After your bankruptcy is complete and you receive your discharge, the bankruptcy filing will appear on your credit report. If you completed your Chapter 13 repayment plan, it may remain on your credit report for 7 years. Chapter 7 bankruptcy may remain on your credit report for 10 years. It is important to remember that although Chapter 7 and 13 allow you to start living your life with a clean slate financially (except for those non-dischargeable debts), they do not wipe your credit report clean. You should consult with a bankruptcy lawyer for assistance on rebuilding your credit. In many cases, a person’s credit score will actually be improved by filing for bankruptcy.
You should be able to apply for credit cards after you receive your discharge in either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A great place to start rebuilding your credit is with a secured credit card. This is a credit card where you make a deposit into a savings account and then you receive a line a credit for that amount, minus the annual fee that is assigned to that secured credit card. For example, if you make a deposit of $800 into the savings account and you have a secured credit card that has a $40 annual fee, your line of credit will be $760.
Retail credit cards, such as department store cards, are also a great way to start rebuilding your credit. Often, it is much easier to obtain a credit card from a retail store than it is from a bank after filing bankruptcy. Retail stores like gas stations and department stores are primarily in business to sell their products, not issue credit. With a credit card they can sell you more of their products. Therefore, many of their credit cards are easier to qualify for than other types of credit cards.
You may also be eligible for a mortgage in as little as 12 months after filing for bankruptcy. For more information on the waiting period to qualify for a mortgage after bankruptcy click here.
It is also important after receiving your discharge that you review your credit report on a semi-annual basis. The Fair Credit Reporting Act makes it so every person can receive one free credit report every 12 months at www.annualcreditreport.com. See 15 U.S.C. § 1681. Be careful of using another website for this service because it most likely will require a fee or come with hidden conditions.
When reviewing your credit report, there are two types of errors that you could come across: (1) information was added to your report that does not belong to you; and (2) an agency sent the report of a different person, even though the information is accurate. If you see a bankruptcy on your credit report that you did not file, it is imperative that you report it and dispute that information on your credit report. You must do this by initiating a dispute with the consumer reporting agency that keeps the report, and dispute the information directly with the furnisher.
Bankruptcy Law Firm
At Florida Law Advisers, P.A., we understand that filing for bankruptcy can be a very confusing and intimidating process. That is why we work so hard to make the process as easy as possible for our clients. When you hire Florida Law Advisers, P.A., you have an experienced bankruptcy attorney by your side throughout every phase of the bankruptcy process. We will help ensure your rights are protected, keep you well-informed, and help you receive the utmost relief bankruptcy can offer. To schedule a free consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer in Tampa call, email, or fill out an online inquiry on our website today.