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1 year after my discharge update

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    1 year after my discharge update


    Well its been about 1 year after my discharge and I wanted to share my life/progress

    Quick recap - I did a chapter 7 Pro Se last year. It was very stressful yet very educational. I was able to keep all my assets and wash away all my debts. Not a single penny was given up. I came out with top marks with the Trustee commending me on my petition. All credit and glory goes to God who was with me all along that ordeal!

    Current status - Employed as legal assistant! My crash course, self education into bk law landed me an entry position at a local law firm. I am hoping to stay there for a full year so i can transition into a paralegal position ... and eventually take the bar exam. I enjoy the job and think im pretty good at it...its just the office politics that make it stressful. Well no such thing as perfect in this world.

    My credit - None. Zippo. I have not yet applied for any new credit though i get offers from garbage/predatory cards. I am literally 'unlisted' when it comes to credit score according to my bank's profiler. Funny how you can go with decades of good credit, to bad, to 'unknown entity' status. At some point i will apply for a card but honestly im living with just cash on hand, good insurance, and learning the wisdom of 'dont buy stuff you can not afford'

    My spending habits - After living on literally rice, beans, and flour/oil, i developed a skill for stretching out a dollar. I am ultra stingy with my income and live just as i did when i was dead broke and REALLY dead broke during the bk. I now need to learn how to invest my money - which is hard since im so afraid to spend it like I was when i had nothing...

    20/20 advice - What would i tell my younger self after all this experience? First, obviously, dont get into too much consumer debt. Dont be an idiot and continue to 'snowball / pay it down' when it will take decades. The game is setup to make you a debt slave and fear 'ruining your credit' . Second, learn about the bk law so you can weed out bad attorneys out there (see the Pro Se section of this website for my journey there). Third, always be hustling to make any kind of money. One big mistake I made was live in fear of this problem and not try to find some kind of income. I discovered afterwards that someting like Doordash / Uber eats are really good ways to bring in money (this window is closing as more and more unemployed people are doing this). As they say 'always be closing'

    Thanks and thanks! - Its good to see the old guards (justbroke and others) still on here tirelessly helping others . You are truly appreciated and may God bless and keep you. You were instrumental in my journey out of despair.
    Last edited by shipo; 05-04-2023, 02:58 AM.

    #2
    Not sure why shipo felt the need to remove the links i posted?

    one link was to youtube steve martin snl skit called 'dont buy stuff you can not afford'.

    the other was a reference to a clip from the classic glengarry glen ross 'always be closing'.

    both worth watching for the entertaining and motivating power

    Comment


      #3
      "Old" guard... I'm unsure how I feel about being old! I see that you are taking this fresh start to heart, and I hope that you can continue on your "stingy" journey without any impediments. Bankruptcy, and especially Chapter 7, is a powerful tool.
      Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
      Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
      Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

      Any advice provided is not legal advice, but simply the musings of a fellow bankrupt.

      Comment


        #4
        bornfree2 Congrats on your 1st year out! It sounds very positive. Save money, but enjoy some of the money as well. You don't need to go hogwild, but treat yourself once in a while.

        My daughter's fiance is doing Doordash for the next several weeks. He starts his job in July (graduating now). Location is a big plus. They moved to a trendy part of town with lots of restaurants. He can literally stay in his own neighborhood and make $100 with very little effort and very little gas expense. He could work a week before filling his tank. He can enjoy his time off while still making some extra $$ They don't take taxes out so you have to be prepared incase you need to pay come April!
        I am not an expert. I just share my experiences in the Wonderful Wacky World of Chapter 13! Filed 3-30-18 Confirmed 7-11-18 Discharged 6-8-22

        Comment


          #5
          Thank you Carmella! good to see you again!

          You are right. the driving gig apps are a really great way to make income quick esp if you live in a large metro. Its not without its risk like fatigue and other drivers. It only takes one ding of someones Tesla and you are in the hole big time....with no option to BK your way out!

          Comment


            #6
            Got credit again!

            About 1 year after my discharge i finally got a credit card! Big credit line to my surprise. And very high APR to go with it but thats okay.

            During the time without any credit, i had no credit score. So i suppose now i begin my journey of building up my score again by getting in debt again lol. But im much wiser now. specifically i resolve to:

            - never carry a balance higher than 10-30% of my credit limit
            - always try to pay the balance in full each month
            - not open to many lines of credit as before...if i ever have to BK again, i dont want to go through the whole 'mailing notices to 20 different people' again
            - be smart about using credit for cash flow

            What i want to really do is accelerate my credit score so i can rent a better place. If anyone has any tips on how to jakc up my score into the 700's within 6 - 1 year let me know.



            Comment


              #7
              Look no further than shipo's credit rebuilding guide here... https://www.bkforum.com/forum/after-...uilding-credit

              With a "new" and clean credit file--lacking tradelines--the key is diversity in the tradelines. you need an installment loan. Shipo's Guide will help you with that. I will tell you that the guide works because I followed similar steps.
              Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
              Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
              Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

              Any advice provided is not legal advice, but simply the musings of a fellow bankrupt.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by justbroke View Post
                Look no further than shipo's credit rebuilding guide here... https://www.bkforum.com/forum/after-...uilding-credit

                With a "new" and clean credit file--lacking tradelines--the key is diversity in the tradelines. you need an installment loan. Shipo's Guide will help you with that. I will tell you that the guide works because I followed similar steps.
                re: 'installment loans' would those 'pay in 4 parts with 0%' qualify as 'installment plans'? There are many of these out there and perhaps i could do a few over the next 6 months. I just dont see/need getting a car loan.

                for example i was rejected by Klarna due to 'recent BK / no credit' recently. Then i got an email saying i had a right to a free credit report within 60 days. i intend to use that once my new credit card hits 1 cycle.

                Shop with Klarna and choose flexible payments, lightning-fast checkout and secure shopping—at 20,000+ partner stores.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Most of the "pay in XX installments" don't report to your credit and may not report as a traditional "installment" loan. The best, if you can't afford to fund one, is to get a "credit builder" installment loan. The bank lends you the money for a share deposit loan and then, as you pay it back, it frees up the money.

                  I would not use Klarna for this. I can tell you that Affirm isn't bad, but their loan terms are too short (6-12-18 months). You are best doing the credit builder loan somewhere, make it for $2K, and get the longest term possible (5 years if they allow it). You want this installment loan to be both open and over a long period. That $2K loan over 5 years will cost you about $35-40/month, but you are essentially saving the money because you'll get all $2K back!
                  Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
                  Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
                  Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

                  Any advice provided is not legal advice, but simply the musings of a fellow bankrupt.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    So i got my first credit score since the bk discharge about 1.5 years ago...drum roll... 650

                    I only have 1 card, and ive already used 30% of it. Basically using it to buy some weeks for cashflow.

                    Not that i really care about my score, but i assume if i only used 5% of it, the score would go up some points?

                    And i also assume that after my first payment and then the 6th month etc, the score will continue to climb.

                    In any case, it feels great to have no debt other than this small balance and still have 'fair' credit.

                    Bankruptcy was the very best financial move i ever made during the last 3 years!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by bornfree2 View Post
                      I only have 1 card, and ive already used 30% of it. Basically using it to buy some weeks for cashflow.
                      That 30% is killing your score since you only have one card. Keep it at 28% of less and you'll probably see a 10-20 point jump.

                      Originally posted by bornfree2 View Post
                      Not that i really care about my score, but i assume if i only used 5% of it, the score would go up some points?
                      If it reports with less than 9% you should see a score jump -- notwithstanding any other negative factors -- of about 20-30 points.

                      I would also go get a share savings loan at PenFed or get a credit builder loan (on a 60 month term) somewhere and let that report. That will give you another kick.

                      Originally posted by bornfree2 View Post
                      Bankruptcy was the very best financial move i ever made during the last 3 years!
                      Refreshing... isn't it?

                      Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
                      Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
                      Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

                      Any advice provided is not legal advice, but simply the musings of a fellow bankrupt.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        justbroke i noticed in my initial papers shipped with my new card, and option to opt out of arbitration within 60 days of opening the account. i think i will go ahead and do that, since civil process gives much more equal footing to a defendant than arbitration.

                        l. RIGHT TO OPT OUT: You may opt out of this Arbitration Agreement by mailing a signed opt out notice to XXX, P.O. Box XXX, XX, XX XXX, Attn: Arbitration Rejection Notice, which is received at the noted address within sixty (60) calendar days of the date you applied for your Account. The opt out notice must include your name, address, email address, phone number, your Account number, a statement of your rejection of this Arbitration Agreement, and your signature. Rejecting arbitration won't affect your other rights or responsibilities under this Agreement nor will it constitute rejection of any prior or future arbitration agreement between you and us regarding any other product and/or service.


                        what do you think about that?
                        Last edited by bornfree2; 09-11-2023, 07:54 PM.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Arbitration can be both good and bad. Good from a cost standpoint and bad from a general right to litigate. The nice thing about the opt-out, however, is that you can still use arbitration as one of the litigation choices. I've never worried about this personally. I'd have to weigh the circumstances of arbitration (employment law vs. a credit card). For credit cards, arbitration may be a good choice. For employment-related arbitration, I an sure that I'd opt-out over no-choice arbitration.

                          If it only takes a written declaration, maybe it's good to opt-out for simple credit card agreements. I don't know. I don't worry about arbitration except for matters which I'd be reluctant to leave it to an arbitrator. Unless, of course, the arbitration is non-binding.

                          I'm not litigious by nature, so that probably guides my thinking.
                          Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
                          Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
                          Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

                          Any advice provided is not legal advice, but simply the musings of a fellow bankrupt.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE:

                            Here is a template opt out letter:

                            ARBITRATION REJECTION NOTICE






                            [Date mailed]

                            Attn: Arbitration Rejection Notice
                            [Credit card address to opt out]

                            Re: Arbitration Rejection Notice

                            To Whom It My Concern,

                            Pursuant to Section 10.L of “[Credit Card Agreement Title]” (version: [date or code on letter]), I timely exercise my right to opt out entirely of [Section 10 Arbitration Agreement]

                            l. RIGHT TO OPT OUT: You may opt out of this Arbitration Agreement by mailing a signed opt out notice to XXX, Attn: Arbitration Rejection Notice, which is received at the noted address within sixty (60) calendar days of the date you applied for your Account. The opt out notice must include your name, address, email address, phone number, your Account number, a statement of your rejection of this Arbitration Agreement, and your signature. Rejecting arbitration won't affect your other rights or responsibilities under this Agreement nor will it constitute rejection of any prior or future arbitration agreement between you and us regarding any other product and/or service.



                            This notice is timely mailed on [Date Mailed], within 60 calendar days of [Date applied] when I applied online and was accepted for this account.

                            [My Name]
                            [My address]
                            email: [email]
                            phone: [phone number]
                            account: [account number]

                            Regards,

                            [My Name] [My Signature]

                            Enclosure:
                            [Onboarding email evidencing application date]
                            [agreement with opt out section and version]
                            Last edited by bornfree2; 09-11-2023, 08:56 PM.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by justbroke View Post

                              If it only takes a written declaration, maybe it's good to opt-out for simple credit card agreements. I don't know. I don't worry about arbitration except for matters which I'd be reluctant to leave it to an arbitrator. Unless, of course, the arbitration is non-binding.

                              I'm not litigious by nature, so that probably guides my thinking.
                              When i was sued by the big, bad credit card company I went down the rabbit hole of defending myself. A lot of my discovery and fundamental rights were curtailed because of the arbitration clause. Like the constitutional right to a jury trial! So ill pay the postage to keep my fundamental rights.

                              check out this poison pill in the agreement they sent me

                              h. Jury Trial Waiver: YOU AND WE KNOWINGLY, VOLUNTARILY, INTENTIONALLY, AND IRREVOCABLY AGREE AND UNDERSTAND THAT YOU AND WE ARE GIVING UP THE RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY OF ANY LITIGATION ARISING OUT OF THE AGREEMENT, RELATED TO YOUR ACCOUNT, OR ANY OTHER DISPUTE ON CONTROVERSY BETWEEN YOU AND US.
                              Fortunately I had the BK escape pod in my pocket and used it on the day of trial. The BK Stay worked amazing that day and the prosecution folded.
                              Last edited by bornfree2; 09-11-2023, 09:06 PM.

                              Comment

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