Common Questions About Filing Bankruptcy Answered

common bankruptcy questions

Filing bankruptcy may be the best thing to do if you’re suffering from an overwhelming amount of debt, whatever the reasons for it might be. But if you’ve never done it before, you probably have many questions about the process. In this article, we’ll cover the most common questions about filing bankruptcy we hear from our customers, including questions about bankruptcy car loans.

General Questions About Filing Bankruptcy

General Bankruptcy Questions

Day One Credit has been helping customers find the bankruptcy car loans they need for years. Along the way, we’ve heard all the questions people wonder about most when they are considering filing bankruptcy. Here are our answers to those common questions:

Question: What is the purpose of filing bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy laws were created in order to provide a way for people to get out from under crushing debts. It is a federal legal process, which means the laws related to bankruptcy do not vary from state to state. The one area of bankruptcy that does vary is this: Each state determines for its citizens what real and personal property is exempt from the bankruptcy process. Non-exempt property and assets might be sold during the bankruptcy process in order to pay off some or all of your unsecured debts (credit cards, personal loans, utilities bills, etc.). How this is handled depends on the type of bankruptcy you file (usually Chapter 7 or Chapter 13). Generally, the property you own that you need to maintain a household and employment will be exempt from the bankruptcy process. This part of the process can be complex, which is why you need a qualified bankruptcy attorney to help you successfully navigate the process. Anyone filing bankruptcy is required to go through credit counseling before filing, and then take a financial management instructional course after filing, providing a certificate of completion to the bankruptcy court before the bankruptcy can be discharged. You also have to pay for each of those required courses (the fee can range from $25-$50 per course).

Question: How does filing bankruptcy help me?

Filing bankruptcy helps you to either eliminate or pay down some or all of the debts that have become overwhelming and impossible for you to get ahead of on your own. When you file, the bankruptcy court assumes legal control of your qualifying debts and non-exempt property. A bankruptcy trustee is assigned to your case to make sure your creditors are paid as much of what you owe them as is possible given your financial situation. Upon filing, an automatic “stay” is put in place that prevents creditors from contacting you directly about your debt or trying to take any of your property. Bankruptcy stops the debt collection process in order to figure out what can be paid and give you a new start without so much debt hanging over your head.

Question: How will I know if I am eligible for filing bankruptcy?

This is one of the many reasons why getting the help of a qualified bankruptcy attorney is so important if you’re thinking of filing bankruptcy. The bankruptcy attorney will want to see documentation on all your different debts and all the property and assets you own. After examining all this information, the bankruptcy attorney can tell you which one of the various types of bankruptcy you qualify for and is the best option for you.

Question: What are the different types of bankruptcy?

The vast majority of bankruptcy filings are for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. There is also a Chapter 11 that is for businesses, and a Chapter 12 that is for specifically for family farmers and family fishermen. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy (also called a “straight” or “liquidation” bankruptcy), your debts are wiped away or discharged after any non-exempt property is sold off to pay creditors. If you don’t have any non-exempt property, all your qualifying debts will be eliminated. In a Chapter 13 or “debt adjustment” bankruptcy, a repayment plan is created that fits your financial situation in order to pay off or get caught up on debt payments based on your income.

Question: Are all debts included?

No. Money you owe for child support, alimony, fines and some taxes are debts not included in bankruptcy. Any debts you fail to list on your bankruptcy filing will not be included. Any loans you obtained by giving false information are not included. Student loans are usually not included unless the court thinks keeping up payments would be an undue hardship. Any debts you have that come from “willful and malicious” harm to others or from criminal activities won’t be included. Your debts for exempt property like your house and car won’t be included unless they are part of your Chapter 13 filing to get caught up on payments.

Question: How much time does filing bankruptcy take?

When you’re working with a bankruptcy attorney, you’ll need to meet several times in order to gather all your documentation and determine which of the types of bankruptcy is right for you. From there, the length of time to completion (discharge) of the bankruptcy process is 3-4 months for a Chapter 7 and 3-5 years for a Chapter 13 because it involves a multi-year repayment plan.

Question: How much does filing bankruptcy cost?

In California, the fee for filing bankruptcy is $335 for a Chapter 7 and $310 for a Chapter 13. If you cannot pay the fee all at once, the bankruptcy court might allow you to pay it with installments. These are just the filing costs. Hiring a qualified bankruptcy attorney to help you through the process is an additional cost that varies depending on what the attorney charges, which in turn depends in part on the complexity of your case.

Question: How much should I pay an attorney for filing bankruptcy?

Most bankruptcy attorneys will handle Chapter 7 bankruptcies for a flat fee that can range from $1,000 to $1,600 or more. In California the average is around $1,560 (the national average is $1,450). Attorney fees for a Chapter 13 tend to be more than a Chapter 7 because a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is more complicated with its required repayment plan. When there is no business involved in a Chapter 13, the southern district of California that includes San Diego assumes that fees in the range of $3,300 to $5,000 are normal and acceptable.

Question: What is a bankruptcy discharge?

The discharge is the end of the bankruptcy process. It is court order issued that says you are no longer required to pay the debts included in your case and creditors can’t go after you anymore because the debts in a Chapter 7 have either been paid off or are wiped away. In a Chapter 13 it means you’ve successfully completed your repayment plan, either paying off debts or getting caught up on your payments.

Bankruptcy Car Loan Question

Bankruptcy Car Loans

If you find yourself in bankruptcy or considering filing bankruptcy but you also need to finance a car purchase, Day One Credit is your go-to solution in the greater San Diego area for all types of bankruptcy car loans. Here are the most common questions we hear from people seeking a bankruptcy car loan:

Questions About Bankruptcy Timing

Timing for Bankruptcy

Question: Do I have to wait until my Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is discharged?

Many Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filers think they have to wait some period of time before they try to get a car loan or wait until the bankruptcy is fully discharged. Not true! As soon as you file your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and have a case number, you can apply!

Question: Do I have to wait until my Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is discharged?

Many Chapter 13 Bankruptcy filers think they have to wait some amount of time before they try to get a car loan or wait until the bankruptcy is fully discharged. Not true! As soon as you have your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy confirmed payment plan, you can apply! NOTE: You will also need to get authorization from your trustee or judge before you can incur the new debt.

Question: If my bankruptcy is discharged, do I have to wait two years?

Many people have heard that lenders want to wait two whole years after a bankruptcy is discharged before they’ll consider making a loan. That may be true for some lenders, but not for Day One lenders! The day your bankruptcy is discharged, you can apply!

Question: How soon can I get a new loan?

At Day One Credit, filling out our auto loan application  takes less than five minutes. And then you’ll have an answer from us in just minutes!

Questions About Terms and Rates

Terms and Rates

Question: Do I have to put any money down?

While making a down payment is always a good idea if you can do it, we understand that many of our customers can’t, which is why we do not require it. We work with many lenders who have no-money-down programs.

Question: What will be my payment?

Your monthly payment depends on factors such as the price of the vehicle, your down payment (if any), length of the loan, and the interest rate.

Question: What will be my APR?

Your interest rate and APR vary greatly because they depend on many factors, including your credit, the vehicle’s age and mileage, your previous auto history, how many times you previously filed for bankruptcy, the length of the loan, and more. With a bankruptcy, your APR will be higher than customers with good credit. We work with many lenders and are able to shop for a rate among them that is available for your credit situation. To figure out your rate, fill out our quick finance application and we will get back to you in minutes!

Question: Am I going to get a better rate if my BK is discharged?

Maybe, but it depends. If you took specific actions while your BK was open (3-4 months on average for a Chapter 7, 3-5 years on average for a chapter 13) to improve your credit or save up money for a down payment, you might get a slightly better rate. But many people simply can’t wait to get the car they need, and waiting may not make much of any difference at all. We can also often offer you even better financing if your bankruptcy isn’t yet discharged.

Questions About Our Cars

Best Bankruptcy Cars

Question: What kind of car and amount financed I can get?

Our lenders do have vehicle eligibility guidelines: 2012 or newer and fewer than 75,000 miles are preferred. You can be qualified for as much as $35,000. Most importantly, the vehicle you are interested should be affordable.

Question: Why should I buy a used car?

The goal is to buy a used vehicle because you get more bang for your buck if it’s a newer car with fewer miles. They’re way cheaper than buying brand-new and will cost you less in the long run.

Question: What is going to happen with my old car?

If you have equity in your current vehicle, you can trade it in and apply it as a down payment on your next car. And if you have a negative balance, you may still be able to surrender it to the lender – ask your bankruptcy attorney.

Other Questions About Bankruptcy Car Loans

Bankruptcy Car Loans

Question: If I signed a reaffirmation agreement can I still get a new loan?

Yes, you can! When you signed a reaffirmation agreement, all it meant was that you were committing yourself to continued payments on your vehicle’s loan. But you still have the freedom to sell that vehicle and get another if you can qualify for the new loan. That may be difficult if you owe more on your vehicle than it’s worth (being “underwater” or “upside-down” on the loan), but we’ve successfully helped many customers with this exact situation.

Can I get out my current underwater car loan?

This may be another major advantage of bankruptcy car loans.

Question: What is a Fresh Start Program?

Bankruptcy laws were designed to help people get out from under crushing debt loads and make a fresh start. A Fresh Start Program means a loan program designed specifically to help consumers get the credit they need even though they have filed for bankruptcy. At Day One, that means finding a car loan in spite of a bankruptcy with our network of lenders.

Question: Can you refer me to a good bankruptcy attorney?

We would be happy to refer you to one of the experienced bankruptcy attorneys we know. Check out our Attorney Page to get the help you need! Also read on other aspects of choosing the right bankruptcy attorney.

If you have other questions about bankruptcy car loans, please feel free to contact us to speak with one of our friendly customer service representatives to get the help you need. And when you’re ready, apply at Day One.  Filling out our application is quick and easy, and then you’ll get an answer back from us within minutes! Our network of lenders means we’ll be able to find the loan option for your specific bankruptcy situation, whether it’s a Chapter 7, Chapter 13 or recent discharge!

Filing bankruptcy may be the best thing to do if you’re suffering from an overwhelming amount of debt, whatever the reasons for it might be. But if you’ve never done it before, you probably have many questions about the process. In this article, we’ll cover the most common questions about filing bankruptcy we hear from … Continue reading “Common Questions About Filing Bankruptcy Answered”

Why You Receive so Many Mailings After Filing Bankruptcy

mailings after filing bankruptcy

Some people are reluctant to file for bankruptcy even when they know they should because they think everyone is going to know about it. They’ve also heard that people get a lot of mailings after filing for bankruptcy with all kind of offers from debt relief programs to credit card offers to various kinds of loans they can get in spite of their bankruptcy. This article will explain why you receive so many mailings after filing bankruptcy and also explain who is likely to know about your filing and why.

Filing Bankruptcy is a Matter of Public Record

bankruptcy is public record

The first thing you should know is that because filing bankruptcy is a federal court proceeding, the information about your case is matter of public record and in the public domain. But just because that’s true doesn’t mean everyone will know about your case. The information about your bankruptcy filing is entered into a system called PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records), which is an electronic database of case and docket information from the United States district courts, United States courts of appeals, and United States bankruptcy courts. However, using PACER requires the user to register, get a password, and also pay 8 cents for each document viewed. In other words, your friends and neighbors are not using PACER to find out who in their community has filed for bankruptcy. Very few regular people will know about your case.

That said, there are still a few smaller towns where local bankruptcy filings are published in the newspaper or online, but these are really few and far between. If you’re concerned about this, ask a local bankruptcy attorney and they should be able to tell you whether or not this happens in your area. In any larger city, it won’t happen because it would be way too much to publish on a regular basis.

What About All Those Mailings You Get After Filing Bankruptcy?

bankruptcy mailings

There are people and companies for whom it makes sense to have PACER accounts and shell out the money for large amounts of records. And this is the source of all those mailings you get after filing bankruptcy. There are companies who will pay the money to access bankruptcy records in their area because they offer services of some kind tailored to bankruptcy filers. These can include debt relief or debt consolidation programs (some of which are either not a good idea or are outright scams) while others are offers of credit or loans you can get in spite of your bankruptcy. It’s easy to dismiss all of this as junk mail and just toss it in the recycling bin, but you should take a closer look at them because there could be some good offers in there. After all, one of the things you should be thinking about during and after your bankruptcy is rebuilding your credit, and getting a new line of credit and making on-time payments is one way to do that.

For example, Day One Credit uses PACER for access to mailing addresses of people who have filed for bankruptcy. Few things can feel as stressful as filing bankruptcy and then discovering you need to replace your car, and fast. Unfortunately, many people think their bankruptcy prevents them from getting the car loan they need. Not true! But to let people know they can find a bankruptcy car loan to buy the car they need, Day One is willing to pay a small amount to reach potential customers in need. This is a good reason to take a closer look at some of those mailings before you recycle them. The right offer could be waiting for you to help you rebuild your credit.

What About Credit Card Offers?

credit card offers

Some of those mailings will be for credit card offers, which some people find confusing. This is especially true when their bankruptcy includes a credit card overdue balance with a company that is also sending them a post-bankruptcy credit card offer. What gives? This is just a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. Your overdue credit card balance in your bankruptcy has probably been sitting in the collections department of the card company for some time. Meanwhile, a whole other department is responsible for getting credit card offers out to as many people as possible.

With these credit card offers, you’re not necessarily being targeted because of your bankruptcy, but you might be. Those credit card mailings go out to a lot of people and they cast a very wide net, so chances are they don’t even know you filed. And it will be a whole different set of people who evaluate your creditworthiness if you apply, so there’s no guarantee you’re going to be accepted. Offers to just apply usually mean they haven’t even peeked at your credit report, whereas offers that mention preapproval tend to indicate they’ve looked at something that makes them think you’ll probably be accepted. But if they do take a closer look and see a bankruptcy or a low credit score, they might still approve you, but at a much higher interest rate than the original offer (if there was one).

One way to restore your credit without as much risk as an unsecured card that might be hard to get is to opt instead for a secured credit card. You save up however much money you want for a credit limit and deposit it with the company who issues you the secured credit card. If you fail to make a payment on your balance, the company already has the cash on hand to cover it. But if you want this to help rebuild your credit, you’ll pay off the balance each and every month on time.

Rebuild Your Credit with a Bankruptcy Car Loan

bankruptcy car loan offers

There’s a kind of catch 22 concerning credit scores and debt and bankruptcy. You declare bankruptcy because your debts have gotten out of hand for whatever reason and you need to make a fresh start. Your credit may be seriously damaged through this process, so you want to improve your credit score to make sure your options are open for future needs like applying for a mortgage or getting a car loan. But the only way to improve your credit score is by having credit that you use responsibly. After getting rid of a bunch of debt, it feels like the last thing you want to do is take on any new debt, but that’s one of the few ways you can actively rebuild your credit!

One way to do this is by working with Day One to find a bankruptcy car loan. We encourage our customers to purchase high-quality newer used cars with low mileage in order to get the most bang for the buck. When you use our fast online application we send it out to multiple lenders in our network who specialize in helping bankruptcy filers get the car loan they need. We get their offers and then select the best one to present to you – all within a matter of minutes! We’ve been doing this for years and have a long history of getting great results that our customers love, along with customer service that treats you like a VIP. Got questions? Contact us to get answers!

Some people are reluctant to file for bankruptcy even when they know they should because they think everyone is going to know about it. They’ve also heard that people get a lot of mailings after filing for bankruptcy with all kind of offers from debt relief programs to credit card offers to various kinds of … Continue reading “Why You Receive so Many Mailings After Filing Bankruptcy”

12 Bankruptcy Myths Busted

bankruptcy myths busted

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about bankruptcy. We hope that after reading this article you have a better understanding about bankruptcy and what is and what it is not. Let’s set the record straight with 12 bankruptcy myths busted.

Myth #1: Bankruptcy is an Ending

bankruptcy is an ending

Society has attached a great deal of stigma to bankruptcy. This has made everyone think of it as only the absolute last resort when all else is lost. This stigma makes bankruptcy feel like some kind of awful ending after you’ve struggled for years to stay afloat even though a mountain of debt has been slowly dragging you down. This is NOT the way to think about bankruptcy! You’ll be in a much better place psychologically if you think of bankruptcy not as an ending, but as a beginning. It is the beginning of you taking back control of your finances. It is the beginning of restoring and rebuilding your credit. It is the beginning of your journey towards a much brighter financial future. The way you think about things matters a lot. Think about bankruptcy as a beginning and that will put you in the right frame of mind to make the most of your second chance.

Myth #2: Bankruptcy is a Failure

bankruptcy is a failure

Are there people who end up filing for bankruptcy because they indulged poor spending habits over too much time? Yes, of course there are. But it’s simply wrong to think that everyone who declares bankruptcy must be irresponsible. All it takes is a major medical crisis or series of medical emergencies to find yourself unable to keep up with payments. Health insurance is great, but rarely pays for everything when it comes to a major illness or chronic condition or accident, saddling you with unmanageable debts. As a matter of fact, medical expenses are the number one cause of bankruptcy, followed by job loss, excessive credit card use, and divorce/separation. Sometimes life throws you such a curve that bankruptcy is actually the most responsible thing you can do for your financial future!

Myth #3: Bankruptcy Ruins Your Credit Forever

bankruptcy ruins your credit forever

The effect of bankruptcy on your credit score actually varies widely depending on the details of your particular situation. If your credit score was already tanking, filing for bankruptcy might actually cause it to improve when the discharge of included debts is complete. After all, if you have roughly the same income as before, then your debt-to-income ratio will be much better than before. In other cases, bankruptcy does lower your credit score further. And yes, the bankruptcy stays on your credit card for 7-10 years for all potential lenders to see when they pull your credit report, but it will be only one factor of many that they look at. There’s a wide misconception that bankruptcy automatically prevents you from getting new credit or taking out new loans. Not necessarily! In fact, there are plenty of lenders out there who specialize in helping bankruptcy customers get the credit they need. Of course, you will likely have to settle for significantly higher interest rates than people with excellent credit and no bankruptcies, but the situation is not nearly as bad as many people seem to think.

Myth #4: You Lose Everything in a Bankruptcy

loose everything

Some people think that when you declare bankruptcy they’re going to take everything you own. This is because a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also called a “liquidation” bankruptcy. Yes, the bankruptcy attorney can take your property and sell it off to pay some of your creditors at least some of what you owe them. In many cases, people filing for bankruptcy don’t have a lot of property that would be even be eligible for liquidation because it is exempt. Exemptions vary from state to state, so you’ll want to check your state’s bankruptcy laws. For the most part, you will not have to worry about keeping your home, your car, your retirement fund, or your personal possessions (household goods). The better way to think about bankruptcy is that it is a way for you to protect most of your property.

Myth #5: You Can’t Get a Car Loan in Bankruptcy

car loan impossible

Many people think you’re automatically disqualified from getting a car loan when you have an open bankruptcy. Many also think that even after your bankruptcy has been discharged that car lenders won’t even consider lending to you for at least a couple years. While both of these scenarios may be the case with some lenders, there are lenders who have specific programs designed especially for bankruptcy customers. As previously mentioned, you’re probably going to pay a higher interest rate, but you may be able to get a loan. This is good news for people who declare bankruptcy and then suddenly discover they need to replace their car. So you may be able to not only get a car loan while in bankruptcy, but you may also enjoy the potential benefits of getting a bankruptcy car loan! To name a few: restore your credit, get out of a bad car loan, drive a better car and more.

Myth #6: Filing Bankruptcy is Expensive

filing bankruptcy is expensive

The actual cost that the bankruptcy court charges you to file is not a lot of money. In the Southern District of California, the fees are $335 for a Chapter 7 and $310 for a Chapter 13. However, this does not include the cost of having a bankruptcy lawyer you help you – which is definitely recommended as it can be a complicated process to understand and is not something you should try to do on your own. Attorney fees do vary from market to market, but in the Southern District of California, the fees typically fall within a defined range. The range of what attorneys charge for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be from $1,000 to $1,600, with the average being $1,560. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is more complicated, so the range can be from $3,300 to $5,000. These figures may sound like a lot, but when you consider that you’re going to get rid of many more thousands of dollars of debts, it’s really a small price to pay to regain control of your financial life.

Myth #7: It’s Hard to Find a Good Bankruptcy Attorney

bankruptcy attorneys myths

For the most part, bankruptcy attorneys are no less and no more scrupulous than most attorneys. There are what’s known as “bankruptcy mills” who are all about handling as high a volume of cases as possible. In these firms, paralegals are doing most of the work and you might not even see the actual attorney handling your case until it’s well underway and time for the meeting with creditors. This type of bankruptcy law firm is not scamming you, but they probably aren’t going to give you the kind of personal attention you deserve when going through a stressful process. Anyplace that treats you more like a case number than a person is one to avoid. Go with a small firm or solo bankruptcy attorney who is willing to sit down with you, talk you through the process, answer your questions, and wants to understand your particular needs and situation. Day One knows some experienced bankruptcy lawyers and recommends working with any of the individuals or firms listed on our recommended bankruptcy attorney page. Please read our article on how to choose a bankruptcy attorney to fit your needs.

Myth #8: Bankruptcy Eliminates All Your Debts

eliminate all debt

This is a myth many people believe, but the answer is definitely NO – bankruptcy will not make ALL your debts go away. There a number of types of debt that are automatically disqualified from being included in bankruptcy, including back alimony and/or child support, student loans (except in rare cases), some back taxes, and any fines you owe from violating laws. These are among the debts that will not be included in your bankruptcy. There are also some debts you won’t want to include because you want to keep the property linked to them, like your mortgage and your car loan. In some cases you’ll want to sign a “reaffirmation” agreement with those lenders so they know you’re committed to keeping up your payments on those debts because you need a place to live and a car to drive!

Myth #9: Bankruptcy Ruins Your Spouse’s Credit

bankruptcy ruins spouses credit

If you’re married, both spouses do not have to file bankruptcy. If one spouse has run up $60,000 in credit card debt only in their own name, that spouse can declare bankruptcy individually with no repercussions on the other spouse. In other cases, both spouses will want to file a joint bankruptcy together. Either way is fine depending on your circumstances, but being married doesn’t mean you both have to file, or that one spouse filing ruins the other spouse’s credit.

Myth #10: Bankruptcy is a One-Time Option

one time option

Filing for bankruptcy once doesn’t mean you’re forever barred from doing it again. But there are some limits in order to keep people from becoming serial bankrupters who are just taking advantage of the system to live extravagant lifestyles by accumulating debt and then declaring bankruptcy. If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will have to wait a full eight years before you can do it again. If you file a Chapter 13, you have to wait at least two years to do another one. If your previous bankruptcy was a Chapter 7 and you decide to go with a Chapter 13, you can do that in just four years after a Chapter 7. These laws were changed back in 2005 to encourage wealthier people to move towards Chapter 13 because more debts get paid back in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 followed by a Chapter 13 is sometimes called a Chapter 20. If your previous case was a Chapter 13 and you want to go for a Chapter 7, you’ll have to wait six years after your Chapter 13.

Myth #11: Everyone Will Know You Filed for Bankruptcy

everyone will know

Yes, there was a time when it was fairly common for local newspapers to mention names of people who filed for bankruptcy. There are few newspapers who still do it (very few, luckily). It seems like filing for bankruptcy should be your private business, right? Unfortunately, because it’s a federal court proceeding, it is a matter of public record. This is why you might notice you suddenly start getting lot of mailings for debt relief programs or credit card offers or offers for other kinds of loans. There is a whole industry that has developed around serving bankruptcy customers, some of it good and some of it bad, and they can get access to your mailing address through public domain records.

Myth #12: Filing Bankruptcy Could Get You Fired

bankruptcy employment risks myth

Thank goodness this one is totally a myth! Now, there may have been a time when some employers were worried that someone who declared bankruptcy would be in such dire financial straits that they might steal from the company. To prevent that from happening, there is in fact a law about it. Federal law (11 U.S.C. Sec. 525) prohibits any employer from discriminating against you because you filed bankruptcy. In reality, this isn’t something that’s going to happen. There are very few cases where that law has to be invoked – but it’s there if you need it!

Now that you know the common misconceptions about bankruptcy, you may be closer to deciding if filing for bankruptcy is the right choice for you. We recommend seeking help from a professional bankruptcy attorney to determine if you should file or what type of bankruptcy is right for you.

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about bankruptcy. We hope that after reading this article you have a better understanding about bankruptcy and what is and what it is not. Let’s set the record straight with 12 bankruptcy myths busted. Myth #1: Bankruptcy is an Ending Society has attached a great deal of … Continue reading “12 Bankruptcy Myths Busted”

Bankruptcy Car Loan Timing

bankruptcy car loan timing

Here’s a scenario that happens more often than you might think: You’ve decided to declare bankruptcy or have already filed for bankruptcy and then your car dies. When this happens, it often puts people in a panic. How in the world can you get a car when you’re also dealing with a bankruptcy? Take a deep breath and relax, because Day One Credit can help you find a bankruptcy car loan. However, it’s important to keep in mind the right timing when you’re seeking a car loan after bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Car Loan Timing

chapter 7 bankruptcy car loan Timing

Let’s say you’re about to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy (also called a “straight” or “liquidation” bankruptcy) when you discover you also need to replace your car. What should you do? You know your credit has been spiraling downward, which is why you’ve decided it is time to file for bankruptcy. In this case, it might make sense to apply for a car loan until after you’ve filed for bankruptcy. If you apply for a car loan before declaring bankruptcy, some lenders will reject you because of your low credit score and high levels of debt, or might be willing to make a loan but with outrageous terms and interest rates.

But if you wait until after you have filed your Chapter 7 bankruptcy, then you can find a lender that specializes in bankruptcy car loans. This is advantageous because those specialized lenders are more willing to lend to you – they see you’ve filed for a Chapter 7 and know that most or all of your worst debts are going to be wiped away. In fact, this is one situation where you might actually get a better rate on a post-bankruptcy car loan than a pre-bankruptcy car loan. When you are pre-bankruptcy, lenders are only going to see your troubled credit, whereas when you are post-bankruptcy, a specialized lender sees you’re in the process of eliminating debts.

When you’re entering Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Day One can begin helping you find the Chapter 7 car loan you need as soon as you have filed and have a case number. There is literally no reason to wait. Many people just assume you have to wait some amount of time before applying, but this is not true. You can apply at Day One the same day you file for Chapter 7 as long as you have a case number.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Car Loan Timing

chapter 13 bankruptcy car loan timing

If you’re planning to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the same overall timing considerations apply, with a couple major differences. You have to wait a little longer before Day One can help you find Chapter 13 car loan. When you file a Chapter 13, you have to create a reasonable payment plan for the debts being included in the filing, and that payment plan has to be confirmed by the bankruptcy court. Unlike the Chapter 7 scenario where you can file as soon as you have a case number, with a Chapter 13 you must wait until you have a confirmed repayment plan.

In addition to waiting until you have a Chapter 13 confirmed payment plan, you will also need to get an authorization from your assigned bankruptcy trustee or judge in order take on new debt. Because having a car is considered essential for most people to maintain employment and the income needed to stay on track with your Chapter 13 payment plan, the request should be granted. Please check first with your bankruptcy attorney before doing anything!

Consult with your bankruptcy attorney about adding the new post-petition debt to your Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If it’s a substantial debt, then it might also be in your best interest to amend your confirmed payment plan to account for the new debt. After all, you don’t want the new debt to throw you off from keeping up with your confirmed payment plan.

If you were in an emergency situation where you had to incur the new debt without first seeking court approval, you may still be able to include it in your Chapter 13 and amend your payment plan after the fact by working with your assigned bankruptcy trustee. The trustee might reject your request. If you’re already behind on your confirmed payment plan, the trustee will question how you’ll be able to take on even more debt. But if the trustee is on board, the motion you file with the bankruptcy court should be approved.

Discharged Bankruptcy Car Loan Timing

discharged bankruptcy car loan timing

There is a widely-held belief that if you’re in the midst of a bankruptcy, you should wait to get a car loan until after your bankruptcy has been fully discharged. It’s easy to understand why so many people think this is logical. After all, once the bankruptcy has been discharged, then you have a much better debt-to-income ratio since your worst debts have been eliminated or brought back up to a good current payment status. In addition, people have also heard that lenders want to wait a full two years after discharge before they will consider making a car loan to you. If you don’t need to replace your car, then you can go along with those scenarios. But what can you do when your car decides to die before or right after your discharge?

The good news is that while some lenders who don’t want to take on any perceived risks won’t give you the time of day, other lenders who have developed programs specifically for bankruptcy customers can make sure you get the car loan you need when you need it. Whether your bankruptcy is about to be discharged or was recently discharged, Day One can help you find the discharged bankruptcy car loan that will allow you to get the vehicle you need.

Day One Bankruptcy Car Loan Timing

day one bankruptcy car loan timing

All the timing issues around getting a car loan after bankruptcy covered so far in this article have been about when you can apply for a loan. Now it’s time to talk about timing in terms of how long it takes to find a bankruptcy car loan from Day One. This is one of the major advantages of working with us – we’re FAST!

You’ll be able to fill out our online loan application in less than five minutes. And once you’ve submitted your application, you’ll hear back from us in a matter of minutes! What happens in that short amount of time? We quickly review your application and make sure we have the information we need. If we need to clarify anything, we’ll get in touch. When we see everything is good to go, then your application is sent out to our network of lenders. They send their loan offers back to us and we choose the one with the best terms to present to you. Our process works so well because when multiple lenders compete for your business, you win! If you have questions or need additional information, please feel free to contact us !

Here’s a scenario that happens more often than you might think: You’ve decided to declare bankruptcy or have already filed for bankruptcy and then your car dies. When this happens, it often puts people in a panic. How in the world can you get a car when you’re also dealing with a bankruptcy? Take a … Continue reading “Bankruptcy Car Loan Timing”

Bankruptcy Fresh Start Program: The What and Why

bankruptcy fresh start program

When you’re in the process of deciding whether or not to file bankruptcy in order to get some debt relief, or if you’ve recently filed, you might start tuning into things you never noticed before. One example could be the phrase fresh start program. In this article you’ll find out what a fresh start programs are and how they can help you make the most of the new beginning filing bankruptcy gives you.

Your Post-Bankruptcy Mission: Rebuilding Your Credit

rebuilding your credit

Filing for bankruptcy can sometimes feel like an ending – the last resort when you’ve accumulated so much debt that you feel like there’s no way out. After all, many people view bankruptcy as some kind of failure, so there can be a lot of stigma around it. But many people are suffering from crushing debts due to circumstances largely beyond their control, such as the unexpected loss of employment, a medical emergency or other life change that threw their financial lives into disarray. Whatever the reasons may be that have brought you to the place where you need to file bankruptcy, it’s much better to think of it not as an ending but as a new beginning. It’s a second chance to get your finances under better control. Thinking of it as a new beginning will motivate you to do the single most important thing you must do after filing, which is to rebuild your credit.

After the stress of filing for bankruptcy, too many people don’t do anything at all. They just wait for the process to be over, but when they do that, they’re missing out on time that could have been spent rebuilding their credit. The day you file for bankruptcy should be the day you start figuring out how to restore your credit. One way to that is through a fresh start program. This is not to be confused with the IRS “Fresh Start” initiative that is specifically geared towards helping people who owe a lot of back taxes to the government protect their property and resolve their tax issues.

A Bankruptcy Fresh Start Program Can Work Wonders

fresh start relief

Many people think that bankruptcy does so much damage to their credit that there’s nothing they can do to fix it except wait the seven or eight years it takes for it to drop off their credit report. Not true! No one can put their financial life on hold for that long, and there are lenders out there who understand this and have developed specialized lending programs designed specifically for bankruptcy filers. These are the fresh start programs that help you rebuild your credit, even if they don’t specifically call them fresh start programs.

One way to restore your credit after a bankruptcy is to first and foremost keep up-to-date on your monthly payments for any debts that weren’t included in the bankruptcy, such as your mortgage or car payment. But another thing you can do is get a new loan and make on-time payments each and every month. Here’s where most people fail to take action. They assume there’s no way they can get any new credit with a recent bankruptcy filing. Again, not necessarily true! The whole point of a fresh start program is to do exactly that – extend you some credit in spite of your bankruptcy filing. While many lenders are unwilling to do this, but lenders with fresh start programs are ready to help.

The most important thing to keep in mind with any bankruptcy-related fresh start program is that in order to reap the credit-rebuilding benefits, you have to make your monthly payments on-time every time, so make sure you don’t take on a loan with payments you can’t afford.

How Does a Fresh Start Program Work?

how fresh start program works

Fresh start lenders are willing to take an extra risk by making loans to bankruptcy filers other lenders wouldn’t consider, but that also means that the interest rate you pay on the loan is going to be higher than normal. Think of those higher rates as a small price to pay for the chance to rebuild your credit so your future will be brighter!

While a fresh start program is geared towards helping bankruptcy filers get new credit, there are still going to be some eligibility guidelines you’ll have to meet. For example, at Day One our lenders want to see a maximum PTI (payment-to-income ratio) of 17% and a maximum DTI (debt-to-income ratio) of 50%. What do those numbers mean? Your PTI is how much of your gross monthly income would be taken up by your monthly car and insurance payment. Your DTI is how much of your monthly gross income goes toward all your various debts. We do not, however, have a minimum credit score requirement. In fact, you could have a score of 0 and might still qualify for a loan Day One finds you.

The most common types of fresh start programs are those that help bankruptcy filers get a mortgage, a car loan or a secured credit card. With a secured credit card, you make a cash deposit to cover the credit limit of the card so the card issuer is not at risk of losing out if you fail to pay the bill. After proving yourself with secured credit card over a period of time, you will eventually be able to get an unsecured card that doesn’t require a deposit. In the case of a mortgage or car loan, there will be more eligibility requirements since those are bigger loans.

Day One’s Fresh Start Program is for finding a Bankruptcy Car Loan

Day One bankruptcy car loan

Day One Credit is a bankruptcy fresh start program that helps people find the car loan (and car) they need even though they have a recently-filed or discharged bankruptcy. Many people panic when they file for bankruptcy and soon afterwards realize they need to replace their car. How can they get a car loan when they just filed for bankruptcy? The fresh start program at Day One was designed specifically for this kind of situation. We help each eligible customer find the bankruptcy car loan that will best meet their specific needs.

At Day One we take great pride in sitting down with each customer to make sure we understand their needs as well as ensure eligibility for the lending programs in our network of lenders. Our prequalification eligibility guidelines include the following:

Income. Your minimum gross monthly income has to be $2,200 per month or higher as shown on either W-2 forms from your employer or 1099 forms if you’re self-employed.

Bankruptcy Status. Your bankruptcy must be filed or recently discharged. We can work with you as soon as you get your Chapter 7 case number or your Chapter 13 confirmed repayment plan. We have programs for both open and recently discharged bankruptcies.

Valid Driver’s License. You must hold a valid driver’s license that is not suspended.

Even if you meet those guidelines, there are instances where we don’t recommend going for a bankruptcy car loan, including the following:

You already have a great car. If your current vehicle is newer, has relatively low mileage, is paid off or close to being paid off, then it makes sense to stick with it.

No stable income. If your income is not stable or you know your income is about to drop or your expenses are about to go up (or both).

The cosigner on your car did not file for bankruptcy. You can damage your cosigner’s credit if they did not file bankruptcy with you. You have the right to surrender your car, but your cosigner does not have the same right, and the lender will still go after your cosigner.

The benefits of working with Day One to find a bankruptcy car loan are important to describe. One big benefit is that we have no-money-down options available to most customers. Another benefit is our extensive experience. We’ve been working exclusively with bankruptcy filers for years and know how to make this work for you. Our customers get great results and enjoy being treated like VIPs. We’ve developed a network of experienced lenders who have programs designed specifically for bankruptcy customers, and when they compete for your business, you get a better deal. You’ll also enjoy finding the car you need in our inventory of high-quality vehicles – newer model years in great condition with low miles that will serve you well for years to come.

If you’re ready to make the most of your bankruptcy fresh start, apply now by filling out our short application online and get an initial answer within minutes!

When you’re in the process of deciding whether or not to file bankruptcy in order to get some debt relief, or if you’ve recently filed, you might start tuning into things you never noticed before. One example could be the phrase fresh start program. In this article you’ll find out what a fresh start programs … Continue reading “Bankruptcy Fresh Start Program: The What and Why”

Choosing a Bankruptcy Lawyer

choosing bankruptcy lawyer

Close to a million non-business consumers seeking debt relief file for bankruptcy each year. Once you’ve decided that filing bankruptcy might be the only way for you to get your debt load back under control, the best way to make sure you choose the right type of bankruptcy and make a successful filing is to work with a qualified consumer bankruptcy lawyer. But how do you go about choosing a bankruptcy lawyer? This article will give you our opinion on how to make an informed decision. And if you’re asking yourself, “How do I find bankruptcy lawyers near me?” we’ll provide a great answer to that question at the end of this article.

A Solo Bankruptcy Lawyer, Small Firm or Bankruptcy Mill?

types of bankruptcy lawyers

There are different approaches in the legal industry to bankruptcy cases. Some firms have figured out how to use non-lawyer paraprofessionals to handle the bulk of the work, including basic information intake, explaining the process, and making sure you gather all the required documentation about your debts and finances. With this “mill” approach that’s all about handling a high volume of cases, you might not even see a real lawyer until you have the meeting with creditors around a month into the whole process. People who end up going with a bankruptcy mill often feel like they were just another case and that their personal needs weren’t really considered. It’s also important to understand that there isn’t usually any financial advantage to going with a mill. Bankruptcy lawyer fees tend to fall within a fairly tight range in any given market. We recommend you go with a small firm or solo bankruptcy lawyer where you’re more likely to get the individual care and attention you deserve.

Focus on Your Local Geographic Area

bankruptcy attorney near you

The last thing you need is adding a long commute to your already-stressful situation. If you’re in the greater San Diego area of California, there are many qualified bankruptcy attorneys ready and willing to serve your needs. There is no need to travel long distances to find a great bankruptcy lawyer, so narrow your search down to those who are within an easy, comfortable distance from your home or work.

Bankruptcy Lawyer Reviews and Testimonials

attorney reviews

As you visit the websites of various bankruptcy lawyers, avoid making the mistake of only relying on the customer testimonials provided on the site. Every attorney or firm wants to put their best foot forward on their own website, so you can assume that you’ll only find positive, glowing testimonials there. What you want to see are the customer reviews that are written and posted on sites like Google, Yelp and so on. You also get the advantage of seeing how many reviews have been posted and an overall rating based on all those reviews. This is a great way to further narrow your search.

The Costs of a Bankruptcy Lawyer

bankruptcy lawyer costs

You want to be prepared for the costs of filing bankruptcy. The court-required fees to file in California are $335 for a Chapter 7 and $310 for a Chapter 13 (these fees do go up over time, last updated in California in 2016). Your bankruptcy lawyer fees are an additional cost you pay for the help provided in taking you through the whole process. Most bankruptcy attorneys will handle Chapter 7 bankruptcies for a flat fee that can range from $1,000 to $1,600 or more, depending on the complexity of your situation. In California the average is around $1,560 (the national average is $1,450). Attorney fees for a Chapter 13 are higher than a Chapter 7 because a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is more complicated due to its required repayment plan. When there is no business involved in a Chapter 13, the southern district of California that includes San Diego assumes fees in the range of $3,300 to $5,000 are normal and acceptable. If you’re in a low-income situation where you make less than 125% of the federal poverty level, you might qualify for free legal assistance to file bankruptcy. Options for this in San Diego County include the Legal Aid Society of California and the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program.

Success Rates for Chapter 13 Filers

chapter 13 success rates

If a bankruptcy lawyer suggests that a Chapter 13 sounds like a good option for you, ask about their success rate on Chapter 13 filings. Nationwide, a lot of Chapter 13 cases fail. In fact, on average only 33% are successful. In part this is because people who try to file Chapter 13 without the help of a bankruptcy lawyer almost always fail, so working with a good attorney will increase your likelihood of success to more than 50%. But also keep in mind that these low success rates aren’t necessarily the fault of the bankruptcy lawyer. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy lasts 3-5 years – plenty of time for life to throw you a curve ball that throws you off your intended repayment plan. When that happens, your case may be dismissed or converted into a Chapter 7 case. But what you can say is this – bankruptcy lawyers with Chapter 13 success rates higher than the national averages are doing something right!

Personality, Customer Service, and Language Skills

attorney personality

You want to be comfortable with the bankruptcy lawyer you choose, so pay attention to their personality and customer service skills as you interact with them. You want someone who clearly cares enough to learn the particulars of your situation, your needs and wants to get you the best outcome possible. Also, if English is not your first language, then you’ll want to look for bankruptcy attorneys and firms that offer bilingual services so you can communicate in the language that works best for you. In the San Diego, there are plenty of options available to find Spanish-speaking bankruptcy legal assistance.

Bankruptcy Attorneys Recommended by Day One

bankruptcy lawyers we recommend

One quick way to come up with a short-list of experienced bankruptcy lawyers in your area is to visit our recommended bankruptcy attorneys page. We’ve been helping bankruptcy filers find the used car loans they need for years. This has allowed us to get to know a number of bankruptcy attorneys, and we are proud to recommend any one of them to you. Your search for an experienced bankruptcy lawyer just got a whole lot easier! And if you find you need to replace your car after filing bankruptcy, we work with a network of excellent lenders who will compete for your business.

 

Close to a million non-business consumers seeking debt relief file for bankruptcy each year. Once you’ve decided that filing bankruptcy might be the only way for you to get your debt load back under control, the best way to make sure you choose the right type of bankruptcy and make a successful filing is to … Continue reading “Choosing a Bankruptcy Lawyer”