Is bankruptcy guaranteed to ruin my credit score? 28 Answers as of June 19, 2013

I have always heard that bankruptcy will affect my credit score pretty badly. Is this always true? Is there anything I can do so that my credit score is not completely ruined after?

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Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
How it affects you differs from person to person. If you are making car and mortgage payments your credit will be rehabilitated sooner than someone who is not making those kinds of payments.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/5/2011
Attorney at Law
Attorney at Law | Douglas W. Harold, Jr.
If your credit is already bad, a bankruptcy probably won't make it much worse.In many cases, fairly soon after getting your bankruptcy discharge, you will find that your credit has actually improved, particularly if you start handling your finances in a responsible manner and start using credit in small amounts - get a credit card after your bankruptcy discharge (you will be surprised how many offers come in the mail), and pay it off every month - don't ever carry over a balance and don't ever charge more than you can afford to pay off when the bill come in.This takes discipline, but it is the only way to rebuild your credit and it works.Also, get a car loan - these are also available, and you may have an easier time getting a car loan after the bankruptcy tnan before, particularly if your credit is already bad.Make your car payments on time, any you will be surprised how quickly your credit recovers. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 10/4/2011
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
BK will have a negative impact on your credit. However, if you pay your bills on time, etc you should see an increase after two years from filing.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 10/4/2011
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
Many people have good credit scores before they file bankruptcy. After filing the credit score will go down. It will take a long time for a credit score to improve. Paying your ongoing debts on time is the best way to improve your score.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/4/2011
CONSUMER PROTECTION ASSISTANCE COALITION, INC. (DE).
CONSUMER PROTECTION ASSISTANCE COALITION, INC. (DE). | Gary Lee Lane
Yes.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/19/2013
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C.
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C. | J. Thomas Black
    A bankruptcy is a major derogatory item on a credit report, and does cause a significant drop in a person's credit score. That being said, many people considering bankruptcy have bad credit anyway, so filing bankruptcy is not as bad for them. Also, many of my clients have recovered a good credit score after bankruptcy, if they learned from the bankruptcy, and do not get over-extended again. I have clients that after a year has passed after the bankruptcy, have scores in the mid-600's, and after two years, 700+. But to achieve that, you must be responsible with credit, pay on time, not open too many accounts, and use a small part of your available credit lines.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/3/2011
    Heupel Law
    Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
    Bankruptcy does not ruin your credit score. After you file bankruptcy, your credit score will drop 60 points. However, your credit will start to rebuild after your discharge. Most people find their credit score returns to 700 within two years after filing and you will qualify for a FHA home loan after two years. Thus, the rebuilding process is quick and much faster than doing nothing about your debt.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/3/2011
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy
    Dan Wilson Bankruptcy | Dan Wilson
    Filing BK is a big hit on your credit score, on a par with a mortgage foreclosure. You will be able to get credit after BK, but at very high interest rates. You can reestablish credit by making post-petition payment on debt on a regular basis. A local expert on this is James Spray in Arvada. That said, here is the lecture I give my clients: Using (overusing) credit is what got you into trouble in the first place. Post-bankruptcy you will be on a cash basis. If you cannot pay for it you can't have it. Don't use credit cards. Don't buy a house or car you cannot afford. Go forth and charge no more.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/30/2011
    Law Office of Yvonne Michaud Novak
    Law Office of Yvonne Michaud Novak | Yvonne Michaud Novak
    Though bankruptcy affects your credit score negatively it is not a permanent mark. It stays on your record for 10 years and during that time you can rebuild your credit by making all of you remaining and new debt payments on time. You will want to make your secured debt payments, like your home and car, on time and that will help rebuild your score. You will also eventually want to get a small balance credit card and make those payments on time. It is better to wait to get a credit card for at least 9 months after your bankruptcy and then only charge what you can repay. While the bankruptcy is on your credit record, it won't prevent you necessarily from getting credit, you just may pay more in interest or have to make a larger down payment.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/30/2011
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    If your credit was bad before you filed bankruptcy, then it will not have much more negative effect. It will recover fairly quickly because you no longer have any debt and because the creditors know you can not file another chapter 7 bankruptcy for 8 years. You will receive credit card applications immediately and will be able to get a mortgage within 2.5 years from discharge (at least under today's mortgage guidelines).
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/30/2011
    AyerHoffman, LLP
    AyerHoffman, LLP | David C. Ayer
    Bankruptcy will always have a negative effect on your credit score. The good thing is that you will probably have the opportunity to begin repairing your credit very soon after filing, sometimes before you even receive your discharge. A lot will depend on your credit history prior to the downturn leading to bankruptcy. If you had always paid your bills and weren't terribly in arrears prior to filing (e.g. you weren't in collections prior to filing), it is likely you will being receiving offers of credit within a year of filing. In addition, given the economic climate, bankruptcy does not carry the stigma it once did. More and more people are filing.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 10/3/2011
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    Yes a bankruptcy does trash your credit score, but generally when someone files bankruptcy, it is already trashed because they can't pay their bills. Once your bankruptcy is over, you can do things like pay your car payment timely, get a secured credit card, etc, to start reestablishing your credit.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/30/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    Yes, if you had perfect credit and then you filed a bankruptcy, it would do a number on your credit score. However, if you have a lot of debt and are considering bankruptcy, your credit is already wrecked or soon to be. And it will continue to be wrecked, as you tread water or sink even further into debt. When you file a bankruptcy, you are getting a fresh start. It is your start-over point. Right now, you are saddled with these debts and you can't start over. Bankruptcy will actually allow you to start to rebuild your credit.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/30/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Bankruptcy may actually increase your score in some cases. This is why you need a lawyer - to know the real impact.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/30/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    Bankruptcy is often the quicker way to reestablish credit and improve a credit score. Bankruptcy wipes out debts to provide a clean start and then there are steps one can take to quickly rebound, such as using small lines of credit, keeping a mortgage or installment loan in good standing, and the likes.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 9/30/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    Most people who file for bankruptcy already have awful credit history and the bankruptcy actually improves the credit score and allows the person to reestablish credit quickly. That would not be possible without eliminating all the debt in bankruptcy. However, if you have excellent credit then filing for bankruptcy will reduce the credit score significantly and the credit will have to be rebuilt after the bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/30/2011
    Eranthe Law Firm
    Eranthe Law Firm | Cate Eranthe
    Your credit score will take a hit. If you are in need of bankruptcy you probably don't have the highest credit score anyway. You can rebuild your credit after filing with the use of secured credit cards. I'm not sure what you mean by "ruined" as that sounds rather permanent.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/30/2011
    Law Office of Harry L Styron
    Law Office of Harry L Styron | Harry L Styron
    A bankruptcy will appear on your credit report for 8 years after you file the petition, and will be taken into account in calculating your credit score for that period of time.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/30/2011
    Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law
    Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law | Christiaan van Niekerk
    Most probably your credit is ruined already.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/19/2013
    North Sound Law, PS
    North Sound Law, PS | Spencer Bergstedt
    While your credit score may take a hit from filing bankruptcy, it's usually no worse than the hit that late payments, collections, foreclosure, repossession, or a high debt to income ratio. In fact, for most people, their credit score actually improves after a bankruptcy as you are now considered a better credit risk.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/30/2011
    Law Office Of Magnolia Zarraga
    Law Office Of Magnolia Zarraga | Magnolia Zarraga
    How much a bankruptcy will affect your credit score depends on what your credit is like before you file bankruptcy. If you have accounts that have gone to collections, a repossessed car, or a foreclosed home, then your credit report has probably already been affected negatively. Sometimes if your credit is already low, a bankruptcy might actually help to get rid of all those negative things on your credit. The bankruptcy will last 7-10 years on your credit report but you can start rebuilding your credit as soon as your bankruptcy case closes which can be in as little as 4 months (chapter 7) or 3-5 years in a chapter 13. After bankrutpcy creditors will send you credit offers in the mail, review them some will be okay, others not so great. Definitely the interest rates will be a lot higher than you were used to and the limits a lot lower than you were used to before the bankruptcy. But you start over and whatever you charge you pay off on time, and overtime, before you know it your credit has been re-established. Most people can re-establish their credit 2-5 years after a bankruptcy. Go consult with a bankruptcy attorney, good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/30/2011
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    Filing bankruptcy will lower your credit score. I don't know of any way to avoid this. You must weigh the good against the bad and do what is best for you. Most people on the threshold of bankruptcy have few choices.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/30/2011
    Law Offices of Robert P. Taylor
    Law Offices of Robert P. Taylor | Robert P. Taylor
    Depending on your current credit score and circumstances, your credit may improve because you filed bankruptcy. Regardless, if you're making decent money and are proactive about about rebuilding your credit score, you can have good credit with 2 or 3 years after filing. So ask yourself, if I don't file bankruptcy today, where will I be in 2 or 3 years? Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating BK if you don't need it. I just have alot of client's you have been delinquent for many years, have terrible credit, owe more than ever and had they taken the initiative a few years back, they could've been debt free now with good credit scores. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/30/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    No, bankruptcy will materially affect your credit score. So will having your accounts going to collection and having judgments entered, so if you cannot pay your creditors, it is going to be materially affect your credit anyway. The focus should be on getting to the point of getting your situation straightened out so you can rebuild your credit afterwards.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/30/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    In some cases bankruptcy can actually improve your credit score. It all depends on how good (or bad) your credit score is before you file.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/30/2011
    Law Offices of Daniel Moulton
    Law Offices of Daniel Moulton | Daniel Moulton
    Bankruptcy will improve your credit score over time and is more appealing than a lot of debt that isn't going anywhere.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/30/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    Generally helps it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/19/2013
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