Understanding Life after Bankruptcy

When considering filing for bankruptcy in NY, one of the questions on most people’s minds is, “Will I be able to get credit again?” Some people think that filing  bankruptcy in New York will ruin any chance they ever had to purchase a car or home, or otherwise lead a normal life. Thankfully, this is not the case. Many mortgage lenders, motor vehicle financing businesses, and credit card companies will not automatically disqualify someone because he or she has filed for bankruptcy. (To illustrate, one may be able to qualify for an FHA mortgage twelve months after filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, or two years after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.)

While it is true that filing for bankruptcy in NY can stay on your credit report for up to ten years, there are measures one can take to rebuild your credit.

Filing for Bankruptcy in NY

First, you should obtain a credit report from each of the three main credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to double-check that all information is accurate. U.S. citizens are entitled to a free copy of their credit report once per-year. Visit http://www.annualcreditreport.com to request a copy of your credit report. If inaccuracies are discovered, make a list of all such findings so that they may be disputed.

Next, you should try to add positive information to your credit report by bringing to the attention of the credit agency any evidence of economic stability that has been left out. For instance, if you have consistently paid bills your on time or found steady employment at a place that has not been noted in the report, you may contact a credit reporting agency to add such information.

Another possible way to help rebuild your credit is to apply for a secured credit card. To obtain a secured credit card, you must put a certain amount of money into a bank account, which will be used as collateral. (Requirements vary depending on the card type.) By regularly paying off your credit card bills, you can increase your credit standing. For example, after you successfully demonstrate the ability to pay on time, most credit card companies will upgrade your account and remove the security requirement from your account.

It is also important to note that a client’s credit condition is relative. Many people who are considering bankruptcy already have a low credit score, because of late bill payments, nonpayment of bills, late mortgage payments, or because of foreclosure proceedings brought against them. These facts are also reported to the credit agencies. Bankruptcy is an option that will help someone improve their financial situation and put them in a position to rebuild their credit score over time.

You may also be helped by contacting a NYC bankruptcy lawyer. For additional information on how filing for bankruptcy can help you to obtain a new financial start, and on strategies you can undertake to rebuild your credit, please call our office by phone at 888-529-9600 to arrange for a free, initial consultation.

Remember, “bankruptcy is not the end, it’s a new beginning.”