You filed for bankruptcy. Can you make it disappear?

We all want to have the magic bullet that will make the past disappear, gone and forgotten forever.  The clean slate provided for by the bankruptcy laws, however, offers no such gift.

The real question, however, should be one of the impact of the bankruptcy on your credit report.

After all, it doesn’t matter much if people know about your past – so long as your past isn’t harmful to your present state of affairs.

Here’s the lowdown.

How Long Until Bankruptcy Falls Off Your Credit Report?

Talk to different bankruptcy attorneys and credit professionals, and you’re sure to get just as many answers about the length of time the bankruptcy stays on your credit report before it is removed.

According to Experian, the credit reporting agency:

The bankruptcy record from the court is deleted either seven years or 10 years from the filing date of the bankruptcy depending on the chapter you declared.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is deleted seven years from the filing date because it requires at least a partial repayment of the debts you owe. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is deleted 10 years from the filing date because none of the debt is repaid.

Individual accounts included in bankruptcy often are deleted from your credit history before the bankruptcy public record. Usually, a person declaring bankruptcy already is having serious difficulty paying their debts. Accounts are often seriously delinquent before the bankruptcy.

All delinquent accounts are deleted seven years from the original delinquency date, which is the date the account first became delinquent and was never again current. Declaring bankruptcy does not alter the original delinquency or extend the time the account remains on the credit report.

If the account was delinquent before being included in the bankruptcy, it will probably be deleted before the bankruptcy public record because the original delinquency date is typically earlier than the bankruptcy filing date.

Can You Remove Bankruptcy From Your Credit Report During The Reporting Period?

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, a credit reporting agency has the right to report any information that is truthful and accurate.  That includes the fact that you filed for bankruptcy.

If there’s inaccurate information on your credit report, you have the ability to dispute those errors and demand that the credit reporting agency conduct an investigation.  If the investigation reveals that you’re correct then the inaccuracy should be removed from your credit report.

In the case of bankruptcy, reporting it on your credit report is accurate.  Trying to remove it by saying that it’s inaccurate is a lie.  You wouldn’t be disputing an inaccuracy, you’d be trying to game the system.  That’s what so many of the credit repair scams do – try to game the system.

And you wouldn’t want to do that, would you?

Who Cares If Bankruptcy Is On Your Credit Report?

When you file bankruptcy and get relief from your bill problems, you no longer owe any money to your creditors.  You no longer have to suffer with the continuing delinquencies.

If you take some simple steps to rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy, your credit score will star to rise pretty quickly.  After as little as 18-24 months, your credit report will be a thing of beauty.

Once that happens, nobody’s going to care about the fact that you have a bankruptcy on your credit report.  It’s going to be old news, replaced by the more interesting positive payment history of the recent past.

Why spend the time trying to game the system when you could be rebuilding your good credit name?