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How long will a bankruptcy filing be on my credit?

Ten years is what I tell people because the bankruptcy code says that bankruptcy is not supposed to be on your credit for more than ten years. Thus, I figure it will be there for the maximum amount of time. I have been doing this long enough to have represented people more than ten years ago and the ones I talk to tell me it stayed on the ten years. However, it doesn’t seem to negatively impact your credit but for a fraction of that time, if you are lucky.

From what I hear from lenders, lenders who have been clients and other attorneys you probably could get a home loan about two years after you obtain your bankruptcy discharge. The ASSUMES that you make enough money to qualify for the loan to begin with. Having filed a bankruptcy is just one variable in evaluating your credit. How you’ve paid you bills since you filed a bankruptcy and your income would be two big considerations.

Also, common sense tells you that you are going to have someone turn you down for that home or car loan. Also, until you reestablish your credit I have to assume that you probably will pay a higher interest rate. One lender told me a few years back that a mortgage rate for a post bankruptcy mortgage may be 4 points higher than a person with unblemished credit.

Car loans are pretty easy to get after a bankruptcy, from what I see. I have had clients get them while they are in an open chapter 13 payment plan with permission from the court, and I’ve seen folks get them as soon as their chapter 7 case closed (about 5 months after they filed the case), and I’ve seen 15% as not an abnormal car interest rate to expect (but I would try to get it to be lower).

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