Successfully discharging your debt in bankruptcy is great, in that you have received your financial fresh start. However, there are some things that you should do in the months to come to get the most out of it. First of all, you should be sure to tell your tax preparer or accountant that he or she needs to file an IRS Form 982 for you. This is because some of your creditors may file a 1099C with the IRS claiming debt forgiveness. Ordinarily, this would be considered income and taxable! An exception to this is bankruptcy, so you need to put the IRS on notice.

Second, you should take a close look at that Schedule J list of expenses from your petition and live by it! Amazingly enough, approximately 95% of all Americans do not have a household budget. Not knowing how much it costs you to live may well have caused you to file bankruptcy in the first place, so living on a budget from now on will keep you from digging yourself into another financial hole.

Third, start working on rebuilding your credit. Pull all three of your reports about sixty days after your discharge to be sure that all of your debts have been shown as discharged, and with a zero balance due. You need to correct any mistakes that there may be as soon as possible. If you continue to have a problem with this, contact me. Educate yourself about what goes into a credit score and plan out what you need to do to raise it over the next one to two years.

Steven J. Richardson
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Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.