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Can chapter 7 or chapter 13 be cleared out after 7 years?

San Diego, CA |

My friend told me bankruptcy either chapter 7 or chapter 13 will remain permanently in records, is it true? If it is true, how can one need it to be removed?

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Hello. No, a bankruptcy will not remain on your credit history indefinitely (forever). The amount of time a bankruptcy stays on your record will depend on the type of bankruptcy filed.I believe a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing and discharge will remain on your credit report for up to 10 years (from the date of filing). While a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing and discharge will remain on your credit for 7 years (from the date of your filing). Regardless of a bankruptcy on your credit report, if you work at rebuilding your credit, you will be able to rebuild credit a healthy credit score and qualify for major loans (ie. home loans) within a 2-4 years of filing and/or discharge. I hope this helps you out.


There is a permanent record with the bankruptcy court. The credit reporting agencies can report it for 10 years, but most drop it after 9 years. You cannot remove the truth from either place.


It can be reported for up to ten years.

Follow this link to Experian:

Each service has their own guidelines, but it will be similar.

Hope that helps.

Jim Webster

1845 S. Dobson Rd. Ste 201
Mesa, AZ 85202

(480) 464-4667

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Please contact me directly with document for a free 30 minute consultation to get more concrete advice. This is not legal advice. I don't have enough information to give actual legal advice. I can only take the limited information presented and provide a framework to know how your situation may turn out. I may have questions that bring up issues you did not think were important but make a big difference.


It is my understanding that all bankruptcy cases remain on your credit report for 7 years.


I see there is a disagreement here. I believe that it is 10 years before the bankruptcy completely drops off the credit report but it is also true that you can re-build your credit score within a much shorter period with the right moves.

I believe significant improvements can be made to your score within 2 years after you file if you take out new credit cards, use them (make charges each month), keep balances low (below 50%), and pay on time each month. You can even pay the full balance each month.

Also get several cards to do this with and charge things you would buy anyway like groceries and gas. You can even pay bills with them and then turn around and pay off the credit card online.

If you do this diligently you should re-build your score rather quickly after bankruptcy. Good luck!


If the "records" you refer to are those of the credit reporting agencies, the three major U.S. national bureaus are Experian, Equifax and Transunion. These companies do their best to abide by state and federal fair debt collection laws. Currently, these laws dictate that prior bankruptcies can stay on your credit report for up to 10 years from the filing of the case per 5 USC Section 1679c of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Free credit reports (without credit scores) are available for individuals one time per year from the following website:, and you can order one per year from each of the three companies. I am not aware of any lawful way to remove the bankruptcy reference from the credit reports prior to the 10 year time frame, although you can establish fresh credit records by incorporating new corporations, LLC's and LLP's, since those new entities will have new tax i.d. numbers.

Michael Chekian, Esq.

Chekian Law Office
11400 W. Olympic Blvd. #200
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 390-5529
Fax (310) 451-0739

This post is for informational purposes only and is not specific legal advice for your matter. Please seek advice of an attorney for guidance in your specific legal matter.

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