If you have just filed for bankruptcy, you will have to take steps to get past this dark chapter in your life. The good news is that the worst is finally over. The bad news is that you are not out of the woods just yet. What steps should you take to make sure that you get yourself back on solid financial footing?
Make Sure That You Hire A Good Lawyer
While your can apply for bankruptcy on your own, it is always a good idea to have a good lawyer representing you in court. This is because you want to know what property is protected in the bankruptcy proceedings. For example, most states have a homestead clause that allows you to keep your house while you are going through bankruptcy.
What Type Of Bankruptcy Are You Planning On Filing For?
Will you try to go for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy? Filing for Chapter 7 allows you to completely discharge your debts. Filing for Chapter 13 merely reorganizes your current debts. Most judges will require you to file for Chapter 13 unless you can prove that paying off your debts would result in a severe hardship.
Ensure That Your Creditors Report Correctly To The Credit Agencies
When the bankruptcy is finally approved, you should check your credit report to make sure that everything is accurately reported. Some creditors fail to tell the credit agencies that a debt has been wiped clean due to bankruptcy. If any accounts are not reported as closed, your credit score could suffer in the future. What's worse, you may even be required to make payments on that debt even if it has been wiped out in bankruptcy. Don't put yourself through that.
Apply For A Secured Credit Card
The first thing that you need to do after your bankruptcy has been approved is to apply for a secured credit card. Secured credit cards are similar to an unsecured credit card in many ways. The credit card company will report to the credit bureaus. This means that you have the chance to improve your credit score with each timely payment that you make.
The difference between a secured card and an unsecured card is that you provide the money yourself. Your credit line will be determined by the amount of money you provide as a security deposit. If you give the credit card company $400, you will have a credit line of $400. Most people who have just filed for bankruptcy will be approved for a secured line of credit.
Bankruptcy is not the end of the world when it comes to your finances. You simply need to plan ahead to ensure that the process goes smoothly. Once you are out of bankruptcy, make sure that you are taking the necessary steps to ensure that bankruptcy will never be something that you need to file for again. As long as you learn from your mistakes, bankruptcy can be a saving grace.
Biljanais a online writer, exploring and publishing useful advice on personal finance and bankruptcy matters in USA, Australia and worldwide.