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Bankruptcy

Debt Included in Bankruptcy and Then Reaffirmed

Dear Experian,

My bankruptcy was removed from my credit report late last year. Is there any way to update closed accounts to remove the wording "included in bankruptcy"? I had a car loan at the time of the bankruptcy that I reaffirmed and paid in full in 2009. Do I have to wait until 2019 when the account will be removed from my credit report? It feels like I'm being punished a lot longer than the 10 years for a bankruptcy.

- WCK

Dear WCK,

Once an account is reaffirmed and paid in full, it should no longer show a status of "included in bankruptcy" on your credit report. When you reaffirm a debt, it means you enter into an agreement with your lender to continue to making payments on the account rather than including it in your bankruptcy.

How Long Does Bankruptcy Stay on Your Credit Report?

The two most common types of bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you pay back a portion of the debts owed. Chapter 13 bankruptcies remain on the credit report for seven years from the date they were filed.

With a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you do not repay any of the debts owed. Chapter 7 bankruptcies remain on the report for 10 years from the filing date.

In both cases, the accounts included in bankruptcy remain seven years from the bankruptcy filing date, provided they weren't delinquent prior to the bankruptcy, in which case they would be deleted seven years from the original delinquency date of the account. In most instances, that means the account will be deleted before the bankruptcy public record.

You didn't mention when your bankruptcy was filed, but you indicated it was at least 10 years ago. If that's the case, neither the bankruptcy nor the accounts included in and discharged through your bankruptcy should still remain in your report.

What Happens When You Reaffirm an Account

Although accounts included in and discharged through bankruptcy are removed after seven years, positive accounts remain for 10 years from the date closed.

If you reaffirmed your car loan, it should no longer show a status of included in bankruptcy. If the loan has been paid in full and is showing no late payments, it can remain on your report for 10 years from the date it was paid in full.

Positive accounts remain on your credit report longer because they are beneficial to your credit history.

Requesting a Free Experian Credit Report

If you haven't already, request a copy of your Experian credit report so you can see how the account is appearing. You can get a free copy of your credit report once a year by going to AnnualCreditReport.com or directly from Experian. If you have had adverse action taken based on an Experian report, you can request a free report at Experian's Report Access.

Disputing Bankruptcy Information on Your Credit Report

Look your report over carefully. If you believe there is inaccurate information about your bankruptcy, follow the instructions provided with the report to dispute the information online, over the phone, or by mail. You can also send a copy of your bankruptcy filing and discharge papers, along with the Schedule A, Schedule D, or Schedule F listing all of the debts included in the bankruptcy and the reaffirmation of debts. Doing so will help Experian update the information in your credit history.

Thanks for asking.
The "Ask Experian" team

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