How Does Filing for Bankruptcy Affect Your Credit?
Filing for bankruptcy is stressful and one of the worst things to do for your credit. It signifies to your creditors that you can’t meet your debt obligations. The good thing is bankruptcy doesn’t have to leave a permanent mark on your credit reports. As skilled West Virginia bankruptcy lawyers will tell you, there’s a chance to rebuild your credit as you get your finances right.
Once you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, it will show up on your credit reports for lenders and other card issuers to see. Lenders will likely consider the credit report when determining whether to lend you money. After the bankruptcy process, your credit reports will show the debts discharged by filing for bankruptcy.
Who Qualifies for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is known as “straight bankruptcy” and is a popular option among people considering bankruptcy.
Doing so wipes out all your debt, allowing you to get a fresh start as you will no longer have any liability to creditors. Your Martinsburg Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney will fight to keep creditors from harassing you once you file for bankruptcy.
To qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you must pass a means test that assesses your income. It determines how much income you have and whether it’s over the median in West Virginia. When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the record will stay on your credit scores for ten years from the date you file it.
Credit Card Debts You Can’t Discharge During Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
In some instances, you may not be able to discharge credit card debt if a creditor files an objection petition in some circumstances. The objection referred to as an adversary proceeding is a lawsuit within your bankruptcy case. Some situations under which your credit card debt may be non-dischargeable are:
- Credit cards for luxury goods that charge more than $675 for luxury services or goods within 90 days of filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
- Credit card debt that you use to pay a non-dischargeable debt, for example, using a credit card to pay for child support, student loans, or back taxes, makes the credit card debt non-dischargeable.
Let skilled bankruptcy lawyers serving in Martinsburg, WV, Hagerstown, MD, and Charleston, WV, evaluate your type of credit card debt and advise on the appropriate steps. You want to ensure that creditors don’t have a reason to come after you file a bankruptcy petition.
Who Qualifies for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 13 is the “wage-earner” plan that helps you reorganize your debt. It requires debt repayment over time based on your disposable income and the debt you owe for five to seven years.
One condition for eligibility is that you must have sufficient income to make the monthly payments outlined in the bankruptcy plan. Your unsecured debts, including credit cards, must be at most $419,275, and secured debts not more than $1,257,850.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy stays on your record for seven years. Fortunately, the effect of bankruptcy gradually decreases. Consult creditor harassment attorneys in Martinsburg to determine the best type of bankruptcy to file based on your circumstances.
Can I Apply for a Credit Card After Filing for Bankruptcy?
After filing a bankruptcy petition, your debt must be discharged in a federal bankruptcy court before applying for any new credit, including a credit card. The notation must not be gone from your credit report but should be discharged. The information will dramatically affect your credit score, regardless of the Chapter filed.
You can take steps to improve your credit score and repair your credit report. The process is just like starting out using credit for the first time. However, you will have to contend with the existing negative items as you improve your scores.
Can I Keep Credit Cards After Bankruptcy?
You will unlikely keep your credit cards after filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy laws strive to present a level playing ground for all creditors so that debtors can treat them the same when filing for bankruptcy. It would be unfair for a debtor to discharge debt from one creditor and keep the debt on another card.
Can I Exclude Credit Cards in My Bankruptcy Filing?
You must list all your credit cards when filing for bankruptcy, even those with zero balances. The bankruptcy court will notify all your creditors that you filed for bankruptcy. Some of them will withhold your borrowing privileges immediately.
Excluding some credit cards isn’t an option when filing for bankruptcy, especially Chapter 7. Upon submitting your petition, all contracts, including leases, credit cards, and secured car loans, will be canceled. Credit card companies will cancel the cards since they can only keep up with the obligations with a contract.
An Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney Providing Legal Counsel on Bankruptcy and Credit Cards
Failing to pay your credit card debt can negatively affect your credit score and ability to get future credit. Consider filing for bankruptcy if you’re at a dead end and can’t see a way out. Skilled Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys in West Virginia and Maryland can evaluate your case and guide you on the best option when filing for bankruptcy.
The bankruptcy attorneys at our law firm can answer your questions and guide you through the process from start to finish. We can analyze the bankruptcy chapter that is right for you and advise you on the steps you can take to repair your credit score after filing for bankruptcy. We’re in Martinsburg, WV, Hagerstown, MD, and Charleston, WV. Contact us to schedule a FREE initial case assessment on your bankruptcy matter.