Life After Bankruptcy

Edrie Pfeiffer
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Edrie Pfeiffer, Bankruptcy & Divorce Attorney

This is a freelance article from Gemma Herbert

Bankruptcy might not have the best reputation in the world, but don’t let that fool you: it’s a good thing. Aside from helping the economy and protecting your home and assets, it also allows you to have a fresh start and look to the future without the heavy financial burdens attached. But what awaits on the other side once we’ve taken care of your debts through bankruptcy? In this article, we’re going to take a quick look at some of the things you should expect, as well as some general advice.

After the Fact: Let It Go

Bankruptcy has come and gone, and you’re better for it. There’s no use in keeping hold of any doubts or ill-feelings. Or any of the stress attached to debt. You’ve come to Hampton Roads Legal because you knew it was the right choice, and it was. With bankruptcy filed, it’s time to look forward and focus on getting your finances into order. You may feel slightly unhappy about it, but there’s no reason to be - millions of Americans have been in the same boat as you, or thought about it, and they’ve turned out fine. In many cases, bankruptcy is the result of occurrences far beyond the control of an individual. So what can you do? No good can come from thinking it over, so let it go!

Attack the Day

You’ve been given the chance to start again, so make the most of it! Adopt a positive attitude and look at getting back to your best. This has been an experience, it doesn’t define you - just learn the right lessons and move forward with your newly found wisdom. Once you’re in the right mindset, have a review of how you ended up in this position in the first place. If there’s something you could have been doing differently all along, make it part of your life. This is the best time to be thinking about your financial circumstances, so don’t waste the opportunity.

Reassess Finances

You can begin your new life by making a simple monthly income and expenses budget. This way, you’ll know exactly how much you have to spend each month and you’ll be able to live within your means. In the budget you’ll be including things as your income, cost of food, transportation, accommodation, phones and cable bills, and any other recurring payments. You should also allot some space in your budget to creating an emergency fund. Even putting aside a small sum each month can help you pay for big expenses such as car and house repairs, which often come as a surprise. You might have a hard time getting a loan for some time after the bankruptcy, so having some extra cash may turn out to be a great help.

Don’t Live In Fear

The hardest part has been done. You don’t have to live in fear of your financial future. While you may not get a loan straight away, there are still credit options available to you. If you do decide to take on some credit, make sure it’s manageable. Starting small and making your completely comfortable in meeting the repayments is a great way to get yourself back on the road to good credit. There are also specific types of credit cards - called secured credit cards - that will gradually rebuild your credit risk free. However, as long as you’re not taking on debt, then there’s nothing wrong with assuming other credit - so long as you’ve learned your lessons from last time.

It’s Not As Bad As You Might Think

As we noted above, the word ‘bankruptcy’ sounds bad, but it’s not. And it’s nowhere near as bad as you might think it is. Every case is different; there are no set rules that follow bankruptcy. For instance, did you know that you’ll most likely still get a mortgage for a home? And that the time it takes to establish good credit could be as little as a year? In all, you’ll most likely find that the bark is worse than the bite. Managed properly with a sensible after bankruptcy plan, you’ll come out the other side in a much healthier state than before. In fact, played properly, it might just be the best decision you ever made.

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