What should I expect after a Chapter 7 discharge? 16 Answers as of June 07, 2011

When I receive my discharged from filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, what should I expect in regards to my credit score, applying for a car loan and applying for a house loan? Also, what is my next step after I receive my discharge?

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Jackson White, PC
Jackson White, PC | Spencer Hale
Once you get your discharge, you can apply for credit as you would normally do. There really is no next step. However, keep in mind that the discharge is not necessarily the end of the bankruptcy. If the trustee is waiting for you to turn over property, you still need to do this before the bankruptcy can be closed.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 6/7/2011
Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law
Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law | Daniel Hoarfrost
Your next step after discharge is to live your life and try to stay out of debt problems. Credit scores and loan applications are determined primarily by your income situation and your ability to demonstrate that you can make the required payments.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 6/7/2011
Burnham & Associates
Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
You should expect that your credit score should stay around the low 600s - if you make other payments on time. It would be best for you to have some type of secured loan to rebuild your credit and a car loan may be a good way to begin. Bankruptcy will affect the interest rates you will get, but it should not prevent you from getting a loan.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 6/7/2011
Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C.
Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C. | J. Thomas Black
After a Chapter 7 discharge, some of your creditors may still appear on your credit report with a balance due. The best thing that I recommend, if your attorney does not do it for you, is to send a copy of the discharge, and the schedules of debts, to each of the 3 major credit bureaus, tell them that you filed bankruptcy and that you want them to "reinvestigate" each of creditor or "tradeline" items on your credit report and verify that they are reporting the bankruptcy accurately. Your creditors, other than non-dischargeable debts like student loans or child support, or reaffirmed debts, should report as 0 balance due, and that the debt was discharged in bankruptcy. The fact that you filed Chapter 7 can be reported for 10 years under the public record section of your credit report. But believe it or not, you can recover a solid credit score quickly, so long as you do not default on debts anymore in the future. I have clients whose score bounces up to 650 or so after one year, and 700+ after two years; but you must pay any new or reaffirmed debts on time, not use too much credit, and otherwise use credit wisely. For more help, consult the FTC publication "Building A Better Credit Report" at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre03.shtm .
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 6/6/2011
Law Office of Harry L Styron
Law Office of Harry L Styron | Harry L Styron
You should expect a substantial decrease in your credit score, which will make you less competitive in obtaining credit. You will have difficulty in obtaining credit for a number of years after you file. Generally the fact of the bankruptcy remains on your credit report for 7 years. After you receive a discharge, unless the trustee discovers assets that you didn't disclose you are through with the bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/6/2011
    Robert Peters, P.A.
    Robert Peters, P.A. | Robert L. Peters
    I would suggest that you get us to pull your credit and make sure that all accounts are reflected properly. For example discharged debts should show as discharged not past due or in collections. We have a process that forces the credit bureaus to properly reflect your bankruptcy and nothing more.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    Lawyers differ in regards to credit after bankruptcy. Your score will take a slight dip, but if you're working and don't apply for more credit it will increase because there will be no more late accounts showing. I wouldn't suggest applying for a car or house loan for at least 2 years; you might be able to buy a car, but the interest will be skyrocketing. I don't even advise applying for a secured card, as they often charge up-front fees and it would be in your best interests to live with cash for awhile. My advice for after discharge is to get copies of all your credit reports and ensure that everything is shown as "included in bankruptcy," with no debts shown as current. Your house and your car will show as included, as well; on these, request a statement from your creditor each year to show that you've paid on time and then send that to the credit reporting agency.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    After the discharge, your credit score will increase as your worthiness and credit is rebuilt. Typical turnaround time for a car loan is six months, a house, two years.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Your credit score is not going to jump up. You can expect to get get new loans, but you will pay higher interest. Once you reestablish new credit it will get better. *Try to avoid credit cards. *You don't need them. You can use a debt card to rent cars, hotel rooms and buy airline tickets. Credit cards can be addicting like drugs. Once you are sucked in you will incur interest charges that double or triple the cost of anything you buy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Benson Law Firm
    Benson Law Firm | David Benson
    If you are considering the purchase of a major asset like a house or vehicle, you may want to work with a credit score consultant. Some of my clients have used one that charges $375 ($475 for a couple) to work with them over the course of a year. He claims that during that time, a score can be improved by as much as 100 points and that purchasing a house is possible in certain circumstances within 3 years.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    Credit score will likely go down by 200-250 points, car interest rates will be somewhere in the 18%-24% range and house loans are at least 4 to 5 years way, if you keep excellent credit after you file.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    Your credit score should automatically improve within two years of the discharge and you can improve it quicker by obtaining credit and paying on time. Most people are offered credit cards and other types of credit shortly after bankruptcy assuming they have good income. Most likely you will not be able to obtain a mortgage for at least two years after bankruptcy. It might take three to four years of credit rebuilding efforts to obtain a reasonable mortgage. Car loans will be generally available easily shortly after bankruptcy but at a higher cost and with more down payment required.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    After your discharge you can expect it will take awhile to built up your credit. Presumably, after you have filed bankruptcy you don't have debts and you should be able to pay in cash or save money for major purchases. Check you credit report about every six months. You can buy a car or even a house but expect the minimum requirements to qualify to be higher than if you hadn't filed bankruptcy. You can also expect a higher rate of interest.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Edward Papa, Esq.
    Edward Papa, Esq. | Edward Papa
    Honestly, your credit will be limited for some time. Some credit grantors will not issue credit if you have a bankruptcy, some will. If you get credit then be careful and pay your bills on time and stay well within your limit - no more than 30% card utilization. A car loan may be a good idea, if you can qualify but the interest rate will likely be higher and they may even require a co-signer. A home loan is not unheard of but probably not a reality for at least 2 years.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    Expect your credit to improve.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/3/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Your question seems to indicate that you made the catastrophic mistake of filing without a lawyer. Your lawyer would have addressed these questions with you. The answer is one you will not find here as your specific numbers and situation dictate what effect a discharge will have on you and what you should do to maximize your score.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/3/2011
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