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Life After Bankruptcy: What Really Happens

By: Lisa Laprade
Published: October 2006

Bankruptcy can seem like the answer to so many of life’s problems - before your very eyes all of your credit card balances are wiped clear. The harassing phone calls from creditors looking for money that you just don’t have come to an abrupt halt. All seems great, right? Not necessarily. If you’re thinking about taking this life-changing step, there are a few items that need your serious consideration before signing your name on any dotted line.

If you are lucky enough to know someone who has filed for either chapter 13 or 7 (personal bankruptcy filings), they may tell you that the entire process was a piece of cake – a venture without any side effects. Of course, the odds of someone having this sort of experience is about the same as someone informing you that their personal experience was anything but pleasant, possibly using the words “nightmare” and “humiliating” instead of “cake” and “venture”. No two people are the same, nor are any two creditors; therefore no two bankruptcies could possibly be alike

The key to a successful bankruptcy is to be proactive when it comes to rebuilding your credit. Even though the filing will stay on your credit report for 10 years, any positive credit and/or comments, such as great markings with a secured credit card, will increase your score significantly more than if you sit around doing nothing and just wait for the 10 years to pass. This is your credit we’re talking about here - it’s something that you alone are responsible for - as well as being one of the few things in life that can be more valuable than money itself.

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