I have completed my Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan. How do I have the creditors names removed from my credit report?
Neither declaring bankruptcy nor completing a bankruptcy plan will cause the accounts included in the bankruptcy to be deleted from your credit report. Accounts that were past due when they were discharged through your bankruptcy will remain part of your credit history for seven years from their original delinquency date. The original delinquency date is the date the account first became delinquent and was not brought current, or the first late payment in a series.
If the accounts were never late prior to being included in your bankruptcy, they will remain for seven years from the date the bankruptcy was filed.
How Will the Accounts Included in My Bankruptcy Appear on My Report?
When you declare bankruptcy, the bankruptcy filing is added to your credit history from the public record, and the status on each of your accounts is updated by your creditors to indicate they are included in the bankruptcy. The accounts will also still show the payment history prior to when the account was included or discharged. For example, if the account was never late prior to the bankruptcy, it will show as current leading up to the bankruptcy status. If the account was past due prior to being included, it will show that as well.
If a creditor does not report that status to Experian, you can dispute the account status and provide a copy of your bankruptcy Schedule A, Schedule D or Schedule F, which list all of the accounts included in the filing. You can submit the documents online or by mail. Experian can then update the account status for you.
You can also contact your lender directly to ask them to update their account information with any of the three credit reporting companies to which they report.
How Long Will the Bankruptcy Remain on My Report?
The two most common types of bankruptcy filed by consumers are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. The bankruptcy itself will be listed separately under the public records section of your credit report.
With a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, most of your assets are liquidated, so you will not continue making payments on the accounts once they are included in the filing. Chapter 7 bankruptcies are usually discharged about three months after they are filed, and they remain on credit reports for 10 years from the filing date.
Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is an adjustment of debt plan, which means that you will repay a certain portion of the debts you owe. A Chapter 13 repayment plan usually lasts anywhere from three to five years, and your bankruptcy is not discharged until your repayment plan is complete. Because you do repay a portion of the debt you owe, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is removed from your credit history sooner: seven years from the filing date.
Depending on the payment history of the account and the chapter filed, accounts included in bankruptcy may be deleted before the bankruptcy listing itself, but they will not be removed immediately.
How Can I Improve My Credit After Bankruptcy?
Rehabilitating your credit history after filing bankruptcy can take time, but you can begin right away. Here are some steps you can take:
- Make all payments on time. For any accounts that were not discharged through the bankruptcy, the most important thing you can do for your credit going forward is to make sure every payment is made on time.
- Keep credit card balances low. You may not be ready for a credit card account immediately after bankruptcy, but eventually, you will likely want to apply for and use one again. When you do, making small purchases and paying your balance in full each month will help keep your utilization rate low, which is good for credit scores.
- Sign up for Experian Boost®ø. You can get credit for on-time utility, cellphone, streaming service and even rent payments when you enroll in Experian Boost, a free feature. You choose which qualifying payments to add to your credit history, and Experian will then recalculate your score so you can see how much it was boosted.
Thanks for asking.
Jennifer White, Consumer Education Specialist