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BK 7 ... 2 short years ago

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  • BK 7 ... 2 short years ago

    It has almost been 2 years since my BK7 was discharged. I don't make it back to the forum very much anymore, but I figured I'd do a followup "aftermath" post for anyone who might be wondering if it is really true: it is possible to recover after a BK.

    I read through some of my old posts and I found them to be... almost funny (in a sad and pathetic sort of way). I remember how desperate, confused, and scared I felt before the BK. Honestly, the darkest time was before filing. It all got better after filing, slow and sure.

    I was afraid my creditors would skewer me for misrepresenting my income on my original applications. It didn't happen. It never even came up. Ever. There were questions about whether or not a $43k back payment from SSDI would be considered an asset. Nope. The only question the trustee had was about how I had isolated it from other money. It was completely exempt. Other than an extra-long waiting period, nothing happened after the 341 except the case eventually was discharged and closed. Easypeasy. I look back and can't believe all of the sweat and worry that went into this thing.

    So after the discharge I stayed away from plastic. For a while, anyway. I focused on cleaning up my credit reports and getting on with life. But then my FICO began to infatuate me. Seriously, it was (ok, still is) an obsession. I started to dip into the world of plastic again. Before anyone freaks out, lemme just say that I'm a big girl and have handled everything responsibly without any problems.

    For those who might be interested in my rebuilding, here's the order in which I added my cards:
    Chase Freedom - survived BK with zero bal (not IIB)
    Apple Barclaycard and Comenity Woman Within - 1 yr post discharge
    Comenity Victoria's Secret Card, NFCU Cash Rewards, & NFCU nRewards - 1.5 yr post discharge
    GE Walmart & GE Paypal - 1.7 yr post discharge
    Sportsman's Guide - 1.8 yr post discharge

    Almost all of the cards have been increased from their initial credit limits. Some were automatic, some were requested. Between the cards listed, I now have $44.5k in credit. I didn't bother with secured cards or any of those horrible high annual fee "rebuilder" cards. I guess I'm proof that if you just wait a year, you don't necessarily need those. I keep my utilization low, pay-in-full, maximize my rewards, and make sure each card gets at least a small charge every couple of months so my payment history fills in nicely. I plan to do a couple more apps by the end of this year with banks that are not generally BK friendly. I figure: why not? It doesn't hurt to test the waters a bit. Then I plan to just let everything age/grow for a couple of years while all of the inquiries fall off my reports.

    My FICO was in the 800s before I decided to file BK. After the discharge it was at about 600 and that included a bunch of 90-day lates that I racked up before filing. It was around 650 1 yr after discharge and is now around 700, still showing a BK public record and 9 IIB accounts. I think it would be a little bit higher if I hadn't added several new cards in the past four months. There are some differences between the different CRA FICOs so I'm just kinda averaging them for the sake of simplicity.

    I've seen a lot of people scrambling around on different forums trying frantically to get their BKs and IIBs scrubbed from their credit reports. I haven't done any of that. Clearly, I'm living proof that you don't actually need to resort to such measures to rebuild. If it floats yer boat, great... but it is expensive, time-consuming, and not always effective since there are tons of CRAs out there that will happily continue reporting your info. I've also seen people pay lots of money to lawyers or other companies that claim to repair your credit. Again, I can only say that in my experience it isn't necessary. Cleaning up your own credit reports isn't actually that hard. It just requires some research and patience.

    As far as those other little things go, I sold my condo, moved across the country, obtained a mortgage for a new home, switched utilities, changed cell phone companies, opened checking/savings accounts with two new financial institutions, and got new home & auto insurance policies without at single hitch as a result of the BK. My rates are no higher than other peoples' rates and I haven't had to put down any deposits. I've had to explain the BK a couple of times but I've NEVER had to scramble because of it.

    I have two regrets: First, I wish I had educated myself earlier about BK. I drained my 401k to help pay my credit cards and I wish I hadn't done that. Second, I wish I hadn't told anyone in my family that I was filing. One person in particular has been very judgmental and spiteful about the whole thing. She bitterly tells anyone who will listen that I've "gamed the system to get a sweet deal." Most people know she is off her rocker so I don't worry about it too much. But still... I do regret ever telling anyone anything about the situation. I'm not embarassed by filing BK, but I do feel like people have trespassed into my personal life with their opinions. So I guess I would do that differently if I could do it all over.

    Two years have gone by SO fast. With the exception of the snarky family member, it's almost like the BK never happened. My updates are rarely short so if you're still reading, congrats on making it this far! I hope this long recap helps to show that it DOES get better. There is life after BK.
    OK - from now on it's not a "Bankruptcy." It's a "Weight Loss Program." I'm in. Sign me up.

  • #2
    Wow Peeps, time flies! Always nice to hear from those who have BTDT.
    As to "little" things lol like you got a new mortgage---excellent news! It gives us all some hope!!!

    Keep On Smilin'


    • #3
      Wonderful follow-up Peeps. I also liked the part about lessons learned. I have a family who are very judgemental, and I wish I would have kept my mouth shut. Of course it is tough when they would have seen the vacant house and such.

      In any case, take care of you.
      8-07-09-filed Chapter 7

      Life is not what challenges you face, but how you face those challenges.


      • #4
        Originally posted by keepsmiling View Post
        Wow Peeps, time flies! Always nice to hear from those who have BTDT.
        As to "little" things lol like you got a new mortgage---excellent news! It gives us all some hope!!!
        Thanks! Yeah, it really surprises me how fast time has gone by. It feels like only yesterday I was frantically trying to find a parking spot for my 341 meeting. As for the home loan, I went the little-known USDA loan. I think the BK might have actually helped a little bit, since one of the requirements is not being able to be approved for a conventional loan.
        OK - from now on it's not a "Bankruptcy." It's a "Weight Loss Program." I'm in. Sign me up.


        • #5
          Originally posted by NoMoreCards View Post
          Wonderful follow-up Peeps. I also liked the part about lessons learned. I have a family who are very judgemental, and I wish I would have kept my mouth shut. Of course it is tough when they would have seen the vacant house and such.

          In any case, take care of you.
          Thanks. I agree it is tough to come up with explanations for the fallout that happens with a BK. I wish I had thought ahead and practiced some responses to family members. Things like "Oh, yeah, well I was tired of that house anyway" or "it's just not working for me anymore," would have been better, in retrospect. I gave out TMI thinking total transparency was the best approach. For the most part I don't regret that but I do think it would have been fun to torture the snarky person with limiting the information she so desperately craved for her own snotty purposes! Now that I'm older, wiser, and apparently more sadistic I think I would have gained great pleasure from withholding info from a couple of people.
          OK - from now on it's not a "Bankruptcy." It's a "Weight Loss Program." I'm in. Sign me up.


          • #6
            Hi, Peeps! Glad to hear your doing well. Thanks for letting others know that there is life after BK.

            As for the snarky relative, I think the next time she brought it up in my presence, I'd say something like, "That was a really hard time in my life and I made a difficult but good business decision that I don't regret. Because of the option available by the law to everybody, I've put the hard times behind me and am managing my finances and credit quite well now. I'm sorry you found my financial difficulties so disturbing that you are still carrying around so much pain 2 years later after I've moved on."
            LadyInTheRed is in the black!
            Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
            $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!


            • #7
              Thanks for your update


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