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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 12209
Experience:  JD, MBA
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How does filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy affect me in the long run?

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I am preparing to file Chapter 7 in about a month as a last resort to overcome my debt when I became ill and fell behind on my bills. Since my insurance didn't cover some of the expenses, I had to pay some of it and couldn't when I had to give up my job for disability. I am due to graduate in December 2009 and I know some employers run credit checks and I won't be able to get credit for seven to ten years, at least that's what I've heard. I need to know what to expect before filing; I intended to file pro se, but it got so complicated, I decided to seek legal counsel in the end. What kind of life is there after bankruptcy?

Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

After you file for bankruptcy, you will have a difficult time finding a lender who is willing to give you any sort of credit, whether it’s for a house, credit card, car loan, etc. If you do qualify, your interest rate will be much higher than a person with a decent credit score will qualify to receive.

In addition, you may have a hard time finding an apartment since landlords may be reluctant to lease property to somebody who they perceive may not pay his bills, and who may one day file bankruptcy again to eliminate an unpaid rent debt as well. Furthermore, employers may be reluctant to hire you if they believe that the bankruptcy implies a certain lack of responsibility.

But, as time goes on the bankruptcy will become less and less important. Eventually, when it’s no longer listed on your credit report, it won’t be a factor at all. There are exceptions, however: For example, some lenders or employers may expressly ask you whether you have ever filed for bankruptcy. They won’t care that you were discharged 30 years earlier and have had stellar credit ever since … they will still want to know about it. They may use that fact to refuse to give you a loan or to hire you. You should know those are rare cases, however. In most cases, your bankruptcy will not affect you after it is removed from your credit report.

Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then please feel free to ask for clarification.

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DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that only an attorney licensed in your state is authorized to advise you in legal matters, and that the limitations of this setting may prevent your legal issues from being thoroughly addressed. Accordingly, please understand that (1) by answering your question(s) I am not acting as your attorney, (2) my answer(s) should be construed as general information only, and (3) our discussion is not an adequate substitute for an in-person consultation with an attorney.

 

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
But how long will I have to go without being able to get a job or credit? I can't be without a job or a place to live for years at a time.

Hi again. I just read the additional info that you posted in your first question (it wasn’t there when I began answering your initial question), and I want to comment:

For the most part, debts do not last forever. Eventually, the statute of limitations (SOL) will prevent the creditor from winning a lawsuit against you. And, as you mentioned, the debts cannot be listed in your credit report after 7 years. The clocks for the SOL and the credit reporting will only reset if you do something like make a payment.

However, debts can last a very long time if you are sued and the creditor wins a judgment against you. Judgments can last decades.

As for how long before you will need to wait to get a job, etc. ... there is no restriction. You can have a job immediately. It's just that some employers may not hire you (it's their right). Most employers probably won't run a credit check. But some may. It just depends on that particular employer. The same goes for landlords. You'll be able to find somewhere to work, and somewhere to live ... but it may not be the company you wanted to work for, or it may not be the building you wanted to live at (but then again, they may be exactly what you wanted).

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DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that only an attorney licensed in your state is authorized to advise you in legal matters, and that the limitations of this setting may prevent your legal issues from being thoroughly addressed. Accordingly, please understand that (1) by answering your question(s) I am not acting as your attorney, (2) my answer(s) should be construed as general information only, and (3) our discussion is not an adequate substitute for an in-person consultation with an attorney.

 

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