Know Your Lenders: Interviews and Lender Calls

Before you even start filling out an application for credit, find out if a bankruptcy will result in an automatic denial of credit. Every lender has standard underwriting guidelines. If you find out the guidelines prior to submitting your application, you’re able to avoid unnecessary inquiries. This takes you closer to your credit score goal […]

Avoid the Potholes on Your Road to Recovery

Potholes to Avoid: You’ve Got Credit, But You’re Not USING it! You should use the accounts each month and pay them off in full. Finance Companies: Finance accounts are the only type of credit that will hurt your credit score. Cosigning: It may seem like a good idea, but the additional risk cosigning ALWAYS represents […]

Securing Good Credit After Bankruptcy: What Not To Do

Don’t Carry a Balance: Use the card and pay it off in full every month (or within a few months). This improves your credit score sooner and shows lenders that you have re-established good credit behavior. Don’t Assume Lenders Will Stay On Top Of Your Credit Report: Open credit is the best thing you can […]

Securing Good Credit After Bankruptcy: Secured v. Unsecured

When attempting to obtain your initial credit right after receiving your bankruptcy discharge, it is important to understand the difference between secured and unsecured debt. Secured Credit Cards: The accountholder provides the lending institution with funds equaling the amount of “credit” offered. The funds are held in reserve as “security” on the account. Watch out […]

Taking On Your Credit Report: Step Six

The last thing you have to do when it’s time to restore your credit after bankruptcy is to consider any information that has been reported post-bankruptcy. Do you have any new accounts that have been opened/active since you received your discharge of debt? Make sure that any new accounts and/or new collection accounts that appear […]

The Four C’s: Analyzing a Credit Application

There are four major elements of a general underwriter’s guidelines in reviewing and analyzing a credit application. We Call it The Four C’s: Credit – You’ll have a low credit score and a “bankruptcy” notation on your credit report. Be persistent in determining eligibility requirements before applying for credit. Capacity – Your current income and […]

What Makes Up Your Credit Score?

Do you know what makes up your credit score? Payment History (35%) Outstanding Debt (30%) Age of Your Credit (15%) Type of Credit (10%) Credit Inquiries (10%) Payment History: Every six months you complete of positive payments will move your score upward. Make an on time payment every month. Outstanding Debt: You don’t need to […]

Tell Your Bankruptcy Story: Your Very Own Sound Bite

According research, over 80% of bankruptcy petitioners have dealt with: illness, divorce, or unemployment. What’s your bankruptcy story? Prepare your very own 30-40 second sound bite explaining why you filed for bankruptcy protection. This is important because as you begin your quest towards a credit score of 720, you are going to be talking to […]

The Five Stages of Bankruptcy Recovery…I Mean, Grief

It’s called bankruptcy recovery for a reason. It’s an overhaul of your entire LIFE! Allow some time to recover and don’t be surprised if you recognize some familiar coping stages most would associate with grief. Denial & Isolation: More than one million people file bankruptcy every year. Remember this when you feel alone. Anger: It’s […]

You Filed for Bankruptcy: How Do You Feel Now?

When you filed bankruptcy you knew exactly how you were going to feel when you got your bankruptcy discharge: completely elated. And you do feel that way – part of the time. But there are also moments of doubt and insecurity. This is a completely human response. Don’t let it throw you off. Set the […]

Can Bankruptcy Stop Your Eviction?

Tenants facing eviction often frantically search for answers to the situation. First and foremost for those in this situation is usually the desire to stay in their home. The need to relieve the pressure of the debt usually comes in a close second and third is a desire to do right by a landlord that […]

Does Business Debt Transfer with the Sale of the Company?

I recently spoke with a young man who had built a business from scratch, experienced a downturn in the industry that left the company overwhelmed by debt and unable to move forward with production expecting to make a profit. He felt his only recourse was to file bankruptcy on the small business. As the sole […]

My Creditors Are Suing Me – Is it Too Late to File Bankruptcy?

If you have put off filing for bankruptcy so long that your creditors are already suing you, you may fear that it is too late to do anything about it. You aren’t alone. Most people wait until the very last minute before they seriously consider bankruptcy as an option. It seems to be human nature […]

Does Filing for Bankruptcy Keep Broken Leases Off Your Credit Report?

When you file for bankruptcy, you receive an automatic stay, which requires that any and all creditors stop contacting you in order to seek payment on debts. When you receive your bankruptcy discharge, all eligible debts included in the bankruptcy filing are no longer your liability. These are two of the most common benefits of […]

What to Do If You Retained an Attorney, But Bankruptcy Wasn’t Filed

A recent email arrived with a question from a women who hired an attorney two years ago to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. She paid the bankruptcy attorney $1,000 up front. No other payments were made, but the Chapter 13 bankruptcy was never filed. Her question was this: is it possible to obtain a refund […]

What Are the Ramifications of US Credit Card Debt if You No Longer Live in the US?

In a recent online discussion with a distressed woman, I was told the following story. A woman originally from Poland moved to the United States. She was married in the United States in 2009, but quickly realized she had entered into an abusive relationship and needed to get out and far away. Since she was […]

Obtaining Financial Aid & Student Loans After Bankruptcy

If you are a student considering bankruptcy, odds are you have wondered about how filing bankruptcy could affect your future eligibility for student financial aid and student loans. Will a successful bankruptcy affect your ability to obtain future assistance to pay school tuition, purchase books, and cover the costs of living while in school? Does […]

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Can it Save a Home from Foreclosure?

There are a lot of Americans who have, at one point or another, fallen behind on their mortgage payments. In some cases, the lender or mortgage company may consider working with the homeowner to work out a deal to catch up or get out of an upside down mortgage (i.e. short sale or loan modification). […]

How is Past Due Rent Treated During a Bankruptcy Case?

If you are a landlord and your past due tenant is not only moving out, but is also rumored to be considering bankruptcy, is there any benefit to suing for past due rent? How is past due rent treated in a bankruptcy filing? When it comes to a landlord/tenant relationship, bankruptcy is mostly going to […]

Getting Divorced in the Midst of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Recently, I sat down in a consultation with a woman who was concerned about the status of her Chapter 13 bankruptcy in connection with a pending divorce. She wasn’t even sure how to ask the question, but after a bit of discussion we decided that what she really wanted to know was how do you […]