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How Long Does Bankruptcy Stay on Your Credit Report in Pennsylvania?

No matter what Chapter of bankruptcy you file, or which court you file it in, it is noted on your credit report. Filing for bankruptcy is a difficult decision, and does initially lower your credit rating.

While filing for bankruptcy affects your credit rating, it is likely that your credit will not be damaged too significantly. Filing for bankruptcy will wipe out most, if not all of a debtor's debt. This makes it easier to rebuilt credit.

If you have declared a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it remains on your credit report for 10 years from the date of filing. That is important to note because sometimes filing can precede the discharge by four to six months. If there are no errors in the reporting of the bankruptcy filing date, the bankruptcy is automatically removed from your report after the ten year period.

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy that is successfully closed may remain on your credit score for 10 years, but it is also more likely to be removed after 7 years.

We get asked this question a lot by our clients: “How can I get a Chapter 7 bankruptcy off my credit report?” A Chapter 7 bankruptcy usually cannot be removed until the 10 year period has elapsed. That said, do not wait for the time to pass and start rebuilding your credit rating immediately.

Start by making payments on or before the due date, live according to a monthly budget you have created, determine what you must get versus what you want to get, get a secured credit card and re-examine what you spend your money on to trim more expenses from your budget.

Many debtors who have declared bankruptcy do not realize that they may be able to apply for and get a loan, even with the bankruptcy on their credit record. Some lenders seek out those who have declared bankruptcy because they are debt free.

Anyone who is contemplating or have already gone through bankruptcy should take advantage of the annual free credit report. Once you have it, go through it to make sure it is accurate, complete and up-to-date. Since you are entitled to one free credit report from all three of the credit reporting companies, make sure you get them once every 12 months.

Removing a bankruptcy from your credit might get complicated. Under the law there is a maximum number of years that a bankruptcy remains on an individual's credit report. There is no stated minimum time. To try and get your credit report cleared before the maximum time, file a dispute with the three credit reporting bureaus.

You can only file a dispute if you find errors on your report, so examine it closely. Everything relating to your bankruptcy must be accurate, that includes personal information and social security numbers. If there are any errors, it is grounds for removing the bankruptcy.

Be aware that when you file a dispute the credit reporting companies must verify and validate the dispute for it to remain on your report. If you are reporting inaccurate information and it is not handled and verified properly or not verified within 30 days by the companies, any inaccurate information, including a bankruptcy, must be removed.

At Melaragno, Placidi & Parini, we have decades of experience handling bankruptcies and can make sure you have all the right information you need to decide which Chapter works best for you, what your exemptions may be, which Chapter may give you more exemptions and what to expect once your bankruptcy has been discharged. Give us a call today for your free consultation.