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Dispute Strategies

Strategies for Removing a Bankruptcy Record

A bankruptcy record is the most damaging form of bad credit; having a bankruptcy listed in your credit file will destroy your credit score. Worse yet, Chapter 7 bankruptcies remain on your file for 10 very long years. The following is a two-part tactic you can try to have a bankruptcy record removed from your credit file to help repair your credit.

The average person will have between 10 and 20 individual accounts included in their credit report's bankruptcy listing. The credit bureaus refer to the listed accounts as the "tracks" of a bankruptcy. When a credit bureau runs a bankruptcy verification request through its automated system, the system pulls only one of the "tracks" in order to verify that the bankruptcy record is legitimate and should remain in the file. But what if the "track" the system pulls is missing? The system reports that the bankruptcy is not verifiable and it is removed from the credit report!

Therefore, the strategy here is to remove as many of those "tracks" as you can from your credit reports first, before you dispute the bankruptcy itself. The more tracks you can remove, the greater your odds of successfully removing the bankruptcy.

How do you remove "tracks"? Follow the same process as for disputing inaccurate or incomplete information from any other account. For example, compare your three reports. If a "track" is listed on one report but is missing from another, you can dispute whether it should be listed at all by sending the credit bureau a copy of the report on which it is not listed.

Once you have removed as many tracks as you feel you can, dispute the bankruptcy itself. Just like any other account, if bankruptcy data is inaccurate or incomplete you can dispute it. The following information must be included with a bankruptcy listing:

  • All lender accounts associated with the bankruptcy
  • The bankruptcy filing date
  • The bankruptcy date of discharge
  • The bankruptcy attorney's name

First, dispute the bankruptcy itself. If it is verified, you can file additional disputes based on any of the above reasons. Remember to submit documentation to support additional disputes, otherwise the bureaus might consider your dispute frivolous and not re-investigate. The more times they re-investigate, the greater the odds that they will use one of the tracks you have deleted to verify the bankruptcy, and it will be deleted.

> Avoiding Frivolous Disputes