What Do You Do When Your Credit Report Is Wrong?

April 2, 2013, by Law Offices of James V. Sansone
By Law Offices of James V. Sansone on April 2, 2013 8:00 AM |

CreditReportIllustration.jpgHave you checked your credit card report lately? It could have errors that are causing you to unnecessarily pay higher interest payments, mortgage and vehicle loans, and insurance premiums. Those errors could even prevent you from landing a new job.

According to a study by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), as many as five percent of consumers had errors on one of three major credit reports. In some cases, the errors worsened the consumer's overall credit rating.

Credit reports contain more than a record of your debts. It also includes information about whether pay your bills on a timely basis and will note if you've been sued or filed for bankruptcy.

Your Credit Information Is for Sale

Some credit report companies sell your information. Who would want to buy it? Plenty of people. Your creditors, insurers, employers, and landlords all like to know with whom they are doing business or employing.

Check Your Credit Report Annually

If you haven't checked your credit report lately, you should. It's wise to check your credit report every 12 months. Here are some tips:

  • Don't respond to an Internet ad offering to send you a credit report for free.
  • Only use Annual Credit Report to obtain your copy. This is the only website authorized to fill orders for the free annual credit report. Other websites may claim to provide free reports but will later demand that you pay for subsequent reports.
  • Be prepared to provide your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth. If you have moved in the last two years, you may have to provide your previous address.
  • The law states that you are entitled to a free credit report once annually

Obtain Your Credit Report before Filing for Bankruptcy

It's important to obtain a current copy of your credit report so that you can create an accurate record of your debts. In addition, you will want to correct mistakes in your report, especially if a credit report is overstating a debt or if there is evidence of identity theft and it's worsening your score.

When Will My Bankruptcy Be Removed form My Credit Report?

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), credit reporting agencies must remove bankruptcy information from consumer reports 10 years after the date of entry of the "order for relief." The FCRA doesn't distinguish between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Code also states that the order for relief date is the date the bankruptcy petition was filed. Therefore, the 10-year period is measured from the bankruptcy filing date, not the discharge date.

When you are ready to file for bankruptcy, you should consult with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to discuss your options, protections and rights.

The Law Offices of James V. Sansone offers a full range of family law and bankruptcy legal services. We are located in Santa Rosa, California and serve clients throughout Sonoma County, Mendocino County, and Lake County, including Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Cotati, Rohnert Park, Sebastopol, Healdsburg, Sonoma, Kenwood, Glen Ellen, Windsor, Bodega Bay, Ukiah, Willits, Clearlake, Lakeport, and Kelseyville.