Posts Tagged: ‘Credit Counseling’

Rebuilding Your Credit After Bankruptcy

August 3, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to get a fresh start financially and erase past debts, but a legitimate concern consumers have is the effects it will have on their credit score and their ability to take out credit again.

One of the biggest misconceptions about filing for bankruptcy is that it will ruin your credit score and your financial future.  To the contrary, after filing for bankruptcy you can begin restoring your credit right away.

Here are some steps you can take to begin rebuilding your credit after filing for bankruptcy:

Create a budget.  This will help you stay on top of your finances and is something you should have gone over in the “pre-discharge” credit counseling.

Build an emergency fund.  Research shows that having as little as $250 saved up for an unexpected expense can protect families from having to resort to pay day loans and credit cards.

Plan your post-bankruptcy credit strategy.  Assess your situation by first checking your credit score.  Dispute any inaccurate information on your credit report and have this corrected immediately.  Remember, a Chapter 7 filing will wipe out your debts, but it does not wipe your credit reports clean.  Make sure and double check all three reports.

Here are some ways to access to new credit while rebuilding your score.

Secured loans are typically offered by credit unions or community banks.  One type of secured loan involves borrowing against money you already have on deposit.   The other type can be made without upfront cash.  Instead, this money is loaned to you and is placed in a savings account and released to you only after you have made the necessary payments.  In return, the financial institution agrees to send a report to the credit bureaus.

A secured credit card is backed by the deposit you make and the credit limit is typically the amount you have on deposit.  This can help repair your credit while you wait to become eligible for an unsecured card.

A co-signed credit card can improve your score, but it is definitely a big ask. Essentially, this individual (the co-signer) is risking his or her own credit history for you and will be on the hook if the full amount is not paid on the card.

If asking to co-sign is too much, an authorized user status will work.  Basically, you are an authorized user on that person’s credit card.  Just make sure the credit card will report the payment activity by authorized users to the credit bureaus, otherwise it will have no effect on your score.

A lighter debt burden automatically makes you more desirable to lenders, so be vigilant about paying on time.  Keep your credit card balances relatively low compared to the card’s limit.  For example, less than 30% is typically advised while using just 10% of the available credit is even better.

Still not convinced?  A testimonial from one of our clients in regards to their credit score after filing for bankruptcy.

My credit score said on all three reports 775, I couldn’t believe that I had such a great score before 10 years. Tim for me was the best move I have made for my situation. I have no regrets, I am glad the past is the past. – Bill T.

If you have any questions on this topic or are in a financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/finance/rebuild-credit-after-bankruptcy/

Bankruptcy Counseling: What it is and What to Expect

June 6, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Deciding to file for bankruptcy is not an easy decision, but it may be your best option if you do not see yourself paying off your debt in five years.  The federal government requires two sessions of credit counseling: pre-filing counseling to start the process and pre-discharge counseling before your debts are forgiven. These sessions will help you understand how bankruptcy works and how to avoid financial devastation in the future.

The counseling sessions do not take long to complete. Here is what you can expect.

Pre-filing counseling

Pre-filing bankruptcy counseling is the first step in the bankruptcy process. If you do not go through pre-filing counseling before submitting your case to the court, it will be thrown out.

In addition to being an educational course to help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of going through bankruptcy, pre-filing counseling presents alternatives such as debt management to help you determine if bankruptcy is the best way to resolve your debt.  Upon completion of the pre-filing session, you will receive a certificate of completion valid for 180 days. You will need that certificate if you decide to file for bankruptcy.

Pre-discharge counseling

Pre-discharge counseling is the final step before the court finalizes your bankruptcy and discharges your debts.  This counseling offers valuable financial education to help you manage your finances in the future. It focuses on your income, expenses and strategies to help you save money.

This class covers much of the same ground as the pre-filing session but with a focus on increasing your financial literacy. You will cover topics such as understanding your credit score, living on a budget and avoiding future financial risk.  You will receive a certificate upon completion that you will need to present before the court before your debts can be discharged.

Before going into either session, gather documents that outline your income, expenses and debt to expedite the process. Expect each session to take between 90 minutes and two hours.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Bankruptcy filings decrease as many Americans Struggle to afford the Filing Fee

May 8, 2012 Posted by kingcade

In recent years, filing for bankruptcy has become a luxury for people who have seen their debt snowball out of control due to events like job loss, foreclosure or medical emergency during the economic downturn. The average cost to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, the most common form of consumer bankruptcy, is more than $1,500, according to recent research submitted to the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The cost of filing for bankruptcy has risen in recent years as a result of the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, which aimed to reduce the number of bankruptcies taking place by adding more requirements to the filing process — including additional paperwork and the credit counseling and debtor education.

The research, conducted by a group of professors from Columbia University, the University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis, examined how bankruptcy filings spiked after people received their tax rebates in previous years. They estimate that another 200,000 consumers, who would otherwise not have enough money to file, will use their tax refunds to pay for bankruptcy this year.

Gerri Detweiler, director of consumer education for Credit.com warns consumer of ‘going it alone.’ “Make one mistake and your case is dismissed,” she said. “A dismissed bankruptcy hurts your credit just as badly as one you complete. So you are stuck with all of the downside without the fresh start.”

She also warns against ‘low-cost document preparation services’ claiming to help consumers fill out necessary documents. “It’s easy for consumers to think they’re getting sound legal advice even though the preparers aren’t lawyers,” she said.
To read more on this story visit: http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/money/money-some-seeking-bankruptcy-are-too-broke-to-file

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. at www.miamibankruptcy.com