Before bankruptcy, I like to meet with you and go over your credit report. The credit report I like best is at experian.com/reportaccess.
One reason I like that report is big print. (I’m 62 and I’ve worn glasses since I was 8.) But the other reason is that Experian report shows the balance history of your credit cards.
We don’t get that balance history on credit reports from freecreditreport.com. Even though freecreditreport.com is owned by Experian, the report you get there doesn’t have that detail. And the print is a lot smaller.
(I hate them for another reason, too. I don’t think something is “free” if you have to sign up for an annual subscription to get it.)
Knowing your balance history is important in the timing of your bankruptcy.
The bankruptcy code, at 11 USC 523(a), provides that the bank can object to discharging their debt if you made a “false representation.”
The “false representation” they like to bring up is the small print when you sign a charge slip. The small print that says something like “I will pay according to my credit card agreement.”
If you haven’t made six payments since your last big charge, there’s a good chance the bank will object to your bankruptcy. They say your claimed you would pay when you know you couldn’t. That’s the “false representation.”
If they file objections, we can fight back and win. Especially if there was a change in your situation–you lost your job, you got sick, your husband split. If you have something like that, the judge will probably side with you.
But unless there’s something specific you can point to, it’s a good idea to make six payments after your last big charge, before filing bankruptcy. A credit report with your balance history helps me see when the last big charge was. That helps us plan a bankruptcy that gets approved without objections.
PS. In the bankruptcy court here, I see more objections filed by Chase Bank credit cards, than any of the others.