Mistakenly Declared Bankrupt? Here's What to Do
Bankruptcy is one of those things that makes people cringe. It's not an experience people desire, so imagine how much you'd freak out if your bank mistakenly told a credit reporting agency you were bankrupt. That's exactly what happened to some Fifth-Third Bank customers, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. The error occurred in the fall, but affected consumers have only recently been notified by phone or letter.
Fifth-Third representatives won't disclose the number of customers affected, saying it was "a limited number." Bank officials have also said the error will not affect those people's credit scores, because the mistake was quickly addressed. Assuming the issue was resolved as cleanly as Fifth-Third officials say, that's good news for the customers.
Finding Errors on Credit Reports: There's no need for Fifth-Third customers to worry, according to a spokeswoman cited in the Enquirer, because everything should have been corrected by the time the bank reached out to affected customers. Still, it wouldn't hurt to double-check your credit report in a situation like this. At the very least, it could give you peace of mind.
You should regularly review your credit reports and credit scores, regardless of whether you think your personal information may have been compromised or if you're concerned about an error. Errors on credit reports are fairly common, ranging in severity from incorrect address listings to credit accounts that do not belong to you.
Everyone is entitled to a free annual credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You can get them all at once or space them out throughout the year, keeping in mind that you will have to wait 12 months before getting that free report again (there are exceptions in certain states, if you're a victim of identity theft or if you're denied credit).
Checking your credit scores, using a free tool like the Credit.com Credit Report Card, will let you see how your scores change over time. A sudden and unexpected drop in scores is a red flag that something isn't right. Considering that bankruptcy will tank your scores and can stay on your credit report for up to 10 years, you'd definitely want to know if one was mistakenly reported in your name. In the event you find a problem with your credit score, each bureau has a process consumers go through in order to dispute the entry. Until it's resolved, though, your scores could suffer and limit your access to other credit in the meantime.
More about Credit Reports:
How to Dispute an Error on Your Credit ReportHow Do I Get My Free Annual Credit ReportHow to Improve Your Credit Score
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