Friday, August 19, 2011

FAQ #6: Can I buy a house, car or get credit cards after I file bankruptcy?

Once your bankruptcy case is concluded, there are no restrictions on property that you may own or purchase. Any property that is acquired during the bankruptcy proceeding (the period between filing and the closing of the case) must be disclosed to the bankruptcy court by amending the bankruptcy schedules, but after the discharge these limitations cease.

Similarly, you may incur new debt, however, any debt that is obtained after the date of filing is not included in the discharge. As a general rule, it is advisable to not incur any new debt or acquire any new assets until you receive your discharge from the bankruptcy court.

Once you have your discharge, just because you may borrow money or purchase assets, does not mean it will be easy. Bankruptcy filing makes it difficult to obtain the credit required to purchase these items, for some time. Because bankruptcy (and often, the financial difficulties which gave rise to a bankruptcy filing) will make it difficult to obtain credit, many people will be unable to purchase a new home or car, or obtain a credit card for a period of time after bankruptcy.

Taking steps to repair credit (such as establishing a good repayment history on reaffirmed debts or a secured credit card, maintaining a cash reserve, paying debts on time, and borrowing and repaying a small personal loan) can accelerate credit repair. 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. Eventually, if you budget correctly and manage your credit after your bankruptcy better than before, you will be able to purchase a new home and/or car.

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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