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BK, Stories of Recovering and Rebuilding

Valued Member

BK, Stories of Recovering and Rebuilding

Hi All, I just thought I would share my "story" of my BK experience.

I filed Ch 13 in Aug 04 due to some bad decisions by myself. When I filed, I was constantly getting collection letters, calls, and the threats of being sued. Not to mention that I could not get a loan to save my life. This adds tons of pressure and worry that people dont need in life.

Like a lot of people that file, I thought that this was the end of the road and I would never be a good credit risk again. I was so wrong! BK is a new start, albeit not necessarily a clean start(Public Record stays on for 7 years for CH13, and 10 years for CH7), but a clean start anyways.

In my case I was represented "Pro Se". Bonus points to anyone who knows what that is! Smiley Happy I would highly recommend not to go that route. Always find a competent lawyer to represent you and advise you of all of the ins and outs of the process. I thought my case was pretty cut and dry, so I opted to go Pro Se. I ad a few moments of sheer terror when I would get a notice from the clerks office or a letter from the trustee's office. About 3 months into my case, the trustee had filed to dismiss my case. My repayment plan was no longer viable based on the proof of claims from creditors. I had 30 days to respond then had to attend the hearing and present my side of the story. After many long nights on the internet researching of what I should do, I came to the conclusion that I had to write and file a responsive pleading to the court and file an amended plan. I then showed up to the hearing and patiently waited my turn in the long line of people that were in court that day. When my case was called, I stepped up to the microphone and between the trustee, judge, and myself we came to the conclusion that the amended plan was fine and the trustee withdrew his motion to dismiss. Again, I cannot stress enough to have a lawyer.
Immediately after this happened, I tried a few places in hopes of retaining a lawyer to handle any more issues that I may have. No one would take the case once it was filed. So, on I went. No more problems to date. Whew!!!

Cut to September 2007:
I have just completed all of my payment plan (got the letter to stop wage reduction last week) and I run home everyday to hoping to see if I have gotten the discharge papers yet!! Maybe next week, but the fact that I know I am complete is a big relief in itself.

So about 3 months ago, I came across myfico. What a great place this is!!! After several nights of reading and learning I had devised a plan to get me on the right track. I then cautiously started asking some questions and was astounded at the responses that I received. I now feel that it wont be long and time will heal all wounds.

Ok, sorry for the long post, I will wrap it up with these thoughts.

1.) It is not the end of your financial life, but hopefully when you go through and experience like this you become more educated about the importance of managing your affairs.

2.) There is not a quick fix, there is a right way to go about rebuilding and recovering from a BK. Read all you can at myfico as well as other forums, articles, books. Pretty quick you can separate the bad advice from the good.

3.) Ask questions and advice from people that have been in your "shoes". Everyone has a unique experience to share.

Thanks for Reading,

FICO's as of 9/13. TU - 584, EX - 661, and EQ - 641
Message 1 of 9
Moderator Emeritus

Re: BK, Stories of Recovering and Rebuilding

Hey crdit, You stole my thunder!!!  I actually wrote my whole story out last night on this board and cancelled without posting.  For me BK was very hard, just something I never thought I would do.  Writing about it brought it back up but I will definitely share a little later.  I was one of those who put if off til there was no hope.
Message 2 of 9
Valued Member

Re: BK, Stories of Recovering and Rebuilding

Hey Brammy, I also really put it off also. My reason was more from lack of knowledge about credit and what I could do to bring my scores up and not realizing the impact of my credit scores in everyday life.
The final straw for me was when I had taxes due that I couldn't pay. Interest and penalties were killing me then I finally fell far enough behind where the IRS was gonna garnish about 80% of my wages. I personally cant live on just the left over 20%, so that was when I looked into filing.
One thing is that people who get into trouble financially(and this is just my opinion) think that they can pull out and get back on track. Then something else happens that adds more on top of already a bad situation.
This has really been an educational experience for me. I now feel like I have control over this aspect of my life, where as before it was just an afterthought. Better late than never!!!

Message 3 of 9
New Contributor

Re: BK, Stories of Recovering and Rebuilding

Ours is the typical sad story- to many bills, not enough money, laid off from job etc.....

We did hire an attorney, an excellent one, and I could not imagine doing a BK without him. Everything went as smoothly as can be expected, we filed CH 13, made our payments, BK was discharged in August, we were approved for a $32,000 car loan in one month later. Now, two years later, we were just approved by four different lenders for a mortgage both conventional and VA (we'll go with the lowest rates).

SO, there is life after BK. It was a very dark time, but I cannot stress enough how good it felt that day that I paid my attorney retainer, and it seemed almost immediately the phone calls and letters stopped. We went from 20-30 phone calls a day- I am not exaggerating- to NO CALLS!!! That alone was worth the attorney fees. Two weeks after we filed for BK, Mitsubishi Motors repossessed my husband's SUV, so I called our attorney and that vehicle was back in our driveway by the end of the day. It was so cool. Also, right before we filed for BK my husband joined the Army and the court tried to seize his enlistment bonus, and our attorney fought that and my husband was able to keep the money, so that was another reason we were so lucky to have a great attorney.

I don't think BK is the answer for everyone, but for us it was the best thing, and we have no regrets. We know it will be a few more years before our credit is excellent again, but right now it's good enough to get us what we need.
Message 4 of 9
Regular Contributor

Re: BK, Stories of Recovering and Rebuilding

I won't bore everyone with how I went into bankruptcy, but I will say this.....
I've joined a few forums that have been very helpfull with regards to my questions about my bankruptcy and rebuilding.  My husband thought I was silly for checking my credit report because my bankruptcy has already ruined my credit.  Imagine how surprised I was when I checked and saw several mistakes.  I honestly believe at this point that I will be able to raise my credit score at least 100 points when all of the mistakes are (hopefully) corrected.
Before I came to, I had little/or no knowlegde of how to go about disputing my credit report.  As a matter of fact, I didn't even think I COULD dispute things until recently.
For now, just a couple weeks after being here, I have already raised one of my score by 28 points.  (and that was just for ONE error being corrected).  I'm so glad I found this place and I really appreciate all the questions, replies, and advice shared on these boards.  It's amazing.
Message 5 of 9
Established Contributor

Re: BK, Stories of Recovering and Rebuilding

Yes, those other bankruptcy forums (google this term to find the best ones) are good for when you are going through the process of determining whether or not you are going to file.  Also, they are good for when you are going through the bk process.
But, after you have been discharged, is the best.
And bk does NOT permanently ruin your on time and do the other things this forum suggests, within 2 years you should be back in business.
Message 6 of 9
New Member

Re: BK, Stories of Recovering and Rebuilding

How long are the roads of live and lessons that we lean??? Yes many times ch7,ch10,ch13 will give you a new start,but lean from what you have done and dont do it again a very very very hard one to lean from. There are a lot of turn downs but in time live deals you a good hand but be aware of those rainy days they do pop up.
Message 7 of 9
Established Member

Re: BK, Stories of Recovering and Rebuilding

I'm new to the FICO Forums and after reading several messages, I realized the short and simple message that you posted stood out to me the most. I'm a single mom of 2. My son who is 22 years old lives with us while raising his 2 year old daughter as a single parent. My daughter is a senior in high school and costing me a fortune as a senior. I've been with the same employer for 7 years and my son is a full time college student with a part time job.   I filed a ch 13 in 2001, discharged in 2003 and was on a nice path of recovery. Then last year I had major sugery which put a damper on my paycheck, which in turn cause us to fall behind on what seem liked everything.  It seems the more I struggle to repair my credit the worst it seems to get. All three of us have recurring medical bills.  I refuse to file bankrupt again but if we don't figure out a way to get my house (past due utilities, etc.) caught up, it may be the alternative that I have to take.  Since the surgery, which keep in mind was a year ago, I've gotten 5 collection accounts added to my credit. The last time I checked my credit score had dropped from an average of 576 to 513. Due to getting behind on the two major credit cards I had, I can't get another. And, I most definitely can't get a loan to play catch up with. The sad thing is that I'm only about $3600 behind. To be honest, $3600 isn't alot of money but it seems to be the hardest amount to get a loan approved for.
The one blessed thing is that I've seeked help from an attorney to help with credit repair ($59 month). I've done alot of it myself but it can be so exhausting to fight with the credit bureau.
I just simply want to get my house in financial order, then I could focus more on the credit repair.

Starting Score:590
Current Score:EX570 TU554 EQ590>
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Message 8 of 9
New Member

Re: BK, Stories of Recovering and Rebuilding

Dear Rusti6          Read your story  sorry for what you are going throught  but its sounds like you are doing the wright thing .   Getting a lawyer to help is the best thing to do just a quick question can any one in your family help you out??  Have you tryed to talk to the crediters to see if they can lower your intrest rate or defer your payments??                                                                                                                                                          
Message 9 of 9
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