How Long Does Bankruptcy Stay on My Credit Report?

This is a question that comes up at every conference I have with individuals considering debt relief.  It is a natural question since very few of us could obtain a house or car without access to credit.

Credit Bureaus are allowed to report a bankruptcy filing for ten years.  That fact that  a bankruptcy is recorded on your credit report doesn’t mean you will never be able to buy a house and a new car or truck.  Bankruptcy does not carry the same tarnish today that it carried in the days of your grandparents.

One of the primary temptations facing people who file for debt relief is the flood of new credit cards they are offered after filing for Chapter 7.  You will not have to wait years and years to build up your credit rating or to obtain new credit.

It is very easy to be led astray with the offers of credit you receive after going the Chapter 7 route.  I warn my clients to be very careful about obtaining new credit cards. At first, any new credit card is likely to be a high interest, high fee type card. It may not be worth this price to have credit cards this early after your discharge. Getting back to a simple life and living on a cash basis is the way to go for a while after bankruptcy.

Mississippi citizens file bankruptcy for many reasons and it is not always the fault of the person who filed.  Medical bills and illness, unemployment, full time hours reduced to part time hours, and death or divorce of a spouse can cause anyone to fall behind on their financial obligations and make it impossible to catch up.

Credit bureau reports can be full of errors and mistakes since they don’t have any incentive to correct and remove inaccurate information.   Each person must constantly review the reports and dispute outdated and incorrect information on their own bureau reports.  In many cases, an individual will need to write the credit bureaus to remove the record of bankruptcy filing after the ten year period expires.

If you have questions about bankruptcy in Mississippi, or are considering filing bankruptcy, give me a call at 601.948.1600.