Jan
04
2012

Reaffirming debts will not cause bankruptcy public record to be deleted sooner

Dear Experian,

Can a Chapter 7 bankruptcy get deleted earlier than the 10 years if your lawyer had you agree to pay off some of the debt owed to the creditors and you also reaffirmed some of the secured debt owed in the chapter 7 case?

- EXR

 

Dear EXR,

Neither repaying a portion of the debt nor reaffirming some debts will cause the bankruptcy filing to be deleted earlier. However, that doesn’t mean there is no benefit to doing so.

There are two elements to bankruptcy in a credit report. The first is the public record court filing. Once filed, the bankruptcy record will appear for 10 years in the case of Chapter 7 bankruptcy or for seven years in the case of a Chapter 13 filing.

The second element is the accounts themselves. Each account that is part of the bankruptcy will have a status of “included in bankruptcy.”

Reaffirmed accounts should not appear as included in bankruptcy and can contribute to rebuilding your creditworthiness over time as you build a history of making on time payments.

Debts paid in full before the bankruptcy was filed and not included in the bankruptcy filing should have a status of “paid” in your credit report and would not be shown as “included in bankruptcy.”

If an account is shown as “included in bankruptcy” but was not, you can provide a copy of your bankruptcy Schedule A, which lists all the accounts that were included, and Experian should be able to change the status.

While reducing your debts won’t cause the bankruptcy to be deleted any sooner, paying them could help your credit history recover more quickly as the bankruptcy filing becomes older and other negative payment history is deleted.

Thanks for asking.

- The “Ask Experian” team

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