When Bankruptcy is Discharged: A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney Advises What to Do After your Bankruptcy
You filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and your debt was discharged; congratulations! You are well on your way to building a new life. While you are working on that fresh start, here are a few tips from an Alfred Abel Law Offices Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney about what you should do next.
You should keep a full copy of your petition, notice of bankruptcy from the court, and your discharge papers. The petition is a long document that contains detailed financial information about the assets and debts involved in your bankruptcy. The notice of bankruptcy is filed in the court and mailed to you. The notice shows the deadlines that affect your bankruptcy case. Finally, the discharge order is the formal document filed by the court that relieves you of the debts.
You will likely have other documents, but these three are the most important, as will be enumerated below.
Check your credit reports regularly. You can get a free report from each of the credit agencies once a year. You should wait about four to six months after your bankruptcy is discharged and then order your free credit report.
The credit agencies are notorious for making mistakes. Give the agencies some time to update on their own. If you see that no changes have been made, you will need to contact the various agencies and request they remove old debt or report the proper balances. The credit agencies will ask you to produce proof, so you will be glad that you saved the documents from your bankruptcy.
Start a budget and do regular updates. Though some believe the myth that people who file for bankruptcy are irresponsible and live beyond their means, most bankruptcies are caused by a shock to someone’s life, such as significant injury or sickness, job loss, or a death in the family. However, having and sticking to a budget can help you prepare for future financial surprises.
Remember the lessons from bankruptcy, create a personal balance sheet, plot out your plan for the week, month, and year. Someday soon you will live a stable life with a robust savings account and manageable debt.
Start an emergency fund. You never know what unexpected expenses will occur, from flat tires to emergency medical procedures. Set aside a small amount of money every month. Eventually, you can convert some of those savings into a retirement or college fund. Saving money is the best way to avoid going into debt for these unexpected expenses.
Credit is an unavoidable aspect of modern life. You will start building your credit again but remember that while you want to start rebuilding good credit, you want to avoid mounting unsustainable debt loads. Start small so you can pay off any credit purchases each month, and slowly build up to larger expenses when necessary. Alfred Abel Law Offices includes a “credit repair checklist” to help you rebuild your credit after the case is over.
Speak to a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney at Alfred Abel Law Offices Today
If you are worried about debt that is causing you to be unable to pay your bills, look into your options. Bankruptcy may be the right choice, depending on your circumstances. Speak to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney at Alfred Abel Law Offices by contacting us today.