Recently we received a question from one of our members who for confidentiality purposes we’ll call Joe. His question is: “I have a bankruptcy due to medical bills after a serious car wreck and my question is, is it legally possible to remove a bankruptcy from my report? I’ve always been told a bankruptcy will stay on for seven years.”
The short answer to Joe’s question is yes, you can remove a bankruptcy from your credit report before seven to ten years. It’s shocking to hear the masses and so called experts claim folks have to just live with negative items on their credit reports. Moreover these misinformed folks are claiming that you must live with these items for the maximum amount of time!
There is no minimum amount of time any item must remain on your credit report. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) only specifies a maximum amount of time. With that said removing a bankruptcy is slightly more challenging because of a few aspects which we’ll discuss momentarily, but know that in 2013 over 100,000 people had a bankruptcy removed from their credit reports. In other words it can be done and is on a regular basis.
How To Remove Bankruptcy From Credit Report
In order to legally remove a bankruptcy from your credit report you’ll have to exercise your rights granted by the FCRA. This legislation was originally passed way back in 1970 with the purpose of giving you and every citizen the right to challenge and clear credit reports of inaccurate, questionable, and misleading information.
You’ll have to file a credit bureau dispute with each of the three major credit bureaus. You can do this online, over the phone, and by mail. Once the bureaus receive your dispute and find it valid, then they’ll conduct what they call a reinvestigation.
Generally speaking public records are easier items to remove from your credit report because the bureaus will have to contact a court clerk who will have to physically go and retrieve verification of your bankruptcy. Naturally this rarely occurs because most court clerks are overworked and underpaid.
The catch when specifically working to remove a bankruptcy is the other listings on your credit report. You see, when you initially filed bankruptcy this caused your current lines of credit also called tradelines, to be changed to a status of included in bankruptcy on your credit reports.
This means, when the credit bureaus conduct an investigation into your bankruptcy dispute they can look to the other tradelines and if they say included in bankruptcy, then that will be used as verification. For example with any medical bill collections that currently say included in bankruptcy this will be used to verify your original bankruptcy notation.
The Good News
Therefore you’ll have to start cleaning up credit by challenging, disputing, and removing any tradelines with the status of included in bankruptcy. Once you’ve removed these items such as any medical collections, then you should dispute the bankruptcy item.
This time for the credit bureaus to verify the bankruptcy they’ll need a court clerk to physically run over and pull the public records that show and prove this item is accurate. This is very rare and according to the FCRA any item the credit bureaus can’t verify must be removed from your credit reports.
Look any time you hear these fools claiming you must live with negative information on your credit report for any certain number of years, you can know with certainty they haven’t actually read the law. The FCRA gives you the right to challenge any item and it clearly says that any item that can’t be verified must be removed from your credit history.
You see, the only way an item can be verified is through a credit bureau investigation. This means you can dispute any item on your credit reports and rest easily at night knowing you won’t be woken up with a SWAT team breaking down your front door. In the forty plus years this law has been on the books, not one single solitary human being has ever faced any legal or civil repercussions.
Further the FCRA says you can dispute any item you believe to be inaccurate. There’s not one attorney in the world that’s even going to try and prove what you believe about an item on your credit reports. The FCRA is what entitles you to these rights, in exactly the same way the 19th Amendment gives women the right to vote.
Credit Reporting Accuracy
The truth about accurate credit reporting is hogwash. There’s all sorts of incorrect information on people’s credit reports and there’s been many studies on this.
Including a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) study that shows one in five people have errors on their three credit reports. That’s millions of people with inaccurate items on their credit reports that could be costing them real money in higher interest rates, along with the possibility of denial for new credit.
Howard Shelanski, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Economics says: “These are eye-opening numbers for American consumers, the results of this first-of-its-kind study make it clear that consumers should check their credit reports regularly. If they don’t, they are potentially putting their pocketbooks at risk.”
Despite these studies and many others that prove accurate credit reporting is wishful thinking, there’s still a plethora of folks claiming it’s illegal to remove accurate bad credit. The credit bureaus have been fined by the FTC for allegedly violating consumer rights multiple times, including ignoring consumer disputes.
Moreover many citizens have filed lawsuits against the credit bureaus and there’s yet to be any judge, jury, or credit bureau executive that’s clearly defined this term of accurate. Most judges will instead use reasonable common sense when determining the legal application of this term.
The unavoidable truth about credit reporting is you’re guilty until proven innocent. The FTC is continuously contacted for consumer complaints about the credit bureaus. This was the original purpose of the FCRA to give people a route to clear credit history mistakes and without involving the FTC, as even in 1970 the FTC was being flooded with a multitude of consumer complaints about the credit bureaus.
The bureaus are not government agencies and are instead private for profit businesses. The only reason they’ll investigate consumer disputes is to avoid further fines from the FTC. They don’t earn revenue by correcting anyone’s credit reports.
Our government now requires the credit bureaus to perform this task through regulations. However investigating consumer disputes only costs the credit bureaus money, and that’s otherwise profit, which is why they’re so reluctant.
Did you know every year hundreds of thousands of people are able to successfully remove a bankruptcy listing from their credit reports? These folks often turn to professional credit repair services for help to legally clean up credit report errors, inaccuracies, and mistakes.
You see, getting slapped with a credit report error is as easy as dialing a wrong phone number. The only difference is it’s someone typing in the wrong Social Security number and before you know it your credit is tanked, due to a mistake and not one you’ve made.
We encourage our members to consider expert credit repair help with a legal, legitimate, and reputable credit repair company. Because in 2016 alone, over 9 million negative items were successfully removed from consumer’s credit reports.
One of the best firms are The Credit Pros. They’ve helped their client’s remove bankruptcies, late payments, collections, charge offs, judgements, liens, and many more negative credit report items.
Get a free credit consultation with a certified FICO professional by calling toll-free 1-877-418-7596. And for more tips, techniques, and strategies about how to fix credit score with Dan Willis, sign up for our free newsletter and join our congregation.
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