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Should I file for bankruptcy with a balance of 5200? Ca. I'm…

Customer Question
Should I file for...

Should I file for bankruptcy with a balance of 5200?

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? And has anything been officially filed?

Ca

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed in civil court? If so, what?

I'm del, and in collections for years. All is medical. I want to know what the quickest way to get my score up... bankruptcy or payments to these creditors?

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Nope. Th Ty

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Family Law
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Answered in 7 minutes by:
3/15/2018
Family Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Lawyer replied 4 months ago
RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 15,221
Experience: Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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Thank you for using Just Answer. I am a licensed attorney and look forward to helping you. I am reviewing your question and will reply back shortly.

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Family Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Good evening,

If you have a good credit score, but file bankruptcy anyway, you will probably suffer the most. That is because the higher your pre-bankruptcy score, the bigger the drop in your score after you file bankruptcy. On the other hand, if you already have a low credit score, bankruptcy won't hurt your score that badly. According to FICO, a person who has a credit score of 680 prior to a bankruptcy loses 130 to 150 points following a foreclosure. But a person who has a credit score of 780 prior to a bankruptcy loses 220 to 240 points. So, if you already have a low score and file for bankruptcy, this could potentially make it easier for you to improve your score post-bankruptcy. Given that you said you've been delinquent for years, your credit score is likely already on the low end.

Another positive is that debts that have been on your credit report will now be "wiped clean", so to speak, and instead typically be reported as discharged.

Bankruptcy might help improve your debt-to-credit ratio. This ratio is a comparison of your outstanding debt to your available credit balance. The lower your debt compared to your available credit, the higher your potential FICO score. If you have credit accounts with high credit limits, they are normally closed or frozen when you file bankruptcy. But if you reaffirm debts with low balances and good credit limits, or obtain new credit accounts after your discharge, this can potentially boost your FICO score. That is because you have little to no outstanding debt compared to available credit limits, which results in a favorable debt-to-credit ratio.

So, bankruptcy likely will more quickly raise your score. But, that said, it doesn't mean you'll suddenly look attractive to creditors (and as someone who has filed a bankruptcy, I tell you that from personal experience as well). The bankruptcy still shows up on your credit report and is a big red flag for creditors, meaning you could still be denied credit or given high interest rates. It will take a couple of years for things to really start turning around.

As for whether you should file -don't do anything without first consulting with a bankruptcy attorney in your area and going over your debts. Most bankruptcy attorneys offer free or low cost consultations. $5200 isn't a huge amount of debt, but if you don't have a lot of income, and you're only making minimum payments -or struggling to pay those - that debt could take years to pay off. If you've already tried to negotiate with your creditors to cut your payments and/or reduce your interest rate to try to help you pay it off, and you still are having trouble meeting your obligations, then bankruptcy could very well be the fresh start you need.

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Family Lawyer: RobertJDFL, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

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