Filed chapter 7 bankruptcy and a creditor that was listed on the schedules continued to update my credit report for a few months post-petition with "Charged-Off" and an amount. Once the discharge was issued the updated the balance owed as $0.00 but continued to update my credit report stating the debt was "Charged-Off" and the amount in notes. I disputed it but they refused and AGAIN update my credit report with "Charged-Off" followed by the amount in the notes, then notated "Sold to another lender." The month matrix was also updated for every month from now until the date of petition filed (Over 10 months ago) as "CO" stating the debt was "Charged-Off"
I was going to file a Motion for Contempt but they posted the balance as $0.00 but in the notes stated it was Charged-Off every month
Example: (Petition Filed 09/2011, Discharged 12/2011) Status: Closed. $714 written off. Date of Status: 06/2012 Last Reported: 06/2012 Account History: Charge Off as of Jun 2012, Jan 2012, Oct 2011, Mar 2011 to Sep 2011 Recent Balance: $0 Recent Payment: $0
You did not ask a question! What you report is not uncommon, and not something that would result in contempt. They report that you owe nothing, and that is was charged off. That is correct. Why do you think there should be more?
4 lawyers agree
Family Law Attorney
I agree with my colleagues. The report is accurate. Filing bankruptcy does not make the debt disappear as if it never happened, it merely "forgives" it so to speak. I do not believe you have any recourse and certainly no grounds for contempt.
Lawrence J. Marraffino, Gainesville Bankruptcy Lawyer/Attorney
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Family Law Attorney
I both agree and disagree with my colleagues. I disagree that the status of the account is being reported accurately. I think your report should state that the debt is discharged rather than charged off. The "charged off" note is probably continuing to negatively affect your credit score and any future attempts to obtain credit. But I agree with my colleagues that their action isn't contempt, and that this type of thing is common. You could discuss filing a credit clander action with an attorney, but I doubt that you'd have much of a case given the status of your credit after filing bankruptcy, and probably given that your credit wasn't that good before filing bankruptcy.
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Consumer Protection Attorney
I, too, partially agree with my colleagues. Since it appears that the charge-off occurred and was reported prior to your petition being filed, the charge-off may be reported. Had it not been charged off prior to your petition being filed, it could not be reported as such. Nevertheless, the creditor is supposed to accurately report your account as discharged in bankruptcy, if that is what happened in your case. I believe the continued updating, post-discharge, to note a charge-off may be inaccurate. There is case law that supports the position that failure to accurately reflect an account as discharged in bankruptcy on a credit report states a claim for a violation of the discharge. See in Re Russell, 378 B.R. 735 (EDNY 2007). But please consult with a lawyer in your area first.
By the way, did you dispute through the credit bureaus or only to the creditor?
You have an interesting array of answers from attorneys. I like Mr. Tam's response the best, because he raises the question whether you are disputing the notation with the wrong entity, sending your dispute to the creditor, not the credit reporting bureau.
I agree with your concern, that you are taking a double hit on your credit score, one for the bankruptcy and another on the charge-off. A charge off is an accounting action, reflecting the creditor's willingness to take a loss on its books. A charge off is reversible, at the option of the creditor. It is a matter between the creditor and the IRS. A bankruptcy, on the other hand, has the effect of discharging your obligation to pay the debt.
If you dispute the debt with the credit reporting agency, but they keep the notations because the information is accurate, then you are permitted to make a 150 statement that is to be included in the credit report, so you can indicate that the debt was charged off before the BKC but the BKC discharged the debt.
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2 lawyers agree