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Bankruptcy

How To Remove A Bankruptcy From Your Credit Report



Bankruptcy can be scary, but it’s important that you arm yourself with as much information as possible to navigate the process.

In this article, we’ll walk you through some of the most commonly asked questions around bankruptcy, how it can affect your credit score, and how to get a bankruptcy removed.

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Is it Even Possible to Get a Bankruptcy Removed From Your Credit Report?

We want to be upfront and transparent: it’s very hard to get a bankruptcy removed from your credit report. If all information is accurate and complete, it is not possible to remove a bankruptcy from your credit report. But if the bankruptcy entry contains any inaccurate or incomplete information, it may be possible to have it removed.

How Long Does a Bankruptcy Stay On Your Credit Report?

The amount of time a bankruptcy stays on your credit report is determined by the type of bankruptcy you filed for.

  • A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will be removed from your credit report automatically in 10 years because, in this case, none of the debt is repaid.
  • A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is cleared in 7 years since the debt is partially repaid.

How does bankruptcy affect my credit score?

Both chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcies can drastically affect your credit score, with chapter 7 having more of a negative impact because accounts were discharged without payment.

You can expect bankruptcy to reduce your credit score by 100+ points.

As mentioned before, these will stay on your credit report for 7-10 years.

It’s important to note the ramifications of this kind of a hit to your credit score for such a long period of time. A Bankruptcy can set your plans to buy a home back by a decade. And in some cases, these bankruptcies hang around for even longer due to an error on your credit report. An infrequent but possible issue could be an improper involuntary bankruptcy case, in which a bankruptcy is filed improperly and involuntary against a debtor because they are not paying their debt. Make sure to check your credit reports to make sure past bankruptcies fall off when they are supposed to and that you don’t have any incorrect negative items placed on your report from a third party.

DIY vs Professional Credit Repair

It can often feel like credit repair is a catch-22. You may not have a lot of expendable income to hire a professional credit repair company, but you likely don’t have the know-how or emotional bandwidth to tackle it yourself either. We get it.

Bankruptcy is the negative item we most encourage our readers to get professional help with though. The steps we’ve outlined are advanced tactics that in most cases are best left to credit repair specialists. They are more familiar with the ins and outs of the credit bureaus and court systems, as well as the steps we’ll be outlining.

Below are the credit repair companies we recommend.

The 4 Steps to Remove a Bankruptcy from Your Credit Report

Step 1. Check Your Credit Report For Bankruptcy Errors

In this step, you’ll need a copy of all 3 of your credit reports. This is where having a credit monitoring service comes in handy. TransUnion is the best credit monitoring service in my opinion, plus you get a free credit score.

Review the credit report carefully for any inaccurate or incomplete information. Here is a list of the most common bankruptcy errors.
Names, addresses, and phone numbers
Incorrect dates
Discharged debts that still show a balance

If you have found no inaccuracies within the information on your credit report, then unfortunately there’s nothing that can be done to remove it prematurely, you’ll have to wait 7-10 years for it to fall off your credit report.

Step 2. Dispute Inaccurate Bankruptcy Entries With A Credit Dispute Letter

If you were able to find some inaccurate information within the credit report, then your next step will be to dispute the inaccurate entries with each of the credit bureaus using a credit dispute letter.

The best-case scenario is that they’ll be unable to verify the bankruptcy and remove it from your credit report. This is unlikely if it’s a recent bankruptcy. The older the bankruptcy, the better chances you have of getting it removed from your credit report this way. Nonetheless, if it happens, then great, you can skip the other steps.

If the bankruptcy is verified by the credit bureaus, continue to the next step.

Step 3. Ask the Credit Bureaus How The Bankruptcy Was Verified

If the bankruptcy is verified by the credit bureaus, you will next need to send them a procedural request letter asking them who they verified the bankruptcy with.

In some instances, they will claim it has been verified with the courts, even if it is not. In most cases, the courts do not verify bankruptcies for the credit bureaus.

If the credit bureau claims it was verified with the courts, then proceed to step 4.

Step 4. Ask The Courts How The Bankruptcy Was Verified

Next, you will need to contact the courts that were specified by the credit bureaus.

Ask them how they went about verifying the bankruptcy. If they tell you they didn’t verify anything, ask for that statement in writing.

After you receive the letter, mail it to the credit bureaus and demand that they immediately remove the bankruptcy as they knowingly provided false information and therefore are in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

If all goes well, the bankruptcy will be removed.

Summary

Whether you attempt to remove the bankruptcy entries yourself or hire a credit repair company, we hope this walk-through has been informative and helpful as you navigate the challenges of bankruptcy.

Let us know in the comments below if you have additional questions, or if you were able to get an entry removed.

Comments


  1. I disputed my 7.5 year old Chapter 7 online with all 3 bureaus on March 5 and Transunion responded and deleted it immediately. As a result, my Transunion FICO 8 score rose 41 points 2 days later! I am still waiting to hear back from Equifax and Experian with the results of their investigations. I plan to bombard them with follow-up requests for information on how they verified the bankruptcy information of EQ and EX do not remove it. I will let you know how it goes.

  2. I did an online dispute this morning for all 3 bureaus for a 7 1/2-year-old BK7. TransUnion deleted it within 5 minutes. I haven’t heard back from the other 2 yet (and probably won’t for quite a while) but even if it’s a “no” progress has been made. I disputed that it wasn’t my bankruptcy and it worked.

  3. It’s good to know from this article that Chapter 13 bankruptcy will be removed from my credit report after 7 years. I’m afraid that it will last for a longer time period but I’m glad I was able to learn things from your article. Perhaps talking to a bankruptcy lawyer can also help me file and process things immediately.

  4. I recently contacted Lexis Nexus regarding my Chapter 7 Bankruptcy from 2014; they informed me of a womans name, whom I never heard of, listed on my bankruptcy.
    I then disputed my bankruptcy with all 3 CB and only Equifax removed it from my CR; nice to see it gone in 6 yrs rather than 10yrs.
    I am now going to contact the courts to verify if they were contacted by the CB to verify my bankruptcy; get their response in writing and forward a copy to TransUnion and Experian.
    Finally, I have noticed now during the Covid 19 Pandemic the CB are responding much faster than usual and removing items off my CR the same.

  5. I disputed my chapter 7 online with Transunion after 71/2 years. I simply put in the remarks that it had been over 7 years since my BR had been discharged and asked them to remove it from my credit report. Less than 30 days later they sent my a letter stating that it had been removed from my credit report! I did the same with Experian and they said they verified it so now I’m going to go forward to ask how it was verified to go through further steps to have it removed.

  6. I’ve had chapter 7 bankruptcy. I have maintained good credit after the bankruptcy. Although, chapter 7 stays on your record for 10 yrs, after 8 years, I disputed through the credit bureaus. And to my surprise, they actually removed from my records.

  7. If a chapter 7 is successfully removed using these methods, would the debts show up again on the credit reports? Would I no longer be protected by the bankruptcy law against those debtors?

  8. Thanks for this site…
    Lost business & went through chpt 7 back in 08, discharged in 09…never thought that i could get it removed before the 10 yrs. As my time will come up in 2/19…it would be helpful to get it removed now so that my score will move higher. Q: Do credit reporting agencies literally hold out til end of 10yr. before they remove it? Do I have any hope that they will remove it early? If not, am I subject to strategy listed above or is there some other magic for my situation…many thanks, Ann

  9. I was told it was done through lexis-nexis and you can have a block put on lexis and they will not be able to release information about you any longer……anybody heard of this ??

  10. Hi,
    This seems to assume that there was a BK. My report shows a BK that did not happen, I never filed. How do I address this?

  11. The bureaus will verify “who” or “what” was used to verify the debt. If they tell you it was the courts, then you can have it deleted because no court in the country reports to the credit bureaus. I’ve had BK7 removed because they all said that and I sent the letter I got from the clerk of courts stating that they do not give out personal information, case information or bankruptcy info to them. Not one of the bureaus listed PACER as a source of verification.

    1. Do you have a copy of letter sent to the court requesting in writing that they do not supply info to CB???

  12. Best thing to do is pull all 3 reports from CB make sure all information is correct such as current address spelling of your name s.s. number. Belive it or not 90% of information generated is wrong .why? it’s computer generated. Myself fell into bad times suffered a bad divorce and had to file BK I had a 700+ credit score across the board and man let me tell you having no credit puts you in a bad situation . Ok back what to do make sure all info is correct and trust me more than likely it’s not .send a letter to each CB with copy of birth certificate driver’s license social security number and utility bill . have them remove all older addresses why? they could be attached to some of your bad dept. also make sure all of you personal info is correct. belive it or not this alone will make your scores go up .
    send a letter with your current address
    and say to whom it may concern please update my information and remove all other info for it’s not mine please change my address to the following which I provided .what is most important do not sing your name type it . why it can be used against you. try this first and I will tell you the next steps later

    Thanks Julius

  13. The credit bureaus verify your bankruptcy by using the PACER website ( Public Access To Court Electronic Records). Anyone can sign up to use PACER, I personally have an account with PACER, and I can look up anyone’s bankruptcy in the country, as this is public record information. I will say I have in the past disputed a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and had it deleted before the 10 year reporting period expired, but that was about ten years ago, before the prevalence of the use of the PACER system. I am not sure exactly how long Pacer has been around, but due to it’s existence and extensive amount of users, it is my belief that the credit bureaus do not need to physically contact the Clerk Of the Court to verify your Bankruptcy information anymore. They can just log into their PACER account and verify your bankruptcy in about 5 minutes. I am not saying that they do this as a fact, but it is my strong belief that due use PACER, making it next to impossible to get your Bankruptcy deleted prior to the expiration of the reporting period if the info on your report is in fact correct. I do agree, it is still worth trying to dispute your Bankruptcy, as there may in fact be incorrect info on your report in regard to your Bankruptcy, but I also feel just as strongly that people should know that currently, it is much easier for the bureaus to verify your BK information now because of the PACER website, therefore removing the need for the National Credit Repositories ( Equifax, Transunion, and Experian) to physically contact the Clerk to verify your Bankruptcy information. Finally, as you may know, most disputes are processed electronically by the bureaus using the E-Oscar system. In the cases where the creditor is not plugged into the system, your chances of success in getting derogatory information deleted are much greater. I have successfully had many collections deleted just by disputing them, the reason being the creditor did not respond within 30 days, therefore the credit bureau is required to delete the disputed item, regardless of the nature of the dispute. Lastly, I recommend that anyone who has derogatory information on their credit report review the information, and if they feel it is inaccurate in any way, that they go directly to all 3 credit bureau websites and do an online investigation. This is absolutely free to do, and can often produce positive results , such as getting inaccurate or incomplete derogatory information removed from your credit report. Although, like anything in life, it does take effort on your part.

  14. Hi all! Personally an employee of Trans Union for over 8 years as a business analyst not in consumer relations I do agree with the information passed on here. Credit agencies donot call bankruptcy court houses which is very true. Which opens the door to start your dispute as a consumer with FCRA rights as your defense. In my opinion this is very likely to accomplish with tremendous efforts. I would agree if you follow his/her instructions that chapter 7 judgement is very likely to fall off in the public record area. It may take 60-120 days to succeed. How the Chapter 7 debt is revised? I am not sure about from a credit scoring aspect. Which is very important concerning your scores/debt to ratio. Because we have to keep in mind every creditor added to your bankruptcy is indicated individualy on the credit report. How is the debt listed under the bankruptcy concerning the $0 owed verses the balances originally owed? Anyone who has succeeded with positive results disputing the bankruptcy off thier credit report? Please share your experience here with us. Thanks!

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