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2 days 16 hours ago

Dealing with debt is not an easy process. Seeking legal help is necessary when working on debt management. Filing for bankruptcy enables a debtor facing financial problems to wipe out debts without having to repay everyone in his or her creditor list. A declaration of bankruptcy helps individuals and businesses seeking debt relief. Consulting a trusted bankruptcy lawyer will be beneficial for you to understand the complexities of bankruptcy law. He or she can discuss how to file a bankruptcy petition and avoid mistakes as you go through the tedious bankruptcy process. Bankruptcy lawyers will also help you have a fresh start and rebuild your financial future through a successful bankruptcy filing.
There are certain types of bankruptcy that you may choose from depending on the types of debt you have. Filing Chapter 7 (liquidation bankruptcy) and Chapter 13 (reorganization bankruptcy) are the most common.
When filing Chapter 7, your bankruptcy trustee shall liquidate your nonexempt assets. A trustee in bankruptcy cases shall be the one to manage the sales of your personal property and distribute the funds to your creditors.
Meanwhile, if you decide to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 13, you are to negotiate for a repayment plan. Under this filing chapter, you may stop foreclosure and repossession as long as you can make the required monthly payments. Your bankruptcy petition trustee will also be the one to secure the funds to be given to your creditors.  
Pros of Filing a Petition in Bankruptcy

  • Automatic Stay

Pros and Cons of Filing BankruptcyBankruptcy filings begin when the relevant paperwork and supporting documents are filed to the bankruptcy court. Once it has been approved, an automatic stay shall take effect immediately. This shall stop wage garnishment, foreclosure, harassment, repossession, utility disconnection, and even possible lawsuit. An automatic stay prohibits any collection activities from lenders and debt collectors.

  • Bankruptcy Discharge

The main goal of filing bankruptcy is to have your debts discharged. In Bankruptcy Chapter 13, after you pay off your debts and successfully finish your payment plan, you are no longer obliged to pay back your remaining debts, as this will be discharged.

  • Securing Personal Property

Filing bankruptcy under Chapter 13 enables you to retain your house, vehicle, and other properties.  While Chapter 7 will require you to liquidate your assets, there are exemptions. These will depend on the state law in place when you filed for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy attorneys can advise you on how to work around these exemptions.
Cons of a Bankruptcy Proceeding

  • Credit Score

One of the issues that you have to deal with when you file a bankruptcy petition is a drop in your credit score. A Bankruptcy Chapter 7, for instance, will stay on your credit report for ten years. However, this drop in the credit score is worth the fresh start you will get.

  • Child Support, Alimony, and Student Loan Debt

There are some obligations that bankruptcies cannot wipe out. These include certain tax debt, child support, alimony, and student loans. Your bankruptcy attorney can advise you on what would be the best course of action if most of your debts cannot be discharged even after filing bankruptcy. 
Consult with a credible and experienced bankruptcy attorney to help you as you prepare bankruptcy forms and other paperwork for your bankruptcy case. Call us at the Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm for legal help and assistance.
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The post What are the Pros and Cons of Filing Bankruptcy? appeared first on Vancouver Bankruptcy Attorney | Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm.


3 days 19 hours ago

IRA BeneficiaryWhen an individual files a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the debtor’s non-exempt assets become property of the estate that is used to pay creditors. “Property of the estate” is a defined term under the Bankruptcy Code, so a disputed question in many cases is: What assets are, in fact, available to creditors? Read More ›
Tags: Chapter 7, Eastern District of Michigan, Estate Planning


3 days 22 hours ago

For most consumers, declaring bankruptcy is a debt relief solution that allows them to get a fresh start in life. However, deciding to file for bankruptcy is a big decision. That’s why it’s important to understand what happens when you file for bankruptcy.
If you’re struggling with debt, reach out to an experienced bankruptcy attorney to discuss which types of bankruptcy can provide you with debt relief.
How Bankruptcy Works
In a bankruptcy filing, the trustee and bankruptcy judge evaluates your assets and liabilities to determine if you can pay back your creditors and then decide whether to discharge debts in your bankruptcy case.
A bankruptcy Chapter 7 will involve liquidating your assets to repay a portion of your unsecured debt. Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings can discharge most consumer debts and the bankruptcy proceedings can be completed in several months.
On the other hand, Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases typically last three to five years, depending on your debt repayment plan. Also known as the wage earner’s plan, filing Chapter 13 allows you to keep your home and other nonexempt property in bankruptcy by coming up with a long-term payment plan to pay off unsecured and secured debts.
Consult with reliable bankruptcy lawyers to discuss your situation and determine if you’re eligible to file for bankruptcy.
Filing for Bankruptcy
File BankruptcyWhen you decide to file bankruptcy, be ready to gather paperwork for your bankruptcy forms. Filling out your bankruptcy petition requires you to provide information regarding your financial situation, which means you’ll need to collect pay stubs, submit tax returns, and provide a list of your secured and unsecured debts along with their creditors and the amount owed. Seek help from a bankruptcy petition preparer or a local bankruptcy lawyer to make sure your petition in bankruptcy is accurate and complete.
Bankruptcy law also requires all bankruptcy filers to take a credit counseling course before filing and to complete a debtor education course before receiving your bankruptcy discharge. These courses should be taken from an approved credit counseling agency, which costs anywhere between $20 to $100.
Once you’re done preparing your bankruptcy petition, you’ll need to file it to court and pay the required fees. You can check the Bankruptcy Court Miscellaneous Fee Schedule online for updated information on the filing fees.
After Filing Bankruptcy
Aside from understanding the bankruptcy process, it’s also important to know what happens after you’ve filed for bankruptcy. While a bankruptcy declaration provides debt relief and gives you a fresh financial start, some consequences should be taken into consideration when deciding to file bankruptcy.
The biggest effect of declaring bankruptcy is how it impacts your credit score. While you’ll no longer be liable for discharged debts, a bankruptcy will stay on your credit record for up to 10 years. This can affect your ability to take out loans, get a new line of credit, and can cause issues when applying for jobs. That said, there are several steps you can take to improve your credit after bankruptcy.
It’s also important to note that bankruptcy only eliminates dischargeable debts. Alimony and child support obligations, student loans, and tax debts are considered non-dischargeable and can’t be eliminated in bankruptcy. However, a bankruptcy filing can free up finances so you can start repaying these debts.
If you’re not sure if bankruptcy is the right debt solution for you, our experienced bankruptcy attorneys can evaluate your debts and discuss your bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy options with you. Call our office at Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm to schedule a free consultation today!
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The post What Happens When You File Bankruptcy? appeared first on Vancouver Bankruptcy Attorney | Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm.


1 week 1 day ago

Property KeysA new amendment was recently enacted in Michigan which expands the scope of receivership proceedings, which are a liquidation alternative to bankruptcy. Previously, the receivership statute in Michigan applied only to receiverships over commercial real estate. Now it is applicable to all operating businesses in Michigan, and commercial and industrial loans irrespective of whether real estate collateral is involved. Read More ›
Tags: Alerts and Updates


4 days 13 hours ago

If you are struggling with debt that you cannot repay, you should look closely into filing bankruptcy. Financial problems and debts are often caused by sudden unemployment, divorce, or emergency medical expenses that you have to pay off.  If you are tired of receiving unending creditor notices and calls from individual debt collectors, collection agencies, or credit card companies, consult with reliable bankruptcy attorneys. Aside from helping you understand the essentials of bankruptcy law, they can explain to you how to rebuild and have a fresh start through the bankruptcy process. Good bankruptcy lawyers will work closely with you and help you throughout the entire journey: from learning how to file bankruptcy forms all the way to discharge.
There are different types of bankruptcy. Your assets, and liabilities, types of debt, and future plans will factor into the specific bankruptcy case that you will choose. Filing a petition in bankruptcy will help you resolve most of your debt problems, such as credit card bills, medical bills, and certain tax debt.
There are two common types of personal bankruptcy. Chapter 7 or the liquidation bankruptcy and Chapter or the reorganization bankruptcy. Your bankruptcy attorney can explain the specifics of each. Once your bankruptcy petition is approved by the bankruptcy court, an automatic stay shall be effective immediately. Such bankruptcy protection will prohibit any collection activities by the creditors.
Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy FilingChapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding is a debt elimination plan.  It usually takes 90 days to successfully complete this bankruptcy procedure from filing a petition for bankruptcy to a discharged debt.  Here, your nonexempt assets will be liquidated, with the list of exemptions varying from state to state.
To be eligible for filing Bankruptcy Chapter 7, you must pass what is called a bankruptcy means test. This will look into your monthly income and total living expenses. The means test will compare your income with the state median income and determine your eligibility as set by bankruptcy rules.
Filing for Bankruptcy under Chapter 13
If a debtor does not qualify to file for Bankruptcy Chapter 7, another option is to pay back your debts through a Chapter 13 repayment plan. Restructuring your debts will help stop foreclosure and wage garnishment while you make monthly payments to creditors. Essentially, after filing Bankruptcy Chapter 13, you will be able to keep your assets while having sufficient time to repay what is owed.
When you file bankruptcy under Chapter 13, you reorganize your finances and propose a payment plan that will allow you to pay all your debts. If you are considering Bankruptcy Chapter 13, note that your debt-repayment plan usually takes three to five years. After which, your unsecured debt may be discharged. 
Bankruptcies will protect you from harassment and lawsuits. Consult with a bankruptcy lawyer as soon as you can. They will help you with debt management and in understanding relevant bankruptcy laws. Contact us at the Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm for legal help regarding bankruptcy cases.
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The post Rebuilding and Getting a Fresh Start through a Bankruptcy Filing appeared first on Vancouver Bankruptcy Attorney | Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm.


2 weeks 2 days ago

CFPB Charges Performance SLC and Performance Settlement, Daniel Crenshaw, with Using Deceptive Tactics

student loanNovember 5, 2020The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) filed a complaint against Performance SLC, LLC (PSLC), a California debt-relief business focused on federal student loan debt; Performance Settlement, LLC (PSettlement), a California debt-settlement company; and Daniel Crenshaw, the owner and CEO of the two companies.  The Bureau alleges that PSLC and Crenshaw charged illegal advance fees in violation of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) to student loan borrowers seeking to obtain loan consolidation, loan forgiveness, or income-driven repayment plans for their federal student loans, and that PSLC failed to make required disclosures to certain consumers in violation of the TSR.  The Bureau also alleges that PSettlement and Crenshaw used deceptive tactics in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA) in order to induce consumers to sign up for PSettlement’s services.
The Bureau’s complaint, which was filed in federal district court for the Central District of California, alleges that from 2015 through the present, PSLC charged consumers illegal upfront fees by using telemarketing campaigns to convince thousands of consumers to sign up for services to assist them in obtaining loan consolidation, loan forgiveness, or income-driven repayment plans from the U.S. Department of Education (ED).  Consumers would pay between $1,000 and $1,450 in fees to PSLC for it to file paperwork with ED, even though student loan borrowers can do this themselves for free.  Under the TSR, it is illegal to request or receive any fees for debt-relief services sold through telemarketing before the terms of the debt are altered or settled, and the consumer has made at least one payment under the newly altered debt. The Bureau alleges that the PSLC and Crenshaw violated the TSR because consumers were charged at or just after enrollment, before the terms of the debts were altered.  The Bureau also alleges that PSLC had some consumers pay this prohibited upfront fee through high-interest financing from a third party.  Some consumers paid a portion or all of their fee into a trust account, but the complaint alleges that PSLC failed to provide them with disclosures required by the TSR.
The complaint also alleges that PSettlement and Crenshaw, from as early as 2019, engaged in deceptive acts and practices in violation of the CFPA by representing to consumers that PSettlement, a debt-settlement company that does not make loans, had considered and rejected those consumers for personal loans to induce them to sign up for PSettlement’s debt-relief services.  Finally, the Bureau alleges that Crenshaw substantially assisted PSLC in requesting or receiving fees illegally and PSettlement in engaging in deceptive acts and practices.
The complaint seeks redress to consumers, injunctive relief, and the imposition of civil money penalties against the defendants.
The complaint is not a finding or ruling that the defendants have violated the law.
The Bureau’s complaint is available at: https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/cfpb_performance-slc-llc-performance-settlement-llc-daniel-crenshaw_complaint_2020-11.pdf

.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-1{width:100% !important;margin-top : 0px;margin-bottom : 0px;}.fusion-builder-column-1 > .fusion-column-wrapper {padding-top : 0px !important;padding-right : 0px !important;margin-right : 1.92%;padding-bottom : 0px !important;padding-left : 0px !important;margin-left : 1.92%;}@media only screen and (max-width:980px) {.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-1{width:100% !important;}.fusion-builder-column-1 > .fusion-column-wrapper {margin-right : 1.92%;margin-left : 1.92%;}}@media only screen and (max-width:640px) {.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-1{width:100% !important;}.fusion-builder-column-1 > .fusion-column-wrapper {margin-right : 1.92%;margin-left : 1.92%;}}@media only screen and (max-width:980px) {.fusion-title.fusion-title-1{margin-top:15px!important;margin-bottom:0px!important;}}@media only screen and (max-width:640px) {.fusion-title.fusion-title-1{margin-top:10px!important;margin-bottom:10px!important;}}MUSINGS BY DIANE:student loanYet another student loan “workout” company has been charged with receiving illegal fees and engaging in deceptive acts and practices.  In this case approximately $9.2 million in illegal upfront fees.  I feel bad for the law enforcement agencies seeing this same outrageous and fraudulent actions again and again.  But I really get upset at the pain and suffering these horrible people are suffering on the innocent borrower who is trying to workout payments on their student loans.  I know too well how how this causes unnecessary stress – resulting in difficulty at work and home, physical illness and a general distrust of the entire student loan system.

@media only screen and (max-width:980px) {.fusion-title.fusion-title-2{margin-top:0px!important;margin-bottom:6px!important;}}@media only screen and (max-width:640px) {.fusion-title.fusion-title-2{margin-top:10px!important;margin-bottom:10px!important;}}– Diane L. Drain.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-2{width:100% !important;margin-top : 0px;margin-bottom : 0px;}.fusion-builder-column-2 > .fusion-column-wrapper {padding-top : 0px !important;padding-right : 30px !important;margin-right : 1.92%;padding-bottom : 0px !important;padding-left : 45px !important;margin-left : 1.92%;}@media only screen and (max-width:980px) {.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-2{width:100% !important;order : 0;}.fusion-builder-column-2 > .fusion-column-wrapper {margin-right : 1.92%;margin-left : 1.92%;}}@media only screen and (max-width:640px) {.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-2{width:100% !important;order : 0;}.fusion-builder-column-2 > .fusion-column-wrapper {margin-right : 1.92%;margin-left : 1.92%;}}.fusion-body .fusion-flex-container.fusion-builder-row-2{ padding-top : 0px;margin-top : 0px;padding-right : 0px;padding-bottom : 0px;margin-bottom : 0px;padding-left : 0px;}.fusion-button.button-1 {border-radius:10px;}.fusion-button.button-1.button-3d{-webkit-box-shadow: inset 0px 1px 0px #fff,0px 5px 0px #003d00,1px 7px 7px 3px rgba(0,0,0,0.3);-moz-box-shadow: inset 0px 1px 0px #fff,0px 5px 0px #003d00,1px 7px 7px 3px rgba(0,0,0,0.3);box-shadow: inset 0px 1px 0px #fff,0px 5px 0px #003d00,1px 7px 7px 3px rgba(0,0,0,0.3);}.button-1.button-3d:active{-webkit-box-shadow: inset 0px 1px 0px #fff,0px 5px 0px #003d00,1px 7px 7px 3px rgba(0,0,0,0.3);-moz-box-shadow: inset 0px 1px 0px #fff,0px 5px 0px #003d00,1px 7px 7px 3px rgba(0,0,0,0.3);box-shadow: inset 0px 1px 0px #fff,0px 5px 0px #003d00,1px 7px 7px 3px rgba(0,0,0,0.3);}Click here for steps to your free bankruptcy consultation
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.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-5{width:75% !important;margin-top : 0px;margin-bottom : 20px;}.fusion-builder-column-5 > .fusion-column-wrapper {padding-top : 0px !important;padding-right : 15px !important;margin-right : 10px;padding-bottom : 0px !important;padding-left : 15px !important;margin-left : 10px;}@media only screen and (max-width:980px) {.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-5{width:100% !important;order : 0;}.fusion-builder-column-5 > .fusion-column-wrapper {margin-right : 10px;margin-left : 10px;}}@media only screen and (max-width:640px) {.fusion-body .fusion-builder-column-5{width:100% !important;order : 0;}.fusion-builder-column-5 > .fusion-column-wrapper {margin-right : 10px;margin-left : 10px;}}.fusion-body .fusion-flex-container.fusion-builder-row-4{ padding-top : 0px;margin-top : 5;padding-right : 0px;padding-bottom : 0px;margin-bottom : 20px;padding-left : 0px;}
The post Performance SLC Accused of Charging Student Loan Borrowers Illegal Fees appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy Attorney.


2 weeks 2 days ago


The Nebraska bankruptcy court discharged student loan debts for a 50-year-old debtor raising a disabled grandson. See In re Mudd. The Court overruled the Department of Education’s argument that a debtor must work two jobs to meet her burden of showing undue hardship.
In discharging the student loans the Court pointed out several factors:

  • The debtor has never earned more than $13 per hour.
  • Prospects of higher income in the future was speculative.
  • The debtor rented a single bedroom apartment that she shared with her disabled 17-year-old grandson.
  • The debtor was eligible for a zero-payment Income Based Repayment plan with the Department of Education.
  • The debtor failed to renew the income-based program for no apparent reason.
  • The debtor had no retirement savings, pension accounts or investments of any kind.
  • The debtor had recently purchased a 2016 Nissan Rogue with payments of $414.65 per month.
  • The debtor suffered from diabetes, high cholesterol, gastro reflux disease, menopause, severe allergies and a torn rotator cuff.
  • Between 2006 and 2015 she received 26 student loans .
  • She appeared to owe in excess of $75,000 of student loans.
  • At the time of trial the debtor worked 40 hours per week earning $12 per hour and worked a part-time job as a FedEx package handler.
  • Medical bills and garnishments were the immediate cause of the bankruptcy filing.

TOTALITY OF CIRCUMSTANCES:
The court applied the “Totality of Circumstances Test” used in the 8th Circuit in reviewing the application.  Three factors are considered:

  1. The debtor’s past, present and reasonably reliable future financial resources.
  2. A calculation of the reasonable living expenses of the debtor and her dependents.
  3. Any other relevant facts and circumstances.

A long review of the debtor’s income earning record indicated that this debtor was already earning at her peak capacity and that it was doubtful and speculative that her income would increase substantially beyond its present level. The debtor showed good faith in working a full-time job and part-time job to pay for basic living expenses.
The court also agreed that the debtor’s living expenses were reasonable.
MUST A DEBTOR WORK TWO JOBS TO DISCHARGE STUDENT LOANS?
The Nebraska bankruptcy court scoffed at the notion that a debtor must work two jobs before they can show good faith in discharging student loans.

At trial, DOE insinuated that Mudd must maintain two jobs to meet her burden of
showing undue hardship. It asserted that, even if Mudd obtains a higher-paying
customer service representative position where she “only” worked 40 hours per week,
she “would still have the ability in terms of time in your schedule and otherwise to work
a second job.”

A 50-year-old debtor with numerous health problems earning $12 per hour who supports a disabled grandchild must work a second job to show good faith before the court could consider issuing a hardship discharge of student loans?  That was the implied argument of the US Department of Education attorneys.
WHY WAS THIS A TOUGH DECISION FOR THE COURT?
I think most observers would agree with the court’s opinion in this case.  It is extremely doubtful that a 50-year-old debtor with health problems will see an increase of income. In fact, the very sad truth is that all workers over the age of 50 have a bullseye affixed to them for “strategic layoffs.”  Older workers impose a burden on corporate health insurance premiums and younger managers typically feel uneasy managing older workers.  When you hit 50 in America’s workforce, they want you gone.
But why did the court have to suffer through a 28-page opinion? Was there any real question of a hardship?  Even if the debtor was not supporting a disabled grandson, wasn’t the fact that she was 50 years old with health problems and no savings, pension, home or prospects of higher wages more than enough to justify a hardship discharge? Why did the court struggle to balance the equities in this case?
The legal standards regarding student loan discharges were created when such loans could be discharged five years after they became due.  And since five years is a very short period of time, the standards to qualify for a special “hardship discharge” prior to the running of 5 years were very high.
But when the 2005 bankruptcy amendments were passed to eliminate student loan discharges entirely except for the hardship cases,  the courts failed to update their standards.  Courts continued to apply the very tough standards applied when discharges could automatically be granted after a student loan was five years old, and this is an error that our appeals courts have lacked the courage to address.
As I write this blog post, protestors have stormed the nation’s capital to block the vote confirming the election of President Biden and in Georgia the US Senate elections may usher in serious bankruptcy reform legislation. We may see bankruptcy reform laws passed to finally deal with crushing student loan debts.  But legislation is tricky and slow, and it is time the courts update the standards applied to define what an undue hardship means for debtors entering into their final working years with no savings or economic stability.
Image courtesy of Flickr and Bradley Weber


2 weeks 2 days ago

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2 weeks 2 days ago

five-starFrom our initial consultation, we were impressed by Diane’s legal knowledge and compassionate nature,C.R.
My elderly parents were experiencing financial difficulty due to dealings with an unscrupulous timeshare company. Their only option was to file bankruptcy. While searching for a bankruptcy attorney, we came across the law office of Diane Drain who had excellent reviews.
From our initial consultation, we were impressed by Diane’s legal knowledge and compassionate nature. Although the process was difficult and time-consuming, the communication, help, and support we received from Diane and her legal assistant, Jay, was exceptional. They provided us with clear explanations on what to expect during each step of the bankruptcy process so there weren’t any surprises.
If you’re considering filing bankruptcy and need an experienced, knowledgeable, and compassionate attorney, we highly recommend Diane Drain. She and Jay are wonderful to work with!
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The post From our initial consultation, we were impressed by Diane’s legal knowledge and compassionate nature appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy Attorney.


2 weeks 3 days ago

 FICO and Personal Bankruptcy
When clients contact me for a consultation with respect to a personal bankruptcy filing, they will often ask how this could impact their FICO score. My reply is that the impact of a filing on their FICO score is of secondary importance; how to rehabilitate their credit after filing, is of primary importance.A wonderful article regarding one’s FICO score was recently published at Groovy Post and can be found at:     https://www.groovypost.com/explainer/what-is-a-fico-score-why-important/...Reader’s with questions regarding FICO should review this post.Generally, a bankruptcy filing results from a “triggering event” such as being sued, losing a lawsuit and being subject to a judgment, failure to make a payment on credit cards, or defaulting on car lease payments. A person contemplating a bankruptcy filing usually has a FICO score of 550 to 650 and is unable to get credit.Accordingly, a chapter 7 bankruptcy filing would not lower the FICO score since it is already low. However, a chapter 7 bankruptcy filing can increase a person’s ability to obtain credit. Yes, let me repeat, a chapter 7 filing can make a person more credit-worthy. Why? For two reasons: 1) one can only file for chapter 7 bankruptcy once every eight years and 2) the bankruptcy filing cleans up one’s personal balance sheet: liabilities are discharged in and exempt assets are kept.Banks are aware of these factors and are thus more likely to loan money to a debtor after a bankruptcy filing with credit rehabilitation than before a filing.So how does a debtor rehabilitate their credit? 1) By getting a secured credit card, charging the card and repaying it, and finally asking the bank or credit card company to increase their credit limit. 2) By working, reducing their expenses, and saving as much money as possible.For these reasons, filing for bankruptcy and rehabilitating one’s credit is more important than the impact of chapter 7 bankruptcy on one’s FICO score.People with questions regarding FICO and credit rehabilitation should contact:Jim Shenwick, jshenwick@gmail.com, (212) 541-6224 


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