Credit Reporting Violations After Bankruptcy
Surveys have found that nearly 65% of credit reports were inaccurate following a bankruptcy discharge. Inaccuracies can include failing to report a debt as having a $0.00 balance, failing to report a debt as having been “included” or “discharged” in bankruptcy, and/or continuing to show a debt as “delinquent” or “charged off.” These errors can cause serious consequences for you.
A bankruptcy filing essentially draws a line in the sand, after which you should be able to rebuild your credit. Continued negative reporting, though, will prevent you from quickly doing so. It can also cause you to be denied credit in the future, or receive credit approvals at higher interest rates than you otherwise would have received.
The three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion) have now entered into agreements in which they’ve agreed to update credit reports within 60 days of a bankruptcy discharge, in order to accurately reflect discharged accounts. Failure to accurately reflect these accounts may subject them to damages under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Your creditors can also be sanctioned under this law for furnishing inaccurate information.
The first step is to obtain a copy of your credit report approximately 90 days after you receive your discharge. You have the right to a free copy from each of the three reporting agencies once per year, which can be obtained at www.annualcreditreport.com. If you’ve already obtained your report this year, there will be a fee of $8.00 per reporting agency.
If you believe that any debts are being reported inaccurately, the next step is to submit a dispute to the reporting agencies. Culik Law has a Free Credit Report Dispute Kit to assist with this. A dispute letter can often resolve inaccuracies, but if it does not, then you should call an experienced bankruptcy and consumer protection attorney for assistance.
At Culik Law, we provide a lifetime guarantee for all discharged debts. If any creditor breaks the law and inaccurately reports a discharged debt on your credit report, then we will represent you for this at no addition up-front cost. Please contact us today to discuss.