More than 600,000 new bankruptcy cases were filed in the first half of 2012, according to Epiq Systems Inc. If you were one of them, it may feel like your financial future is doomed.

Not so, say personal financial planning experts at the Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants. While you will face challenges post-bankruptcy, you can chart a new financial course with a commitment to educating yourself, becoming more disciplined with your money and credit, and learning a few lessons along the way.

Watch out. Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous people out there waiting to take advantage of people who are in financial dire straits. They’ll offer to fix your credit, but it will, of course, come at a price. Look out for these too-good-to-be-true offers. Your best bet is to work to re-establish your credit with your own hard work. If you do work with a company, check its credentials carefully.