Here’s an email I got today from Jennifer.
( Jennifer and Ken are not their real names.)
“Our discharge was a one year ago in June 2010. When we tried to buy a car back in December 2010, the Chapter 7 discharge was not on my credit report. I pulled my credit a few days ago and the discharge is still not showing, many accounts are marked as delinquent and my score is terrible. I filed several ‘disputes’ with Equifax but this could take up to 45 days. Why is the discharge not on my credit report? What can I do to fix this?? I am very frustrated that my credit looks terrible. The discharge is showing on Ken’s (husband) and his score is much better.
“Thank you for your help.
Jennifer, you are right.
If your bankruptcy is not correctly reported on your credit report, your credit score will stay terrible. It will seem like forever getting back to good credit.
I spoke on this at the convention of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys ten years ago. Back then, seven out of ten people came out of bankruptcy with creditors ignoring the bankruptcy and hitting their credit report. A couple dozen lawyers around the country have sued them on this a lot. Now “only” about one person out of three has that problem.
Two of my staff, lawyer Brian McMorrow and paralegal Janet Robertson, spend almost full time fixing people’s credit reports. (Besides credit bureaus, they also sue debt collectors.)
Here is the link to my instructions on getting your credit reports and getting them to Janet. Janet has looked at ten thousand credit reports! She’ll look at yours, write dispute letters–and if the disputes don’t work, Brian will sue.
A dozen times, I’ve seen creditors and credit bureau lawyers come into court and claim that bankruptcy is the reason people have low scores. Jen and Ken’s example shows that argument is bogus. After bankruptcy, people keep low scores when they don’t get their credit report right. Ken has built his score back up–because the bankruptcy shows he cleared his debts. Jen’s debts are still showing charge off. That’s why her score is lower.
Jennifer, we’ll get that fixed. Please follow up with Janet. If the dispute letters don’t work, we’ll sue.