If you have filed for bankruptcy, you’re probably feeling like you have hit rock bottom. But it might not be as bad as you think. There’s nowhere to go but up. So, this can be a fresh start for you. But, how? Lawyer Palm Beach firm Miller, Hollander & Jeda are experts in all things regarding bankruptcy, including how you can rebuild. It won’t be easy, but it can be done. Want to know how? Continue reading for some suggestions from the top bankruptcy lawyer (Palm Beach area).
Make A Budget
You have really got to stay on top of the budget now. The best way is to plan a budget around your bills and income and then stick to it. If you need to, try getting help from a credit counseling agency. There are nonprofit agencies that offer free basic help for things like budgeting.
It may not be a pretty sight, but if you have filed for bankruptcy, you need to be watching your credit scores and reports. Be sure you get the information from all of the major credit reporting institutions – not just one and call it good. Double check the information on the reports….make sure that it is all correct. For example, missed payments, overdrawn credit limits and any collections accounts will be on your file. Sometimes it can take time for all of the information on your file to update so you ought to have a “credit correction” to make sure your credit report is cleaned up properly. The good news is that bankruptcy will get some of these erased and your accounts should all be settled … giving you a fresh start.
A secured credit card account may be the best way to start building your credit after you are discharged from bankruptcy. To do this, you will just need to fill out an application and make a deposit into a secured account. Then the bank gives you a credit card with a credit line that is 50-100 percent of the deposit. A secured card will probably have an annual fee, but the bank may actually pay the interest on your deposit. You should then begin using the card, only making purchases that you are certain to be able to pay off quickly. You’ll want to avoid a balance on the card that is more than 30 percent of your credit line. Then, just pay your bill on time each month and pay off as much of the debt owed as you can. Unfortunately, bankruptcy will be on your record so you be marked as a higher risk borrower – meaning that you are going to have higher rates when you borrow money. You will probably be given stiffer penalties for any defaults as well. The good news is that in some cases, you can quickly become a better risk.
Under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your debt-to-income ratio drops radically and you are not eligible to qualify for Chapter 7 for several years which could actually make you look better in the eyes of the lender. The same may be true if you filed for Chapter 13, but it won’t happen so quickly. You’re looking at a good 18 months of making your regular payments, at least.
It would be wise to start off small when you begin borrowing again. Do this, keep up with the payments and you will begin to re-establish your credit. Then you can start getting better rates and borrowing more if need be. Once you get your credit score up to 650 or higher, you should be able to qualify for a good rate.
Get A Loan
It is best to avoid having all your debt in credit cards. You can help your score improve by showing that you can keep up with a mixture of types of debt. So, try taking out a small loan that you will be able to pay back without much trouble. If you were to take out a personal loan, that money could be used for pretty much anything. Or, maybe you need an auto loan to get yourself to work. Choose an economical car to keep your debt reasonable. Either way, be sure the bills are paid on time each month. If possible, pay the loan off early and then you can diversify with another type of debt, which will help you build a positive payment history.
This is actually a great time to start saving money. You’ve eliminated your debt so hopefully you can start putting some aside. Financial experts might suggest trying to save 10 percent, but do what you can – even if you start out with just saving pennies.
One thing you’ll need to watch out for…predatory-lending scams and payday loans. They can take advantage of people who have limited credit options by charging them large fees to borrow money. Some people end up paying up to 400 percent interest on a payday loan.
Buying A Home And Vehicle
There’s no telling when you’ll be able to get a vehicle or buy a home. That will vary depending on the lender. In some cases, you might even be able to finance a car the day after filing. Especially if you can prove that the car is going to be necessary for you to live up to the repayment plans. As for getting a home loan, that is going to take you at least 18-24 months, according to most experts. You can expect to pay interest that is 2-3 percentage points higher than a normal rate. Be sure that you do research on your mortgage program options. You’ll want to check with real estate agents and the Better Business Bureau among others. Go to MyFICO.com to see how your credit score impacts the interest paid on a loan.
The Federal Housing Administration insures residential mortgage loans and uses specific procedures for people who have filed for bankruptcy. They also have special considerations for people who ended up bankrupt due to bad situations like an illness or death of the bread winner.
Both Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy filers can get mortgage loans, in certain instances. This is where you’ll want to speak with a bankruptcy lawyer. Palm Beach lawyers, Miller, Hollander & Jeda are the bankruptcy experts you can trust.
You can use a credit monitoring service to keep track of your score. You’ll want to keep an eye on things to be sure that the steps you are taking are helping your credit. This will also help you make the right decisions going forward.
About Miller, Hollander & Jeda
Bankruptcy can seem like the end, but lawyer Palm Beach firm Miller, Hollander & Jeda will show you how it can help save your home, car and other assets. And they are dedicated to doing it well.
You can count on them to:
- Explain the complicated differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 filings under the Bankruptcy Code
- Determine which type of bankruptcy will work best for your situation
- Act on filing your bankruptcy to put a stop to harassment by creditors, foreclosure on your home and repossession of your car
The law firm of Miller, Hollander & Jeda has been practicing bankruptcy law for almost four decades. Miller, Hollander & Jeda’s founding attorneys began practicing in the early 1970s before putting down roots in the area and joining forces in 1992 to create the Naples, Florida law firm that bears their names. Since its inception, Miller, Hollander & Jeda has focused on bankruptcy. They take pride in helping clients get a fresh start.
To sum it up, bankruptcy may not be as devastating as it seems. In fact, it may be your best option. Contact lawyer Palm Beach bankruptcy attorney firm Miller, Hollander & Jeda to find out if you should go bankrupt. They file more bankruptcies in Southwest Florida than any other firm. Handling each one with the highest level of professionalism and personal attention. Their firm has been helping clients file bankruptcy throughout Southwest Florida for more than 35 years. They have the knowledge and experience to help you get a fresh financial start for yourself, your family or your small business. Give them a call today!