how long will bankruptcy stay on a credit report

A common question is how long will bankruptcy stay on a credit report? After a bankruptcy is complete and you receive the Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 discharge, the bankruptcy may last on your credit report for a few years. If you completed a Chapter 13 repayment plan, it may remain on the credit report for 7 years. Chapter 7 bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for up to 10 years. See MyFico.com. For information on the differences between Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, click here to speak with a bankruptcy attorney in Tampa.

Filing bankruptcy does not necessarily mean your credit score will take a dive. In my cases, bankruptcy will actually help improve a person’s credit score. Bankruptcy is intended to give people a fresh start. In bankruptcy, debt gets discharged, which releases the borrower from all personality on the debt. Further, creditors will be prohibited from taking any collection activity on a debt that has been discharged in bankruptcy. The discharge of debt can help increase the credit score because there will be a lot less debt owed after the bankruptcy case is completed. Please keep in mind, each case is different and you should consult with a Tampa bankruptcy lawyer for information on how bankruptcy may affect your individual situation.

Getting New Loans After 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. The facts of each case will dictate how long bankruptcy will stay on a credit report. You should see the counsel of an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in Tampa for specific information about your case

Review Your Credit Report

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 creditor.

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 in Tampa 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.

What Happens to Child support and Alimony in Bankruptcy

Debts will be treated differently in bankruptcy based on their classification. Child support and alimony in bankruptcy receive nearly the greatest level of protection under Florida’s bankruptcy laws. Although child support is considered “unsecured debt,” which is typically dischargeable, the Bankruptcy Code provides special treatment for this domestic obligation. See bankruptcy law 11 U.S.C. § 507(a). However, there may still be options to reduce the amount of child support, you should consult with a bankruptcy attorney in Tampa for advice about your specific case. A Tampa bankruptcy attorney can help describe some of the options that may be available to reduce your amount of child support.

CHILD SUPPORT AND ALIMONY IN BANKRUPTCY

Child support and alimony will be the first of the unsecured claims to be paid among all your other unsecured creditors. Keep in mind that child support and alimony obligations cannot be discharged through either Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy. See bankruptcy laws 11 U.S.C. § 727 & 1328. You will be responsible to continue making those payments to your former spouse during the life of your bankruptcy case, and after you receive your discharge.

PROTECTING THE CHILD SUPPORT AND ALIMONY YOU RECEIVE

If you are an individual who receives child support and/or alimony, you will be able to protect that income with the “support” federal exemption afforded to you by the Bankruptcy law. See 11 U.S.C. § 522. The entire amount that you receive from your former spouse will be protected, meaning that the trustee cannot take that income away from you. For information about a specific case or set of circumstances you should contact a bankruptcy law firm in Tampa to schedule a consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer.

AUTOMATIC STAY PROTECTION

Child support and alimony will also receive protection under the “automatic stay” that takes place once you file bankruptcy. This takes effect immediately in order to preserve the property of the estate and to prevent any pre-petition claims from being paid outside of your bankruptcy. See bankruptcy law 11 U.S.C. § 362. However, if you have a judicial lien against you for failure to pay your child support or alimony obligations prior to you filing bankruptcy, the automatic stay will not apply to that judicial lien and you will be responsible to pay that lien amount. Again, this lien amount will not be discharged in either Chapter 7 or 13. For more information on discharge of debts in bankruptcy click here.

CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY FOR CHILD SUPPORT & ALIMONY

Additionally, if you are behind on your child support and/or alimony obligations, filing Chapter 13 may be a good avenue for you to get caught up on your payments. In fact, you would be required to pay any outstanding child support or alimony payments in full through the life of your Chapter 13 repayment plan in order to receive discharge. The benefit of having your child support/alimony obligations paid through your Chapter 13 plan is that it could potentially reduce the amount that you would have to pay back to other unsecured creditors and increase the amount of credit card or medical debt that would be discharged at the end of your Chapter 13 plan.

 

Bankruptcy Law Firm in Tampa

Bankruptcy law can be very confusing and intimidating. If you are considering seeking bankruptcy protection you should contact a bankruptcy law firm in Tampa for legal advice. The bankruptcy attorneys at our firm have years of experience helping people just like you to solve their financial problems and obtain a fresh start. We have many options available that can help you successfully manage your debt and regain your financial health. Regardless if you need help with Chapter 13, Chapter 7, or other debt relief, our professional legal team will provide you with competent legal advice you can trust. To see which options may be available to you, contact us to today to schedule a free, confidential consultation with a bankruptcy attorney at our firm.

bankruptcy exemptions

A term you will often hear, whether you file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, is “ bankruptcy exemption.”  This is special protection that the Bankruptcy Code provides for a certain amount of value in your personal property.  See 11 U.S.C. § 522.  There are federal and state bankruptcy exemptions, and the state exemptions are different from state to state.  The difference in federal and state exemptions is the dollar amount of certain pieces of property that are protected from becoming property of the bankruptcy estate.  A bankruptcy lawyer can structure your case to maximize your bankruptcy exemptions and help prevent losing your assets due to the bankruptcy.

Florida or Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions

In order to determine which bankruptcy exemptions apply to your case, you must look at whether your state is an “opt-out” state.  “Opt-out” means that you are required to use your state’s exemption amounts—not federal.  Florida is an “opt-out” state.  So, if you file your case in Florida, you must use Florida’s exemptions for all of your property; you do not get to pick and choose whether you use federal exemptions on some pieces of property, and Florida exemptions on other pieces.  However, if your state is not an “opt-out” state, you are free to choose either federal or state exemptions to protect your property. Bankruptcy exemptions are vital to a bankruptcy case and can be difficult to master, if you need assistance contact a bankruptcy lawyer in Tampa. A bankruptcy attorney should be able to structure your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 in a way that maximizes the protection you can receive from exemptions

Homestead Exemption

Typically, the most important exemption—especially in Florida—is the “homestead exemption.”  The Florida homestead exemption is one of the best in the nation in that it protects all of the equity in your home (meaning your house is worth more than you owe).  See Fla. Const. art. X, § 4. To enjoy the homestead exemption, you must be domiciled in Florida for 730 days prior to filing your bankruptcy petition.  “Domicile” is your place of residence with the intent to remain there permanently.

Wildcard Exemption

If you do not want to keep your home in bankruptcy and are not claiming the Florida homestead exemption, you can receive the “wildcard exemption.”  This provides you with $4,000 to apply to any piece of property you would like, whether it is your car, a diamond ring, or your favorite china set.  Fla. Stat. § 222.25.  It exists to allow you to pick and choose what is protected in your bankruptcy because it is important to you. A bankruptcy attorney experienced in wildcard exemptions can assist with this.  Although Florida has one of the most generous homestead exemptions, it does have lower exemption amounts than some federal exemptions.  Just remember, you cannot choose to use some federal exemptions in Florida; you must use Florida’s exemptions in your bankruptcy case.

Other Exemptions

There are other exemptions you can apply to a wide range of personal property as well.  Some examples are motor vehicles, boats, household furnishings, household goods, clothing, appliances, books, your pets/farm animals, crops, musical instruments, jewelry, tools of trade, health aids, life insurance policies, wages, and retirement accounts.  The exemptions are categorical and cannot spill over to other items.  For example, each person who files bankruptcy in Florida is given $1,000 to protect his or her car.  If you and your spouse are filing jointly, you will be given $2,000 towards your cars.  So, if you have a car worth only $750, you cannot put the leftover $250 towards protecting more of your jewelry or whatever else you are trying to protect—what you cannot use of the vehicle exemption, you lose. You should consider hiring a Tampa bankruptcy attorney to help structure your case to most effectively use Florida’s exemptions.

Bankruptcy Law Firm:

If you are struggling with debt Florida law advisers may be able to help get a fresh start without having to lose your property. Regardless if you need help with Chapter 13, Chapter 7, or other debt relief, our professional legal team will provide you with competent legal advice you can trust. We are dedicated to providing effective representation, individualized attention, and affordable fees to our bankruptcy clients. All of our initial consultations are free and convenient payment plans are always available. Call us now at 800 990 7763 to speak with a Tampa bankruptcy lawyer.