Debts That Are Difficult To Discharge In Bankruptcy
Student loans are notoriously difficult to discharge through bankruptcy it is only possible if you can demonstrate undue hardship to yourself or your dependents, such as being unable to maintain a minimal standard of living. In some cases, a court may discharge part, but not all, of your student loan debt. If student loan debt is a major reason for your considering bankruptcy, contact your loan servicer first and see if itâs possible to negotiate a repayment plan that would work for you. In the case of federal student loans, for example, several repayment plans are available.
You cannot have income tax debts discharged without a special exemption, which can only be obtained by petitioning the bankruptcy court and explaining why you deserve relief. So if you have income tax debts that you cannot repay, then you may be better off consulting with a tax attorney to discuss your options before filing for bankruptcy.
In the case of federal taxes, for example, the Internal Revenue Service can offer several alternatives to people who are unable to pay what they owe. One is an offer in compromise, in which the IRS agrees to accept a lesser amount. The IRS may also arrange for a payment plan, or an installment agreement, that will allow you to pay your taxes over an extended period of time.
Dispute Inaccurate Bankruptcy Entries With A Credit Dispute Letter
If you were able to find some inaccurate information within the credit report, then your next step will be to dispute the inaccurate entries with each of the credit bureaus using a .
The best-case scenario is that theyll be unable to verify the bankruptcy and remove it from your credit report. This is unlikely if its a recent bankruptcy. The older the bankruptcy, the better chances you have of getting it removed from your credit report this way. Nonetheless, if it happens, then great, you can skip the other steps.
If the bankruptcy is verified by the credit bureaus, continue to the next step.
Filing Bankruptcy Is Not The End Of The World
While bankruptcies may be a somewhat unpopular topic or continue to carry a stigma socially, there can be a silver lining to going down this road.
From credit perspective, its a master reset on your credit, you are starting from scratch, said Exantus. And Ive personally seen people who have filed for bankruptcy and in a couple of years their scores are in the high 700 or 800 range because they have established better financial habits.
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This article has been updated. This article was originally published April 18, 2013.
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How Will Bankruptcy Affect My Credit
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In a Nutshell
Filing bankruptcy does not ruin your credit forever! If you need debt relief but are worried about how a bankruptcy affects your credit rating, this article is for you.
Written byAttorney Andrea Wimmer.
Common Myths About How Bankruptcy Affects Credit
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Filing for bankruptcy is devastating to your credit and can cause your credit score to plummet more than 200 points. But for people in dire straits, bankruptcy is a last resort that can help them liquidate assets, discard or pay off debts, and get some financial relief.
If youre considering bankruptcy, you need to understand how it will affect your credit. This involves clearing up some common misconceptions about how bankruptcy affects your credit.
Myth No. 1: If you dont have negative information on your credit report before bankruptcy, you will have a higher postbankruptcy credit score than if your report contained negative information before filing.
The Truth: Positive payment history and a lack of negative information does very little to minimize the impact of a bankruptcy on your credit score. The presence of a bankruptcy, and the length of time the bankruptcy has been on your report, are the strongest determining factors
Myth No. 2: All bankruptcy information stays on your credit report for 10 years, without exception.
The Truth: Only the public record of a chapter 7 bankruptcy lasts for 10 years. All other bankruptcy references remain on your credit report for seven years, including:
- Trade lines that state account included in bankruptcy
- Third-party collection debts, judgments and tax liens discharged through bankruptcy
- Chapter 13 public record items
Once the above items start disappearing, you may see a bigger boost in your credit score.
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Bankruptcy And Eviction: Can Bankruptcy Stop Eviction
If you think you’re about to be evicted or if an eviction action is pending, the bankruptcy could affect how the eviction proceeds. If the court has issued a judgment for possession, you’ll be out of luck unless your state allows you to cure your past due rent after the court enters the judgment .
But you’ll have to act fast. You’ll only have thirty days to file paperwork and deposit your past due rent with the court.
If the suit hasn’t progressed that far, bankruptcy can stop the process at least temporarily. However, the landlord has the right to file a motion with the court asking the judge to lift the automatic stay so that the eviction case can continue forward. If granted, the landlord can start or resume the eviction suit.
Challenge The Fraudulent Bankruptcy With The Credit Bureaus
If you do happen to find a bogus bankruptcy on your report, you need to challenge it with each of the credit bureaus.
This can be done with a dispute letter. The letter will need to include a statement from the court of record.
You will have to contact the court and ask them for a written statement that verifies you did not have a bankruptcy on file.
If the court does have a bankruptcy on file, you will need to work with them to resolve the issue.
You may need to provide identification and other records. That way you can prove there was some kind of mix-up.
First, get everything you need from the court. Then send it with copies of your identification and of course your dispute letter via certified mail to each of the major credit bureaus.
It will usually take a few weeks for them to record the changes on your credit reports. That applies as long as everything you sent checks out.
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Removing Inaccurate Information From Credit Records
Credit bureaus and companies that provide renters screening reports are subject to the provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. If you’re denied rental housing because of a credit report or a renters screening report, you’re entitled to the name of the provider and a copy of the report itself.
The company issuing the report isn’t required to remove correct and verifiable information. But, you can dispute anything that’s inaccurate. If it’s unverifiable, the company must remove it from the report.
Can You Still Get A Loan Even With A Bankruptcy On Your Credit Report
Many people think that just because they filed for bankruptcy, then this means that they will not be able to get a loan or a new line of credit. The truth is, there are many different companies and lenders that specialize in lending to people who just filed for bankruptcy or with bad credit.
Of course, you will find that the interest rates and the fees are high compared to when you still had a stellar credit score. Thats why its important to be cautious and to not be blinded by the unbelievable offers immediately after your bankruptcy discharge. Make sure that you read the fine print and clarify all the details before going for a loan or a credit card. You dont want to end up in a more dreadful situation than you were in pre-bankruptcy.
So, what types of loans or credit are you still eligible for even after filing for bankruptcy? We listed down the credit options for you
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Equifax And Transunion Credit Reports
Both Equifax and TransUnion maintain a bankruptcy record on your credit report for a period from the date of your discharge or last payment.
For first-time bankrupts, TransUnion maintains the information for the maximum length of time permitted by provincial law , while Equifax retains the information for 6 years for every province.
Hard Inquiry: Two Years
A hard inquiry, also known as a hard pull, is not necessarily negative information. However, a request that includes your full credit report does deduct a few points from your . Too many hard inquiries can add up. Fortunately, they only remain on your credit report for two years following the inquiry date.
Limit the damage: Bunch up hard inquiries, such as mortgage and car loan applications, in a two-week period so they count as one inquiry.
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Does Bankruptcy Wipe Your Credit Report Clean
Myth: All bankruptcy debts will be wiped clean from your credit report.
The truth: While bankruptcy may help you erase or pay off past debts, those accounts will not disappear from your credit report. All bankruptcy-related accounts will remain on your credit report and affect your credit score for up to seven years or as long as they normally would, though their impact will diminish over time.
Turning Your Financial Picture Around
Before you start thinking about when you might be able to get that next or line of credit again, its important to make sure you correct whatever behaviors got you into trouble in the first place.
First and foremost, and most people dont realize this, before getting back into the credit game or applying for anything, make sure your financial habits are fixed, said Exantus. Whatever you did that required filing bankruptcies, you now need to establish good financial habits. That includes things like paying yourself first, saving money, creating an emergency fund. All of these things are so directly tied to credit and the ability to manage credit and money.
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How Long Does A Bankruptcy Stay On Your Credit Report
When consumers have more debt than savings and are faced with mounting bills and saddled with other ones such as student loans, filing for bankruptcy might be the only option. However, if you are considering filing for bankruptcy it’s important to consider the long-term consequences.
One of these consequences is the impact bankruptcy can have on your credit. Depending on how you file, the bankruptcy could remain on your credit report for seven or as long as 10 years. People who have exhausted all their options and can not get another job or increase their income are faced with few choices.
Filing for bankruptcy often remains the only viable choice for some individuals. People who are considering filing for bankruptcy should first consult with a non-profit credit counseling agency or attorney to see if it is the right choice for them.
The law states that consumers must also seek pre-filing bankruptcy counseling. The counseling helps people learn about several options other than bankruptcy, such as settling with creditors, entering into a debt management plan or simply not paying the debt.
How To Build Your Credit After Bankruptcy
A bankruptcy is a devastating and life-altering event that can leave some serious emotional scars. But just because youve got bankruptcy or other negative info clouding up your credit history, it doesnt mean your life is over. You can come back from a bankruptcy, and it starts with dusting yourself off and learning from your mistakes. Here are some ways to help rebuild your financial stability after a bankruptcy.
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How Long Does Information Stay On My Equifax Credit Report
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Most types of negative information generally remain on your Equifax credit report for 6 years
Closed accounts that were paid as agreed remain on your Equifax credit report for up to 10 years after they were reported as closed by the lender
Hard inquiries may remain on your Equifax credit report for 3 years
When it comes to credit reports, one of the most frequently asked questions is: How long does information stay on my Equifax credit report? The answer is that it depends on the type of information and whether its considered positive or negative.
Generally speaking, negative information such as late or missed payments, accounts that have been sent to collection agencies, or a bankruptcy stays on credit reports for approximately six years. Here is a breakdown of some the different types of negative information and how long you can expect the information to be on your Equifax credit report:
Here are some examples of “positive” information and how long it stays on your Equifax credit report:
- Active accounts paid as agreed. Active credit accounts that are paid as agreed remain on your Equifax credit report as long as the account is open and the lender is reporting it.
- Closed accounts paid as agreed. If the last status of the account is reported by the lender as paid as agreed, the account would stay on your Equifax credit report for up to 10 years from the date it was reported by the lender as closed to Equifax.
How Long Does A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Stay On Your Credit Report
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy stays on your credit reports for up to seven years. Unlike Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves creating a three- to five-year repayment plan for some or all of your debts. After you complete the repayment plan, debts included in the plan are discharged.
If some of your discharged debts were delinquent before filing for this type of bankruptcy, it would fall off your credit report seven years from the date of delinquency. All other discharged debts will fall off of your report at the same time your Chapter 13 bankruptcy falls off.
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How To Build Credit After Bankruptcy
You can start rebuilding your credit score after the bankruptcy stay stops creditors from taking action. Bankruptcy will show on your record for 7-10 years, but every year you work to improve your credit, the less it will affect you and the financing you seek.
You need to wait 30 days after you receive the final discharge. This means most of your accounts will be at a zero balance, and creditors must stop calling you about debts.
To rebuild your credit score, you should:
Is Your Credit Rating Really Worth Stressing About
Are you current on all your debt payments? Yes? No? Maybe?
If youâre behind on any debt payments, your credit score could probably be better. So, rather than worrying about possibly making your already bad credit worse, think about how a bankruptcy discharge could help you build credit.
So, what happens to my credit score if I file bankruptcy?
Like all negative information reported to the credit bureaus, filing any type of bankruptcy will have a negative impact on your credit score. Since a bankruptcy filing is public record, they will find out, even if theyâre not directly notified by the bankruptcy court.
But, unlike other things that have a negative effect on your FICO score, a bankruptcy filing is often the first step to building a good credit score.
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Can You Get Credit After A Bankruptcy
Myth: You cant get a credit card or loan after bankruptcy.
The truth: Credit cards are one of the best ways to build credit, and there are options out there for those with a checkered credit history. Secured credit cards, which require an upfront security deposit, have a lower barrier of entry but spend and build credit just like a traditional card.
Similarly, there are loans availablesuch as passbook, CD or that are secured with a deposit or collateral and help you build credit as you pay them off. Like secured credit cards, these loans are much easier to come by because the lender is protected in the event you cant pay. Do note that you may need to get permission from the court to take on new debt during a Chapter 13 repayment plan.