Dismissed Bankruptcies and the FCRA

Last Updated:
April 10, 2023

Dismissed bankruptcies can significantly impact a person’s credit report and creditworthiness. When a bankruptcy case is dismissed, the debtor’s financial obligations have not been discharged, and creditors can resume collection activities.

Even though dismissed bankruptcies don’t have the same damaging impact on credit scores as discharged bankruptcies, they can still make it challenging for individuals to acquire credit in the future.

In this article, we will uncover how dismissed bankruptcies affect one’s credit report and score and review the FCRA demands for reporting such information.

The Federal Consumer Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is an authoritative law that monitors consumer credit data collection, sharing, and utilization. As stated by this mandate, Credit Reporting Agencies (CRAs) must guarantee that the information they provide is exact, complete, and current, which includes data related to dismissed bankruptcies. 

In what follows, we will examine in detail what a dismissed bankruptcy really means, how it differs from discharged bankruptcies, plus how FCRA affects credit reporting for these cases particularly.

What Is a Dismissed Bankruptcy?

A dismissed bankruptcy occurs when a bankruptcy case is terminated before the debts are discharged. This means that the debtor is still responsible for repaying their debts, and creditors can resume collection activities. 

Should a debtor fail to meet court deadlines or pay the required fees, their bankruptcy case can be thrown out of court. But it is important to note that a dismissed bankruptcy is different from a dismissed case with prejudice.

A dismissal with prejudice means that the case has been dismissed permanently, and the debtor cannot refile. In contrast, a dismissal without prejudice means that the case has been dismissed temporarily, and the debtor can refile their bankruptcy petition.

The FCRA and Dismissed Bankruptcies

A credit report is a compilation of information about a consumer’s creditworthiness, financial history, and personal characteristics, which is gathered and provided by consumer reporting agencies. This information is used to determine the consumer’s eligibility for credit, insurance, employment, or any other authorized purpose under the FCRA. 

The comprehensive credit report contains a consumer’s payment history, credit score, outstanding debts, financial particulars, and personal information such as name and address. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) legally mandates that CRAs ensure their data is entirely accurate, timely, and comprehensive. This applies to all information in the credit report, including details about dismissed bankruptcies. 

When a bankruptcy case is dismissed, the CRA must report this information on the consumer’s credit report. However, the FCRA also mandates that CRAs must ensure that the information they report is accurate, complete, and up to date. This means that if a dismissed bankruptcy is reported inaccurately or if the information is not current, the consumer has the right to dispute the information with the CRA.

Legal Issues and Dismissed Bankruptcies under the FCRA

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have the right to correct or dispute any invalid information on your credit report. This applies even if it is a dismissed bankruptcy that appears inaccurate.

Consumers also have the right to sue CRAs for FCRA violations related to dismissed bankruptcies. For example, if a CRA continues to report a dismissed bankruptcy on a consumer’s credit report after the statute of limitations has expired, the consumer may be able to sue the CRA for damages.

Consumers should be aware of their rights guaranteed under the FCRA and take decisive action if they feel that it is violated. If you have experienced a violation of your consumer rights, you may get help by reporting the issue to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). You can also seek guidance from a legal professional who can advise you on your options for seeking redress.

The FCRA also places a time limit on how long dismissed bankruptcies can remain on a consumer’s credit report. Dismissed bankruptcies can be reported for up to 7 years from the date of dismissal. After that time, the information must be removed from the consumer’s credit report.

Impact of Dismissed Bankruptcies on Credit Scores and Creditworthiness

While dismissed bankruptcies do not have the same negative impact on credit scores as discharged bankruptcies, they can still affect a person’s creditworthiness. A dismissed bankruptcy can make it more difficult for a person to obtain credit in the future, as creditors may view them as a higher risk.

In general, a dismissed bankruptcy will have a less severe impact on a person’s credit score than a discharged bankruptcy. This is because a dismissed bankruptcy does not result in the discharge of debts. 

However, a dismissed bankruptcy can still cause a significant drop in a person’s credit score, depending on their individual credit history and other factors.

After a dismissed bankruptcy, it is important for consumers to take steps to rebuild their credit. This may include obtaining a secured credit card, paying bills on time, and monitoring their credit report for errors or inaccuracies. 

It can take several years to recover from a dismissed bankruptcy, but with time and responsible financial behavior, consumers can improve their credit scores and creditworthiness.

Closing Remarks

Bankruptcies dismissed from a court of law can pose an immense blow to a person’s credit score and credibility. To guarantee the accuracy of such accounts, the Fair Credit Reporting Act mandates that consumer reporting agencies document information about bankruptcies accurately, then expunge it from consumers’ reports after certain intervals.

As a consumer, it is your right to dispute any untruths on your credit report and enforce the legal boundaries of the FCRA. If you have unfortunately experienced a dismissed bankruptcy case, be sure to comprehend how this event will affect not only your credit report but also your overall credit score. 

By actively attempting to reconstruct one’s trust in you as well as vigilantly monitoring for errors or inaccuracies in reports, an individual can eventually promote their own credibility.

If you’re in a tough spot with your credit, don’t worry! Fair Credit is here to rescue the day. Our knowledgeable experts will work diligently and swiftly to review any errors on your financial report so that you can get back to good standing quickly.

Reach out today for help or advice—our team of professionals is more than happy to lend a helping hand toward achieving an excellent rating on your credit score.

Ready to take action?

Don't let these companies get away with violating your rights and causing you financial & emotional distress.

Free Case Review