What can you do in 2017 to recover from bankruptcy?
Nicolet Law Office, S.C.

What can you do in 2017 to recover from bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy doesn't have to be the end of your financial life. While it's usually a fairly big bump in the road for most people, bankruptcy is actually meant to be a new beginning. Contrary to common belief, it doesn't completely wipe the slate clean. It does, however, make it easier to clear away tallies that have long stained your slate. Working with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer can help you come through the process with a clearer slate, and following some good financial goal tips can help you recover quicker in 2017.

First, learn from your past financial mistakes.Take time to review your financials and really understand what brought you to bankruptcy in the first place. You'll probably have to go through credit counseling as part of your bankruptcy, so make the most of the tools you'll encounter there. Answer questions honestly and really think about the information that the credit courses provide you. Your goals in 2017 should be about maintaining stability, returning to savings habits and avoiding future debt traps.

Set clear, measurable goals that are challenging but realistic. If you just went through bankruptcy, you probably aren't going to be a millionaire in the next year or two. If you're in a Chapter 13 and suddenly have an influx of income, you'll probably have to fork that over to the trustee anyway. Instead, focus on setting goals that are achievable and create a solid foundation for the future. This could include increasing your income slightly and saving more than you spend.

Finally, write down your goals and make a to-do list. Decide on one or two major goals for the year. Once you set those goals, choose quarterly, monthly or weekly goals that support the overall goal. Write down your plan and get to work making 2017 better than 2016.

Source: Forbes, "6 Tips For Setting Financial Goals That Stick," accessed Dec. 30, 2016

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