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Tax Liens Not Discharged Through Bankruptcy

Dear Experian,

I filed bankruptcy in 2002 because of divorce. It was discharged with zero assets and zero liabilities. A 1996 Michigan state tax lien still remains on my credit report after 16 years. I understood it was included in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2002.


Dear SLV,

In most instances, tax liens cannot be discharged through bankruptcy. If the lien was discharged, your bankruptcy documentation should list it. If you haven’t already done so, you should get a copy of your credit report directly from Experian, not from a lender or other third party, and verify that the lien is in fact still being reported.

The lien entry in your credit report should also have been updated to show that the lien was discharged and released. The lien would then have been deleted seven years from the date it was reported released. Providing bankruptcy documentation showing that the lien was released should enable Experian to remove the lien.

If the lien was not included in the bankruptcy and was never paid, it should have been removed 10 years from the filing date of the lien. You should contact the court in which the lien was filed and request the lien documentation. Your personal report will include instructions for contacting Experian to provide the court documents and help us correct any information that was reported to us in error.

With that documentation, Experian will be able to correct the filing date and delete the tax lien from your credit history.

Thanks for asking.
– The “Ask Experian” team