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Will my debts come off my credit report after bankruptcy?

by | Nov 13, 2014 | Bankruptcy, Firm News

After your bankruptcy discharge goes through, your creditors may still appear on your credit report, although sometimes they come off of your credit report or weren’t on there in the first place. And they will go away once they are 10 years old no matter what. But until then, they would typically show up as “included in bankruptcy,” or similar language showing there is no balance. Normally that will be enough to satisfy future prospective lenders, that the debts have been discharged. Creditors have gotten a lot better about this reporting in the last five years or so in my experience, and if a debt is inaccurately listed on your credit report, you can go through the credit dispute process, which requires a letter and waiting 30 days for the creditor to validate the debt, which they won’t.

One thing that sometimes confuses people, is that if the creditor had actually gotten a judgment against the debtor, then the bankruptcy discharge makes the judgment itself void, i.e. uncollectible, but the judgment stays on the person’s record for 10 years, unless they go through a separate procedure in state court to get the judgment itself to be declared discharged.

An article in today’s New York Times indicates that there is a problem with creditors continuing to report discharged debts on a person’s credit. I have not encountered this issue in several years. It does not mention whether any of the so-called victims in the story had actually gone through the credit dispute process. Creditors can get penalized for taking action to collect the debt, and intentional false reporting of a discharged debt on a person’s credit report would certainly qualify to that regard.