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How Soon Can A Bankruptcy Be Removed from My Credit Report?

Allison Martin
Written by Allison Martin

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Never in a million years would you have imagined that you’d end up in bankruptcy court.

A few years ago, you landed your dream job. And thanks to the major increase in pay, you were able to buy a posh home in the suburbs. You also purchased an SUV and took your significant other on an extended vacation abroad.

Then out of the blue, your company decided to downsize to cut their losses. But you weren’t in total panic mode right away, and for a valid reason. As a manager and top performer in the company, you were confident your job was secure. Too bad the CEO decided to do away with your entire department. Ouch!

To make matters worse, you were the sole provider for your household. Your spouse stayed at home to care for your young son. Plus, the household debt load was astronomical. And you’d never paid much attention until now that the money well had run dry.

Fast forward a year and you’re still without work. With no other options left, you decide to file for bankruptcy. Down the drain goes your credit score, but for how long? And when you can you get the negative information removed from your credit report?

How Bankruptcies End Up On Your Credit Report

The courts do not report information about bankruptcy proceedings to the credit bureaus. Credit reporting agencies do! Here’s how it works:

  1. You file for bankruptcy and head to court.
  2. The court includes information from the bankruptcy filing in the public records database.
  3. Credit reporting agencies get information about each account included in the
  4. bankruptcy filing from the public records listing.
  5. The bankruptcy filing is listed in the public records section of your credit report.
  6. The accounts included in the filing are notated on your credit report as “included in bankruptcy.”

How Long Will The Negative Information Remain On Your Credit Report?

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, bankruptcies can be reported on your credit profile for up to 10 years from the filing date. On the other hand, the accounts that were included in the initial filing will only remain for seven years from the date of last activity. This means it is possible that the public record could still haunt you (and your credit score) for a few years after the discharged collection accounts fall off your credit report.

About the author

Allison Martin

Allison Martin

Allison Martin is a digital content strategist and personal finance junkie. Her work has appeared on on a number of reputable sites, including The Wall Street Journal, Investopedia, Daily Finance, MSN Money and Credit.com. She also travels around the nation facilitating financial literacy workshops for nonprofits, governmental organizations, colleges and universities.

34 Comments

  • This is the same dilemma people face today with the Department of Education’s monitoring of student loans. It’s time for serious reform. Notwithstanding that, the three major credit bureaus appear to have removed most, if not all, negative information relating to these unpaid loans, at their discretion. Perhaps that’s their way of tacitly disapproving of the undue burden placed upon these victims. Another reason to periodically check one’s credit reports with all three bureaus.

    • I had to go chapter 7 due to my daughter being born with 7 heart defects! My 2 million dollar major medical health insurance was used within 2 years!!! Also my ex wife did my income taxes and truly did a number on me! I got a certified letter from the IRS 7 years later stating that I owed $68.800 dollars on a $9200 Dollar Federal income tax! So I had no choice but to go chapter 7!!!! Everyone said but you can’t go Bankrupt on Federal income Tax???
      Yes you can if you are current on the past 2 years!! So my awesome Attorney did my Bankruptcy and I used my
      Brother to obtain credit cards as an authorized user thanks to credit Solution program!! And within 15 months I now am So Grateful to now have a 722; 738; and a 742
      FICO SCORE!! My Attorney got everything erased accept my chapter 7 and I now have my own credit cards and I am now approved on my New Home at 3.5% APR 30 year fixed rate! Thanks to being with Credit Solutions Program for 3 1/2 years that I knew the HOW AND WHAT TO EXPECT ON REBUILDING MY CREDIT!!!

  • What other options are there for stopping collection against me. Also why is it not mandatory that if I have to pay the collection, that I receive the property.

  • I never had a “Discharge” But we withdrew our filing and have had ” Dismissed” logged on our reports for the past 8 years??? How do we get that taken off????

  • Your article is INCORRECT …. the FCRA is very clear on the matter of Chapter 13 removal. It says that a Chapter 13 bankruptcy needs to be removed no later than 7 years from the FILING DATE. NOT the discharge date. If it were the discharge date there would be no reason to file a Chapter 13 as opposed to a Chapter 7. The incentive for quicker credit restoration would not be there.

  • Does your services
    Include review of
    Credit file .
    Can and wI’ll you
    Help with clean up
    Of file. I have not
    Been able to obtain
    Copy of my report

    • Hi Donald,
      We provide advice. If you would like someone to personally help you clean up your credit file, you will have to speak to a credit repair company, like Credit Pros. Give them a call at 855-980-4898. Hope that helps!

  • Filed a Ch 13 in 2012 to avoid foreclosure after divorce. Found another solution and voluntarily withdrew the filing BEFORE it ever went before the court. Credit bureaus REFUSE to remove it, saying, “Well, we’re allowed to report it AND keep it simply because it WAS filed!” How is that possibly fair in any sense of the word?!!

    • Medical bills may not be as bad as other bills on your credit report , but it still lowers your credit rating & thats what is looked at when you try to get credit , say to buy a car or house. The lower rate the harder it is to get credit or even if you do.

  • Hi my name is Gregory Boyd I file bankruptcy in 2013 but never went through with it. Never met with any creditors, I did it because they would not give me a modification.. my mortgage company. But then when I file they gave it to me, that was exactly one day after i file. My question is If I never went through with it, or gave no one any money except for the filing fees.. How is it still on my credit report?? And how can I get it off

    • You can file a Chapter 13 4 years after a Chapter 7 (if you are looking for another discharge that is, you can file a Chapter 13 immediately following a Chapter 7 in order to catch up with Priority Debts that were not discharged), but if you already have a Chapter 7 in which your debts were discharged, you can’t file another Chapter 7 until after after 8 years.

  • Can you explain how monthly payments to trustee are calculated please.
    What is the amount based on.
    Shouldn’t the monthly payments be lesser to in order to give a person a break and catch up with everyday bills? Thank you.

  • while this is good for informational purposes, it really doesn’t address a benefitial alternative solution to this 10 year reporting.

  • Thx! Was wondering why my bankruptcy was still lingering around after “7” years gone by. Oh well… Still have good credit, even with it. I’m quite sure establiments kinda understand it was soooooo long ago, and don’t really frown upon it any longer. 👍

  • How can I make sure bankruptcies removed in 7 years and how can I remove since I am 6months from the 7th year?

    • Hey Douglas,
      That depends on what steps you take to fix or build your credit! Please feel free to read the blog and learn more about how to do that.

    • Douglas, usually right after they remove that item, your score will bump up 30-60 points. It’s different for each credit agency.

  • So if I filed for bankruptcy in the past is there any way to remove it from your credit report or lower the time it’s on your report? Or am I stuck with it for the next ten years?

    • Yes, 99% of the time, your Chapter 7 will remain on your credit report for the full 10 years. They do it because they can. Like obummer does in the white house. You can have it taken off but it will cost you a credit repair firm. Good luck.

  • Hi, I filed for bankruptcy a year ago but never went thru with it after coming to a conclusion that it wasn’t the best thing. My attorney filed the paperwork and now it shows dismissed on my credit report. How can I get this removed?

    • The 3 credit agencies prepare your credit report by automatically collecting any kind of ticks on your report, like bankruptcies, dismissals, late payments, etc.

      You need a lawyer to contact that lawyer who filed any kind of negative item, to write a letter to the credit agencies who are showing that item, to give the credit agencies something to work with, when they write the source of the negative item, to give them 30 days to reply back to the credit agencies, or not. If that source does not answer within 30 days, the credit agencies usually take that negative item off your record. That is how it usually works. Good luck.

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