Author Archives: Keegan752

Can I Rebuild My Credit after Bankruptcy? Yes You Can!

Can I Rebuild My Credit after Bankruptcy? The Answer is Yes!

Usually within a year of filing bankruptcy, your credit record will improve substantially. You will become a better credit risk than you were prior to the bankruptcy. For many, a bankruptcy filing can be the first step toward gaining better credit and financial freedom. Given our clients financial and other struggles, many are surprised to see a minimal decline in their FICO score post bankruptcy.

The fact that bankruptcy does not lower your credit score by much may seem difficult to understand. In fact, your credit score will recover faster after a bankruptcy filing, and usually faster than you might expect. Most of our clients qualify for a mortgage within a couple years of bankruptcy (so long as income is strong enough to support a mortgage payment and some down payment is saved).

Once you complete your case and your bankruptcy is discharged all of your old debt will be eliminated. You will have a Fresh Start! Most creditors will see this fresh start and lack of other debt as a positive. One Caveat—creditors now want evidence that you can handle credit going forward. For this reason, after you file bankruptcy it will be extremely important that you take some specific steps to begin to improve your credit.

Without the benefit of bankruptcy, bad credit records such as delinquencies, too much outstanding credit, slow pays, etc. are all negative marks that will remain on your credit record for 10 years. In most cases, although the creditor may not be actively pursuing your debt, the debt remains valid and open to collection through wage garnishment or bank account seizure. Bankruptcy solves this problem because it eliminates or discharges your debt. After bankruptcy, your financial situation will be far better since you will no longer be shuffling funds in an attempt to cover all the bills. After bankruptcy, our clients get super excited to create a new budget… and that is a budget that includes putting money into a savings account!

After completing your bankruptcy your credit and your life will be on the road to improvement. Initially, the bankruptcy will be a hit on your credit score but in the long run, the notation “discharged in bankruptcy” is much better than having your accounts reported as delinquent by your creditors. We recommend that soon after your bankruptcy discharge you get a copy of your credit report. Review this report carefully, check to make sure that the debts you included in your bankruptcy are reported to be DISCHARGED with a ZERO balance. Dispute any accounts that have not been updated.

Depending on when you file Chapter 7 or 13, a bankruptcy will stay on your credit for 7-10 years. Despite this, you will soon have the opportunity to rebuild your credit. Some companies cater to those who have a bankruptcy by offering secured credit, low credit lines and high interest. If you use this credit wisely and make all your payments on time you will prove that you have become a good credit risk.

What Factors Will Affect My Ability to get Credit?

Four factors are considered by a lender: Income, Job History, Credit Score and Debt-to-Income Ratio.

After Bankruptcy We Encourage Our Clients To:

  • Periodically monitor your credit record and dispute errors.
  • Make “on time” payments.
  • Maintain a stable job history.
  • Deliberately and thoughtfully apply for new credit. Many with credit bruises can get secured credit cards, and gas or retail cards. If you get turned down STOP, wait 6 months and try again.
  • Use no more than 10-30% of your available credit.

About 35% of your credit score is based upon your payment history. So make any payments on reaffirmed debts, usually your car and mortgage payment in full and on time.

About 30% of your credit score is based on amounts owed. Prior to bankruptcy, when credit was maxed out your credit score was lower. With this debt now erased in bankruptcy, this score should improve over time.

The balance of your credit score is based upon your length of credit history, your applications for new credit, and your credit mix.

If you are surrendering a car in bankruptcy , you can improve these scores by possibly financing a portion of your replacement car. You can also get a secured credit card and charge a small amount and pay it off every month. Pay your rent and utilites on time as well.

As thousands of clients can attest. a bankruptcy filing does not result in a zero credit future. There is an entire industry that specializes in credit to post bankruptcy consumers. These loans are often at above market rates, so you must be cautious, but they can part of your strategy as you work toward a better financial future. Review all options with your attorney prior to borrowing for a replacement car.

Our office also files “Motions to Redeem” for clients who are upside down on their automobile balances. Such a motion allows you to pay the current amount of the value of the car and discharge the “underwater” amount in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Of course, our clients don’t have the lump sum of cash available to “redeem”, but there are specialty companies who will loan that amount to you. It will be at a higher interest rate, but when we run the numbers, it almost always works better even at the higher rate to discharge the large underwater amount. Repaying on this new car loan (for your same car) will increase your credit score over time.

Are You Ready for a New Start? We Want to Help!

The lawyers of Keegan & Co. Attorneys have over 50 years combined experience helping people just like you resolve overwhelming debt issues. Our attorneys have handled several thousand bankruptcy cases from the simple to the most complex. In all likelihood, we’ve seen your situation or problems dozens of times before. We can almost always help, even if it’s just advice on how to avoid bankruptcy.

The Covid19 crises and the need for social distancing will not affect your ability to file for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy court is accepting and hearing cases, our clients have not experienced any delays getting relief from debt. If you are unable to meet in person, our attorneys are happy to schedule a consultation over the telephone.

People are surprised to learn just how quick and easy the bankruptcy process is! You need to provide us with certain documents and it is required that you take two short online credit counseling classes. Our attorneys handle the rest! You and your attorney generally are required to appear for just one court hearing.

Ready to Learn how Bankruptcy Can Help You?

Our consultations are free and at Keegan & Co Attorneys your consultation will always be with an experienced attorney, it will never be with a paralegal or secretary. Call 513-752-3900 to schedule your personal consultation. We look forward to meeting you!


“Our practice is focused on bankruptcy in Clermont County and Cincinnati.
COVID-19 is affecting millions of people financially
The CARES act has addressed certain bankruptcy issues directly.
If you’re currently in a chapter 13 case your repayment plan can be extended from 5 to 7 years. If you’re filing a chapter 13 within the next year, in the appropriate circumstances your plan can be up to seven years.
We can stop the filing or the continuing of any foreclosure action through a chapter 13 case.

If you are currently in a chapter 13 and have been laid off we can amend your plan to give you more time to complete your case while we suspend your payments in the meantime.
The stimulus check that you may have received is exempt from by the bankruptcy court and yours to keep. 
Contact us to see if we can help you. Call 513-752-3900 for your free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.”

We are bankruptcy attorneys located in Eastgate, Ohio.  Our main focus of practice is Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings.

Many people assume that if their income is relatively high, they cannot file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Usually this assumption is incorrect.  It is not by any means unusual for a high-income debtor to file under Chapter 7.  In reality, high-income Chapter 7 bankruptcies are filed everyday.

What constitutes as high income is a matter of perspective and depends on many factors, such as where you live, your living expenses, the size of your family, etc.  (A salary of $80,000.00 for a family in rural Ohio goes a lot further than the same earnings in the city center of Columbus or Cincinnati).  With that being said, in the language of bankruptcy attorneys a “high-income debtor” is a debtor with earnings above the state median income for the debtor’s family size.

The Ohio state median income per family size (determined by census figures) as of the date of this post is as follows

Individual Family of 2 Family of 3 Family of 4
43,688 53,850 61,568 77,500

*For each additional family member over four, add $8,100.


Whether your income is above or below the Ohio state median income determines if you will be able to discharge all or most of your debts in Chapter 7, or will you be required to pay back at least a portion of your debt under Chapter 13.  If your average gross earning for the six months before filing for bankruptcy is at or below the state median for your family size, you may file under Chapter 7 (assuming that you meet the other requirements).  Simple!

On the other hand, if your average gross earnings for the six months before filing is over the median, you will have to takes a “means test” to determine if you qualify for Chapter 7.  This means test considers your income minus certain allowable expenses.  Frequently the results allow a debtor with substantial earnings but high expenses to file under Chapter 7.


Before jumping to meet the means test, debtors need to determine if they are actually high-income debtors for the purposes of the test.  We often have clients with seemingly high questionearnings who are surprised that they fall below the state median.  Many of these clients have not considered the size of their families.  However, one of the most important factors in determining whether or not you are a high-income debtor is family size.  For example, a family of four making $85,000 would have earnings well above the state median of $77,500 for their family size.  But what if that family making $85,000 includes six members?  Because the median state income medical for a family of six is $93,700, the debtors do not need to take the means test.

Even if the debtor is above the state median, it is often by much less than the debtor presumed.  The closer your overall earnings are to the state median, the easier it is to pass the means test.


If you appear to be over the median, you may still be able to avoid the means test.  Depending on what type of earnings you have.  Not all sources of money count as income for calculating gross earnings.  For example, under the Bankruptcy Code certain income, primarily social security, is excluded from your gross income for the purposes of the means test.  This exclusion will often bring a debtor’s gross earnings below the state median, thus avoiding the means test.  In addition, because the bankruptcy code focuses on “regular income”, some irregular earnings may not count as “gross income”.


Finally, even if you must take the means test, it is still quite possible that you will qualify for Chapter 7.  Very often, high-income debtors have high allowable expenses, including mortgage payments, vehicle payments, etc., that will offset their earnings.  Although the means test is complex and must be handled carefully, it is not at all unusual for high-income debtors to pass the test.  However, failing to list income of any kind can lead to unpleasant consequences.  Attention to detail is the name of the game?


We have spent most of this blog discussing the initial qualification for Chapter 7.  However, it is important to note that even if you pass or avoid the means test, you do not automatically get to file under Chapter 7.  You must meet all other requirements, including a showing that after expenses, you have no significant disposable income to pay your creditors.  In addition, there may be a reason for choosing Chapter 13, such as saving a house from foreclosure or a car from repossession.  In some cases, a non-bankruptcy solution such as debt negotiation may be available.


For more information check out our website at


Contact our Eastgate, Ohio bankruptcy attorney today for your free consultation to see if you can qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.


We are bankruptcy attorneys located in Eastgate, Ohio.  Our main focus of practice has been bankruptcy for over 27 years.


Are you thinking of filing for bankruptcy.  Looking for an attorney to represent you through the process?  Calling around to get a fee?  Looking for the lowest fee around?  Just remember that you get what you pay for.  Bankruptcy is a very specific process and must be done correctly so that your case will go through and you will receive your discharge through your case.  You do not want any snags and want everything to go through smoothly.  It is stressful enough when everything goes just right let alone when things are messed up.  Some believe that bankruptcy is simple, so simple that they can even take care of it themselves.  This may have been the case in the past but since the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) of 2005 things are much more difficult and more precise.  It is not recommended that you attack this task on your own.

Trying to file for yourself will most likely cause you more headaches than you would like to endure.  So the decision to seek an attorney to help you through the process is the best one.  You will want to find an experienced attorney who specialized in bankruptcy.


At the Keegan & Co. Attorneys, LLC our main focus of practice is bankruptcy, this is our main focus of practice.  Our office has specialized in bankruptcy for over 27 years.  We can provide you with the expertise that will make your bankruptcy seem simple and before you know you will be on with your debt free life.


At our office we will offer you a free consultation where you will be able to sit down and discuss your individual situation.  They will be able to advise you as to the best road for you to take on your financial journey.  Sometimes bankruptcy is the answer, sometimes it may not be the best decision.  The attorney will advise what is best for you.

At this free consultation the attorney will quote you a fee.  If you decide you want to move forward a small retainer will retain this office.  Once you have retained our office you will quit paying on bills you do not want to keep and refer your creditors to our office until your case is filed.  We will accept monthly payments until your case is filed.


For more information check out or website at call 513-752-3900 for your free consultation today!

At our Eastgate, Ohio bankruptcy office we will be able to help you get out of debt and get a fresh financial start!


We are bankruptcy attorneys located in Eastgate, Ohio.  We specialize in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy filings.

Many people get over their heads in debt.  This can happen for many reasons, job loss, health
fuelissues, divorce as just a few of the most common reasons people get into debt.   Many will do many things to try to keep their heads above water during this time, but there are some things that you should not do if you are struggling with debt before you consider filing for bankruptcy to get a fresh financial start.

Do not take out a second mortgage on your home to pay your debts.  If you cannot pay your unsecured debts why would you transfer them to a secure debt attached to your home, once you do that if you cannot make these payments the creditor would be entitled to take your home through foreclosure.

Do not pay your debts out of a retirement savings account.  You will need these funds in the future when you are able to retire.  Retirement accounts will also be protected through a bankruptcy filing.

Do not max out your credit cards to stay afloat.  Recently incurred charges may not be able to be discharged through a bankruptcy filing.

Do not transfer your home to another person to avoid having a lien placed on your property.  If you do this you will not be able to file for at least 4 years and this could be considered fraud in the eyes of the court.

Bankruptcy is not the end of the world, just because you have fallen into a bad financial situation does not mean that you are a bad person.  There are hundreds of thousands of bankruptcy filings in the United States each and every year.

Here are some thoughts of things to do when filing for bankruptcy.

Do consider this decision very carefully.  Are you really in so far over your head that bankruptcy is the only way out.  Under Chapter 7 you will only be able to receive a discharge every 8 years.  There are other options if you have filed within the last 8 years and are struggling, contact us for a free consultation to discuss these options, 513-752-3900.

Do follow the advise of your attorney.  At our office we have over 30 years of combined experience and will be able to guide you to make sure your bankruptcy is as painless as possible.

Do be honest in all of your answers on the petition.  Be sure to list all assets and not leave anything out.

Do be sure to list all of your creditors on your petition.

Do close any bank accounts you have any credit lines or credit cards associated with.  This will prevent the account from being seized by the creditor.

41708903-funny-cartoon-guy-in-various-posesBankruptcy is a serious decision and one that should not be taken lightly.  Contact our office for your free consultation to discuss your individual situation to see if bankruptcy is the right decision for you.

For more information check out our website at

Call today for your free bankruptcy consultation in our Eastgate, Ohio.