Bankruptcy isn’t a death sentence to your credit score; you can rebound! In most cases, someone that is considering a bankruptcy already has a low credit score, in the 400-600 range, so a bankruptcy isn’t going to make matters too much worse. In fact, cleaning the slate of all, or most of your debt will actually help your credit score.
Many credit-rebuilding programs state that they can help you rebuild to a score of 720 or higher within 12 to 24 months after your bankruptcy discharge. That’s less than two years, which is likely a quicker timeframe than if you were to just pay off all of the debt in that same time period! But how do you rebuild when you have a low credit score already? Believe it or not, many credit card companies will inundate you with credit offers right after filing for bankruptcy. The interest rate on many credit offers after bankruptcy will probably be very high, but as long as you are aware of that and take the steps to pay off what was spent each month, then you will be able to take advantage of the credit offers to rebuild your score and prove your financial responsibility to the credit bureaus.
Bankruptcy will also relieve some stress from your life by putting an end to those pesky creditor calls. Anyone who has fallen behind on a bill will know that creditors and debt collectors can be relentless. Fortunately, there are laws in place that prohibit when debt collectors can call you, who they can speak to and what they can say. Even better, once you file a bankruptcy petition, the US Bankruptcy Code places an automatic stay on creditor actions, which prohibits creditors from continuing efforts to collect a debt or any property. If a creditor calls you or sends you a collection letter after you have already filed a bankruptcy petition, they are in violation of the automatic stay and you should seek legal advice to determine whether you can seek sanctions against them in bankruptcy court or what other options you may have to stop the harassment. Mallory Powers is a co-contributor to this press release.