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Life after bankruptcy? What to expect??

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Has anyone filed for bankruptcy, and if so, how did it affect your life? Unfortunately, after a failed relationship a few years ago, in which we racked up debt on MY credit cards to fix up HIS (I thought was going to one day be OUR) house, (the place was barely liveable) I was left with a lot of debt, and then living on my own. Not a smart move, I know. I was drowning in debt, most of the time not even making the bills. My mom was the one who suggested bankruptcy, and so I filed. This coming October will be 3 years since it went through.
Now, I AM in a good relationship, and we ARE going to be getting married, and we've begun planning for our future. My part in it may be a bit slim, due to the bankruptcy. Or will it? Does it affect your credit that much? When we are able to buy a house, it will have been 3 and 1/2 years since it went through. Is this a good amount of time, long enough so the creditors won't care as much? I realize it takes 10 years to come off your credit. Can we buy a house together, or will it have to be in his name only? That would make the loan amount less, I'm sure, so I would want to be in on it so we could be approved for more....I'm not sure what to expect....
post #2 of 14
First of all, I'm sorry you had to go through all of that!

I went through a bad relationship as well several years ago. He opened three credit cards in my name, and I didn't know it until a couple years later. I've since filed fraud, but it's still REALLY affected my credit. My husband has good credit. In order to help fix mine, he's cosigned on a car for me. The best way for you to try and fix yours is to have him put you as a co-user on his credit cards. As far as getting new things, all you can do it try to get it to go through with your name on it. Small steps, that's the best route. Good luck!
post #3 of 14
Been there done that. It was not a good time in my life, but given time and slowly gaining my credit back, I now have better credit then my current DH has and he's never had bad credit. It's been almost 12 years now, hubby and I just bought a new house last year and our banker told us our credit scores were the highest she's ever seen. So yes it is terrible to do, but sometimes (like in both our cases) it's necessary, you live and you learn. Eventually your credit will be good again, just make sure you if you get a credit card, the balance is something you can pay off within the 12 months no interest or have it lowered. That's what I did, and I make sure that I hardly ever use any of the 4 credit cards I have unless I have to, and if I do, it's paid off within the next month of two. It keeps your credit in good standing and honestly, it brings up your self asteem knowing that you've been through a bad time and then worked hard to get back out of it and on to a better place. Moral of the story? Never let someone use your credit cards without their names being on them first (or too) that way they are liable also if they run up huge debts. In my case, I was separated from ex, and he opened and charged up many credit cards in my name that I wasn't aware of, but since we were still married, the lawyers said he could do that. How? I'm still now certain, but he did, and got away with it. Oh well, I'm doing great and when I saw him last, he wasn't doing so well. Karma's a
post #4 of 14
Sadly, I have filed 2 in my life. It will kill your credit for a short time...but, after than you will regain it back.

FYI...I HAVE learned my lesson!
post #5 of 14
You should be fine... I hope you have tried to reestablish... mine went thru a few yrs back and now I have a good credit rating, but some companys wont give you another chance till the 10 yr but 90% will ...
post #6 of 14
Did you have any loans outstanding and reaffirmed at time of the BK?? If you did and you continued to pay them as agreed it should help in getting future credit.
Since the subprime mrtge mess has evolved most banks have really tighted up their borrowing so it could be a bit of a challenge.
post #7 of 14
I will send you a Pm. My Husband went Bankrupt 2 times before we got Married.
post #8 of 14
Did you file a bankruptcy or a Chapter 13?

I used to work for the Chapter 13 Trustee, and they had someone on staff who worked with the credit companies and lenders to help the person re-establish credit.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you all. I don't remember what chapter, but afterwards I did not have to pay back anything. Everything was wiped clean. I got a billion credit card offers afterwards, I heard its because creditors know you can't declare it again for 7 years so they are almost guaranteed to be paid. I still get them. I did get two low dollar amount cards, to use for emergencies. But of course what ended up happening was I racked those up too, but I have just paid them off, and only really do use them for gas so I have a balance I'm paying off monthly. I'm hoping that will help. And then when I had a car accident, I was getting bills from the doctor, but stupidly, I was waiting for the other guy's insurance (it was his fault) to pay them off and got sent to collections for one of the bills. I guess I'm not too smart when it comes to some things...AND when I moved out of my place, I had this thing called relyabill which bugets your monthly electric/gas bill, but if you break the contract before a year, you have to pay all the back bill all at once. It was $900! When I moved, somehow I didn't get the bills, and they too, sent me to collections. Which I thought was odd, and angered me, since the collections agency could find me but they didn't seem to be able to... BUT, finally, I just paid everything off, and can now start over. I worked really hard to get everything at $0 balance and now I only have regular bills in regular amounts, no more collections, late fees, etc...!
post #10 of 14
I just recently filed for bankruptcy (November 30, 2007) so I haven't been discharged yet. My discharge date isn't until August 31, 2008.

I know the bankruptcy will show on my credit history for 6 years and basically if I want credit during that time it's basically up to me to try and convince creditors that I am not a risk.

If you have done nothing to try and rebuild your credit since you have been discharged, then you still have an R9 credit rating which is the very worse that you can have and it probably will affect your ability as a couple to get loans and mortgages, especially if you are wanting to try for one that is a low interest rate.

My advice to you would be to work on rebuildng your credit now. Apply for a credit card like Visa and ask for a limit of only about $200.00.

Make a charge of about $25.00 but don't run home or to the bank immediately and pay it off. Let it sit on your account until a few days before the due date and then pay that $25.00 off in full!

Go out and make another charge of about the same amount or even $50.00. Pay it off a few days before the due date!

Do it again, but don't pay it off at the due date. Make the minimum payment due. Yes, you will be charged interest on the balance left owing.

DO NOT make any further charges on the card!

For the next 3 or 4 months make the minimum payment due, always leaving a balance owing.

You will probably get a notification from the bank at this time telling you that they have increased your credit limit. Call them and tell them you DO NOT want the increse in limit and to put it back to $200.00.

At around the 5 or 6 month period, pay off the balance remaining in full.

You have established your ability to make the payments on time. While it won't give you A1 credit, it will be a whole lot better than an R9 one.

So my advice is to hold off buying a house or any other large ticket item as a couple until you have done some damage control for your credit rating.
post #11 of 14
How does filing for bankruptcy work if someone is cosigned onto one of your cards. Does it reflect on their credit scoring too?
post #12 of 14
Originally Posted by okiron View Post
How does filing for bankruptcy work if someone is cosigned onto one of your cards. Does it reflect on their credit scoring too?
ask an attorney but I would remove that person from the card
post #13 of 14
Originally Posted by okiron View Post
How does filing for bankruptcy work if someone is cosigned onto one of your cards. Does it reflect on their credit scoring too?
For anyone interested, if you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will no longer have to pay the debt but your cosigner will be held fully responsible to pay it instead. It wont just disappear like if no cosigner was needed.
post #14 of 14
Originally Posted by menagerie mama View Post
Thank you all. I don't remember what chapter, but afterwards I did not have to pay back anything. Everything was wiped clean.
Then it was probably a Chapter 7. A Chapter 13, you have to make monthly payments to the Trustee and your bills get paid off but at a percent of what the creditor would normally get. Secured debts are always 100% though, if I remember correctly (it's been many years).

Just for the record if anyone else is thinking about filing, I'd always heard that a Ch 13 looked better on your record because it showed you made an effort to at least pay some of what you owed. I don't know if that's still true.

Here's another bit of advice if anyone decides to transfer a balance to a card that has 0% APR for any lenght of time - make very sure you pay at least the minimum on that card each month. I found out the hard way that if you miss even one payment, the 0% is cancelled and you will be paying a very high rate of interest. I'm in my own pickle right now, debt wise, and transferred a balance. I knew I hadn't seen a statement in a while, but what I didn't realize was that I had gotten one and it had gotten stuck in the stacker I use for paid bills.
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