Although they sound similar, a bankruptcy dismissal and a bankruptcy discharge are two very different outcomes. If your bankruptcy ends in a dismissal, it means that the bankruptcy was dismissed before the conclusion. A dismissal can be voluntary or involuntary. The court can order the dismissal because of a failure to comply with proceedings, or you might even change your mind for a voluntary dismissal. If you have a bankruptcy dismissal, write a letter to have a dismissed bankruptcy removed from your credit reports.
Begin the letter in business format, with the date, your name and address and the name and address of the credit bureau at the beginning of the letter. Add a subject line such as “Bankruptcy Dismissal.”
Outline the bankruptcy dismissal information, including the court case number and the dates. Include the details behind the dismissal – whether it was voluntary or involuntary. If the bankruptcy was voluntary, include the reason why you sought dismissal. If the bankruptcy was involuntary, include the reasons the court dismissed it.
Request the credit bureaus to remove the bankruptcy from your credit report. Another alternative would be to have the credit bureaus add an addendum to the bankruptcy that notes the dismissal – meaning that the bankruptcy never occurred.
Make copies of all court papers that show the bankruptcy proceedings and the dismissal. Enclose copies of all paperwork with each letter. Make a copy of each letter to the credit bureaus to keep for your records.
Sign each letter. Enclose the copied paperwork with each letter and mail the letters certified mail with a return receipt requested. Send a letter to Equifax, P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374; Experian, P.O. Box 9558, Allen, TX 75013 and TransUnion, 555 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL 60661.
- The credit bureaus must investigate the information in your letter within 30 days and issue a report to you about the results of the investigation. If the credit bureaus remove the dismissed bankruptcy or add an addendum about the dismissal, you will get a copy of the amended credit reports.
- If you don’t get the dismissed bankruptcy explained to your satisfaction in your credit reports, send a statement of 100 words or less to the credit bureaus to explain the situation. Creditors who pull your credit report in the future will see your statement explaining the dismissed bankruptcy.
- A dismissed bankruptcy will automatically remove the protection you had from creditors, enabling them to resume collections against you for money you owe. This credit situation might affect your credit negatively.