When financial struggles become too much for Tennessee consumers, people should know that they have legal options to help them get a fresh financial start. Sometimes job loss, medical expenses and other unexpected events can just make it too hard for people to pay all the debt they owe. In these cases, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a good option.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, people petition the court for debt relief. From the moment the case is filed, all debt collection — including harassing phone calls — is stopped. The court will then determine the assets that people have and the debts. The non-exempt assets will be sold and the proceeds will be used to pay down the debt. Any debt that remains after this process is discharged.
Following a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, people will receive significant debt relief, but it does damage their credit score. In fact, it will stay on a person’s credit report for 10 years. A high credit score can be essential when trying to purchase certain consumer goods including a home or a car. One way to rebuild credit is to apply for and use a credit card.
Financial advisors warn people to start slowly with credit cards following a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. These cards will tend to have high interest rates and a large number of fees since a person’s credit score has been damaged. Experts say that starting small will help ease people into using credit again. Furthermore, a collateralized account can be a good place to start.
It is also wise for people to save aggressively following a Chapter 7 to make sure they have some money in case of an emergency. People should review their budget regularly to make sure they are staying on track.
Source: Fox Business, “Can I Use My Credit Card After Bankruptcy?,” Erica Sandberg, April 2, 2014