Q: How long does negative information stay on your credit report?
A: How long does negative information stay on your credit report? The news is not good! A credit reporting company can keep accurate negative information on your report for up to seven years. Information about a lawsuit or an unpaid judgement against you can be reported for seven years as well or until the statute of limitations runs out, whichever is longer. When does the seven years begin? It usually begins when the event took place. Bankruptcy information can be maintained on your credit report for 10 years. Regarding criminal convictions, there is no time limit. Curiously, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), there is no time limit regarding the information on your credit report in response to an application you made for a job that pays more than $75,000 a year and information reported on your credit report because you have applied for more than $150,000 worth of credit or life insurance.
Bankruptcy Chapters for Consumers
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation proceeding available to consumers and businesses. Those assets of a debtor that are not exempt from creditors are collected and liquidated (reduced to money), and the proceeds are distributed to creditors. A consumer debtor receives a complete discharge from debt under Chapter 7, except for certain debts that are prohibited from discharge by the Bankruptcy Code
Chapter 13, often called wage-earner bankruptcy, is used primarily by individual consumers to reorganize their financial affairs under a repayment plan that must be completed within three or five years. To be eligible for Chapter 13 relief, a consumer must have regular income and may not have more than a certain amount of debt, as set forth in the Bankruptcy Code.
Can You File for Bankruptcy without a Lawyer?
The www.uscourts.gov website has a section on it titled “Filing Without an Attorney.” According to the website, “Individuals can file bankruptcy without an attorney, which is called filing pro se. However, seeking the advice of a qualified attorney is strongly recommended because bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal outcomes.”
Let us remind you of an old saying:
“He who represents himself has a fool for a client.”
The website goes on to say that “filing personal bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 takes careful preparation and understanding of legal issues. Misunderstandings of the law or making mistakes in the process can affect your rights. Court employees and bankruptcy judges are prohibited by law from offering legal advice.”
There are so many ways that a good bankruptcy lawyer can help you through these difficult times:
Advise you on whether to file a bankruptcy petition.
Advise you under which chapter to file.
Advise you on whether your debts can be discharged.
Advise you on whether or not you will be able to keep your home, car, or other property after you file.
Advise you of the tax consequences of filing.
Advise you on whether you should continue to pay creditors.
Explain bankruptcy law and procedures to you.
Help you complete and file forms.
Assist you with most aspects of your bankruptcy case.
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