Public Records That Can Appear in Your Credit Report

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Dear Experian,

What kinds of public records can be part of a credit report? How often are they updated, and if I have a paid public record on my credit report, how do I get it taken off?

— AMB

Dear AMB,

In the past, three types of public records appeared in a credit report, but that is no longer the case. Bankruptcy is now the only public record that you will find in your credit history.

Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding under which a person is provided relief from debts they are unable to pay. There are two primary forms of bankruptcy, called "chapters," because they are defined by chapters in the bankruptcy law.

How Long Does Bankruptcy Remain on Your Credit Report?

Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a person repays at least a portion of their debts. Chapter 13 bankruptcy will remain in the credit report for seven years from the filing date.

Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a person does not repay any of the debts included in the filing. Chapter 7 bankruptcy remains on the credit report for 10 years from the filing date.

Court records are updated periodically, and the status of the bankruptcy, for instance that it has been discharged, will be updated automatically in the credit report.

The information is collected and updated regularly from the courts either by a representative of the credit reporting companies or provided directly by the court to the national credit reporting companies.

If You Believe There Are Mistakes On Your Credit Report After Bankruptcy

If you believe there is public record information on your credit that is inaccurate, you can dispute it just as you would credit account information. You can submit your dispute i online, by phone or by mail.

Experian will contact the court and ask them to verify the information, and will then notify you of the results. If you have documentation to support your dispute, you can submit it online or mail a copy to the address on your credit report.

Thanks for asking.
The "Ask Experian" team

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Personal credit report disputes cannot be submitted through Ask Experian. To dispute information in your personal credit report, simply follow the instructions provided with it. Your personal credit report includes appropriate contact information including a website address, toll-free telephone number and mailing address.

To submit a dispute online visit Experian's Dispute Center. If you have a current copy of your personal credit report, simply enter the report number where indicated, and follow the instructions provided. If you do not have a current personal report, Experian will provide a free copy when you submit the information requested. Additionally, you may obtain a free copy of your report once a week through April 2022 at AnnualCreditReport.