The whole point of going through bankruptcy is to get a fresh start financially. This means that once a court grants a consumer’s discharge petition, all the debts that were included in that petition can not be collected. More importantly, it also means that the consumer’s credit report will show the debts as being “discharged in bankruptcy”, a zero balance, or something of that sort. In fact, it is illegal for your credit report to continue showing the debt as being a “charge-off”, showing an amount outstanding” or something similar.

However, despite it being unlawful, many credit reporting agencies and creditors will continue to incorrectly report these debts that were discharged in bankruptcy. If this is the case for debts that you discharged in bankruptcy, below are 5 easy steps that should resolve the problem. If not, you could be entitled to damages.

Step 1 – Review your Credit Report

Within the first two months of your bankruptcy petition is granted, the credit reporting agencies should have updated your credit report to show that the debts are no longer due and owing. Therefore, between 30 and 60 days after the discharge order, you should pull your credit report to make sure that it is accurate. You can obtain a free online report here. You will get a detailed credit report from each of the big three credit bureaus.

Step 2 – Write a Dispute Letter

If you see any discharged accounts still being reported as outstanding on your credit report, then you will need to dispute this with the credit reporting agencies. This dispute needs to be in writing. You should explain the facts and circumstances surrounding your dispute with as much detail as possible. Give the credit reporting bureaus every chance to do the right thing and fix the issue. Feel free to look at our resource page for example dispute letters.

In addition to a detailed letter, also include any relevant attachments. Examples might include the bankruptcy discharge order, the bankruptcy petition containing the debt, and the credit report itself.

Step 3 – Mail your Dispute Via Certified Mail

To ensure that you are able to track your dispute and its attachments, send the dispute via certified mail. This allows you to receive a tracking number that you can later use to prove that the credit reporting agency received the dispute. The addresses for the credit reporting agencies are below:

TransUnion Consumer Solutions

P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016-2000


P.O. Box 4500,
Allen, TX 75013

Equifax Information Services, LLC

P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA  30374-0256

Step 4 – Review their Investigation Results

Within 30 days you should receive a response from the credit reporting agencies. The agencies call these investigation results. On the first or second page, the results should state whether or not the account was modified and how it was modified. Sometimes the agency will include a before and after of the reporting.

Step 5 – Reach out to an Attorney

If you review these results and it appears that the credit reporting agency is continuing to inaccurately report these accounts, then it is time to get an attorney. These credit reporting agencies are required to pay for your attorney fees and costs because they are violating consumer protection laws. Therefore, most attorneys will represent you at no out-of-pocket cost to you.

If you have had any issues with removing a debt discharged, feel free to give us a call or email us for your FREE consultation.