The primary purpose behind filing a consumer bankruptcy case is to give the consumer a fresh start with respect to his or her financial situation. One important aspect of the fresh start involves the accuracy of your credit report once the bankruptcy is over. If the information contained in your credit report is not accurate after you have completed the bankruptcy process, you may not be getting the “fresh financial start” you were seeking.
Once you have completed your bankruptcy and received the order discharging your debts from the bankruptcy court, you should order a copy of your credit report about 6 months later. You can obtain a copy of your credit report from each of the 3 major credit reporting agencies for free by going to www.annualcreditreport.com. Here is what you should find:
- Public Records– Your Bankruptcy filing will appear in the Public Records section of your report. A Chapter 7 filing may remain for 10 years. A Chapter 13 filing may remain for 7 years.
- Individual Accounts– Each account included in your bankruptcy will still show on your credit report, and may remain there for 7 years from the date it first became significantly delinquent. Each account should indicate that it was discharged in bankruptcy, and there is no current balance due ($0). This is true even if the debt was sold to another entity (normally called debt buyers) prior to the bankruptcy. The new entity must show a balance due of $0 and show that the debt was discharged in bankruptcy.
- Inquiries– None of your former creditors or debt-buyers (or their debt collectors) should be pulling your credit report. Pulls of your credit report usually appear at the end of the report and will provide the date the inquiry was made. These post-bankruptcy credit pulls can adversely affect your credit rating and they violate a federal law known as the Fair Credit Reporting Act. You may have a claim against the offending creditor.
It is important to periodically check your credit reporting report and check it for accuracy. If you find information which is inaccurate, or if you find that creditors are pulling your report when you no longer have a relationship with them, you should contact an attorney to review these problems. This is particularly important after you have filed bankruptcy. At Healey Law, LLC, Bob Healey represents consumers who experience problems and find inaccuracies in their credit reports after they have filed bankruptcy. For a free consultation, contact him at (314) 401-3261 or [email protected].
Bob Healey is a licensed attorney and principle with Healey Law, LLC, a full-service St. Louis law firm, specializing in handling cases for accident and injury victims, injured workers, and consumers who have been abused or mistreated by debt collectors, banks, mortgage companies and credit reporting agencies. With 4 convenient locations in Chesterfield, Downtown St. Louis, North County (Bridgeton near DePaul Hospital) and South County (on Tesson Ferry across from St. Anthony’s Hospital) the attorneys at Healey Law, LLC have over 25 years of experience representing clients in the State and Federal Courts in both Missouri and Illinois. For more information visit: http://www.healeylawllc.com