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Bankruptcy Wiped Out My Debts. Where Do I Go From Here?

Congratulations! You have received your bankruptcy discharge. Your debts have been wiped out and you are on your way to a fresh start. Still, your work is not over yet.

I always tell my St. Louis bankruptcy clients to obtain a copy of their credit reports within two months after receiving their bankruptcy discharge. Federal law entitled you to a free copy of your credit report every twelve months from the three main credit reporting agencies. You can get your free credit report by going to annualcreditreport.com.

You will want to get a copy of the report from each of the big three agencies. After receiving the credit reports, check them carefully for errors. Any debt discharged by your Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy should be listed as “discharged” and should show a zero balance. There should not be any negative reporting showing up post filing, meaning the date you filed your bankruptcy case. Additionally, any debt on which you reaffirmed should still be getting reported to the bureaus. This is important because you want your on-time payments to be reported so that you can rebuilt your credit post bankruptcy.

If you find any errors on your credit report then you need to contact the agency and request that they update their records. Each agency has different procedures on how to report errors. Once the agency makes the correction, they must send you a copy of the updated credit report. Review this updated report for errors as well. It is important that you take this situation seriously. It is up to you to make sure that this information is correct.

Making sure your credit reports are accurate is one of the first steps you should take to rebuild your credit after bankruptcy. Be sure to monitor your credit closely and obtain a report at least every six months. If you take the right steps you will be on your way to rebuilding your credit it no time.