Most people focus heavily on the bankruptcy process and often neglect their duties after the debts have been discharged. While qualifying for Chapter 7 and ensuring everything is included in the case petition is important, there are several actions that you need to take after your case is complete.
It is common for a person to receive a debt discharge and assume that their accounts and credit report have been accurately updated. This is a risky assumption that needs to be addressed by anyone who has successfully completed a bankruptcy case. Check to make sure that your creditors have accurately reflected the discharge and associated changes to your account, this is crucial to the future of your credit standing. You may need to provide a copy of your bankruptcy discharge paperwork to the creditor and continue to follow up with them until the appropriate changes have been made. Similarly, monitor your credit report closely after completing a bankruptcy. Creditors may take their time in reporting the most up to date information to the credit bureau, which prevents you from being able to being the rebuilding process.
Once you have received a debt discharge you have a unique opportunity to rebuild your credit. You may find that it is easier to secure new credit now that your old accounts are no longer considered delinquent. However, it is important that you change your money management habits and apply the principles learned in the credit counseling course. The general idea is to secure one or two, low limit credit accounts that you can use to keep and pay manageable balances on for six months to a year. Many people either neglect securing new credit, or get right back into too much debt too quickly after bankruptcy. It is best to maintain a 30% debt-to-limit percentage or less, as well as avoid any large limit or secured debt accounts for at least a year after bankruptcy.