Credit Reports for Bankruptcy and for Bankruptcy Attorneys
Credit reports are important for attorneys to obtain on consumers who are filing for bankruptcy, especially if the consumer has trouble remembering all his debts. In such cases getting your 3 credit reports from all 3 credit bureaus may be the only way if an accurate list of debts is to be assembled.
Some attorneys already have a procedure in place to get the credit reports. While in other cases, the attorney may request the consumer get their own reports1.
Either way the credit reports should show a list of consumer's debts with information such as the name of the account, the date the account was opened, the amount owing, the date the debt was last reported, possibly the account holder's address and/or phone number. There may also be collections listed in the credit reports as well as other public record information including judgements.
Unfortunately the attorney cannot assume the credit bureau lists are all inclusive. The attorney should not even assume the amounts due are accurate unless the date reported of the information is very recent. However, credit reports are the best basis available to organize the eventual list of consumer debts.
For attorneys seeking to open an account with a credit reporting company in order to obtain credit reports on consumer who are filing bankruptcy, there are not a lot of choices, as the three national credit bureaus are very selective in allowing credit reporting companies the resell their credit reports to bankruptcy attorneys. Suite Solutions2 appears to offer credit reports from all three bureaus to attorneys for bankruptcy.
As mentioned earlier, if the attorney does not have a source to get credit reports themselves, it is easiest to ask the consumer to get their own report and provide it to the attorney.
One alternative is for the consumer to sign up for a credit report monitoring service which provides access to their credit reports, such as IdentityGuard which provides a 3 bureau report upon subscribing to their service, and updates to the 3 reports quarterly.
After bankruptcy, it is still important to periodically check and monitor the consumer's credit report to check that the debts discharged in bankruptcy are properly listed at the credit agencies, and that they show the correct amount owing and final resolution of the debt.
Q. Does bankruptcy remove the accounts from my credit report?
A. No, the bankruptcy may affect the way the account is reported after its discharge in bankruptcy, but the account is not necessarily removed from your credit reports. Derogatory information can legally stay on your credit report for up to seven years, but Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be reported up to ten years from date of filing.
Q. Does bankruptcy automatically update my credit report?
A. No, it is not until your creditors update your accounts to the credit bureau that the credit bureau reflects the new status of the accounts discharged in bankruptcy. In the alternative, you can provide the credit bureaus directly with the bankruptcy schedule of accounts discharged so that the credit bureaus could add them to your credit history and update the status of your credit accounts. It would necessary to provide the schedule to all 3 credit bureaus.
Q. What if my credit report does not accurately reflect the accounts discharged in bankruptcy?
A. If items in your credit report are not accurate, you have a right under law to dispute those items. More info on disputing credit reports.