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Bankruptcy filing is best decided with professional support

A recurrent issue in Washington state and elsewhere is the potential impact that a bankruptcy may have on one's post-bankruptcy credit record and credit scores. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides extraordinary debt relief solutions, but it may have a negative impact on credit scores and the availability of credit for a limited time into the future. Nonetheless, the impact of a Chapter 7 discharge is so beneficial that it is said that the debtors have obtained a "fresh start" after completing the bankruptcy.

These and other factors must be evaluated objectively to determine the pros, cons and the ultimate decision of whether to file. Only an experienced consumer bankruptcy attorney is qualified to provide the kind of detailed analysis that will guide the clients accurately and effectively in choosing a debt relief remedy. For example, the bankruptcy attorney is experienced in working out and calculating the "means test" in order to advise accurately on the clients' qualifications to file a Chapter 7.

A professional consultation is also the safest way to discover or confirm whether certain assets and property will be retained, lost or impacted due to a bankruptcy filing. For example, one may learn in a preliminary consultation that it is possible to retain the marital residence and continue to pay the monthly mortgage payments just as though no bankruptcy was filed. When that fact is conclusively confirmed via professional advice, potential filers may find it easier to make a positive decision.

As to credit impact, it may be helpful for some individuals to consider that their credit is already ruined for a period of several years. A negative credit card record in Washington and elsewhere, for example, can be reported for up to seven years on one's credit report. The seven years runs from the date of last activity on the account. With several late or defaulted accounts reportable for seven years from date of the last activity, one's credit record will take years to restore. Paradoxically, however, it will take less time to restore one's credit record after bankruptcy because late or defaulted accounts will no longer be reported.

Source:, "What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?", Dec. 4, 2015

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