How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Roger Your Own Question
Roger, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 31770
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
Type Your Business Law Question Here...
Roger is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am trying to decide if I should file for bankruptcy or try

Resolved Question:

I am trying to decide if I should file for bankruptcy or try debt negotiations with collections. My credit score is about 565, I have 20 accounts in collections due to medical bills ( I have MS), and my total amount owed is about 20K. I make only 500 or so per month and have a 1997 Ford Escort with 152000 miles worth $1200 Blue Book. However, I know that when applying for jobs, many employers do credit checks. Would it be more damaging for a potential employer to see the history of bad credit or bankruptcy? And I am sure bankruptcy will still show the bad credit that preceded it anyway. The only reason I am on the fence with this is because while I can come up with about the $2K to file for and pay an attorney for doing a Chapter 7, I dont think I can come up with the 5-6K I might need to negotiate my debt with collections. Looking at both the short term and long term, especially when it comes to looking for future employment, which would be my best route? I currently live in Kansas, debt was from when I lived in ohio in 2007, and no the SOL has not expired. Any info or thoughts you would be willing to give would be most helpful. THank you so much.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Roger replied 5 years ago.

Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Bankruptcy litigation attorney here to assist you.


You're likely better off to file bankruptcy and have all of these debts discharged against you. This will prevent any future wage garnishment on your employer, or any other collection attempts that the creditor can try if you don't file bankruptcy.


An employer is not going to be much concerned with you filing bankruptcy unless you are applying for a job with a financial institution (like a bank). Getting these matter cleaned up and put to rest by filing bankruptcy and receiving a discharge should look better than the prospect of having judgments, garnishments, etc. issued against you to your employer.



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
So you think that if, while in college, I applied for a job as a cashier or as a waitress where I was handling money that a bankcuptcy on my report would not be a major strike against me? If I filled for a bankruptcy, will my report still show accounts in collections or will that be gone? Can I place a statement on my three reports that the bankcrupcy was due to medical bills and will a potential employer see that statement if they choose to run a check?
Expert:  Roger replied 5 years ago.

No, it should not. Bankruptcy is not a terrible thing and doesn't mean that you can't be trusted with handling money. The reason for your situation is from a medical condition that you have no control over. It's not like you went out and bought thousands of dollars worth of clothes, shoes, electronics, etc. and then decided to walk away.


Your credit report will show that you have filed bankruptcy, and also should show that all of your accounts are subject to discharge or were discharged in bankruptcy.


I don't know of any way to provide an explanation of why you were forced into bankruptcy, but you can explain that to the employer. Also, if someone looks at the report, they will be able to see that the debts are to medical providers and not Chase, Bank of America, etc.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I know that the 3 credit agencies allow a consumer to place a statement on their reports. If I placed a statement on all 3 explaining the purpose of the bankrupcy, would a potential employer see that statement when or if they pulled the report? Thanks.
Expert:  Roger replied 5 years ago.

I think I misunderstood your question on this. Sorry.


The Fair Credit Reporting Act does allow you to post a 100-word notation on your credit report that can explain any credit-related issue you want. However, these posts are largely overlooked by creditors. However, an employer may take more stock in the post. But, if the issue comes up with the employer, you're better off to discuss it face to face instead of letting a 100-word blurb do the talking.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
So, just to sum up and conclude, you feel that having as many as 20 accounts currently in collections would be worse in the eyes of a potential employer as oppose to bankrupcy and that bankrupcy should not be a hugh negative for jobs such as cashier, waitress, or any other job that is not fianance realted?

Also, how soon can on get a secured credit card to help rebuild credit after a bankruptcy is filied? How sucessful whould that be over a year or two in realtion to rebuilding credit? Thank you for your time and thoughts.
Expert:  Roger replied 5 years ago.

The employer is going to be considering the bigger impact your financial situation may have on it - not you. Thus, if the employer sees that it is going to be receiving 20 garnishments from your creditors, which it will have to respond to and pay money from your wages to until paid off, etc., that's much more of a hassle for the employer than if it sees that you've filed bankruptcy (which will require it to do little if anything).


Thus, the bankruptcy should look better to the employer than the potential collections your creditors can place on it.


Generally, you can get a credit card within 6-12 months after the bankruptcy is complete. The credit limit would be small and the rates would be higher than normal, but it will get you back into rebuilding your credit.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you so I was reading this, I did have one more follow up question. Back in 2007 when I was going thru my MS treatment, I tried to avoid having medical bills go to collections by placing them on my US Bank credit card. I know, bad idea. However, in 2008, I settled my two accounts with them and have documentation proving this. However, on all three of my reports, it only shows one as settled and the other as a charge off. I have all three credit agencies verify the debt, and it came back as vaild debt. I have saved all my emails from US Bank from that time and it clearly says that all my accounts with them are now settled and closed. IF they try to sue, how much weight will these emails be in a courtroom? Should I forward these emails to US Bank or would that trigger a lawsuit from them? Any ideas?
Expert:  Roger replied 5 years ago.

If you have proof that all of these accounts were paid and settled via emails from the creditor, that is admissible and valid proof of the debt being satisfied. I would recommend that you file a dispute with the credit reporting agency and have it/them perform an investigation and update the account information accordingly. You can send the emails you to the reporting agency and they'll review them as part of the investigation.


It's better to go through the credit reporting agency instead of dealing directly with the creditor.

Roger and other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you