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Bankruptcy Filers are at Risk for Scams: What You Can Do to Protect Yourself Post-Filing

Beware of ScamsIt’s a sad fact that no matter who you are or what your struggles in life include, there are people out there looking to prey on you. Everyone is vulnerable in one way or another and being someone who has filed for bankruptcy is no exception.

Financial predators want to take advantage of you and make money off your misfortune. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself and avoid scams after you’ve filed for bankruptcy.

Most people enter bankruptcy with the understanding it will be a while before they can borrow money again. However, it might not be as long as you think.

People who have recently emerged from Chapter 7 bankruptcy often find their mailboxes and inboxes filled with offers for credit cards. And in many cases, these offers are legitimate. The credit offered might not be under the best of terms, but they are an option to help you rebuilt your credit history.

Many of the offers you’ll receive aren’t scams, but some are.

Unscrupulous lenders know you are desperate and know you might still struggle to manage your finances, even though you’ve been through credit counseling and debtor’s education as part of your bankruptcy. They want to take advantage of your weaknesses and your current situation.

The best thing you can do is to know what you look out for. If possible, try to avoid jumping back into the credit game immediately after bankruptcy. Take your time and research your options. Eventually, you’ll want to re-establish your credit with a card, but you don’t need to do so immediately

How Can You Recognize a Lending Scam?

There are two types of credit card situations you’ll want to avoid, if possible.

The first is not a scam, it’s just undesirable. High-interest cards might have played a role in your needing to file for bankruptcy in the first place and you’ll want to avoid them now that you’ve emerged from bankruptcy. They are legitimate cards, but they aren’t doing you any favors.

The second type of credit card situation is a scam. Sometimes these credit agreements go so far as to be downright illegal.

USA.gov provides this list of credit card scams and what you can do to avoid them.

In addition to high interest rates, you’ll also want to look out for skewed repayment terms. This might be an offer that seems appealing at first, but upon further review becomes very unappealing after the introductory period ends.

Aggressive Credit Card Lender Harassment

Another sign of a scam is the aggressive nature with which the credit card lender pursues you. We all get credit card offers now and again, but it usually ends with a single piece of mail or one phone call.

Scammers tend to be relentless and they keep contacting you and making you promises that seem too good to be true. They know you aren’t exactly comfortable in your current situation and they want to be your saving grace. This is usually a sign of a scam and should be avoided at all costs.

Bankruptcy Filing

Filing for bankruptcy and the time after can be frightening. It’s normal to feel anxious and be unsure of what the future holds. The trick to emerging from bankruptcy successfully is to avoid getting into anything that would cause your financial problems to flare up again.

If you have questions about lending scams or you are considering bankruptcy and want to know what to expect, we can help. Contact the Law Office of Robert M. Geller at 813.254.5696 to learn more.

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At the Tampa Bay law firm, the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A., we help people with consumer bankruptcy matters in the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg,  Florida communities such as Clearwater,     St. Petersburg, Tampa, Thonotosassa, Riverview, Lutz, Plant City, Brandon, Carrollwood, Wesley Chapel, St. Petersburg Beach, Lakeland, Mulberry, Dade City, Pinellas Park, Largo, Seminole, Odessa, Oldsmar and Lithia, and counties such as Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Polk County and Manatee County.