If you’re considering filing bankruptcy, you are likely already aware that the bankruptcy filing ends up on your credit report, but do you know how it gets there?
Does the Bankruptcy Court Report My Information to the Credit Bureaus?
Many assume that the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) receive information from the Bankruptcy Court. However, the Bankruptcy Court has no interaction with the credit bureaus. The Bankruptcy Court does not report information on cases to the bureaus and they do not verify the accuracy of the information in connection to their cases listed with the credit bureaus.
Who Does Report Bankruptcy Information to the Credit Bureaus?
While the Bankruptcy Court does not report information to the credit bureaus, the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court is legally required to maintain an accurate record of all filings. When a bankruptcy case is filed, the case is recorded by the Clerk and becomes part of the Court’s permanent records. With very few exceptions, Bankruptcy Court filings are public records. Any individual or organization can access public records of the Bankruptcy Court in person at the courthouse or digitally through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER). Credit bureaus generally access bankruptcy case info through PACER.
What If the Credit Bureaus Get the Bankruptcy Information Wrong?
The Bankruptcy Court does not control what the credit bureaus view on the PACER system, and doesn’t control what the credit bureaus do with the information they pull from public record. If there is an inaccuracy regarding your bankruptcy listed on your credit report, you should seek resolution directly with the credit bureau reporting the inaccurate information.
How Long Does the Bankruptcy Show Up On My Credit Report?
One of the most common questions regarding bankruptcy and post-bankruptcy credit is how long the credit bureaus will include the bankruptcy as a listing on the petitioner’s credit report. It’s not random – the Fair Credit Reporting Act actually controls the credit reporting companies. According to the law, the agencies may not report a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case after 10 years from the date the bankruptcy is filed or discharged (reference 15 U.S.C. § 1681(c)). For Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the term is limited to 7 years. No matter the status of your bankruptcy case (open, closed, discharged, or dismissed), the credit bureaus can continue to report it on your credit report for up to ten years.
If you need to file bankruptcy, and you have questions about how it will affect your credit, get in touch with Kenneth C. Rannick P.C., Tennessee, and Georgia bankruptcy attorney. You are in good hands with Kenneth C. Rannick P.C.