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Topics addressed on November 9, 2011:
Bankruptcy listed on father’s credit report
We recently went through chapter 7 bankruptcy. Our problem is that we are living in a home that belongs to my husband's father. My husband and his father share the first initial of their first name and of course their last name. My husband's father was mistaken for my husband and now our bankruptcy is listed on his credit report. What can we do to fix this?
The first step is for your husband’s father to get his personal credit report. It sounds like he has already done that. If so, he also will have received instructions to contact Experian to dispute any inaccurate information online, by telephone or by mail. He should be able to simply follow those instructions to have the bankruptcy information removed.
Experian may require documentation to verify his identity because of the similarity in the names and the address, which is associated with both your husband and his father. He should also include the comment that the bankruptcy belongs to his son who has the same name. Otherwise, they may just check the name and verify it as accurate.
There has been pressure for the courts to no longer report Social Security numbers with public records. That means that it is much harder to ensure that information is posted to the right consumer because there are so many similar names and addresses.
There are two ways a record of bankruptcy will appear in a credit report. A public record from the bankruptcy court will show that the person filed for bankruptcy, and accounts may be reported with a status of “included in bankruptcy.”
Your father-in-law will need to dispute a bankruptcy public record as not his. Experian will contact the court, and it should then notify Experian to remove the public record.
Experian will automatically remove the “included in bankruptcy” status of any accounts listed as such when no bankruptcy public record appears on the credit report.
Thanks for asking.
- The "Ask Experian" team