it back, you go on a spending spree with your Visa card. You intend to keep the stuff without paying back the debt because of the bankruptcy.
This behavior would likely be considered obtaining credit by fraudulent means. You’re using your credit card, and the credit card company is lending money based upon your promise to repay it. However, the fact that you have no intent to repay would likely be considered fraud.
What If I Need A Loan Or Credit Card Immediately After Bankruptcy
Luckily, most mortgage companies provide FHA loans for scores of 560-600. Traditional financing options often require a score of 600 or higher.
There are options for buying high-cost necessities after filing bankruptcy claims. Secured credit cards and loans exist for those facing bankruptcy. You can look into credit builder loans or other financing options specially built for people after bankruptcy.
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Fresh Start Credit Rebuilding Program
At Hoyes Michalos we want to help you take full advantage of the fresh start you can achieve by filing bankruptcy or a consumer proposal to eliminate your debt. To help, we have developed a comprehensive education and support program for our clients designed to provide you with the skills and resources you need to rebuild your finances and your credit after filing insolvency. The Hoyes Michalos Fresh Start Recovery Program enhances the mandatory credit counselling required when you file insolvency with additional tools, support and special online resources about budgeting, credit repair, dealing with creditor calls and much more. Our goal is to help you achieve a full financial recovery.
Bankruptcy And Your Credit Score
Your FICO credit score is often the most important determinant in whether you receive credit, how much, and at what interest rate. A higher score means that you can borrow more and at a lower interest rate. Filing bankruptcy can cause your credit score to drop dramatically. If a lender is willing to accept your credit application despite your low score, it is likely to be on less favorable terms.
FICO states that your payment history makes up 35% of your total credit score. It is possible that a bankruptcy filing will not cause a major drop if you already have an inconsistent payment history. Another 30% of your score is the total amount of debt that you owe, which bankruptcy discharge can actually help. However, it is rare that a bankruptcy does not damage your credit score.
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How Long Will Bankruptcy Stay On My Credit Report
If you file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it will appear on your credit report for up to ten years.
If you apply for a loan or life insurance policy in an amount greater than $150,000 or apply for a job with an annual income greater than $75,000, credit reporting agencies can report your bankruptcy longer than ten years. As a practical matter, however, most credit reporting agencies will delete the bankruptcy after ten years.
Dealing With Your Vehicle
One of the forms you will file with the bankruptcy court is called the Statement of Intention. In this form, you tell the court what you plan to do with property that is securing a debt you owe, like real estate or a vehicle.
If you own your vehicle but are still paying on the loan, you have a few options on how to deal with it in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
You can reaffirm the debt, keep your vehicle, and continue making payments. This means the debt will not be discharged and you will continue making monthly payments during and after bankruptcy. If you miss future payments the lender will have the right to repossess the vehicle and possibly try to collect on any deficiency between the balance you owe and the amount they get when selling the vehicle.
If you select this option in your Statement of Intention, your car lender will send you a reaffirmation agreement for you to complete and return. In some bankruptcy cases a reaffirmation hearing will be scheduled.
If you choose to surrender your vehicle, then it will be repossessed and the debt will be discharged in your bankruptcy. Filers with high car payments they can’t afford often choose to surrender their car to get out of the debt.
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