Hats Off to Betsey Johnson for Bouncing Back From Bankruptcy

January 19, 2013 8:59 pm Published by

I’ve been an Indianapolis bankruptcy attorney for more than 26 years, with colleagues in five Zuckerberg bankruptcy law offices.  Combined, we’ve heard a lot – I mean a whole lot – of stories.  One true story I wish everybody could hear is the one about 70-year old fashion designer Betsey Johnson.

The main reason Betsey’s story sets such a good example is that it illustrates something one of the Columbus bankruptcy lawyers who is my colleague likes to say, "Bankruptcy in Indiana may start when you heed the warning signs, but it should end with rebuilding credit!"

After so many years offering Indiana bankruptcy help, I realize you’re worried that, if you file personal bankruptcy in Indiana (or, like Betsey Johnson, you’re a business owner contemplating filing small business bankruptcy in Indiana), you won’t be able to get a credit card for a very long time, if ever

All of us (and this includes bankruptcy Chapter 7 in Indiana and also filing under Chapter 13 bankruptcy law in Indiana) as a three-part process:

1. Filing bankruptcy
2. Saving up money to build a reserve
3. Rebuilding credit
 


I’m not into women’s fashions, so, until Betsey Johnson filed bankruptcy in April of last year, I did not know anything about her. I learned that she had built a chain of more than 60 stores for her unique women’s clothing.

Now, I’ve been a debt consolidation lawyer for more than twenty-six years, and am always telling my Bankruptcy in Indiana readers about the opportunity for a fresh financial start that bankruptcy offers.  But when you read this lady’s profile the New York Times (which my Anderson bankruptcy colleague printed out for me) it’s hard to believe!  Johnson is staging a come-back in a very big way. Johnson and her daughter will be releasing a new line of lower-priced clothing and accessories) in department stores and will also be starring in a reality show.
 

Sure, sure, you may be saying, but can ordinary people who file individual bankruptcy in Indiana (you know, not feisty fashion designers, but everyday people who need payday loan debt help and help to stop foreclosure) rebuild their lives after bankruptcy??

The answer is a definite “Yes!”  There IS credit after bankruptcy, and the whole purpose of the system is to offer a chance to rebuild. A 2007 Consumer Bankruptcy Project report shows that, no matter what creditors like to say, nearly every debtor receives credit offers shortly after filing bankruptcy. Most of the offers come from credit card companies, but plenty are for car loans and even mortgage loans.

Kim Wisser, a Money Management International consumer educator, tells people to start small when looking to rebuild after bankruptcy.  She mentions are retail store cards and gas cards, which are more likely to offer credit than the larger cards such as Visa or MasterCard. Another option is to apply for a secured credit card.

To me, having practiced bankruptcy law in Indiana for so many years, the biggest irony is that people who unsuccessfully try debt negotiation and credit counseling, all in the name of avoiding bankruptcy, don't have as easy a time getting credit as the folks who go ahead and file.
Whatever that says about creditors and the motivation behind their business decisions, post-bankruptcy credit is alive and – well, definitely available.

So, whether you’re into ladies’ fashions or not, take a bankruptcy recovery tip from Betsey Johnson!

 

 

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This post was written by Mark Zuckerberg

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