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In 2007, I filed for bankruptcy but the case was dismissed and my debt remained. Can I get it removed from my credit report?

San Pedro, CA |

The chapter 7 case was dismissed and I have the paperwork. I'm trying to buy a house and my credit, although it's getting better, is being hurt by the bankruptcy appearing. I was told about being able to possibly get the case vacated. Is this accurate? Also, my sister and I had a joint account and she filed (separately, with her husband) for chapter 13 bankruptcy and now it shows up on my credit report as if I filed as well. What can I do?

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer
Posted

Once you file any bankruptcy, it will stay on your credit report for 10 years. The fact that the bankruptcy did not go through doesn't prevent the truthful reporting that the bankruptcy was filed, and federal law allows this Bankruptcy to be reported for 10 years. Hope this perspective helps!

Asker

Posted

Thanks, it does. Does it stay on your credit report 10 years from initial filing date or from date closed? It was filed in 2007 but wasn't fully closed till 2009.

Dorothy G Bunce

Dorothy G Bunce

Posted

Date of filing determines the reporting period. Lots of my clients have rebuilt their credit after bankruptcy & I published a 10 part guide on how to do this. Just click on my photo to get to the list of my legal guides published - but you will have to scroll past a lot of other articles I have written to find this series.

Asker

Posted

Thank you!

Posted

The filing of the bankruptcy triggers the credit report entry. The outcome of the bankruptcy (discharged, dismissed, denied, etc) is largely irrelevant. Bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for 10 years. Your credit report can contain true and accurate information about. If you filed bankruptcy, that fact can be reported. However, if the bankruptcy is that old, it really shouldn't be affecting your credit or your ability to buy a house.

As for the joint account, you need to dispute that bankruptcy entry with the credit reporting agencies.

Asker

Posted

Thanks, unfortunately my score is really low. I need help fixing it but I don't know where to start.

Matthew Scott Berkus

Matthew Scott Berkus

Posted

For better or worse, rebuilding credit requires credit usage. It is really difficult to rebuild a low score quickly. It is one thing if your score is 650 and you need to get to 680. But if your score is sub 600, it is going to take some time. Here is my 3 step process to rebuild credit. http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/rebuilding-credit-after-bankruptcy-3-essential-easy-steps

Posted

I agree with the previous answers. However, most people recover from a bankruptcy discharge within a few years, they even start receiving credit card offers after 6 months. In your case because your bankruptcy was dismissed and not discharged, your outstanding debt is probably what is impacting your credit. In many cases, collection and charge off accounts will drastically affect a person's credit file. You should consult with a law firm in your area that will review your credit report to make sure these old debts are reporting correctly as closed accounts and make sure you don't have any outstanding liability. You should also consult with an attorney in your area to figure out your financial liability for the account your sister is trying to discharge through bankruptcy. Good luck and I hope this was useful!

NOTE: This Answer does not constitute legal advice. Every case is fact specific. To render a legal opinion, an attorney must engage in a consultation with a prospective client and review any pertinent documents. This communication does not create an attorney-client relationship with Attorney Rochelle N Belnap or Belnap & Forbes, PLLC.