Life Lesson: Check Your Credit Report!
I received a phone call from a client who received their Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge earlier in 2013. They are applying for a job and as a part of the screening process, the employer is requiring a credit report.
The prospective employer does not mind the bankruptcy, but does have a problem with a $34,000 debt appearing as still being old and delinquent. However, the debt was discharged in the bankruptcy. They do not owe it.
While the prospective employer might be satisfied with documents I provide them, it should not be assumed that other prospective employers will be as accommodating. The reporting of the debt as still being owed is an error. It is either the fault of the credit bureau or the fault of the creditor who is reporting inaccurate information. Certainly, I can point that out, but if a prospective employer wishes to rely on the information in the credit report, they are free to do so – even if it is wrong.
While the client may have remedies to address this incorrect entry on the credit report, as I write this and post it to this blog, the incorrect item is still there. Banks as well as prospective employers and landlords may rely on incorrect information, and may make adverse decisions based on it.
With all of that said, please make it a habit of checking your credit report at least two times per year. If you have filed bankruptcy and a debt you know was discharged is still appearing as being owed, contact an attorney (start with the attorney who handled your bankruptcy). Do not wait until you receive a call that you might not get that credit line, or that job, or that apartment because of an incorrect item on your credit report.