If you have recently obtained a discharge of your debts through bankruptcy, or the finish line to your bankruptcy proceedings is in sight, then you deserve to breathe a sigh of relief. But while you enjoy this new world where a pack of creditors can no longer harass you, it is also important to take the steps necessary to move forward with your life responsibly. After all, you now have an opportunity to rebuild your credit and work toward financial health.
When you find yourself in the terrible position of overwhelming debt, you may feel trapped and paralyzed. You don't have enough resources to pay off your creditors, you've maxed out your credit cards, and you've taken on terrible new loans to pay off older loans. You know you need relief, but somehow, you've been led to believe that bankruptcy is too extreme a measure to even consider.
We continue to be surprised by the number of people we meet who desperately need debt relief but who refuse to consider filing for bankruptcy protection because of misinformation they have about bankruptcy. Below are some common misconceptions:
Most people consider it very safe to pull money from automated-teller machines (ATMs) for quick withdrawals of cash. Unfortunately, there are scammers who are using ATMs to steal your personal information, including your PIN number, debit card number, expiration date on your card and any other information encoded on your card's magnetic strip. Con artists tamper with ATMs and use skimming devices that allow them to steal from unsuspecting consumers by recreating your card and gaining access to your accounts.
When you emerge from a personal bankruptcy and the overwhelming burden of your debt has been lifted, you can relax some. However, it is important that you don't fall into the trap of thinking that your work is done. As soon as possible, you should begin rebuilding your financial stability as well as your credit score.
When you are preparing for a bankruptcy filing, there are certain mistakes you want to avoid. Failure to do so could result in your bankruptcy discharge being less effective and, in more serious cases, render you ineligible to obtain a discharge of your debt. Below are a few of the pitfalls to avoid before filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case: