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Does Filing for Bankruptcy Damage Credit?

August 12th, 2020 at 2:07 pm

TX bankruptcy attorney, Texas chapter 7 lawyerYou have likely seen TV commercials about the numerous credit cards available or regarding where you can go to calculate your credit score. These shiny advertisements can leave many young adults applying for credit cards without knowing the impact that this can have on their spending habits. Receiving your first colorful card in the mail can quickly lead to two or three more, each with their own amount of debt steadily piling up. While these bills may seem harmless as a young, single college graduate, the debt enclosed with these credit cards can burden you for years to come. As the debt continues to increase, you may be wondering where you can turn for help. Bankruptcy is a valid option; however, its negative impact on credit scores can have most people seeking out financial alternatives first.

Sell Some Assets

The best way to get rid of debt? Pay it off. If you have any assets that you can spare, the money that you can gain from selling these valuables can help alleviate you from the lump sum sitting on your credit cards. Take to digital marketplaces, such as eBay or Craigslist, if you have any jewelry, furniture, or electronics that you are willing to part with. If you have multiple TVs, laptops, antique furniture that you have tucked away in storage, or an old necklace that you never wear, it may be best to see how much money you can earn by selling them to a new owner.

Speak with Your Creditors

Have you tried explaining your situation to your credit card company? While they hear situations like yours on a daily basis, they may be willing to extend your debt payment’s due date or build a payment plan that better aligns with your monthly income. Although it may be difficult to do, you should explain to your creditors that you are going through a financial hardship and are doing your best to avoid filing for bankruptcy. They may be able to lower your monthly payment or decrease your interest rate.

Consider Consumer Credit Counseling

If your creditors refuse to work with you, enlist someone who has a little more experience in the field. Consumer credit counselors work to negotiate with creditors. One of their jobs is to help debtors obtain a reduced interest rate or monthly payment. They will also assist their clients in creating a monthly budget to help them stay on track with their amount owed. Working with a consumer credit counselor may still negatively impact your credit score.

Speak with a San Antonio Bankruptcy Lawyer

Filing for bankruptcy is never the path that anyone wishes to take, but unfortunately, some people run out of alternatives. If you have attempted to pay off your debts using the tactics described above, it may be time to work with a reputable bankruptcy attorney. The Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee works to help their clients overcome their financial difficulties. With over 20 years of experience, Attorney McGhee takes the time to discuss the implications of bankruptcy and any valid alternatives before moving forward with the bankruptcy process. If you are unsure about how to proceed, contact our New Braunfels bankruptcy attorney at 210-342-3400 to discuss your situation in your free consultation.



How Will a Bankruptcy Affect My Credit Score?

February 22nd, 2019 at 3:47 pm

TX bankrtupcy lawyerOne of the biggest worries people have when they go to file for bankruptcy is what that will mean for their credit score. There is a lot of confusion surrounding bankruptcies and how they affect your credit. While it is true that they do negatively impact your credit score, it is not nearly as bad as some have let people believe. There is no one answer to how your bankruptcy will affect your credit score. It is a combination of what your credit score was before your bankruptcy and what appears on your credit report. Each situation is different and it is nearly impossible to say how a bankruptcy will affect your credit score.

Effects on Your Credit Score

While there is no simple way to tell how a bankruptcy will affect your credit score, FICO, one of the nation’s leading credit reporting bureaus, has released information on how bankruptcy and other credit mistakes could affect your score. According to FICO, those with higher credit scores before bankruptcy typically lose more points after a bankruptcy, while those with lower credit scores lose fewer points. Despite the difference in the number of points that the score drops, both people with high and low credit scores will have credit scores that end up in the same vicinity.

How Long Bankruptcies Stay on Your Credit Report

Much of the impact bankruptcy has on your credit score is determined by how long it will be on your credit report. The length of time in which the bankruptcy will be on your credit report varies depending on the type of bankruptcy you file. For example, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will appear on your credit report for up to seven years and your discharged debts will also stay on your report for up to seven years after they are discharged. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy will appear on your report for up to 10 years, though the discharged debts will drop off the report after about seven years.

Worried About Your Credit Score? Contact a New Braunfels, TX Bankruptcy Attorney

For most people bankruptcy is (and should be) a last resort. If you have tried other debt and credit counseling options and nothing has changed, then you may need to talk to a skilled Boerne bankruptcy lawyer. At the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee, we have extensive knowledge of U.S. bankruptcy law and we also have more than 20 years of experience with helping clients get a clean slate. We can walk you through the bankruptcy process from start to finish and we can help you set yourself up for success after your bankruptcy is completed. Contact our office today by calling 210-342-3400 to schedule a free consultation.



Credit Card Debt: Can I Keep My Credit Cards When Filing for Bankruptcy?

May 29th, 2015 at 6:26 am

Texas bankruptcy attorney, Texas Chapter 7 lawyer, Texas Chapter 13 lawyer,Most debtors face similar personal and emotional conflicts. The uncertainty that comes with insurmountable debt can cause immense stress, and many Americans feel overwhelmed with the complexities of financial recovery. Although many debtors share these concerns, each case is unique.

There are many causes of debt—from medical bills to a sudden loss of employment. One of the most common sources is credit card debt. With high interest rates and the convenience of credit, these cards land many Americans in financial turmoil. This article will shed some light on credit card debt and address some of the associated concerns.

Three Factors Determine If Your Credit Card Accounts Will Close Due to Bankruptcy

All bankruptcy filers must provide a complete record of their debts. This includes credit card debt.

At some point during the bankruptcy process, your creditors will receive a notification of your declaration of bankruptcy. Credit card companies can choose to cancel your cards after receiving this information. In most cases, creditors will consider three main factors when making the decision to close an account or to leave it open:

  1.       The total debt owed;
  2.       The type of bankruptcy filed;
  3.       And the account holder’s credit score.

Although you must report all debts, you do not have to report credit card accounts with a zero balance. However, the trustee may require you to relinquish your credit cards.

Bankruptcy Appears on Your Credit History

Even if a creditor does not receive a notification of your bankruptcy, the information will still appear on your credit report. As a result, all of your credit card providers have access to this information. Upon review of your credit report, the creditor may choose to cancel the account.

Consult a Bankruptcy Attorney for Helpful Insight

Because each bankruptcy case is unique, an assessment from an experienced San Antonio bankruptcy attorney may prove invaluable. An attorney can provide useful insight and help you avoid making mistakes during the bankruptcy process. If you would like to speak with a bankruptcy lawyer, contact the Law Offices of Chance M. McGhee at 210-342-3400.

Mythbusters: Common Credit Card Misconceptions

May 12th, 2014 at 7:00 am

credit card debt, credit card misconceptions, credit card myths, Credit Report, debt in bankruptcy, debt settlement, San Antonio bankruptcy attorney, Texas bankruptcy attorneyOne of the reasons why people find themselves trapped by debt is because they have a misunderstanding about a few key issues regarding credit card debt. These credit card misconceptions or myths can set an individual up for failure by leading that person to believe he or she can tackle credit card debt easily. For some cases, the only real solution is to wipe out the debt in bankruptcy.

Many people think that any person can get credit card balances cut in half without too much effort. This is not necessarily true because credit card companies screen clients to make sure that the claimed hardship actually meets company-wide understanding requirements. Not every individual is going to be able to slice their debt in half.

Another common myth or credit card misconception is the idea that going through debt settlement will improve your credit situation and cause less damage than bankruptcy. Many debt settlement providers require a lump sum payment. If you are not able to pay it, you could get slammed on your credit score.

If you are scraping by, making minimum payments right now, it is also highly unlikely that you will be able come up with a lump sum payment to make debt settlement worth it. The majority of companies will report such a settlement to your credit report, thus doing just as much damage as bankruptcy. For those in financial peril, it does not really make sense to struggle just to come up with the payment for the debt settlement when what is really needed is a completely fresh start.

You do have options if you find yourself unable to deal with mounting debt. If you are feeling the pressure, set up a meeting with an attorney to walk through your options before committing. Find the best solution for you. Contact a Texas bankruptcy attorney today to begin your personal consultation.

How Does Filing for Bankruptcy Affect My Credit Score?

February 14th, 2014 at 4:47 pm

bankruptcy IMAGEEvery person who opens up a credit card, gets a loan, or finances a car has a credit report. Over years of making payments and opening new lines of credit, the credit report will reflect your ability to pay bills on time and effectively manage your debts. Lenders will review your report while deciding if you are a good or bad credit risk. Events like filing for bankruptcy are also reported to credit reporting agencies and can negatively impact your score.

The type of bankruptcy which is filed has different effects on your report. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate the majority of your debts such as credit cards, medical debts, and even secured debts. Since it does not require the debtor to repay debts, it will remain on your credit report for ten years. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a reorganization which requires repayment of part of the debts. This kind of bankruptcy stays on your credit report for seven to ten years, depending on the credit reporting agency.

A bankruptcy will also lower your overall credit score. A higher credit score will be decreased by more points than a lower credit score. Credit agency FICO created two examples of how this works. If you have a credit score of 780, filing for bankruptcy can take between 220 to 240 points off your score. Whereas, if your credit score is 660 and you file, the decrease is only 130 to 150 points. The rationale is that those with a lower score are already risks, so a bankruptcy is not as detrimental.

Being afraid of filing for bankruptcy can mean years of struggling with debts. If that means that you are missing payments, opening up new accounts, or using too much of your credit, then your credit report will decrease due to this risky behavior. Filing for bankruptcy gives you a financial restart necessary to start rebuilding your credit. Contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney in San Antonio today to discuss what filing for bankruptcy can do for you.

Proposed Changes to Credit Score Reporting

October 23rd, 2013 at 3:21 pm

credit scores

A person’s credit score represents the riskiness of lending that person money.  Banks, credit card companies and car dealerships all use this information when approving or denying a credit application.  The score is weighted on a scale up to 850 based on payment history, length of credit history, accounts owed, types of credit used and whether new accounts have been opened.

Consumers who handle their credit accounts well and make payments on time have a higher score.  Those who miss payments, open too many accounts, or who don’t use credit or loans will have a lower credit score.  Filing for bankruptcy will also lower your credit score because you do not have to pay back your debts.

Now a new bill looks to expand on what is reported on credit scores.  The bill is called the “Credit Access and Inclusion Act” and was introduced during the summer of 2013.  The goal of this bill is to allow people who haven’t built up a credit to get credit for paying rent, utility and cable bills.  A recent survey of over 1,000 renters showed that around 70 percent would want their non-loan payments to be reflected in their credit scores.

Advocates of the bill say that it will help people who are trying to build a credit score get more affordable credit rates.  It also allows those without any credit history a chance to build their credit score.  Congressman Keith Ellison, a democrat representing Minnesota and co-author of the bill, stated that  “our current credit reporting system leaves more than 50 million people without a credit score…Including more data in credit reports will make it easier to get and improve a credit score.”

Those who detract from the bill say that people are better off when credit bureaus know less about them.  Making the credit score include other accounts makes it more likely that mistakes will be penalized.  But if this law passes, it will make it a lot easier to recover from filing for bankruptcy.  If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, then contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney in San Antonio today.

All about Your Credit Score

June 20th, 2013 at 10:18 am

Your credit score is a three digit number that is used by businesses to determine if you are worthy of risk. Do not take this these three little numbers lightly. Although small, they have a lot a power and can affect your life negatively or positively. If you don’t think so, consider this; When you apply for credit, it is those three numbers that will determine if you get approved or denied. The same holds true when you apply for an apartment, insurance and a job.

Theresa    San Antonio bankruptcy attorneyYour credit score is determined by a mathematical formula and although there are tons of these formula models around, most companies use the FICO scoring model, which gauge between 300-850. The higher your score is the better risk you are–likewise the lower the score the higher the risk. Until 2009, each person had three FICO scores because there were three major credit reporting agencies using the FICO model, EquiFax, TransUnion and Experian. Experian is no longer under agreement with FICO. Although there are five categories that make up a credit score, each person’s score is determined based on their circumstances individually. That means that a new person with no credit history is not weighted the same as someone with an established credit history. Instead, the newbie is grouped and weighed against those in that same circumstance—tens of millions to be exact.

There are five categories used to make up a credit score. Payment history and debt owed are two categories that weighed most heavily.

  • How you make your payments and any delinquent accounts goes into the Payment history category and is 35% of the pie.
  • Outstanding Balances (30%)—how much you owe is a factor that is considered. For instance, if you have several open accounts with a large outstanding balance spread between them this might be viewed as a higher risk.
  • How long have you had credit (15%)—how long have you had your open lines of credit and their activity.
  • Types of Accounts (10%)—revolving and installments
  • New lines of Credit (10%)—how many new lines of credit and/or attempts to get new lines of credit is also weighed. This includes hits to your credit report from utility companies.

By law, each person is entitled to a free credit report once a year from each reporting agency. If you have questions about how bankruptcy can affect your credit or how to get your credit back on track, call your San Antonio bankruptcy attorney today.


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