Life after BK

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by thedanguy, May 25, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. thedanguy

    thedanguy Member

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    Hello, I am a newbie here. I have learned much and appreciated all the posts on this board. Gary and others have so graciously offered your expertise and knowledge. Thank you all.

    I had a perfect credit score 4 years ago. Then the financial crisis hit the commercial mortgage loans which I had personally guaranteed. To make the story short, I had to declare BK. So now my credit score has sunk to 683 for the last 3 years. I have talked with credit card issuing banks and they were not interested in the fact that my BK had absolutely nothing to do with personal debt or irresponsible spending. In their view, a BK is a BK is a BK.

    Before that, I had lost 400K miles with Aloha Airlines when it went out of business. Now the only travel reward card I have been able to obtain is US Bank for TACA airlines, which I have been using and accumulating points. I have also been able to get credit cards with smaller limits and diligently earn United Airlines (UA) points through their shopping portal. Aside from those, I am pretty much shut out of the miles/points credit card offers out there.

    I am going to look into the Blue Bird account to earn extra miles. Recently I earned 25K UA miles by opening an new account with Fidelity and was thrilled with such a windfall in a long while.

    The last time I enjoyed award travel was when I got lucky enough to get hold of a sweet angel at the Continental International desk who gave me a Business Class ticket to Nairobi, Kenya for the same points as a coach ticket, at the high-demand season of Christmas 2010. At that time, the worst snow storm in the preceding 50 years paralyzed Europe. Tens of thousands of flights were grounded across the continent. Unlike most of the award flights that connected in Heathrow or Frankfurt, my flight made it to Zurich just fine and I made it to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro as part of my post-BK psyche rebuilding. When I got home, I sent to the Continental angel my profuse gratitude, certificates for chocolate candies and a picture of my summit. She replied saying she loved the chocolate and kept my picture on her desk. I treasure this memory much more so than my luxurious treat on Swiss Air that she got me on.

    So now I have been back, rebuilding everything including my credit score and my miles. If you have ideas for me to accumulate credit card miles, it will be much appreciated.
     
    IDGflygirl, marcwint55, MX and 4 others like this.
  2. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    I don't have any tips on the subject you posted, but I did want to say I admire your perseverance and drive in taking what can be a disheartening situation and turning it into an uphill pathway. It was a very nice gesture to send thanks to the Continental angel. Best wishes for continued success, and may good fortune find you wherever you may roam.
     
  3. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Sorry to hear of the tough news. The bk drops off your file in a few years at least.

    Is there someone in your family who would open a cc account then add you as an AU? Amex or Chase points could then be used for transfers to your ff accounts. Whilst you portably wouldn't churn in their name, at least you'd have a points earning card.

    The brokerage account sign-ups are pretty good. You could churn 50k miles a year with them if you have enough capital.

    Not sure how bluebird will help you materially, unless you can manufacture spend onto your TACA card. Buying VRs and GCs to load it though cost money, and I'm not sure how much you'd want to spend to create those points.
     
    MX, NYCUA1K and HaveMilesWillTravel like this.
  4. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    At this rate, you'll prove them wrong by turning a BK into a trip to BKK...;)

    Cheers, mate!
     
  5. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    I heard this strategy will not work with AmEx. If your bankruptcy cost them anything, you'll be banished for 10 years from being either primary or authorized AmEx card user. In general you should have much easier time getting new credit from those banks/lenders who did not take any losses from your bk.
     
  6. wombat18
    Original Member

    wombat18 Silver Member

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    This could go a bit further and say something like - you should have a much easier time getting new credit now that you have gone through bk. You are a much better credit risk now that those debts have been erased from many calculations.

    So, while Chase, Amex, etc. may not be in a hurry to offer you travel credit cards, you should find many banks and credit unions eager to lend you money. As you are diligently improving your credit score (paying on time, leaving largish credit lines untapped, not closing accounts, etc.), you will find the time goes quickly. I would predict in less than a year you will be able to get those miles rolling in.
     
  7. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    The OP said that the BK was due to some commercial mortgage guarantees. Hopefully she/he didn't leave any retail creditors hanging.

    Who knows though....
     
  8. talkerfly

    talkerfly Silver Member

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    I filed for BK in 2007 and now have two credit cards but no mileage-earning ones. One of them is a bank that had been included in BK. While it might seem strange (i.e., using AmEx logic), consider that a bank is a business that doesn't have just one customer, they have many thousands of customers, and BK is part of the cost of doing business and part of the calculation of whether or not to extend credit. If you pay your bills and they refuse your business because of the past, they are leaving money on the table since you'll go elsewhere.

    There was once place I lived briefly where the local internet company would not give me internet service unless I paid the balance owed before BK. I think this is illegal, as BK legally changes that debt to zero and prohibits creditors from attempting to collect a discharged debt. AmEx can be petty if they want, though, because you are asking them to loan you money, not provide a utility service that you have to pay for in full every month.
     
  9. thedanguy

    thedanguy Member

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    Your replies and suggestions are much appreciated. I will explore those options and keep you posted.

    Our filing had absolutely nothing to do with consumer debt. No credit card deb, car loans, medical expenses, ... whatsoever. It was strictly the Real Estate loans. We carried no other debts at all.

    As for the commercial loans that got us into this rut, all three of those banks were not and still are not in the credit card business. However, one of them was Washington Mutual and when it had the bank run during the credit crisis, it was taken over by Chase, as you are well aware. So when the loans went sour, Chase's attitude was something like you screwed us, we don't want to see you ever again. Whenever I see a generous offers of Chase credit cards, I am reminded of a dog window-shopping for a bone.

    But not all is bad. I am still able to do double dipping by using US Bank for TACA miles through UA shopping portal for anything I spend money on. I have cash back on Barclay's and Capital One. I am still counting my blessings. Life is still more than good.
     
    HaveMilesWillTravel and MSYgirl like this.
  10. Steven Schwartz
    Original Member

    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    Timing is everything in life. I've read this thread and all I can think is how wonderfully far you've come. I imagine a few years ago, when you were knee deep in the middle of this $#!t, the last thing on your mind was miles and points! Yet here we are, a few years later, and things have mellowed out so much that you're once again thinking about these wonderful but more mundane matters.

    My sense (and I'll bet the sense of everyone reading this thread) is that you'll be just fine before you know it! i wish you lots of luck.
     
    NYCUA1K likes this.

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