Vance P. Truman, Attorney at Law
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When will that Chapter 7 filing leave your credit report?

You know that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing goes on your credit report. You can't avoid that. Of course, missing payments for months or even years on end also goes on your report, so this isn't to say that adding the Chapter 7 filing is necessarily a bad thing. But it does have a negative impact on your credit score at first.

It doesn't last forever, though. How long will it stay?

For Chapter 7, the answer is 10 years. You can start rebuilding your credit long before that. You don't have to wait a decade. But that's how long the bankruptcy filing will still show up on a credit check. After that, it's cleared away and you do not have to think about it again.

It is worth noting that Chapter 13 bankruptcy only stays on your credit report for 7 years. Chapter 13 also gives you a repayment plan, so paying off your debts can help you build your score back up.

Why would you use Chapter 7? Well, in essence, Chapter 13 only really works if you have a solid income that simply does not match up with your debt. The repayment plan helps to spread out what you owe. Chapter 7 is better if you do not have any hope of making payments on any type of plan. It liquidates your assets to cover some of the debt. You have to consider what works best for you, as there are pros and cons to each.

If you have run into some financial troubles, make sure you take the time to look into all of your legal options very carefully.

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