Can A Dismissed Bankruptcy Hurt Your Credit
Whether your bankruptcy is dismissed or your debt is discharged, the 3 major credit bureaus treat bankruptcies the same. That means even if your debts aren’t cleared by bankruptcy, your credit score can nose dive up to 200 points! It gets worse. It can stay on for up to 10 years. So what can you do?
Stay On Top Of Your Credit Report
Is your credit score an accurate representation of your credit history or are errors dragging your score down? While the bankruptcy probably took a toll on your score, theres a possibility that other inaccurate or untimely information is in your credit report and impacting your credit rating.
For this reason, you should review your report regularly to ensure all the information contained is accurate and untimely. And should you find issues, dispute them with the credit bureaus promptly.
As mentioned earlier, you can access free copies of your report once a year from the three credit bureaus through AnnualCreditReport.com. Its also a good idea to stay on top of your credit report and activity through a free credit monitoring service, like, , or WalletHub.
Not Attending Your Meeting Of Creditors
When you file for bankruptcy, you must attend a mandatory hearing called the meeting of creditors. The purpose of this hearing is to allow the trustee and your creditors to ask you questions under oath about your bankruptcy papers and financial affairs. You’ll also present proof of your identification. In general, the meeting of creditors will last only a few minutes, and creditors rarely show up. But if you fail to attend your meeting of creditors, the trustee will likely ask the court to dismiss your bankruptcy case.
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If Your Bankruptcy Is Dismissed Without Prejudice You Can Refile Immediately
Updated By Cara O’Neill, Attorney
Filing for bankruptcy relief doesn’t guarantee a dischargethe order that wipes out qualifying debt. If you don’t follow the bankruptcy laws or procedures in your jurisdiction, the court might dismiss your case. Luckily, most dismissals are without prejudice, and you can immediately refile your case.
Read on to learn what happens when the court dismisses a bankruptcy case without prejudice.
How To Remove A Legitimate Bankruptcy From Your Credit Report
I hate to start with the bad news, but here you go: if you have a legitimate bankruptcy on your credit reportmeaning, you filed the bankruptcy, went through the legal process, and you know the bankruptcy is the real dealthe chances of getting it removed early are slim.
You can improve your credit score.
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But is all about knowing the rules of the game and using little technicalities to your advantage.
And one thing you MUST understand is that the credit bureaus are required by law to report items on your credit report accuratelyand this includes bankruptcies.
If you can find something inaccurate about the way the bankruptcy is reported, you may have a chance at getting it deleted from your credit report.
In other words, you shift the burden of proof to the credit bureaus by requiring them to verify that the bankruptcy is totally and completely accurate.
Here’s how to do it:
Also Check: How To File Bankruptcy Chapter 7
Filing A Chapter 7 Case After A Dismissed Chapter 13 Case
If you have a dismissed Chapter 13 case, you might be able to re-file under Chapter 7 as long as youâre under the income limits. Youâll also want to make sure that available bankruptcy exemptions protect all of your property since thatâs not typically an issue in Chapter 13. Barring any problems, you might be able to file a Chapter 7 case to get rid of unsecured debts even though you have a dismissed Chapter 13 case.
Because you are filing under Chapter 7, you might be able to file without an attorney since you will not need to file a Chapter 13 repayment plan. You do need to make sure that the automatic stay will go into effect and that youâre not barred from filing another bankruptcy case because of the reason for your dismissed Chapter 13 case.
To Remove A Bankruptcy From Your Credit Report Youll Need To Find Evidence That The Bankruptcy Was Reported Incorrectly Otherwise It Will Only Come Off After Seven Or 10 Years Depending On The Type Of Bankruptcy
Beyond the stress and inconvenience that comes with filing for bankruptcy, it can have a long-standing impact on your credit report and score.
Fortunately, that negative impact can be mitigated with the right help.
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How Does A Bankruptcy Affect Your Credit Score
Having a bankruptcy on your credit report can be devastating to your credit scores. According to FICO, for a person with a credit score of 680, a bankruptcy on your credit report will lower your credit score by 130-150 points.
For a person with a credit score of 780, a bankruptcy will cost you 220-240 points. That one event immediately drops you several categories lower and impacts your ability to access credit, and yes, the higher your initial credit score is, the more it falls.
You might not be eligible for future loans or credit cards, and if you are, youll most likely end up paying much higher interest rates. Not only that, the amount you can borrow will probably become limited.
While filing for bankruptcy may be the best financial decision at this point in your life, its still important to understand how and why it affects your credit score.
When Is Bankruptcy Removed From Your Credit Report
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for up to 10 years from the date the bankruptcy was filed, while a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will fall off your report seven years after the filing date.
After the allotted seven or 10 years, the bankruptcy will automatically fall off your credit report.
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Send A Dispute Letter
Send a dispute letter and ask them to correct the mistake and remove the bankruptcy.
If you cant find any inaccuracies, you might try sending them a dispute letter anyway.
Ask them to verify how the bankruptcy came to be on the report.
They will likely respond that they received the information from the court, and provide the relevant information.
You can then follow the same process with the court. The hope is that one of these steps will expose some kind of problem or technicality that occurred during the process and will ultimately be grounds for removal.
Im a firm believer in the notion that nothing is impossible.
It may be highly unlikely that youll be able to remove a legitimate bankruptcy from your credit report early, but that doesnt mean it isnt worth trying.
Its definitely a long shot. However, many people who have taken the time to go through the process have had success with removing a Chapter 7 from their credit report before the 10 years were up .
Ask The Credit Bureaus How The Bankruptcy Was Verified
If the bankruptcy is verified by the , you will next need to send them a procedural request letter asking them who they verified the bankruptcy with.
In some instances, they will claim it has been verified with the courts, even if it is not. In most cases, the courts do not verify bankruptcies for the credit bureaus.
If the credit bureau claims it was verified with the courts, then proceed to step 4.
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The Legal Process Of Removing Bankruptcy Errors
You can challenge any error you find on your credit history or bankruptcy filings. They must be removed if the credit bureau or reporting agency cannot prove they are legitimate.
To prove there is a mistake, you need to follow these steps:
Proving bankruptcy fraud can be drawn-out and time-consuming. A legal advocate can help reduce stress and save time throughout the process.
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Also Check: Can You Pay A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Off Early
Clean Up Your Financial Act
There are a number of reasons why you may have been forced to file for bankruptcy. But whats most important when rebuilding your credit is not the culprit, per se, but making sure that history doesnt repeat itself. In other words, you want to establish a solid plan for your finances to make your money work for you. In your list of objectives should be creating a realistic budget that keeps your spending in check, safety net, and plans to eradicate debt that wasnt included in the filing.
Where To Find A Bankruptcy On Your Credit Report
You should review your credit reports often to make sure theyre accurate. You can claim a copy of all three of your reports once every 12 months from AnnualCreditReport.com.
When youre reading your credit report to see if a bankruptcy is listed, start by finding the public records section of the report. In the past, tax liens and judgments could be found in this section too. However, the credit bureaus have since removed judgments and tax liens from credit reports as part of the National Consumer Assistance Plan . Now, bankruptcies are the only public records included on consumer credit reports.
Can A Bankruptcy Come Off My Credit Report Early
A legitimate bankruptcy record cannot be removed from your credit report, but a bankruptcy can come off your report if it is inaccurately entered or otherwise incorrect.
The FCRA makes provisions for challenging anything on your credit report that is incorrect, has remained on your credit report beyond the maximum time allowed, or cannot be substantiated by the creditor who reported it.
In the case of bankruptcies especially because they remain on the credit report for so many years its not uncommon for errors to creep in.Some of the most common errors we find include:
- Debts that were discharged in the bankruptcy are still showing a balance.
- Individual accounts included in the bankruptcy are still appearing on the report after seven years. In both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies, the individual affected accounts can only impact your report for seven years starting from original delinquency date, not the filing date of the bankruptcy in which they were discharged.
- The bankruptcy is still showing up on a report more than 10 years after the filing date.
- Any sort of material error in how the bankruptcy was reported, from the spelling of names to accurate addresses, phone numbers, dates, etc.
If any of these or other errors appear on your credit report, you have the right to challenge those errors. The reporting agency must remove them if the reporting agency cannot substantiate the item.
Check Your Credit Report For Bankruptcy Errors
In this step, youll need a copy of all 3 of your credit reports. This is where having a comes in handy. TransUnion is the best credit monitoring service in my opinion, plus you get a free credit score.
Review the credit report carefully for any inaccurate or incomplete information. Here is a list of the most common bankruptcy errors. Names, addresses, and phone numbers Incorrect dates Discharged debts that still show a balance
If you have found no inaccuracies within the information on your credit report, then unfortunately theres nothing that can be done to remove it prematurely, youll have to wait 7-10 years for it to fall off your credit report.
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How Can You Rebuild Credit After Bankruptcy
Declaring bankruptcy is a major decision, and it can have a big impact on your credit profile. But, its effects wont last forever. To learn more about how you can improve your credit health, one step at a time, check out this blog on how to rebuild your credit history.
What You Need to Know:
There are various types of credit scores, and lenders use a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions. The credit score you receive is based on the VantageScore 3.0 model and may not be the credit score model used by your lender.
*Subscription price is $24.95 per month .
Challenge The Fraudulent Bankruptcy With The Credit Bureaus
If you do happen to find a bogus bankruptcy on your report, you need to challenge it with each of the credit bureaus.
This can be done with a dispute letter. The letter will need to include a statement from the court of record.
You will have to contact the court and ask them for a written statement that verifies you did not have a bankruptcy on file.
If the court does have a bankruptcy on file, you will need to work with them to resolve the issue.
You may need to provide identification and other records. That way you can prove there was some kind of mix-up.
First, get everything you need from the court. Then send it with copies of your identification and of course your dispute letter via certified mail to each of the major credit bureaus.
It will usually take a few weeks for them to record the changes on your credit reports. That applies as long as everything you sent checks out.
Also Check: How Long To Keep Bankruptcy Papers
Getting Professional Help For Bankruptcy Disputes
Some people prefer to outsource credit disputes to someone else because theyre busy or feel overwhelmed by the process. If this describes you, you might want to consider hiring a reputable professional to help.
A credit repair specialist can send disputes to the credit bureaus on your behalf and follow up with additional suggestions if the credit bureaus fail to remove inaccurate data from your credit report. Call 1-877-637-2673 to schedule a free credit consultation with a Credit Saint counselor today.
Common Reasons For A Dismissal Without Prejudice
After filing your case, you must comply with the bankruptcy rules and procedures. The court dismisses most matters because of the failure of debtors to:
- file the correct forms with the court
- submit supporting documentation to the bankruptcy trustee
Can I Rebuild My Credit After Bankruptcy
You can rebuild your credit after bankruptcy, but its a long process. Your options will be limited at the start, but it is key to not get discouraged. As time goes on, if you consistently pursue a credit rebuilding strategy, your reports and scores can improve.
Here are some recommendations to start with:
- Understand the cause: Identify, accept, and learn from the root causes of your bankruptcy so you wont find yourself in the same position down the road.
- Stick to a budget: Re-evaluate your finances and see where you can cut expenses and save more money if you can.
- Start establishing a new credit history: No, this does not mean using an alias . It means starting fresh with whatever credit you can obtain.
This may mean settling for an extremely high-interest rate, taking on a co-signer, depositing cash into a secured credit card, or other options that have been designed specifically to help you re-establish a positive credit record.
Use these credit options sparingly and never put more on a card than you can pay off by the end of the month so your credit improves over time.