Your bankruptcy experience is not over when the court closes your case. Although your repayment is over and your debts are discharged, the bankruptcy will continue to impact your lifestyle in the years that follow.
Do not panic. This is the case for everybody who files for bankruptcy. The choices you make in the months and years that follow your bankruptcy can determine how much it continues to impact you and in some cases, whether it does at all. Talk to your lawyer about what you should expect in the years that follow your bankruptcy and how you can effectively manage these changes.
Your Credit Score will be Damaged
There is no way around it; filing for bankruptcy will affect your credit score, and not for the better. It will stay on your credit report for up to 10 years, depending on the chapter for which you file.
So, what can you do about your credit score? For a long term correction, you can take diligent steps to raise your score. This means paying all bills on time and either opening a new credit card or using an existing one to do so.
In the short term, you will probably need a cosigner for any new lines of credit you choose to open, like financing for a new car.
Bankruptcies are Public Record
Although most people will not have a reason to view your bankruptcy in the public record, it is important to remember that it is visible for the public to see. This can include potential employers who may ask you about it. If you are asked about the bankruptcy, be as honest as you care to be, depending on the situation. With a casual acquaintance, there is nothing wrong with brushing off the question and saying it is none of their business because if the acquaintance is not looking to become involved with you financially in some way, it is not his or her business. With an employer, it is better to simply be honest and tell them that bad habits or difficult situations in the past pushed you into a level of debt you needed help to discharge.
Breaking Old Habits can Mean Extreme Lifestyle Changes
Maybe you were addicted to ordering takeout or used retail therapy to work through stress. In the years that follow your bankruptcy discharge, recognize the habits that got you into debt and make an effort to combat them. A psychological counselor can help you with this process by helping you create new behavior patterns.
Work with an Experienced Libertyville Bankruptcy Lawyer
Bankruptcy is a long-term process. Think of it as a marathon, rather than a spring, toward your lasting financial well being. Any marathon runner can benefit from a knowledgeable coach, so be sure to work with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to prepare for, work through, and complete your bankruptcy. Contact our team at Newland & Newland, LLP today to schedule your initial consultation in our office. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.
(image courtesy of Khachik Simonian)