In both Oregon and Washington, debtors on the precipice of bankruptcy often end up on the receiving end of creditor threats regarding the potential impact of bankruptcy on their ability to obtain credit after their debts are discharged. In a recent article, Katherine Porter, an associate professor of law at the University of Iowa, noted that credit solicitations of recent bankruptcy debtors has become rampant.
After studying data collected by the Consumer Bankruptcy Project, she found that nearly every debtor receives credit offers shortly after bankruptcy. Most offers are for credit cards, however, some are for mortgages and car loans. This phenomenon is completely at odds with the picture painted by the credit industry and things most of us read and hear about from credit counseling agencies and debt settlement negotiators about bankruptcy ruining your credit such that you will never be able to get a credit car, finance a car or get a mortgage.The data collected by the Consumer Bankruptcy Project shows that it is not only possible to obtain credit after bankruptcy, but that it might actually be easier to obtain credit after bankruptcy than after other non-bankruptcy options are attempted.
As Professor Porter points out in her article, Bankruptcy Profits: The Credit Industry’s Business Model for Postbankruptcy Lending, borrowing after bankruptcy is not only possible after bankruptcy, such activity is actively encouraged by the credit industry. This suggests that threats to refuse credit after bankruptcy are utterly hollow. The credit industry may tell consumers that they will not lend after bankruptcy and that paying the debt is the only option to maintain their credit access, but such statements are largely untrue.