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Nov 2011

Your Credit Report after Bankruptcy: Do You Want to Get It Right?

Posted by / in After Bankruptcy / 47 comments

Your Credit Report after Bankruptcy: Do You Want to Get It Right?

I’m one of a handful of lawyers in the country who promises to fight the credit bureaus–sue them if necessary–after your bankruptcy is over.

I want to make sure that all the debts discharged in your bankruptcy are reported by the credit bureaus as “discharged in bankruptcy.”  That should be automatic, but it’s not.  Let me tell you how I found out.

This young couple drove up from North Carolina, sat in front of me, and pounded on my desk.   It was 1999, but I still remember.  “We filed bankruptcy with you in 1996; our credit report still isn’t right.  You didn’t finish your job.”

Up ’til that time, I had never looked at an after-bankruptcy credit report.  Never talked about it with any other lawyers;  never had it come up at any of our meetings or conventions.

But when I thought about it, these folks were right!  When a bank, or car dealer or mortgage company wants to know if bankruptcy cleaned up your credit, where do they go?  Do they look at the records of the bankruptcy court?  No.

They look at your credit report.

If the credit report isn’t right, I had to agree the lawyer (me) hadn’t finished the job.

By 2001, I had seen hundreds of after-bankruptcy credit reports.   And I was shocked.  Three of the major credit card companies constantly ignored the bankruptcy.  They left late status, charge offs, past due balances just parked on people’s credit reports.

A big reason it took people seven years to get back to good credit, is most people NEVER got their credit reports right.  The problem wasn’t the bankruptcy.  It was those bad debts, charge offs and past dues that were left parked there.

The more I found out, the madder I got.  I started suing the creditors and the credit bureaus.  I urged other lawyers to sue them, too.  I spoke on this twice at the National Convention of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA).  And once at the credit report conference of the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA).

Today things are a lot better. Two months after bankruptcy, a little more than half of the people now have their credit reports right. That still means a little less than half the people, do not have their credit reports right.

Today, things are better.  Within two months after the bankruptcy is over, a little more than half the credit reports I see now are right.

But that still means, a little less than half the credit reports are not right.    When your case is over, there’s about a one in three chance that at least one of your debts will be parked on your credit report as a bad debt.  It will look like you still owe the money.

A handful of lawyers have been suing on this for the past seven or eight years.  A couple of the top credit report lawyers in the country also got involved.  My good friend Charles Juntikka, from New York City, brought in David Boies, who is famous for doing billion dollar law cases.

With all that, still three or four people out of ten people coming out of bankruptcy will have at least one creditor who says you still owe the money.

I still work with all our clients, to fix their credit reports when your case is over.  If there’s a bad debt showing there, we draft up a letter for you to sign, asking the credit bureaus nicely to fix it.  If that doesn’t work,  we write up a second letter.

If two letters don’t work, we sue.   On average, we sue credit bureaus two or three times a month, to get people’s credit reports right.

Recently, we took a look at the records of all the courts here in Northern Virginia.  I wanted to see who else around here sued the credit bureaus.  As far as I can tell, we are the only bankruptcy lawyers in Northern Virginia that do.

If you select me to be your lawyer, and get our help to get your credit report right, you can thank those people who drove up from North Carolina and told me I didn’t finish my job.

 

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Robert Weed has helped twelve thousand people file bankruptcy in Northern Virginia. Robert Weed is a frequent panelist and speaker at the meetings of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. He is one of Northern Virginia’s most experienced personal bankruptcy lawyers. As an expert on changing consumer bankruptcy laws, Robert Weed has been interviewed on local and national TV and quoted in newspapers across the country.

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47 comments
  • Divina

    December 30, 2011, am31 1:21 AM
    01

    Mr Weed,
    I really, really wished you are here in CA. There’s not a lot of lawyers out there that cares about their clients, you seemed very passionate and caring… I’ve been reading your blogs, different topics and you makes so much sense, you take time and you explain things very well.
    I have sent you my question earlier but I am not getting a confirmation that it went through and I’m in desperate to get your opinion on my case, so I’m sorry if I am re sending this again. I am very scared that I get sued and creditors garnish me, I need guidance… please help.
    ________
    My house in NV was foreclosed 2009, lost job and filed chapter 7 bankruptcy on May 2009 but was dismissed, I had to move to CA and because of severe stress I couldn’t follow through the bankruptcy in NV.
    I now leave in CA and have a job, I kind of put my debt problems in the back burner because there’s a lot of things going on with me. My bankruptcy lawyer in NV told me to wait 6-7mos before filing again here in CA but I never did.
    I just happened to check my credit record and some of my creditors put “charged off”, “discharged from BK chapter 7″ and some “petitioned for bankruptcy” on status.
    I never paid my second loan/mortgage ($75,000) and it says to my credit report status “Petition for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy”. What is that mean and can they forced me to pay? can they sue me? should I file bankruptcy here in CA? My credit loan (all cards plus the 2nd loan) total is around $85,000 (my job now pays $90,000/year with monthly expenses of $4,500).
    Please response…I am scared, I’m a single mom and don’t know any trusted lawyer here.
    Thank you.

    • Robert Weed

      December 30, 2011, pm31 7:30 PM
      02

      DIVINA:

      Your credit report is obviously all confused. But the fact is, you owe those debts, since your bankruptcy was dismissed, regardless of how they are hitting your credit. And at some point someone will figure that out and they will start coming after you. And yes they can sue you, garnish you, and force you to pay. Your bankruptcy lawyer in NV was right that you needed to talk to a lawyer there in California. You didn’t say how many children you have, but you have good income and in a lot of places you would find it tough to get a bankruptcy approved. Here in Northern Virginia it can be tough to get approval for say a single mom with one child at home making $90,000. Not saying it can’t be done. But starting now, when no one is chasing you, would allow time to do the planning that might be needed to line up everything and get it approved. Now with six kids, approval would be easy. (It also matters if you are in a high rent part of California–which is most of California, I think. Or if you are in some small town where rents are low.)

  • mike

    January 4, 2012, pm31 7:04 PM
    03

    Hi Mr Weed,

    Mike in Loudoun County here, I really enjoy reading your blog. Quick question: I noticed that 2 years after a Chapter 7 discharge, a mortgage bank (whose loan was discharged and not reaffirmed) was still reporting post-discharge payments to a credit bureau who was listing them on a credit report. The loan shows as discharged in chapter 7 on the report, but the voluntary monthly payment dates and amounts (which keep the owner’s in the house as per the unwritten/unspoken ride through agreement) are still being reported. Is this legal? If not, maybe you can do something about it on behalf of the mortgagees. I look forward to your reply. Keep up the great blog!

    • Robert Weed

      January 5, 2012, am31 7:04 AM
      04

      MIKE:

      As long as the payments are showing current, it’s helping you. So I think the credit reporting is wrong, but if it helps, why mess with it. But if you are thinking of changing your mind and moving out, then you need to get the credit reporting stopped. Not sure where you are going with this.

  • Divina

    January 7, 2012, pm31 1:16 PM
    05

    Thank you Mr. Weed for your response.
    How does the statue of limitation apply in my situation? Most of these credit cards/debts are coming to 3 – 4 years since last activity. My second loan ($75,000) last activity (my last payment) was early/mid 2008 and credit cards were late 2008.
    When does SOL start? I was told – last activity, meaning my last payment. Is that right?

  • Louis

    January 28, 2012, pm31 12:58 PM
    06

    Mr. Weed,
    Glad I came across your website! I have a question. I was discharged from a Chapter 7 about 8 months ago. All of my credit card accounts except one are reporting to the credit bureau zero balances and N/A. This one particular bank is still reporting my credit card limit and my high balance which exceededs my limit. Is this legal? When I apply for credit, the computer doesn’t read “Discharged in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy” it reads numbers. This company is refusing to remove these balances. What recourses do I have if any?

    • Robert Weed

      January 28, 2012, pm31 1:28 PM
      07

      LOUIS:

      You need to do a Fair Credit Reporting dispute. Write a letter to the Credit Bureaus with a copy to the creditor. Say that they are reporting a balance, but it should show bankruptcy and balance $0 of N/A. If that doesn’t work, send a second letter.

      If two letters don’t work, you should sue them under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Look for a lawyer in your area who does that work at NACA.net. (National Association of Consumer Advocates.)

      A handful of bankruptcy lawyers in the country do this. You probably should also ask for bankruptcy lawyer if they do.

  • Don Kurtz

    February 22, 2012, pm29 5:55 PM
    08

    Filed Chpt 7/29/09. American General Fin. show Duscharged in Bankruptcy but in the monthly payment history show “CO” (charge off) for July/09 and August, 09 . I thought the FTC stated no can do AFTER filing for bankruptcy. Experian is the only credit reporting compnay showing the CO.

    Thanks

    Don Kurtz

    • Robert Weed

      February 22, 2012, pm29 8:27 PM
      09

      Don: That’s pretty borderline if it then shows BK for September, 2009. If it doesn’t, then you should fight.

  • Don Kurtz

    February 22, 2012, pm29 8:43 PM
    10

    I’m sorry -Experian shows Status: Discharged thru Bankruptcy Chpt 7
    Accouny History: Debt included in Chpt 7 bankruptcy on Nov 13, 2009. That was the date of the discharge. We filed on 7/29/2009.

    For the payment history at the bottom shows: 2009
    Aug Jul Jun May Apr Mar Feb Jan
    CO CO 60 ND ND ND OK OK

    Just a note on Experian: They show date of status as Nov, 2009, the date of discharge on all accounts “included on Bankruptcy” and I was told today by Experian today they incluede all adverse action from the date of filing Bk to the date of discharge.

    Thanks again. It just does not seem legal or right to ding us twice. How can it be charged off twice for the same bankruptcy?

    Don Kurtz

  • Don Kurtz

    March 5, 2012, pm31 7:40 PM
    11

    OK, I give up. Received a LETTER from Experian telling me they report you as “late” from the month of filing of Chpt 7 Bankruptcy if you stopped making payments on the account (as advised my my attorney) and continue to report the account 30-60-90 days late until the the month AFTER discharge. American General Finance is reporting 90 days late AFTER filing for bankruptcy AND two (2) CO (charge off) for July and August of 2009. June is reported as 90 days late. How can they charge off the account and report it TWICE after filing for bankruptcy? No wonder consumers are mad a hell!

    Thanks again for all the help

    Don Kurtz

  • Liz Massey

    March 9, 2012, pm31 5:47 PM
    12

    I have the same problem with Experian as Don Kurtz. It’s like getting hit 2-3 times on your score. I have disputed my husbands 3 times, plus called Experian and disputed them and they are still wrong. Another thing that happened on my report was when I disputed 3 that had charged off and included in bankruptcy, they removed the accounts only to be back on my report 6 months later. Then I would dispute them again, they would come off my report then again come back on. How do you fix this problem? It’s been 2 years trying to get it all straightened out, but it doesn’t seem to be working. Isn’t there a temporary stay put in place when you file on reporting , then a permanent stay put in place after the discharge? My understanding of this is that once the temp. stay is in force, no negative reporting is allowed. My other understanding is, if it was not on your report before you filed, it shouldn’t be there after you filed. Am I wrong with my assumptions?

    • Robert Weed

      March 10, 2012, pm31 12:46 PM
      13

      Liz: If they take something off and then it comes back, that’s called a “re-insertion.” Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, they are required to give you notice of a re-insertion, which they never do. That gives you the right to sue them, and by suing them you can get it fixed and your lawyer will get paid and maybe a little for you. Go to NACA.net and look for a lawyer near you who does FCRA.

  • Nicole

    March 17, 2012, pm31 5:49 PM
    14

    I have a couple questions… #1. I discharged in nov last year from chapter 13 and checked my credit report recently which shows that I still owe one of my creditors, which were included in the bankruptcy, and it wont be removed til 2014. should I just go through my bnkrptcy att to get this fixed?….#2. My car loan which was through chrysler financial and now is another one won’t tell me anything even though I have kept paying on it and the chapt 13 is discharged. They won’t tell me the pay off amount or start sending me my monthly bill again and tell me if I want to continue making”voluntary” payments I can but not required to do so. Plus, this loan doesn’t show on mine or my husbands credit report. So I’m unclear on what to do about that situation at all. If you have any suggestions that woulda be so helpful.

    • Robert Weed

      March 30, 2012, pm31 12:31 PM
      15

      Nicole:

      I have really struggled to answer your questions.

      1. You need to get the debts that were paid off in your C13 showing as discharged on your credit report. Only a handful of bankruptcy lawyers in the country promise to work with you until your credit report matches your bankruptcy. But your bankruptcy lawyer is where you should start. Maybe he’s one who offers that service. Maybe no one has every asked him before.

      If your lawyer will not help you, then you should write your own letter to the credit bureaus where the creditor is still showing you owe the money. Get your credit reports individually from each of the three credit bureaus. Annualcreditreport.com is a good place to go. Do NOT go to freecreditreport.com.

      If your letters don’t fix it, find a lawyer who does Fair Credit Report law in your state. The National Association of Consumer Advocates, at naca.net, is a good place to look for a credit report lawyer. Or, your bankruptcy lawyer might know someone in your area.

      2. Depending on how your Chapter 13 plan treated it, it is not totally clear that the car loan was discharged or not. That’s kind of a gray area and your bankruptcy Chapter 13 plan could do it either way. So Chrysler is treating it as discharged, but I’m not positive that’s right–which means I’m not positive they might not change their mind. If it in fact is discharged, then it should NOT show on your credit report and you are making voluntary payments. If you don’t make those voluntary payments, they can come get the car, but they cannot come after you. But, like I said, it may not actually be discharged and there’s some risk if you don’t pay and they get the car that they figure out you do sitll owe the money and come after you. Sorry, even if I have all your papers in front of me, I’m not sure I could give you a better answer. At this distance, I know I can’t. Sorry.

  • Anglea

    March 31, 2012, am31 8:03 AM
    16

    Atty Weed,

    I was discharged from a bankruptcy almost 11 years ago. It has been removed from my credit report. However, 2 of the creditors have remained on my report, one (Macy’s) states the last payment date as 6/11/99 and last reported change as 11/1/2001; states the account is in good standing. I haven’t had any dealings with Macy’s since before filing.

    Another account, also placed in the filing is showing last reported activity as recently as 7/1/09. There hasn’t been any activity again since the filing and discharge of almost 11 years.

    What can I do about these?

    • Robert Weed

      April 3, 2012, pm30 1:27 PM
      17

      Angela:

      The big idea in credit reporting is that you have ti dispute stuff that you don’t agree with.

      The Macy’s account should have come after after seven years of no activity–BUT, it’s helping you, very slightly. I’d leave it alone.

      The “other account” that still reported you through July 2009 needs to be fixed. Write to the credit bureau, say it was discharged in your 2001 bankruptcy–send them the list of creditors in your 2001 bankruptcy if you can still find it–that should take care of it. If it does, find a credit report lawyer in your state at NACA.net.

  • Mike M

    April 27, 2012, pm30 2:52 PM
    18

    Mr. Weed,
    My wife and I filed for Bankruptcy protection in April of 2005. Our bankruptcy was discharged in Aug. 2005. We have a home equity line of credit with Huntington National Bank that was included and discharged in this bankruptcy filing. We have been making voluntary payments on this loan for the last 7 years and it seems in September 2011 we missed a payment and we are now trying to Refinance our fist mortgage and this Home Equity line of credit into one lower monthly payment so we can get rid of this loan completely. The mortgage company doing our new loan informed me that Huntington is now reporting that we filed bankruptcy on this loan in 2011 making it look like we filed bankruptcy twice. They also erroneously reported an auto loan that was paid in full in 2010 as a bankrupt loan also. This will be the second time that Huntington will have caused us not to be able to refinance which could have saved us over $500 a month over the next 15 years. I thought once the loan was discharged thru bankruptcy protection they could no longer report on the payment status any longer. Please give me any advice as to what I should do or if there is legal action I can take to stop Huntington from harassing me by reporting bad information to the credit bureaus. I have a copy of a credit report. If you would like to see it please let me know.
    Thanks,
    Mike M

    • Robert Weed

      April 28, 2012, pm30 3:42 PM
      19

      Mike:

      So, what’s on your credit report. Your lender is supposed to tell you what credit bureau they used–and that entitles you to a freed credit report form them so you can see for yourself. Otherwise, you can go to annualcreditreport.com and credit credit reports from each of the three. Do NOT use FREECREDITREPORT.com.

      Assuming Huntington is reporting a 2011 date for your bankruptcy, that’s not “complete and accurate,” which is what they are required to be. Your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting law, mostly begin after you have done a dispute; so you need to do disputes. If that doesn’t work, then you have the right to take legal action. You need to find a lawyer in your area who does FCRA law. naca.net is one place to look.

      the mortgage company doing the loan should have explained all this to you and that would have gotten you on it, sooner, but you can at least get started today.

      Good luck.

  • Robert John

    May 30, 2012, pm31 1:22 PM
    20

    Do you handle Bankrupty’s in Texas ?

    • Robert Weed

      May 30, 2012, pm31 1:30 PM
      21

      Texas Robert:

      Sorry, no.

  • Stephanie

    June 1, 2012, pm30 8:41 PM
    22

    Mr. Weed,
    My husband and I filed Ch. 7 in 2009. We reaffirmed our mortgage and continued to pay on time, never having missed a payment even through bankruptcy. This shows as current and paying as agreed. My Home Equity line of credit with the same bank is also current and always paid on time never having missed a payment. They did eliminate the ability to use the line of credit. The credit report shows that the HELOC was a major delinquency and was included in the bankruptcy with no balance shown. My problem is it was never delinquent and now does not show as a current account paying as agreed. I have disputed this and that is noted with the account, but I feel the way it shows on the report, it is hurting our credit. I would think showing that we are and have continued to make payments as agreed should be what is shown, not as it is.
    Does this sound correct to you?

    Thank you for your help.

    • Robert Weed

      June 2, 2012, pm30 2:11 PM
      23

      Steph:

      YOU’RE RIGHT that way HELOC shows on your credit (just showing bankruptcy) is hurting your credit a little–very little assuming there were other debts in the bankruptcy which I assume there were. Whether you had six debts in your bankruptcy or only five will affect your credit score–but not that much.

      But I agree with THEM on how it should be reported. You did file bankruptcy on the HELOC and bankruptcy is a derogatory. I think it should show bankruptcy if you stop paying; and it should show bankruptcy if you keep paying.

      Don’t know why you reaffirmed the first mortgage–I think that’s usually a bad idea, but it might make sense if the value of your house is even with, or a little more than, what you owe on the first. And if you see yourself staying in the house for years and years ahead.

      And I don’t know why you are paying the second–again their could be good reason, or maybe they aren’t. I talk about that here. http://robertweed.com/blog/chapter-7-bankruptcy/after-bankruptcy-what-if-i-dont-pay-my-second-mortgage/.

      If the credit report is the way I think it should be, then it does not HURT your credit if you stop paying the HELOC–and I think the chance to NOT PAY much more valuable to you than the little help you have on your score if you do pay. But whether you should pay? You need to look at a complete picture of your life, your age, your kids, the value of your house, the laws in your state. That’s a bigger, harder, and lots more important question than how it is reported.

      That’s my opinion anyway.

      Maybe you are doing exactly the right thing, taking all those factor into consideration. But to me, that’s the big question.

  • C Carrigan

    June 28, 2012, pm30 6:08 PM
    24

    Mr, Weed,
    We filed Chapter 7 approx 6 years ago in Illinois and our lawyer is not in practice anymore for me to ask.
    We have a first and second mortgage- the first was reaffirmed (which I did not know that we did not have to do) and nothing was done with the second mortgage. We have been paying both mortgages but have moved out of the house and have been trying to sell for the last year. The second mortgage is not on our credit report. Are we supposed to be paying the second mortgage? What happened if we did not pay the second mortgage but continued to pay the first mortgage? Help… Do not know where to go for answers. Thanks.

    • Robert Weed

      July 2, 2012, am31 11:43 AM
      25

      C C:

      You’ve moved out of the house??? That’s why I tell people NOT to reaffirm a mortgage. (Are you sure you did reaffirm? Did you look in the court records???)

      Your problem is that the first mortgage–since you reaffirmed it–can sue you if you just let it go to foreclosure. And you can’t sell it without approval form the second mortgage, because they still have a lien on the house. So you have to do a sale that satisfies everybody.

      Do you have a real estate agent who has a lot of experience in short sales–that would be where I’d start. Whether you should be paying the second mortgage is really a negotiating strategy with the second mortgage. And a real estate agent who is familiar with your details and with the patterns of lenders in your area would have a better idea than I do.

      (Now you didn’t give me any info on the value now. If the first mortgage would get paid at a foreclosure sale, then you would not have to worry about the second. But you are telling me it’s been hard to sell, so I’m guessing it wouldn’t go for much at the foreclosure.)

      Have you tried to rent it? Can you gen enough rent to cover the first mortgage. Rents are high right now.

      Also, since everything is current, have you looked into the Obama HARP program–to help you get the first mortgage payment down. Being a distant landlord is always risky. but you pained yourself into a corner when you reaffirmed the first. (If you really did.)

  • Chris

    July 14, 2012, pm31 10:25 PM
    26

    Hello Mr Weed,

    Boy, I wish you were my bankruptcy lawyer. But I am in another state.

    I asked my lawyer these questions, and he was unable to answer any of them.

    1. What “status” should credit cards show on my credit reports while I am making my Chapter 13 payments?
    2. What “status” should credit cards show on my credit reports after my BK payments have ended?
    3. Can credit card companies report payments as “late” while I am making my BK payments? I made all of my minimum payments up until my BK was filed, and many of my credit cards show late payments.

    Thanks so much for any answers you can provide. I wish I lived in Virginia!

    • Robert Weed

      July 15, 2012, am31 8:02 AM
      27

      Chris:

      That’s a great question and I don’t have a good answer. Bankruptcy Judge Sue Kelly, in Wisconsin, says they have to report you are current–or not report at all. So does the Credit Reporting Resources Guide, which is the instruction manual published by the credit bureaus.

      BUT, I’ve asked two different judges here to enforce that–and LOST both times. My bankruptcy Judge, Judge Kenney, says they SHOULD report you as LATE. And the United State District Judge I went to cancelled our trial, saying he was ruling against us–and never did say why.

      Somebody needs to fight this–but on this issue you can be glad you don’t live in Virginia.

  • Chris

    July 15, 2012, pm31 2:25 PM
    28

    Thank you for your responses! Sounds like a nightmare.

  • Felix

    August 20, 2012, am31 3:13 AM
    29

    Robert, I discharged my auto loan in my Chapter 7 in CA. I am making the voluntary payments although sometimes late. Can they charge me late fees even if it was discharged?

    • Robert Weed

      August 20, 2012, am31 5:53 AM
      30

      Felix:

      I should know the answer to that, but I don’t. I THINK the answer is No. Of course if you push that, they might just come and get the car….but that would depend on California law, which might protect you. I just don’t know.

  • Elizabeth Curtis

    August 25, 2012, pm31 7:25 PM
    31

    My husband and I filed last year and the discharge was December 2011. We recently received a copy of our report from Trans Union and the report lists the credits that we had before the filing. They are listed at 0 balance and that they were in the filing but I was under the impression that the report would be “blank” other then the bankrupcy and dealings afterwards. Am I mistaken? It also includes inquiries from before Dec 2011. I don’t want to take the time to dispute if I was misinformed. Thanks

    • Robert Weed

      August 26, 2012, pm31 1:25 PM
      32

      Elizabeth:

      Sorry. Bankruptcy should show that all your debts have zero balance and discharged in bankruptcy, but it does NOT blank out the pre-bankrutcy history,

      • Mrs Polite

        December 30, 2013, pm31 7:56 PM
        33

        To piggy back off Elizabeths question; Should the past due history be removed as well?

        My husband and I filed chapter 7 in 2012. Our staus has been updated to included in bankruptcy and our balances all say zero but our 30,60 and 90 day past due histories are still reporting. Should thoes be removed?

        • Robert Weed

          December 31, 2013, am31 11:00 AM
          34

          Mrs Polite:

          If you were current when the bankruptcy was filed, then I think the past dues should be removed. You should dispute them for sure. If that doesn’t work, I don’t know whether you’d find a lawyer would would make a fight over it.

  • Robert

    February 9, 2013, am28 4:53 AM
    35

    Mr. Weed,

    Thanks so much for the thought provoking advice you provide.

    My chapter 13 in CA was discharged 12/12 and I only found out shortly before that BofA never filed a proof of claim on the arrears (and my attorney failed as well) so in terms of our first mortgage we are basically in the same position as when we filed ~12 mo behind. We did get our HELOC stripped, so the property is now only ~50k underwater.

    We’ve been waiting on a modification decision since last year (during bk) and paying in the mean time. I can’t believe the lien can just sail through the BK and come out on the other end! (Seems like a great strategy on their part) so much for a fresh start.

    If they decide to foreclose on us now that our case is discharged/closed do we have any recourse? Any other wisdom you could share in this situation? Dont worry, no matter what we’re staying until the bitter end and paying HOA :+)

    • Robert Weed

      February 9, 2013, am28 7:30 AM
      36

      Robert!

      Wow–that’s a mess!

      You can come back with a Chapter 13 AGAIN and this time use it to catch up the first mortgage. (You don’t need a Chapter 13 discharge–which you aren’t eligible for again–you just need a Chapter 13 payment plan. Some courts frown on comign back right away, but you have a great story to tell, so you could explain it if challenged.)

  • christine

    March 25, 2013, pm31 9:30 PM
    37

    Mr. Weed,
    My husband and I filed bankruptcy 3 years ago, it was discharged 2 years ago. We included our home which was a fha loan in our bankruptcy. We are trying to get preapproved for va loan, now the lenders underwriter ran a caivrs report and we came up on the list due to that home loan which was an original country wide loan that was bought out by Bank of America. After spending hours on on the phone being transferred from one dept to the next with B of A we learned that B of A who didn’t even know what caivrs is. In any case, B of A never began the foreclosure process, they started then stopped. They told us they can not change the status of existing home loan because they haven’t started the process of foreclosure, therefor its listed as active/delinquent which then leads to our delinquent status in caivrs. B of A states they don’t report to caivrs, yet that’s whos indicating on the alert. My question is…is it illegal for them to list my loan as being delinquent if its been discharged?
    Thanks,
    Christine

    • Robert Weed

      March 26, 2013, am31 11:56 AM
      38

      Christine:

      Like BofA, I never heard of caivrs either.

      There are two separate issues that get confused. It sounds like you are saying BofA never foreclosed your house–it’s still sitting empty and you still own it.

      I’m not sure about a VA loan, but I think it’s almost impossible to get approved on a mortgage now if you still own another house that hasn’t been foreclosed. Lenders get that from the land record, not your credit report. Maybe caivrs is how they get it from the land records, I don’t know. If that’s what’s going on you could have been living there for free, that’s why I tell people Don’t Move Out. http://robertweed.com/blog/after-bankruptcy/file-bankruptcy-stop-paying-dont-leave-that-house/.

      Now on your credit report, the loan should show bankruptcy in 2010, and nothing since then. Your credit report determines your credit score and your ability to get a good rate on car loans–and on mortgage loans, too. You can get your credit reports from each of the big three credit bureaus and see what is shows. The big three are Experian, Equifax and Trans Union–everybody else gets their info from those three. You can call 1-877-322-8228. If BofA is showing something other than bankruptcy on those, you want to dispute it. Your right to dispute runs with the CREDIT BUREAUS, not the bank.

      If a dispute doesn’t fix it, you need to talk to a credit report lawyer. One place to look at here. http://naca.net/.

  • JEFF

    January 23, 2014, pm31 7:52 PM
    39

    Mr. Weed,
    My Wife and I filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy in June 2008 in Florida. We surrendered our home in the Bankruptcy Petition. Our Credit report shows late payments every month from June 2008 until July 2011 which shows foreclosure. After Disputing information with Experian, results were updated to include 180 days late in Payment History from June 2009 until June 2011 ending with Foreclosure. Account History states Same. Also states Filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy on July 08,2011. Bankruptcy Discharged on August 2013. The Second Mortgage Which was included in Chapter 13 bankruptcy as surrendered also continued reporting late payments after date of petition and is listed as charge off under payment history on NOV 18. Status is Petitioned for Chapter 13 bankruptcy 0 $ charged off. Also account was sold/ transferred to another lender during bankruptcy and again recently. Can Creditors continue to report late payments after the bankruptcy Petition until Discharge? I was under the impression my obligation to pay ended with the Petition and surrender of the property.
    Thanks
    Jeff

    • Robert Weed

      January 23, 2014, pm31 8:08 PM
      40

      Jeff:

      Credit reporting in Chapter 13 is a mess. I’m with you, but two judges here agreed with them So I’m hoping people like you can get a lawyer to fight them somewhere else in the country, and get some judges to agree with the judge in Wisconsin.

      The only thing I can do is encourage you to try to get a lawyer there in Florida to take this on.

  • vanessa

    February 11, 2014, pm28 10:55 PM
    41

    Hello, I filed chapter 7 and received a discharge. Checked my credit report and it states “petition for chapter 7 bankruptcy” under a home equity line of credit that was included in the bankruptcy. Should it say that or should it state “discharged” or “included in bankruptcy” as the other accounts do? Also I have never received any paperwork regarding a lien on my house as I still live there. Can they place a lien on it? If so would they need to notify me of this? Would my county recorders office have this information if there was one put on my house. Thank you!

    • Robert Weed

      February 13, 2014, am28 11:29 AM
      42

      Vanessa:

      First on the credit report. There are separate codes for “included in bankruptcy” and “discharged in bankruptcy.” I’ve never made a fight over those differences, though. Not sure it’s worth the trouble. But you can send in a dispute letter and ask them to update it.

      On the home equity loan, it already is a lien. Your lawyer REALLY should have explained that to you. You can read more about it here. http://robertweed.com/2010/03/25/after-bankruptcy-what-if-i-dont-pay-my-second-mortgage/.

  • Sherol

    May 12, 2014, am31 3:29 AM
    43

    I filed and got a BK on business debts in 2011. Then my attorney tried to settle the student loan nightmare I was in. We ended up with a settlement filed in federal court that says all loans are to show satisfied and one loan is to show the settlement amount with a decreasing balance and the payments I make on my credit report. The settlement was $4,800 and no interest. The amount that showed from the settlement date was $18K and it has steadily increased to over $26K. They also do not show the payment amount I have made on time for 13 months now. I have no idea who to talk to because I was informed I will always be in default and owe that money even with a settlement. And now I’m in process of trying to buy a house and the student loans not being listed correct is causing lender to deny my loan. I don’t understand how they will take the bureaus incorrect reporting over a federal court document. When I disputed the filing with bureaus they allowed it to sit as disputed for months after telling me they would not change the entry, and that also throws a lender into a tizzy. I had to removed the disputed remarks but that still gets me no where closer to the correct reporting. I offered to send my court papers but was told they can only go by what is submitted by those reporting to my credit report. Any idea how to go about getting this corrected? And also concerned I may be on the CAIVRS even with this settlement. Do I have any recourse as all this incorrect information is destroying my chance of owing a home.

    • Robert Weed

      Robert Weed

      May 12, 2014, pm31 6:10 PM
      44

      Sherol:

      I’m primarily a bankruptcy lawyer and not a credit reporting expert. (I know a lot about credit reporting for a bankruptcy lawyer.) You need to find a credit reporting lawyer in your state. Here’s a good place to look. http://www.naca.net/ Good luck

  • Ty

    October 25, 2014, pm31 9:23 PM
    45

    Mr. Weed,

    I filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in 2006 and it discharged in 2012. I had a 1st mortgage with CitiMortgage and a 2nd mortgage with BB&T. The 2nd mortgage was not delinquent prior to the bankruptcy, but the 1st was. After the discharge, I suffered a significant income loss and the 2nd mortgage holder foreclosed, even though they took an $85,000 loss to do so! They are now also reporting the foreclosure on my credit report. Can they do that after a discharged bankruptcy when the account was listed in the schedule of creditors and not reaffirmed? I am in North Carolina.

    • Robert Weed

      Robert Weed

      October 25, 2014, pm31 9:36 PM
      46

      Ty:

      That’s a tough one. The wording of Chapter 13 is that debts are discharged, UNLESS you are using chapter 13 to catch them up. then they aren’t discharged. So that should mean the first wasn’t discharged, but the second was.

      But what some judges think that means is that unsecured debts are discharged, and secured debts aren’t. So some people would say they are right to put it on your credit report and they can also actually come after you for the money.

      You didn’t say who your bankruptcy lawyer was. You need a lawyer who knows about Chapter 13 and also knows about credit reporting law.

      You can try Billy Brewer http://www.debtrelief.com/, or Max Gardner http://www.maxgardner.com/.

      • Ty

        October 25, 2014, pm31 9:41 PM
        47

        Mr. Weed,

        Thanks much. My bankruptcy attorney was John Orcutt. I will contact Bill Brewer and/or Max Gardner and see what they say.

        Thanks much.

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