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Credit Reporting

After your bankruptcy case is finished, the real work begins. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), your creditors are required to provide complete and accurate information about your accounts to the credit reporting agencies. Commentary to the Fair Credit Reporting Act states that:

A consumer report may include an account that was discharged in bankruptcy (as well as the bankruptcy itself), as long as it reports a zero balance due to reflect the fact that the consumer is no longer liable for the discharged debt.

That means the only thing your creditors can report after your case is completed is that there is $0 balance due on those accounts, and they were included in your bankruptcy.

A June 2004 report released by the U.S Public Interest Research Group indicates that 79% of credit reports contain mistakes of some kind, and as many as one in four credit reports contains errors serious enough to cause consumers to be denied credit, a loan, an apartment or home loan or even a job.

Without a careful review of your credit report you may not know a problem or inaccuracy exists until after you get denied credit. It’s a good idea to check your credit report every six months to avoid these situations and resolve inaccuracies before they cause problems for you.

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have the right to receive a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. The three nationwide consumer reporting companies have set up a central website, a toll-free telephone number, and a mailing address through which you can order your free annual report.

To order, visit, call 1.877.322.8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. Do not contact the three nationwide consumer reporting companies individually. They are providing free annual credit reports only through these specific places.

What happens if your credit report comes back filled with errors? Don't panic!

I help my clients (in fact, I help any consumer who has been through bankruptcy) enforce their rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. I never charge any up-front legal fee for these types of cases.

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