A former client called me today, we had filed his Chapter 7 bankruptcy case a little under a year ago. He said he was very glad that he did it, and that filing the bankruptcy had "made it a lot easier for him." In fact, he said he had just refinanced his truck, the one that we reaffirmed in the bankruptcy, at a 4.3% interest rate. He said the banker offered to do it, and he told the banker that he must not have looked at his credit score.

The banker looked at his credit score, and it was 680, not too shabby for someone less than a year after a bankruptcy case. I'm sure it helps that we do a "credit clean-up" for clients at no additional charge after their bankruptcy. We write to the major credit bureaus and ask them to "reinvestigate" or update their records, to properly show that the discharged debts have a zero balance, and show that they were discharged in bankruptcy.

And so long as the client does their part, by paying any reaffirmed or new debts on time, it is not unusual for a client to have a credit score in the mid-600's after one year, and 700+ after two years. Now if you are one of those people who are always paying their debts late, or if you default on cell phone contracts or medical bills or something else AFTER the bankruptcy, then your credit will go right straight down again, and all bets or off.

But if you find yourself having to file bankruptcy, and you can keep your bills paid on time on a "going forward" basis, you can rebuild your credit rather quickly. And that's good news, if you're looking to buy something on credit, or try to refinance something, like my former client refinanced his truck.

J Thomas Black
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Board Certified, Consumer Bankruptcy Law- Texas Board of Legal Specialization
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