Bankruptcy and Your Credit Report

Bankruptcy and Your Credit Report

How long does a bankruptcy stay on my credit report?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act is the law that controls credit reporting companies. The law states that credit reporting companies may not report a bankruptcy case on a person's credit report after ten years from the date the bankruptcy case is filed or discharged.  See 15 U.S.C. 1681c.

The Bankruptcy Court does not control credit reporting companies or report or transmit information to them.  Bankruptcy records are public.  Credit reporting companies may collect those records and report them.  You must directly contact the credit reporting company directly to discuss information on your credit report.  If you have questions about this process or have issues gaining cooperation from a credit company, you should contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-382-4357.

How do I get a bankruptcy removed from my credit report?

The bankruptcy courts do not provide information to the credit reporting companies.  The credit reporting companies or information providers collect information regarding bankruptcy cases from the court’s public records.  Once a case is filed with the bankruptcy court, that case becomes part of the court’s permanent records.  No matter the status of your case (open, closed, discharged, dismissed, etc.) the credit reporting companies can still report your case on your credit report for up to ten years.  

No one can legally remove accurate information from a credit report.  You can ask the credit reporting agency (Equifax, Transunion or Experian, see contact information below) for a free investigation of information in your file that you dispute as inaccurate or incomplete.

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, both the credit reporting company and the information provider (that is, the person, company, or organization that provides information about you to a credit reporting company) are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report.  The credit company will verify the item in question with the creditor, who must respond within 30 days.   After the investigation is complete, the credit reporting company will notify you of the outcome.  If information on your credit report has changed or been deleted, you will receive a copy of the revised report.

The three credit reporting companies are: