Common Bankruptcy Questions, Part V

Our final installment covering commonly asked bankruptcy questions begins with a discussion of credit counseling. Most debtors wonder why, if they're already going to file bankruptcy, they must take a credit counseling course before they file. The credit counseling requirement was brought into existence with the 2005 amendments to the Bankruptcy Code. The class is required to be completed by each individual debtor within 180 days of filing the case. The course is designed to educate debtors on managing their finances, and for that reason alone is required to be completed.

Clients also often wonder how long evidence that the bankruptcy was filed will stay on their credit report. The answer to this question is easy - 10 years. Don't listen to companies, internet postings, or friends or relatives who say that you can get proof that bankrutpcy was filed removed from your credit report because it is simply not accurate.

Another common question asked by bankruptcy clients is what happens when they forget to include a creditor on their bankruptcy. In this situation, it is important that you consult your bankruptcy attorney on securing an amendment to the schedule of your petition that the debt should be listed on. This amendment needs to be filed before the bankruptcy discharge to ensure that your debt is included in that discharge. Confusion over this issue is another primary reason why getting an accurate listing of debts and consulting with an attorney are crucial to the success of your bankruptcy.

Finally, clients ask the most important question of all: is there life after bankruptcy? The anxiety behind this question seems like it is founded largely in the stigma behind bankruptcy to begin with, but the answer is a resounding yes. In fact, bankruptcy gives you the fresh start to a new life after bankruptcy, one without collection calls, financial stress and worry, and one without a mountain of debt. The relief this will give you permeates into other areas of your life as you can now focus on life's other issues. Freeing up your financial stress and beginning a new debt-free life illustrates that not only is there life after bankrutpcy, but that life is a better one than before the filing of the bankruptcy to begin with.