Making the decision to file for bankruptcy is difficult. At the start it can feel like a daunting process, but once the finish line nears you may feel a sense of relief or maybe even freedom. After your bankruptcy case is over you will no longer be living in debt. You will have a fresh financial start. In fact, you may even find that you have more money each month since you no longer have the credit card or medical bill payments. You may find that you are in a position to move forward and make wise financial decisions.
After bankruptcy, there are a few things we encourage our clients to do. The following is a checklist of After Bankruptcy “To-Do’s” that will help you get the most benefit from your bankruptcy discharge.
After Bankruptcy “To-Dos”
- Retain records:
- Keep the copy of the Bankruptcy Discharge Order that the Bankruptcy Court sends you. This is the Court order that releases you from personal liability to pay back your discharged debts.
- Keep a record of the date your case was filed. You’ll need to know this so you can calculate when the bankruptcy will be removed from reporting on your credit report.
- If you file for chapter 7 bankruptcy, it will remain on your credit report for 10-years from the date the case was filed.
- If you file for chapter 13 bankruptcy, it will remain on your credit report for 7-years from the date the case was filed.
- Order a free copy of your credit report: AnnaulCreditReport.com
- Review your credit report: ensure your accounts are properly reporting after bankruptcy.
- Your discharged debts should be reporting a zero balance owed and noted as discharged in bankruptcy.
- Check your entire credit report for mistakes and inaccuracies. Dispute inaccurate, incomplete, or outdated information, or other mistakes or misreporting here. You can view a sample dispute letter from the Federal Trade Commission here.
- Take steps to begin to rebuild your credit:
- Pay your monthly bills on time. It is especially important to pay instalment accounts (such as your car loan or mortgage payment) on time every month.
- Consider getting a credit card to establish a pattern of borrowing and repaying.
- Charge only what you can afford and pay the bill off in full and on time every month. A new credit card is not to create new debts.
- Learn more in our article Credit Cards After Bankruptcy.
- Make the most of your financial fresh start:
- You are now debt-free, take advantage of it. Use this opportunity to make wise financial decisions. Do not incur new debt that you cannot afford.
- Educate yourself on budgeting, how to save more money, ways to spend less, and consider investing to grow your wealth over time.
- Move forward. Some of our clients struggle with feelings of guilt or shame about filing bankruptcy. We encourage you to let those negative feelings go. When you decided to file for bankruptcy you made the financial decision that was best for you. You did what you needed to do. Move forward and live well with all of the benefits of your fresh financial start.
We hope you find this checklist of After Bankruptcy “To-Do’s” helpful! There are a few things we encourage our clients not to do after bankruptcy as well. Read After Bankruptcy “Don’ts” here.
Life After Bankruptcy
Imagine living without the stress of debt. That is life after bankruptcy. We understand that filing for bankruptcy is a difficult decision, but it may be the best financial decision for you.
Here at the Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel we will make sure you understand the benefits of bankruptcy and how filing with affect you and your family. We invite you to learn more about our firm here and come meet with us for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Reach out to us by email at info@BrazielLaw.com or call (912) 351-9000.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Find out more about Bankruptcy in our guide: All About Bankruptcy.