Coming out of bankruptcy is a great milestone. It renews confidence, offers comfort and provides you with a sense of accomplishment from meeting a tough challenge head on and surmounting it.
Like most people who have experienced these emotions, you have comprehensive understanding of how to better control your spending and look out for your financial well-being. One component of that is learning to identify common credit report problems that arise after bankruptcy.
Look for a record of credit agency activity that is listed separately from the debt they tried to collect. This makes it appear as if you had two outstanding debts. The original debt should have been discharged as a result of your bankruptcy and thus, the agency should not appear on the report. This is a very frustrating component of a post-bankruptcy credit report because a bankruptcy eliminates debts with organizations to which you owe money but does not eradicate the record of the debts. In other words, it's a two-step process: removing the debts and reporting that they were removed. Parts of the second step often fall through the cracks.
Another common reporting error involves accounts that were reported closed by the creditor instead of it being closed by you. This would indicate that a creditor shut down the account instead of it being done as a result of a bankruptcy, intimating that it was done outside of your control because of your inability to pay. If a closed account appears open and the payment history demonstrates a clean record, leave that one alone because it will help.
We've said on the blog many times but it bears repeating: make sure your credit report looks good at all reporting agencies. It's very possible that one bureau reports a solid history and the other still shows bad debts. It is also crucial to ensure any existing debt is correctly reported by all agencies.
One technique for proving credit report accuracy after a bankruptcy is to compare your report with your bankruptcy paperwork. Look at discharged debts and then what is listed on your credit report. This is bare-bones way to rest comfortably that your information is being handled the right way and won't derail any future loan plans, such as a mortgage or student loan.
One last bit of advice: Do not turn to a credit repair business to repair mistakes in your credit report. These are businesses that charge a hefty up front fee, promising to improve your credit score quickly. As someone who took the initiative to contact an attorney, gather your wits and decide that bankruptcy was the best option, you can repair your credit on your own. With some time and a little bit of effort, you can rebuild your credit.
From: The Law Offices of John T. Orcutt. Helping thousands of families with the power of bankruptcy. Call 1-888-234-4181 to set up a free initial debt consultation.