Monday, August 8, 2011

FAQ #1: How will filing bankruptcy affect my credit?

Over the next few months we are going to post on this site the questions that our clients and potential clients ask.

Bankruptcy can be a confusing and scary process. But it doesn't have to be! At Kelsey & Trask, P.C. we work hard to makes sure our clients understand the process so they can stop the collection calls and move on with their life. If you want to move on with your life too, then take charge and get your questions answered. Check back often to find answers to the 25 most common questions that we receive, presented in no particular order:

FAQ #1: How will filing bankruptcy affect my credit?

Put simply: filing bankruptcy will hurt your credit. According to the credit reporting service, your credit score (FICO Score) will decrease between 85 and 105 points if your credit is poor, and between 140 and 160 points if your credit is good or excellent. While this seems significant, for most consumers, this is not significantly worse than a missed credit card payment, which, even if it happens once, can lower your score between 60 and 80 points for poor credit, and 90 to 110 points if your credit is good.

The fact that you filed for bankruptcy will appear as a “public records” entry on your credit report for up to 10 years, and individual debts that were discharged in bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for 7 years after discharge. The discharge date is different depending on the type of bankruptcy you file. In a Chapter 7 case, your discharge is granted approximately 5-6 months after filing; in a Chapter 13 case, your discharge is granted between 3 and 5 years after filing, depending on your plan terms.

However, if you take the proper steps to rebuild your credit following bankruptcy, you may be able to qualify for an unsecured credit card, car loan or mortgage in as little as 2 years after your discharge.

If you don't see your question and would like more information please do not hesitate to call us at 508.655.5980, e-mail us, or attend one of our weekly Free Debt Relief Clinics.

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