Credit reporting law mandates that you’re entitled to accurate credit reports AND if you must sue to get yours fixed, the law makes the credit bureaus or your former creditors pay your attorney’s fees and costs of suit. Each of these problems below fails the legal standards for maximum possible accuracy.
1. Discharged debts not properly listing a Balance Due of $0.00 and not labeled as discharged in bankruptcy.
Every single debt that was discharged in your bankruptcy must be noted in your credit report as “Discharged in Bankruptcy” (or Included in Bankruptcy) and have a Balance Due of $0.
The post-discharge debts also cannot be listed as “past-due” or show any current monthly payment obligations or scheduled payments either. Creditors screw these up all the time (especially debt collectors)!
2. Repeated “Hard Pull” credit inquiries by your former creditors.
Once your debt is discharged in bankruptcy, your prior debtor-creditor relationships are over, done, finished! Consequently, your former creditors may not pull your credit anymore (which brings your score down!).
But, amazingly, they still do it to thousands even though its illegal post-discharge! Why? Some simply have sloppy business practices and forget to stop their “credit score pulling computer robots.”
You can find this error/illegal practice by checking your credit report “Hard Inquiries” and looking for your ex-creditors pulling your credit score after your bankruptcy discharge. These are blatant violations of your rights to financial privacy embedded in federal law.
Obviously, if after your discharge, you applied for new credit with one of your creditors then a hard pull would be appropriate.
3. Account “Charge-offs” reported after filing or post-discharge
When an account is listed as “Charged Off” on your credit report, that’s negative. Creditors or debt collectors MAY NOT list accounts as “Charged Off” either after you’ve filed for Bankruptcy or after you’ve received your Bankruptcy Discharge. Such reporting is both inaccurate and illegal.
4. Spouse is reported as having filed for bankruptcy even though they did not
Spouse A files for bankruptcy. Spouse B does not. If joint debts are listed as “Included in Bankruptcy” or “Discharged in Bankruptcy” on the non-filing spouse’s credit report that’s OK and accurate.
What is NOT OK, is reporting that non-filing Spouse B actually filed for Bankruptcy. This will show up in the “Public Records” section of the non-filing spouse and/or in the non-filing spouse’s separate accounts being listed as “included in bankruptcy.”
Make certain Spouse B, the non-filing spouse, also obtains his/her credit reports and reviews them for this common mis-reporting error!
5. Late or missed payment notations during the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process
Any notations that you were late with or missed any payments during the pendency (i.e. after you filed but before your discharge) of your Chapter 7 bankruptcy are incorrect and must be fixed. Such improper notations often occur with trade-lines involving mortgages, auto loans, and student loans.
6. Reaffirmed Accounts Reported Inaccurately
Reaffirmation occurs when you could discharge an account in bankruptcy, but for certain personal reasons, you choose not to. Those reaffirmed accounts should be listed as “Reaffirmed” and NOT as “discharged in bankruptcy.”