What’s a credit report? Where do they came from? What’s a “credit file disclosure?”
After bankruptcy, you want to make sure your credit reports will be right. You want to make sure your discharged debts are showing discharged in bankruptcy; and it doesn’t look like some are still out there. Having a bankruptcy on your credit report is bad for your credit. (You can build back to good credit in three years.) Having bad debts on your credit report is worse than having a bankruptcy. Having bankruptcy and also having bad debts–you really don’t want that.
There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of outfits that sell credit reports. It’s impossible to keep track of everybody who can or might do a credit report on you.
But there are only three companies that keep a permanent file on you. Those three are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Everybody else, when they do a credit report on you, gets your credit file from Equifax or Experian or Transunion or all of them.
If you want your credit reports, after bankruptcy, to be right, we need to be sure that your “credit files” are right. We want to be sure that when a landlord, car finance company, mortgage lenders or whoever looks at your credit report, they see that your debts were discharged in your bankruptcy.
To do that, we need to see what’s in your credit files. Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are the people who keep a credit file on you. The big banks, car loan companies, and most creditors report your credit to Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion every month. (Some smaller companies, especially debt collectors, just report to one or two of the three.) In order to see what they are reporting, we need to see your credit files.
So we need to get your credit file from each of them. You have a right to see what’s in the file they have on you. That’s your right to a “credit file disclosure.” This would be easier to keep in your head if the “credit file disclosure” was called a credit file disclosure. But it’s not. Everybody calls your “credit file disclosure” your “credit report.” In fact, the place to go to get your “credit file disclosure” calls it a credit report. That place is annualcreditreport.com.
Annualcreditreport.com is the place that Equifax, Experian and Transunion set up because they are required to give you one free “credit file disclosure” every year. You can also get a free disclosure, at annualcreditreport.com, if you’ve been turned down for credit in the last 60 days. If you’ve used up your free report and haven’t been turned down recently, you can buy a credit file disclosure for $12. (The Federal Trade Commission sets this price.) That’s $12 each for Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
We’ll help you fight to make sure your credit file is right.
I’m one of only a handful of lawyers in the country who will fight on your side to make sure your credit file is right, so that your credit reports will be right, after the bankruptcy is over. (Now by “right” I mean that the debts discharged in the bankruptcy all say discharged in bankruptcy. Other credit report mistakes–showing you lived someplace you never lived in–I don’t promise to fix those.)
The first step is to wait two months after your bankruptcy discharge. The judge in the Terri White class action gave Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, two months after your discharge to make sure they are showing bankruptcy on all the debts discharged in the bankruptcy.
The second step is to get your credit files disclosures. Get them at annualcreditreport.com. Get one each for Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Try to get one because you have been turned down for credit. If that doesn’t work, try to get your free annual disclosure. If that doesn’t work, spend the $12.
Keep in mind that dozens of places will sell you, or give you for “free,” an Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion credit report. We don’t want those. You need to get your Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion “credit file disclosure.” Where can you get those? From annualcreditreport.com.
The third step is to send them in, so we can look at them.
Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Denise Pitts Helps Me Sue Credit Bureaus
Denise Pitts joined my law firm in January 2015.
I barely go anywhere other than the bankruptcy court, but Denise has much wider experience. She has seven years experience as an assistant county attorney in Fairfax. And she previously worked as a prosecutor, in Texas and also North Carolina.
That experience helps us when we sue credit bureaus and creditors, for not fixing your after-bankruptcy credit report.