We suggest that you start by celebrating. If you don’t want to celebrate, at least pat yourself on the back. You faced up to your fears and came to our office for a consult. You’ve made it through a difficult process. You followed our directions and now have an amazing opportunity to start your financial life over, so take advantage of it.
Within 3-4 months after you get your discharge, you should pull your credit report. Make sure that you use the government’s website, annualcreditreport.com to pull them for free. You should get one from each of the major reporting entities, Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. All the debts that you have discharged in bankruptcy should show a zero balance. If it does not, you need to follow the dispute procedures related to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”). Note that you do not need to pay someone to help you with this. Everything that you need to know to help you can be found at the Federal Trade Commission.
Beware of anyone who tells you that they can remove negative things from your credit. Anything negative and truthful can stay for 7 years from its initial reporting. Public records like bankruptcies, lawsuits, judgements, tax liens, etc. can stay for 10 years from the first date of reporting. Be very very wary of someone who tells you that they can remove accurate information from your credit report.
If you have followed the proper dispute procedures and your credit still reflects inaccuracies you may need a lawyer to help you. In our opinion, the best FCRA lawyers in the country are myfaircredit.com . You should contact one of those lawyers to see if they can help.
If you ever get a collection letter or call from any of your discharged creditors, please contact us immediately. We can almost always help you and almost always help you for free. For more information on bankruptcy, read our guide (see links below):
1. Monitor your credit. Dispute if necessary
2. Forward any post discharge collection attempts to your lawyer
The Bankruptcy Guide
Part 1 - How to File for Bankruptcy'
Part 2 - Means Testing, Median Income and 'Safe Harbor'
Part 3 - Formal Means Testing
Part 4 - Bankruptcy Pre-filing
Part 5 - Post-filing - set date for meeting of creditors
Part 6 - I survived the creditors meeting, am I finished?
Part 7 - Now that I’ve received my discharge, what do I do?