Your Right to an Accurate Credit Report After Bankruptcy

Information that should and should not be reported where there is a bankruptcy.
Dave Maxfield
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Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 10:19 am

Your Right to an Accurate Credit Report After Bankruptcy

Postby Dave Maxfield » Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:39 am

May 29, 2014 By Dave Maxfield

Your credit report is a record of your credit activities, including home and auto loans, credit card accounts, and actions taken against you because of unpaid bills. Your report also contains identifying information about you, public records (like judgments or tax liens) and a credit ratings or scores based on your how much you have borrowed and how promptly you repay your debts. Specialty credit reports may contain your employment history, criminal record, insurance claims or check writing history.

What’s at Stake

Your credit report is critically important in the modern era. Lenders and insurance companies use it to decide whether to give you a loan or insurance. Potential employers look at it to decide whether to hire you. In short, the credit reporting agencies that make and sell your report quite literally hold your financial life in their hands.

The Problem

Credit reports are often wrong. As reported by CBS News in this article and as shown in various studies over the past 15 years, a huge percentage of credit reports contain errors. The errors can come in a variety of ways. The credit reporting agencies (who receive and assemble information from creditors) may “mix” your information with someone else’s. A creditor might report false information about you to the agency. Or, you may be a victim of identity theft.

For those coming out of bankruptcy, the problem can be even worse. Creditors (or Credit Reporting Agencies) sometimes continue to report the discharged debt as if you never filed bankruptcy at all, sometimes making it look like you owe thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars that you don’t owe. Or making it look like (instead of taking care of things in bankruptcy) you simply stopped paying the debt. Often, even when you dispute this false information to the Credit Reporting Agencies, they (and your Creditors) simply “verify” that it is true.

You have the right to dispute incorrect credit reports to the Credit Reporting Agency (Equifax, Experian, Trans Union, etc.) publishing the report. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. 1681i., the Reporting Agencies must investigate your dispute and correct the information (although, often they fail to do so, thus violating the act). Moreover, when you make such a dispute, the Credit Reporting Agency must contact the creditor (or former creditor) who is providing the information and advise the creditor of your dispute. Just as the Credit Reporting Agency must investigate, the former creditor has the same type of duty under 15 U.S.C. 1681s2b. These important duties, however, are often taken lightly by the creditor, resulting in the "re-verification" of the debt to the Credit Reporting Agency, and no correction made to your report. In such cases, you have a remedy under the FCRA in the form of a suit for damages.

For more information on post-bankruptcy reporting, see www.postbankruptcyharassment.com

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