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How to start over after bankruptcy

Updated on February 23, 2014

Life after bankruptcy

You built a life and worked hard to get to where you wanted to be, only to have it taken away from you in the blink of an eye. Cars, homes and all your assets repossessed, leaving you with nothing but the clothes on your back.

Having to start your life all over again is a difficult and almost impossible task for some and taking that one risk or making that one decision has changed your life forever.

There is good news though, you can start over and yes it will take time and dedication but it can be done and you will be financially stable once again.

support each other
support each other

Have a support system

Allow your family and close friends to know what has happened to you and allow them to help you where they can. You will find that once you are bankrupt, friends will disappear very quickly and you will learn who your friends really are.

When you are down, people are nowhere to be seen and there is nobody to help you back up.

Family is important because they will always help you and your closest friends will show their true colours too.

Be honest, be open and don't be ashamed to ask for help when you need it.

You and your spouse will have trying times and you will need to stand together. It is nobody's fault so do not play the blame game, just work on how to fix the problem together.

Many marriages and relationships fail after bankruptcy and it is not because the money has gone but because the couple blame each other and cannot handle the stress.

Learn to support each other, ask for help and comfort each other because that is the only way that you will get through this, together.

Life after bankruptcy means starting over
Life after bankruptcy means starting over

Find a job

If you had your own business and have lost everything because of it, then finding a job is something that you will have to do in order to survive.

Learn to swallow your pride and think of having a job as a stepping stone to something bigger and better. See it as a temporary move and salvation with a pension plan and a steady income to get you to where you will want to be in a few years.

Ensure that you have a plan and you can set a goal for about five to ten years where you will have everything that you once owned returned to you.

Forget about what people will think and just do it for you and your family. Bankruptcy has happened to so many people around the world and after's just money.

You have your health, you have intelligence and you will find the strength to start over.

Ask people around you if they know of any jobs going and ensure that your c.v. is up to date and easy to read.

If there is nothing available right now then go and find a nightshift job in your area. Companies always need staff at nights and the pay is not too bad to get you started.

A new beginning after bankruptcy
A new beginning after bankruptcy

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No car and no bank account

Once you have learnt to swallow your pride you can concentrate on getting the tools that you need to help you move forward.

Bankruptcy means that you will have to learn to ask for help and learn to swallow your pride.

After going through the entire process of bankruptcy, it is actually a relief because you no longer have to fear that everything will be taken from you. It already has been taken away and you can now start over.

Get yourself a bank account and if your bank won't give you one, then you will find one that will.

Should you still not be lucky enough to find one then ask your spouse, brother or family member to open one for you, just until you are able to get it yourself.

A car or transport of any kind is something that you will need, especially if you have kids to take to school and back.

Again you will have to ask someone to help you with a car but that will mean them having to put it on their name, which many people will not do.

Remember that bankruptcy makes people think that you are incapable and although it can happen to anyone, friends and family will no longer be there to support you and many won't trust that they can help you, without losing.

Ask a friend or family member to give you a loan for the cheapest car that you can find in the newspaper or car adverts.

There are a number of cars on line that are reliable and affordable.

In the meantime, get your kids into a car pool and have someone take and fetch them to and from school, until you can do it yourself.

The post office will open a bank account for you if you cannot get a bank to do it and that will make things easier for a potential salary to be paid.

After bankruptcy, you are debt free and you have the chance to start all over again, which also means that it will be difficult to get credit, credit cards or loans from anyone, including the bank.

Just keep positive and see it as a short term problem which you can fix by working hard and rebuilding your life.

Everything will happen and your life will fall into place sooner than you think.

Take a look out for new opportunities.

Finding a Home

Having no place to live after having a huge home that probably took you years to get, can be very emotional and upsetting. The most important thing is not to harp on the fact that you don't have a home but to try and get yourself and your family a new one.

Renting is the best option and you will have to find a place that will be affordable on a very small budget.

If you do not have the money to rent a home just yet, then ask a family member to help you out by getting them to let you stay there temporarily. Make sure it is not for too long if you want to keep a good relationship.

Desperation can also lead you to take a look at camping grounds that offer caravan accommodation as this is cheap out of season and it puts a roof over your head as well as saves you a load of money on paying rentals that you cannot afford.

See it as a holiday and it won't be that bad as it is almost an escape from reality for a while.

You can also find places that allow you to rent to buy and there are many that give you the option to rent without dishing out a huge deposit.

These places are usually far away from everything and the resale value is barely there but it puts a roof over your head, it belongs to you and you can either be lucky enough to wait for the property to develop and then sell, or you can see it as a place of your own, without very much effort and capital.

Avoid getting credit

The temptation to get store credit or a credit card is rife after being bankrupt and desperate but try very hard to learn the term; IF YOU CANNOT BUY IT WITH CASH, THEN YOU DON'T BUY AT ALL.

It will help you instantly but will only add to your pressures by having to pay debts all over again.

Avoid making debts and understand that in order to get back on your feet, you need to learn to save your money and avoid spending money that you do not have.

Most credit records are based on accounts that you keep, so will have to get at least one. Ensure that it is one that allows you to buy food in an emergency.

Always pay on time and never be late with a payment as that will reflect badly on you and it will effect your credit rating.

You do not need a credit card and the only thing that you need to do is know how to budget and live on the salary that you are getting.

It is difficult but it has to be done if you want to get ahead soon. The longer you take to learn, the longer it will take for you to rise again.

Avoid getting credit
Avoid getting credit

School fees

There is nothing worse than having to compromise your children's future and you shouldn't have to.

You can either remove them from the schools that they are in and find a cheaper one or you can approach the school and let them know of your situation. They will have a form for you to fill out, exempting you from all the school fees or partial amounts.

This means that again, you will have to swallow your pride and just be completely honest with the school about your situation.

Don't promise them anything that you cannot give and be realistic about how much you can pay.

Home school is an option but your children will suffer for it as they need to be around people in order to make friends.

Learn how to budget

There is no point in getting a job and having to get credit in order to survive. You need to learn to budget and understand that you just cannot live the way that you are used to. There will be times where you will have to learn to say, "no, we cannot afford it."

Your family will just have to understand and that is that!

Buying groceries will be easier to do if you don't take your kids with you and you have a list of essential things that you need.

Get the cheaper toilet paper if you have to. Compare prices and make that a part of your shopping experience, challenge yourself to find the cheaper item instead of just getting the first thing on the shelves.

It is always better to buy your groceries in bulk and plan your meals accordingly. Get your vegetables and meat products on a weekly basis, leaving you to only buy bread and milk on a daily basis.

A treat can be managed if it is a cheap one and you can get that once a month in order for your family to feel normal.

Don't go out for dinners

Avoid shopping for things that you do not need

And learn to say that you do not need it right now.

If you can learn to budget and have a goal then you will move up very quickly and you will finally be where you once where.....or even better.



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