Now that you’ve removed erroneous information, made sure any “holes” were filled with the accurate information and done an overall Spring Cleaning on your credit report, you’re ready for Step Three.
Step Three: Verify That Accounts Are Reporting Accurately
Remember the reason you filed for bankruptcy? It was for the bankruptcy protection offered to consumers by law, right? That bankruptcy protection keeps creditors from harassing you as a result of the Automatic Stay. But the wonder of bankruptcy doesn’t stop there. Once it’s all said and done the bankruptcy trustee has completed his work, you were issued a discharge of your debt.
Any debt that was discharged by bankruptcy should be reflecting as such on your credit reports. The discharge will not erase a history of late payments or previous delinquent statuses, but they should all have a current status of discharged in bankruptcy.
The last delinquent payment shown on your credit report for accounts discharged in your bankruptcy should be the month after you filed your bankruptcy petition. All trade lines on your credit report should actually read, “Discharged in Bankruptcy” or “Included in Bankruptcy.” They should also show a zero balance.
Once you’ve verified that all the debts/accounts included in your bankruptcy are reporting as discharged with a zero balance, you should check for any erroneous account information. If there are any accounts on your report that aren’t yours – you need to have them removed. If you don’t recognize an account, you should dispute its inclusion on your report.
Tip: Only dispute accounts that you legitimately do not believe should be on your credit report. There are companies out there who insist they can get negative marks/accounts removed from your credit report on a “technicality,” but even in situations where they succeed in doing so, the mark/account will resurface once it has been verified. If the information is accurate and is removed by the credit bureau as a result of a consumer request, the creditor will simply repost the information again.
Removing accurate information that is affecting your credit score negatively can seem like a good idea at first, but having large gaps in your credit history or “ghost credit” as some like to call it can be seen as a negative as well. Future creditors/lenders considering your credit report will wonder at the large gaps in your credit history – particularly considering the fact that you filed for bankruptcy. They will immediately assume you’re hiding something. In fact, they’ll probably immediately assume you’re hiding something much worse than the negative information you may have managed to have removed from your report.
If you need additional information about filing for bankruptcy or if you have questions about the recovery process after bankruptcy, please get in touch with an experienced southern California bankruptcy attorney from Westgate Law today.