Bankruptcies under Chapters 7, 11, and 13 can remain on your credit report for up to ten years. This is extremely detrimental to your credit score for at least the first two years following the discharge of your bankruptcy. Creditors who were notified but were not included may choose to terminate your account. After the discharge of your bankruptcy, it will be extremely difficult to obtain any type of credit for at least two years, and sometimes longer.
If you are contemplating bankruptcy because creditors and/or collection agencies continue to contact you at all hours of the day and night, bankruptcy is not necessarily the solution. You have the ability to halt these annoying and often embarrassing phone calls. The collection agency will require that you submit a written cease and desist letter. This letter should include your full name, address, the name and address of the debt collector, the account number, and the date. Simply request that they cease and desist all contact with you, your family, and your acquaintances regarding any and all debts you allegedly owe. Continue to state that you will file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission if they continue to contact you.
If you are considering bankruptcy because you have fallen behind on payments and are unable to catch up, it may not necessarily be the best option. Contact your creditors and explain your situation to them. They will appreciate your candor and will likely be willing to come up with a solution that is more practical for you at this time. Inform them that you have every intention of paying your expenses and maintaining a spotless credit history. There may be a specialized department you need to contact, or you may wish to speak with a manager, as regular customer service representatives typically lack the authority to assist in this manner.
If you still believe that bankruptcy is your best option, be sure to discuss all of your concerns with your attorney and obtain answers to all of your questions. Read the small print. Ensure that you and your attorney agree on the inclusion of all accounts in your bankruptcy. Request a copy of your credit report after the discharge of the bankruptcy to ensure that the credit bureaus have reported the information accurately.
Frequently, bankruptcy-discharged accounts do not reflect that information on the credit report, making it appear as though the debt is still outstanding. Most significantly, take the time to carefully consider your options. Realize that this is something that will have a long-lasting impact on your life.""
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