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Vermont Bankruptcy Services

Law Office James Palmisano
417 Barre Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
Phone: (800) 585-3169
Phone: (802) 229-4001
Fax: (802) 229-2733

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.:Credit Reports:.

What is a credit report
A credit report is a history.  That history can properly include delinquencies or bankruptcy.  A bankruptcy discharge will not erase discharged creditors or your pre bankruptcy payment history.  After a bankruptcy discharge, the amount outstanding for each discharged account should be shown as zero.

Consumers are entitled to a free credit report annually from each of the major reporting agencies. Click Here to get a free copy of your credit report.  Your credit report is not a guide to everyone you may owe money to.  Not all creditors report to credit reporting agencies; your credit report lists only those that do report and the contents of the public record.

Charge Off. The notation that a debt is charged off does not necessarily mean it is not legally enforceable. "Charge off" is essentially an accounting term that indicates that the creditor doesn't expect to collect the debt; a charge off alters the creditor's income for tax purposes.  It does not relieve the debtor of legal liability for its payment.

Credit reports after bankruptcy Your bankruptcy can be reported on your credit report for up to 10 years from the filing of the case, although some creditors will report a Chapter 13 bankruptcy for only seven years.  Negative history on your credit report is just that: history.  It does not doom you to perpetual credit rejection. It does challenge you to strengthen your financial present by saving and using credit carefully.

Fixing your credit report.
You should work directly with your creditors to clear up credit issues.  When you have a correction, get a letter from the creditor that you can then submit to all three credit bureaus to update your credit score.

Important items to note about your credit report include:

  • Late payments are generally categorized as 30, 60, or 90 days late
  • The more late payments there are, the lower your credit score and the less favorable your credit looks

  • If you have previous mortgages on your credit, lenders carefully scrutinize this to see if you were timely on these

  • Some lenders restrict certain mortgage loan programs to people with “no lates” within the last 12 months on a mortgage

  • Other lenders specialize in people who have 30, 60, or more days late on their mortgage, but obviously their rates tend to be higher

  • Sometimes lenders can be irritated by lots of small $20 or $80 collections from old cell phone bills and similar items – this shows that you are not a conscientious customer

  • If there is an occasional thirty day late on a credit card that has normally been paid like clockwork for several years, this may be explained in writing to the lender as an accident that won’t happen again

  • Sometimes your lender will double check your credit just prior to sending the loan out. If you happen to be late on something, such as a car payment or mortgage, this might stop the loan in its tracks.

  • When you are in the process of getting a mortgage it is a good idea not to run up additional credit until after you are done

5 Ways to Correct Errors on Your Credit Report

Attempting to correct credit report errors can be challenging.  So here are some tips to help you handle the dispute:

  1. Start your dispute directly with the credit bureau, not the creditor.
  2. Contact the creditor in writing with the disputed information and a letter.
  3. Maintain all records of your dispute, and when sending mail, send it "return receipt requested."
  4. Take notes of any telephone conversations you have and make note of the other party's name, date and time of day. If you file online, print out everything and save your records.
  5. Be patient. Resolving disputes can take months, especially if your report contains multiple errors.

How to correct Errors
You don't need to hire anyone to see that errors in your credit report are corrected or positive information is reported.  Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you can challenge information that you believe is inaccurate. If the reporting agency can't verify the accuracy of the information, they must remove it.  If you have received a discharge in bankruptcy, it is in your interest to have the discharge noted on your report, since it is proof that the old debt is no longer legally enforceable.

Click Here to download "How to Correct Credit Report Errors?"

File Federal Trade Commission Compalint
If error not corrected in 30 days file FTC complaint.  While the FTC does not resolve individual consumer problems, your complaint helps them investigate fraud, and can lead to law enforcement action.

Click Here to download "How to file FTC Complaint?"

 

Web Links

Free Annual Credit Reports
Get your free annual credit report
AnnualCreditReport.com

Find Your Car's Value
NADA Car Value
www.nada.com
Kelly Blue Book Value
www.kbb.com

Pre-Bankruptcy Counseling
Institute for Financial Literacy
www.financiallit.org

Post-Bankruptcy Debtor Education
Institute for Financial Literacy
www.financiallit.org

Find Your Car's Values
NADA Car Values
www.nada.com