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How Long Does a Bankruptcy Filing Stay on My Credit Report?

Fair credit score report with pen and keyboard; document is mock

Many folks who are considering individual bankruptcy are concerned about the impact that bankruptcy will have on their credit. A bankruptcy filing can affect your credit score and things like loan interest rates and the cost of credit, but the effects are not permanent. Moreover, you can start rebuilding your credit score soon after filing for bankruptcy. Nearly 800,000 Americans file for personal bankruptcy every year. Credit companies and banks understand that bankruptcy is simply one step towards financial recovery. Read on to learn about how long a bankruptcy will stay on your credit report, and talk to a knowledgeable, effective California debt relief attorney about the steps you can take to improve your credit.

Chapter 7

A Chapter 7 filing will typically stay on the filer’s credit report for ten years as a “derogatory mark.” Additionally, the individual accounts that have been discharged will remain on the credit report as “discharged” or “included in bankruptcy,” with a balance of $0. These individual accounts will fall off of the credit report seven years after the Chapter 7 discharge or, if the account was already delinquent at the time of filing, they will fall off seven years from the original date of delinquency.

Chapter 13

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy will remain on a credit report for seven years from the date of discharge. Like with a Chapter 7 filing, individual accounts may disappear either seven years from discharge or sooner if the date of delinquency for that account is earlier than the bankruptcy filing.

Building Your Credit During Bankruptcy

Even while you have a bankruptcy on your credit report, you can still take steps to improve your credit score. Making financially healthy decisions while the bankruptcy is pending or in the time after discharge will improve your score. You can still get a credit card and loans; so long as you remain current on your payments, your score will improve.

Additionally, make sure to keep an eye on your report for accounts that should disappear after the seven-year mark. Your report should be updated within two or three months after the appropriate date. If an account that should have disappeared after seven years is still on your report and listed as “discharged” or “included in bankruptcy,” you can notify the credit bureaus about the error and seek to have your report corrected.

Please note that there is no way to “remove” a bankruptcy from your credit report earlier than the timelines discussed above. Any service that offers to wipe your bankruptcy from your record before the 7- or 10-year mark is likely a scam and should be avoided. If you have any questions about your bankruptcy, speak with a qualified California debt relief attorney.

Speak With a Professional and Understanding Southern California Bankruptcy Attorney

If you’re struggling with debt and considering bankruptcy, please contact Rounds & Sutter for a free, confidential consultation. With offices in Ventura, Santa Barbara and Westlake Village, we represent clients throughout Southern California, offering effective, compassionate legal counsel in the face of life’s challenges.