How much will my credit score change once I file for bankruptcy? 23 Answers as of August 24, 2011

I just want to be prepared as far as how bad my credit score will be after I file for bankruptcy. What much will it change once my file is finalized?

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Breckenridge and Walton
Breckenridge and Walton | Alan D. Walton
Assuming your credit score is already bad because you are considering bankruptcy, it will likely go up once all the debt is gone. It might take 6 months to a year. Even folks with high scores prior to filing are down less than 100 points a year after filing.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/24/2011
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
Generally, I'm seeing a 120-140 point drop.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/24/2011
The Law Office of Jacqui Snyder
The Law Office of Jacqui Snyder | Jacqui Snyder
I always tell my clients that it won't get better. BUT, when you are done with the case you will have a much lower debt to income ratio and you will be starting from zero rather than starting from where you are now trying to pay off all that debt. Also consider how much debt you will be getting rid of and if you would pay that amount to have a better credit score. Probably not. I have had clients buy a car within 2 weeks of filing, at horrible interest rates. I have also had clients buy houses at decent interest rates about a year after filing. You should ask the credit counselors for your pre-filing course. They may be able to help you have a better idea and make a plan to come back from filing.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 8/18/2011
Heupel Law
Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
Typically, your credit score drops between 60-90 points upon the filing of bankruptcy. However, the rebuilding starts upon discharge. Most people who open at least three lines of credit after bankruptcy will see their credit score return to the 700s within two years of filing Chapter 7.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 8/17/2011
Eranthe Law Firm
Eranthe Law Firm | Cate Eranthe
No one can tell you how much it will change. If you need to file a bankruptcy, you probably don't have the highest score anyway. Depends where its at now and the credit bureaus do not share the algorithm they use to calculate your score. Know it will take a hit and can be rebuilt using secured credit cards. Stay away from creating more debt if you benefit from a bankruptcy discharges "fresh start." There is no reason a credit score should run your life.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/16/2011
    Kalra Law Firm
    Kalra Law Firm | Madhu Kalra
    If I understand correctly, your credit score will be the lowest and you will have to rebuilt your credit score after filing of the bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu | Mengjun Qiu
    No idea. But if you pay your bills on time after bankruptcy, your credit score will go up anywhere between 70 to 100 points from the score that you have now 12 months after bankruptcy. If you go see a lawyer, they should give you a credit report that analyzes the net effect of bankruptcy and you will see it there.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Burnham & Associates
    Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
    Strangely enough, most people's credit scores improve upon filing Bankruptcy. Filing Bankruptcy stops the delinquent reporting, stops additional Debt Collection Agencies from filing on your credit report and it improves your debt to income ratio. If you have not become delinquent, you can expect your credit score to bottom-out at about 420. Then with careful rebuilding your credit score will go up from there.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    I can not calculate how much it will drop. I don't know if you are making mortgage or car payments on time. Those payments would help your score.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Lake Forest Bankruptcy
    Lake Forest Bankruptcy | Anerio V. Altman, Esq.
    Generally, your credit score drops 50-100 points when you file BK. HOWEVER, if your credit score is already...er...shall we say "low", the Bankruptcy will have little effect. Actually, if you are delinquent on many cards or accounts, your score will be improved fairly quickly after you file BK because you will no longer be delinquent on any accounts after you file for Bankruptcy protection.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Greifendorff Law Office
    Greifendorff Law Office | John Greifendorff
    The FICO experts we work with tell me a filing will drop your score 50 points, with a 5 point/year recovery. However, that is not the whole of your situation. Despite the initial drop, our clients see an increase in their credit scores within a year of their discharge for the reason that they now have a zero debt-to-income ratio. Once you have completed a chapter 7 case, if you take the proper steps, you can rebuild that score considerably and quickly.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Law Office of Asaph Abrams
    Law Office of Asaph Abrams | Asaph Abrams
    If you're in default on your debts, your score would be low already and bankruptcy would REVIVE it. Who's better able to repay new debt? A person who makes minimum payments on a $30K balance (and maintains a 700 score, which is an artificial indication of credit-worthiness, and really a matter of vanity), or the individual post-bankruptcy who may have zero liabilities? Answer does not address all implications of the question, nor is it legal advice to be relied upon.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    A bankruptcy stays on you credit report for a long timefor 10 years. Usually your credit score will rebound over time as you pay ongoing bills.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law | Charles Ross Smith III
    That's a complex question. Remember, there are 3 credit reporting agencies and each is different. Also, you need to take into account the position that you are in now. I often ask my clients,"What will your financial position be in on year, IF YOU DO NOT FILE BANKRUPTCY? The answer is usually, "I'll owe the same amount of money or more." If you have been sued and garnished, your credit is as low as it can go. If you know that lawsuits are coming, you may as well count them as filed, unless you have a plan to pay those debts. One more issue; Why are you worried about your credit score? Credit is what got you in the jam you are in now. You want to get out of debt; not into credit. Most of my clients credit scores improve fron 100 to 150 points after they file for bankruptcy. While you are in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy you will be solicited by credit thugs. Do not accept credit from people who solicit you during or just after a bankruptcy. They are usually the kind of people that actually are bad to have showing on your credit report. Instead, you should wait until after you receive your Discharge in Bankruptcy. Then apply for a simple gas card and a store card, like Target, Lowes, Walmart. DO NOT USE THESE CARDS FOR REAL. Instead use each card to make 1 small pruchase per month. Then pay promptly upon receipt of the bill. In 1 year this will rebuild your credit to a respectable level. Remember, creditors know that you can not file again for eight years. Thay know that you are now free of debt. If you have a steady job and the same address for 2 years, you look pretty good. If you plan to purchase a home, consider asking a real estate agent to show you homes that are for sale on land contract or lease option. And yes, you need to save up a real down payment. 20% is a good start. Thank you for reading me. I hope you found this answer to be helpful. This answer is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. It is general information that should be discussed with your own attorney. Because the law in other jurisdictions is different and the facts of each case are different, consumers cannot rely on the opinions expressed here.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    Well, let's face it- your credit score is probably not so great now, is it? It takesa bit of a hit when you file but then starts rising when there's no longer any monthly notices of another 30 days of late payments, no more credit applications, and awhile of no more credit use. So it's all good.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    It really depends on yourcurrent score and other factors such as whether you have been paying your debts on time etc. Many people who file enjoy an increase in credit score.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    It matters where your score is now, but normally about 100-200 points.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Melinda Murphy Dionne, PC
    Melinda Murphy Dionne, PC | Melinda Murphy Dionne
    How your credit score will be affected by a bankruptcy filing depends on what your score is when you file and the type of debt you have. Someone with a 750 score is generally going to see a greater drop in their score than someone with a 400 score. Having said that, most people who need to file bankruptcy already have significant credit problems. Judgments, tax liens, delinquent accounts, and foreclosures all hurt your credit score. When you file a bankruptcy case, the negative reporting on continuing late payments stops. When you receive your discharge, you are granted a fresh start. At that point in time, you have all of your income free of the debt that was discharged. This generally results in your credit score beginning to recover. How quickly your score will recover and by how much depends on your circumstances. If you reaffirm on your home and car and those lenders continue to report an excellent payment history that will help you score improve.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Edward Papa, Esq.
    Edward Papa, Esq. | Edward Papa
    That would depend where it is now. For most people, by the time they decide to go through with the bankruptcy they have multiple late pays, collections, judgments, foreclosure, etc. Bankruptcy is not going to help it go up but will start you on the path back. You can pick up 50-60 pts a year later and some people are sufficiently rehabilitated that they qualify for Tier 1 financing in 2 years.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    The Salas Firm
    The Salas Firm | Ron Salas
    Generally your score will take an initial hit of 50 points but with proper planning it can increase 50 to 120 points within one year.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    It depends on your starting credit score. If your score is good and you pay all of your bills on time, bankruptcy will decrease your score. If your credit is damaged and you have a lot of late or missed payments, bankruptcy will actually improve your score.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    It could go up or down or stay the same, depending on your case and how you handle things. If you are pro se you likely will make a number of missteps that will have an adverse effect. With the coaching and advice of counsel you will do better. People spend more money by acting pro se than by retaining counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    FICO will drop by 200 to 300 points.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2011
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