Getting notification that your bankruptcy is resolved can cause you to finally exhale. After several long months – or even years – your bankruptcy case is finally over.
Well, sort of. While the bankruptcy might be finalized, there are still steps you need to take and help you will need from your bankruptcy attorney.
Keep All Documents
Filing for bankruptcy can result in a lot of paperwork. The petition alone can be dozens of pages long, then there are your financial records, statements, the notice of bankruptcy from the court, and eventually the discharge order from the court stating the bankruptcy has been finalized. You may also have your credit counseling certificate, invoices from your attorney, letters from creditors, and more.
While it might seem liberating to dispose of all of these documents when your bankruptcy is complete, it’s essential to keep them. For one, it’s crucial to keep these in case there are any mistakes in payments to creditors, or on your credit report. It’s also important to keep documentation in case you need paperwork to show a lender when applying for a loan. If you need documents, make sure to contact your bankruptcy attorney for help.
Monitor Your Credit Report
It’s no secret that your credit score is going to take a hit after your bankruptcy – but it’s still important to check on it regularly once your bankruptcy is finalized. You need to watch to make sure that creditors are reporting a $0 balance on any discharged debt. If they don’t, that debt will still count against you and your credit score. If the debt does not fall off your report, contact your bankruptcy attorney for assistance.
Checking your score regularly will also alert you if any new lines of credit are opened in your name that you did not authorize, and it will let you monitor your credit score as time passes after your bankruptcy.
Manage Your Finances
After your bankruptcy is finalized, you can start over financially. It’s essential to then take advantage of the fresh start and live within your means. This can include creating a budget and sticking to it. This will ensure you can pay your bills going forward and are avoiding falling into debt again. Paying bills on time will also help you increase your credit score over time.
Create a Savings Account and an Emergency Fund
Once you start living on a budget, you can then work towards creating a savings account and an emergency fund. Your emergency fund can help you avoid falling deeper into debt if an emergency occurs – whether it’s a medical emergency or an issue with your house, car, or other unexpected expense. It’s also important to have if you unexpectedly lose your job or your source of income.
Your savings account can help you put money away for college, a new house, a car, or other large expenses.
Establish Lines of Credit
After your bankruptcy is final, it can be time to start increasing your credit score by taking out new lines of credit. This can be risky – you don’t want to fall back into debt – but it can help rebuild your credit score. It’s also important to prepare yourself as it can take a while to get approved for new lines of credit, or your interest rates might be higher than what you’re used to.
Contact a Bankruptcy Attorney
If you are finalizing your bankruptcy, it’s crucial to hire an experienced attorney to help you after the process to navigate your new financial landscape. Our experts can help you determine what steps you need to take. We will also help clear up any confusion you might have after your bankruptcy is final! Don’t let debt ruin your life. Call (405) 529-9377 for a free case review.