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Debunking common bankruptcy myths

On Behalf of | Sep 15, 2014 | Chapter 7

Filing for bankruptcy can be a stressful event for Oregon residents, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Unfortunately, myths on the topic abound that can discourage many people who desperately need the help that a bankruptcy can provide, from ever considering this option.

One common myth about Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that all debts will be wiped out. While a Chapter 7 can provide a fresh start, some types of debt are exempt from a bankruptcy discharge, says MSN Money. These include restitution for criminal acts or fraud, student loans, child support and alimony. Another myth is that you will lose everything during a bankruptcy. In actuality, all states have laws that protect certain asset types, including the home, the family car (up to a certain value), qualified retirement income, household goods and clothing.

It’s a common misconception that only losers file for bankruptcy. Actually, according to Bankrate, today’s difficult financial times have created the need for more people to file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy no longer carries the stigma that it once had, and taking this option is nothing to be ashamed about.

Many people believe that it’s impossible to repair your credit after a bankruptcy. However, with the proper planning and discipline, people can begin improving their credit immediately after a bankruptcy discharge. This may take a few years, but by making payments on time, building up positive credit and keeping low balances on credit cards, credit scores will slowly creep up. It’s common to assume that all bankruptcies will stay on your credit report for at least 10 years, when in fact, only a Chapter 7 bankruptcy shows up on a credit report for 10 years. Chapter 13 bankruptcy, third-party collection debts and tax liens will grace a credit report for only seven years.

Even though any type of bankruptcy will negatively affect a credit score for several years and it can be challenging to repair credit after a bankruptcy, the myths should not deter people who can benefit from the advantages that a bankruptcy can offer.

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The Law Office of Kim Covington is a debt relief agency, and I have helped families, individuals and small businesses, file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, for over 22 years.