How Do I Find Out if a Debt Collector is Trying to Collect a Debt Discharged in Bankruptcy?
A judgment creditor may enforce an unpaid judgment by requesting a lien be placed on the defendant’s assets. We suggest calling the clerk of courts where the judgment was issued to see if their docket shows any further action taken against you. You may also call the county recorder’s office where any real property you own is located. It is recommended to get a copy of your credit report every year to verify its accuracy.
Upon request, a credit bureau must tell a consumer the names and addresses of persons to whom it has made a credit report on that consumer during the previous six months. It also must tell, when requested, what employers were given such a report during the previous two years.
Some information obtained by credit reporting bureaus is based on statements made by persons, such as neighbors who were interviewed by the bureau's investigator. Needless to say, these statements are not always correct and are sometimes the result of gossip. In any event, such statements may go on the records of the bureau without further verification and may be furnished to a client of the bureau who will regard the statements as accurate. A person has the limited right to request an agency to disclose the nature and substance of the information possessed by the bureau to see if the information is accurate. If the person claims that the information of the bureau is erroneous, the bureau must take steps within a reasonable time to determine the accuracy of the disputed items. If no correction is made, the debtor can write a 100-word statement of clarification which will be included in future credit reports, even it the agency disagrees with clarification.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that a credit reporting agency follow reasonable procedures to assure accuracy of the information it gathers. Adverse information obtained by investigation cannot be given to a client after three months unless it is verified to determine that it is still valid.
Credit reporting bureaus are not permitted to disclose information to persons not having a legitimate use for this information. It is a federal crime to obtain or to furnish a credit report for an improper purpose. Under the FCRA, agencies can only disclose information to the following: 1) a debtor who asks for his own report; 2) a creditor who has the debtor’s signed application for credit; 3) a potential employer; and 4) a court pursuant to a subpoena.
Agencies are also limited as to what can be disclosed. For example, no disclosure may be made of bankruptcies that occurred more than 10 years ago or lawsuits finalized more than 7 years ago. There can be no disclosure of criminal convictions and arrests that have been disposed of more than 7 years ago.