What to Do About a Bankruptcy on My Credit Report That's Wrong
by Steve Montgomery
Maintaining a good credit score is more important than ever. Any errors on your report could unfairly have a negative impact on your report and score. Any error, especially one involving a bankruptcy, should be disputed. All the credit reporting agencies have a process in place to deal with disputes and errors.
Monitoring Your Credit
The Fair Credit Reporting Act gives each person the right to a copy of their credit report from each of the three agencies, TransUnion, Experian and Equifax, once in every 12-month period. If you find an error on your report, you have the right to dispute it with the reporting agency.
How to Dispute an Error
You can dispute errors on your credit report using three methods: mail, phone and online. Each of the three credit agencies has information on how to submit a dispute using each of the three methods. The two surest methods are by mail and online. If you send the dispute letter by mail, you can send it "return receipt requested," and you will get a postcard back in the mail stating when they received it. If you file the dispute online, you can save or print out any pages as proof that you submitted it.
The dates are important because the agencies have 30 days from the receipt of the dispute to investigate it and come up with an answer.
In your dispute letter, indicate what information is wrong about the bankruptcy. If you never filed bankruptcy, for example, say that. If the dates or information is wrong, provide copies, never originals, of any supporting documentation.
After completing the investigation, the reporting agency must give you a copy of the results in writing. If the investigation resulted in a change to your credit report, they must provide you a free copy of the report. The agency must send notices of correction to anyone who received a copy of your report in the last six months.
If the dispute doesn't resolve the issue, you can have a statement inserted into your file and future reports.