Consequences of Filing for Bankruptcy:  What Nobody Told You

  • May 21, 2017
  • By: Greenpath Financial Wellness

If you’re struggling with debt and thinking about filing for bankruptcy, explore all of your options before making a decision.  Bankruptcy is a serious legal decision.  While it is certainly possible to recover from a bankruptcy, it is important to know the consequences of filing for bankruptcy before you walk down that long road.

Let’s look at a few of the key issues.

Your Credit Score

The obvious negative to filing for bankruptcy is the negative impact it has on your credit score.  How much your credit score is affected depends on a variety of factors, which can make it difficult to pinpoint how much your score will drop due to filing.  However, bankruptcy is one of the most negative factors you can have on your credit report.  The higher your score prior to filing, the more it will drop after you’ve filed.  Having a low credit score will make it much more difficult to get credit.  And, when you can get credit, it will result in higher interest rates.  That means you will pay more money for the loan.

Your Credit Report

After you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it will be reflected on your credit report for up to 10 years.  Experian, one of the credit reporting bureaus, offers helpful information on how a bankruptcy impacts your credit report.

Your Future Employment

You should also be aware that most employers pull credit reports of each job applicant, and some employers frown upon bankruptcy.  While this is not the case for all companies, some private employers may be less likely to hire a person with a bankruptcy on their record.

Your Bank Account

As ironic as it sounds, it is actually fairly expensive to file for bankruptcy.  Attorney fees vary depending on the market where you live, the complexity of your case and your attorney’s level of experience.  However, it is not unusual to pay fees between $1,250 and $3,500 in addition to the court filing fees.

As you can see, filing for bankruptcy is a major financial decision.  Although it is beneficial for some individuals, make sure it’s the right choice for you.  Consider talking with a nonprofit debt or credit counselor about your situation. If you decide to pursue bankruptcy, consult an experienced bankruptcy attorney, who can help you understand how bankruptcy may impact your specific situation.

Disclaimer: This article is not to be used for legal advice.  Speak with an attorney if you have specific questions about your situation.