“You were born to win.
But to be a winner,
you must plan to win,
prepare to win,
and expect to win.”
When an individual files for bankruptcy here in New Orleans, the idea is that immediate relief can come by way of the automatic stay (from aggressive collection agents, lawsuits, repossessions, etc.) and discharging of various debts. But history has shown that the people who bounce back from bankruptcy more quickly are those who plan and prepare well. Those who want to set a new trajectory for their financial situation in the wake of bankruptcy must face the truth of their current situation and work to change their habits and being intentional about creating the right plan.
With these things in mind, if you have recently filed for bankruptcy here are a few steps to consider in the creation of your bounce-back strategy.
This may seem counterintuitive, but the first step you should consider in your plan for bouncing back from bankruptcy is to rebuild your personal savings account. Having an “emergency fund” or a method for protecting yourself from any unexpected events that life can throw at you will keep you from getting back on the wrong financial path.
It takes discipline to pay your bills and ongoing financial obligations on time. Doing so may mean changing habits, saying no to certain expenditures, and researching what techniques work best for you. More than a third of your credit score is based on whether or not you pay your bills on time, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant.
It is important to make sure that all of the debts that were supposed to be discharged by filing bankruptcy were actually discharged. About 6 to 8 weeks after your bankruptcy has been filed, get a copy of your credit report from each of the major credit report agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) and cross-reference with your bankruptcy filing. Address any discrepancies immediately.
Go to the library, listen to podcasts and radio programs, watch YouTube tutorials, read blogs and online articles, attend classes, or sit down with a prudent friend or family member and get educated on what it takes to steward your finances well and plan for a bright fiscal future. There are enough free resources out there to equip you to create a well-informed strategy.
Your Next Steps
One thing that often comes as a surprise to those who file for bankruptcy is that just a few weeks after filing, credit card offers start showing up in their mailbox. Be wary of jumping right back into credit card debt. Often these offers have extremely high-interest rates and up-front fees. If you want to start building your credit score, there are several other methods available to you. Again, getting the right counsel can help you know what is the wise thing to do in this area.
If you have questions about what to expect in the aftermath of bankruptcy or are considering getting the relief than bankruptcy offers, you’ll want to speak with a specialist who knows bankruptcy law. The skilled New Orleans bankruptcy law team at Grand Law Firm has the experience you need to make the right decisions throughout this process.
Stop by one of our offices in the New Orleans/Metairie, or Baton Rouge areas or contact us today!