What Is the Downside to Filing for Bankruptcy?

Our Fort Worth, Texas bankruptcy firm has seen the real benefits that are possible when someone uses bankruptcy to get a fresh start with their finances. Bankruptcy is a complex specialization of law, but the right legal counsel can guide you toward a solution to the crushing weight of debt.

There are consequences to bankruptcy that have a negative impact also, and it is important to understand what they are before moving forward with a filing. When you are facing an unmanageable load of debt, it is important to critically examine your financial situation and what your desired outcomes are before deciding how to proceed.

Bankruptcies Linger on Your Credit History

Filing for bankruptcy automatically impacts your credit score negatively, meaning even if you can get a loan, you will be forced into higher interest rates. Even if you were able to maintain a solid credit score prior to bankruptcy, you can expect to wind up below 600 after filing. The damage is unavoidable, but your focus needs to stay on debt elimination.

Bankruptcy stays on your credit report for years after the conclusion of your case. Chapter 7 bankruptcies remain on your report for ten years, while Chapter 13 will continue to show up for seven. You can rebuild credit, though, and the experience of bankruptcy can be a prompt to pursue borrowing in a responsible manner.

It is important to understand you may not see a significant rebound for at least three years of responsible financial decisions. During that time, you will likely not be able to apply for new credit cards but may be able to get a secured credit card to help with the process of rebuilding your credit.

Bankruptcy on your credit report can be a detriment to applying for apartments or jobs that require a credit check as well.

Bankruptcy’s Impact on Careers

The U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission does not permit decisions of hiring, firing, or promotion to be made based on bankruptcy. You are not required to disclose bankruptcy to an employer. That is the good news; the bad news is the impact of bankruptcy on your credit score does have potential ramifications.

Employers are permitted to evaluate an applicant’s credit score when making decisions for hiring and promotions. This is problematic for someone with a bankruptcy on their credit report; however, if you’ve reached the point of considering bankruptcy, it is likely your financial circumstances have already battered your credit score.

Employers cannot run a credit check without your permission, but this does little to protect your interests. Declining to have your credit inspected typically is disqualifying in a job search where a credit score would be evaluated. Being upfront about bankruptcy and possible extenuating circumstances, like a medical emergency, may be in your best interest.

Jobs that work with money and have the power to move money often require prospective employees to demonstrate a good credit score. Prudent financial decision-making is considered to be an indicator of a lower risk of theft or negligence with corporate financial resources.

Law enforcement is another field where credit checks are common. Like financial jobs, law enforcement agencies may view poor credit as a reason to lack trust in an individual’s ability to view and handle sensitive evidence.

Security clearances in government roles and contractor positions require a credit check. These clearances are meant to be granted to individuals who are not potentially compromised by outside stressors like burdensome debt.

Your Property May be Liquidated

Chapter 7 bankruptcy establishes an estate with a trustee tasked to assess and liquidate non-exempt assets to pay back creditors. States have different laws about how much equity in a home or car a debtor can protect, which is a compelling reason to make sure your Texas bankruptcy attorney is an expert and not a junior associate tasked with being a jack of all trades.

Property holdings, valuable personal items, and luxury goods are all liable to be liquidated to pay off creditors. The upside to Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that the actual period during which the bankruptcy is executed is relatively short, sometimes as little as three months, albeit with the stipulation mentioned before that it stays for ten years on a credit report.

An expert Texas bankruptcy attorney can help clarify what protections exist for exempting property, such as maintaining a primary residence and having a vehicle for work. Knowing what to expect going in is an important part of a bankruptcy filing decision.

Money Problems Effect on Mental Health

The mental strain of dealing with debt is one of the primary causes of anxiety and depression. Sometimes the fear of bankruptcy prevents people from even looking at their options, even when bankruptcy may be the best route.

Being prepared mentally for bankruptcy and finding emotional support in either a formal setting or from family and friends is important. It’s important to remember that bankruptcy isn’t the end of your life.

Hope for Bankruptcy Situations

As a respected and accomplished firm handling bankruptcies in Fort Worth, the Steele Law Firm can vouch for the freedom bankruptcy presents when handled properly. Avoiding denial and addressing the prospect of declaring bankruptcy can be hard. Trying and failing to resolve large sums of debt through other means and waiting too long only makes things worse.

Coming out of bankruptcy with no unsecured debt and manageable secured quantities can lift the proverbial monkey off your back. Debt can torment an individual mentally and emotionally, and its strain is often worse on families. Getting a bankruptcy filing accepted in court should be viewed as an indication that better days are ahead.

Find the Right Bankruptcy Attorney

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in Texas, pick an attorney whose only focus is taking on bankruptcy cases and getting clients back on track. The Steele Law Firm is compassionate, hands-on, and results-driven when it comes to erasing your debt and opening the door to a stable financial future. Contact us today to review your bankruptcy options.

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