Q: How long bankruptcy on credit?
A: How long bankruptcy on credit? Speak with a legal professional before you do anything, but avoid declaring bankruptcy if you can help it because it will haunt you for a long time. Typically on a credit report, which are maintained by three credit reporting agencies, truthful negative credit information can be kept on your credit report for seven years. In the case of bankruptcy, they can keep negative information about the bankruptcy on there for 10 years. There can and often is a longer term problem, even after 10 years, if you apply for a loan, a job or something else, the people asking you to fill out the application can ask you if you ever filed for bankruptcy. Thus, bankruptcy can stay with you for a very long time. The other thing is, whether your declared bankruptcy with $1,000 owed or $1 million owed, it looks the same on the credit report. To lenders, bankruptcy is bankruptcy.
As mentioned above, before you take any action of such serious matters, consult with a qualified legal or financial professional. There may be another way out of your financial difficulties that you are not aware of.
Bankruptcy Chapters for Consumers
According to the Department of Justice, the two chapters of the Bankruptcy Code that most consumers file under are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Here are the Department of Justice’s descriptions of each.
“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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