Having a bright financial future after bankruptcy means taking back control of your finances and, most importantly, making smart decisions. One of the most helpful ways to accomplish these goals is to create a “bankruptcy to-do list” in order to ensure that you are being conscious about how you spend your money and how it can benefit your overall financial fitness.
The following are factors to think about when compiling your list in order to have a successful, financial journey:
- Maintain organization. When it comes to all of your paperwork related to bankruptcy, make sure you keep them all together and in a safe place. Whenever a creditor decides to take action against you to collect your debt, these papers are considered proof that your debts were discharged due to bankruptcy. If you misplace your paperwork, you must visit the bankruptcy court clerk to obtain another copy (charge fees apply).
- Compile a list of any debts that were not discharged. Some debts, including taxes, child support, and student loans, won't be discharged. However, you must keep these debts in good standing. Create a list of these types of debts in order to keep track of their required payments.
- Verify lien balances. If you were able to keep your home or your car, determine how much you owe and continue to make payments in a timely manner. However, if you fall behind on your payments, the creditors can impose their liens and can foreclose your home or repossess your care. Contact the lender if you can't pay on time.
- Create a budget. Factor in your income, bills, and other spendings in order to establish a budget to follow it thoroughly. Avoid purchasing thing you can't afford or do not need, as well as using credit.
- Set up an emergency account. Create a fund in order to put money aside (ideally at least half a year's worth of expenses). So if an unexpected financial disaster occurs, such as losing your job or getting involved in a car accident, you have the money necessary to cover the costs.
- Analyze your credit reports. It's imperative to inspect your credit reports two to three months after your bankruptcy discharge. Ensure the all of your debts have been discharged, displaying a zero balance. Contact the credit reporting agency if you encounter any errors.