Credit Reports and Affordable Bankruptcy Options FAQs
By Ginger B. Kelly, Esq., April 3, 2019
I often get questions from my clients regarding how long a bankruptcy and debt will remain on their credit reports, after declaring or filing bankruptcy. Here are a few of those frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding credit reporting and how to pay for a lawyer to help with filing bankruptcy:
My bankruptcy was discharged about 10 years ago. What do I have to do to have it removed from my credit report?
~James, from Dudley
Since your bankruptcy and other accounts included within your bankruptcy will be deleted automatically, you don’t have to do anything to have them removed.
Although the date your discharge was recorded is the date your bankruptcy plan was completed, this date has nothing to do with when the information will be deleted. It is very possible that the information about your bankruptcy has been already deleted from your credit report.
How Long Does Bankruptcy Stay on the Credit Report?
~Dave, from Charlton
The date your bankruptcy will be deleted from your credit report is not set in stone. Credit Bureaus will delete this public information anywhere from 7 to 10 years from the date you filed your bankruptcy. The reason why this is not set in stone is because this depends upon the type of bankruptcy, or Chapter, you filed under.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is deleted 7 years from the date of filing because you are paying your creditors with a payment plan. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is deleted within 10 years from the date of filing because most, if not all, of your creditors will go without any payment.
When will accounts included in my bankruptcy be deleted from my credit report?
~Chrystal, from Southbridge
In both Chapters 7 and 13, individual accounts can remain on your credit report for seven years. Typically, a person who files for bankruptcy is having serious difficulty payment all their debts. Past due debts go into delinquency status. Delinquent debts, included in the bankruptcy will be deleted 7 years from the original delinquency date. The original delinquency date is the date the account was late, which is typically 30 days past the due date.
Just because you declared bankruptcy, your original delinquency date is not altered. This means that the time the account remains on your credit report is not extended, simply because you declared bankruptcy.
I need to file Chapter 7, but I don’t have any money to pay the legal fees, what can I do?
~Jen, from Webster
I totally understand your situation. It seems crazy to have to pay a lawyer to file for bankruptcy when you can’t even pay your bills. Isn’t that the reason why you need to file in the first place?
First and probably foremost, if you are really really poor and meet certain income guidelines, you may qualify for a reduced fee or legal aid. I will point you in the right direction with this. I also offer reduced fees for certain individuals in dire situations.
Another suggestion is to apply your income tax refund to pay for your bankruptcy, rather than your back bills and old debt. But be sure to contact your trusted bankruptcy attorney, first, before you decided to not pay debt or overdue bills.
Lastly, I can’t tell you how many people get help from family and friends the second they explain they are doing something helpful, like bankruptcy, to get a fresh start.
Other than these suggestions, we can discuss other options for payment at our first consultation. If you can pay a little along into a payment plan until you have all of your fees paid, this may work for you. Ask me how I can help you tailor a program that fits your needs and we can discuss any sensible option. At our first consultation we will sit in my very quiet and completely confidential office and sip coffee if you like, and talk about all of your options and questions.
Thanks for your questions, James, Dave, Chrystal and Jen. I’m always happy to help.
If you have legal questions, especially if you are contemplating bankruptcy or dealing with collections or debt collection law suits, Attorney Ginger Kelly is now accepting clients in the Dudley, Webster, Sturbridge, Fiskdale, Southbridge, Saundersdale, Oxford, North Oxford, Charlton, Charlton Depot, Auburn, Leicester, Rochdale, Spencer, Brookfield, East Brookfield, West Brookfield, North Brookfield, Warren, Brimfield, Wales, Palmer and Holland. We can explore whether or not bankruptcy is the easy way out for you. Our office is a quiet and comfortable place to talk, and a free pot of coffee will be waiting for you when you arrive.
ABOUT ME: Attorney Kelly is an attorney in good standing, licensed to practice in both the Federal District and State Courts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Her law practice is focused on consumer debt, finance, bankruptcy and District Court matters. Attorney Kelly is experienced in both criminal and civil trial work. On a personal note, Attorney Kelly enjoys writing and other things, like conservation and agriculture. To find out more, visit our website, or call us at (508) 784-1444.
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