Bankruptcy can be a burden in many ways. Even after you pay off your debt and get on solid footing, you still have to worry about creditors reporting your bankruptcy information.

Negative information in your credit reports can affect your financial options in the future, so you should be mindful of the ramifications. At the same, you should not feel as if your bankruptcy will leave a permanent mark.

Your creditors’ rights

For up to a decade, a credit bureau can keep your bankruptcy on your report. Your creditors can also keep negative information such as judgments and lawsuits for up to seven years in most cases. On top of this, if you do not pay some of your tax liens, this information can stay on your record for 15 years. You should keep all of this in mind if a company offers to remove negative information earlier than the standard timeframe.

Your rights

Errors can easily happen in your credit reports and you have the right to bring them into question. For one, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is always there if you have a complaint. Also, if you have trouble getting credit with a company because of a report, the Fair Credit Reporting Act entitles you to a free copy of the report (as long as your request is within 60 days). The company that denies you must also provide you with the phone number, name and address of the credit reporting agency.

While a bankruptcy discharge can help you, you should prepare yourself for what may come after. Understanding how credit reports work can help you repair your finances and move on.

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