After filing for bankruptcy, you may have noticed that your monthly mortgage payments are not being listed on your credit report. Instead you will see the account listed as “Included in Bankruptcy”, with no further notations on the monthly payments being made. This can be frustrating if you are current on your mortgage payments and are trying to rebuild your credit.
WHY IS MY MORTGAGE COMPANY NOT REPORTING MY MORTGAGE PAYMENTS TO THE CREDIT BUREAU?
When you file for bankruptcy, you are required to list all of your debts and this includes your mortgages. When you receive a discharge in bankruptcy it also discharges your personal liability for the mortgages on the home. It does not remove the mortgage lien that exists on your home. This means that if you fail to make the payments on the home, then the mortgage company can foreclose on the home but cannot pursue you for any deficiency judgment.
Mortgage companies will not report your mortgage payments because they are concerned that it violates the automatic stay or discharge injunction. The concern is that reporting the payments on the credit report can be treated as an attempt to collect a discharged debt. This can subject the mortgage company to a discharge violation in bankruptcy court. Reporting negative information for any mortgage payments that are late can be treated as a discharge violation.
HOW CAN I GET MY MORTGAGE PAYMENTS REPORTED?
1. Payment History– One strategy that we have done in the past and have heard other attorneys mention is to request a payment history from your mortgage company. You can utilize the payment history to dispute the accuracy of your credit report, for your mortgage payments. You can request that the credit bureau update your credit report with the payment history that you have submitted.
The credit bureaus will contact the creditor to resolve the dispute as to the information being reported. The creditor can then provide their own documents supporting the accuracy of the credit report or they may not dispute the payment history. If the creditor does not dispute the information, then the credit bureaus will update your information with the payment history.
2. Reaffirmation Agreementt- If you sign a reaffirmation agreement for your mortgage, then it will continue to be reported on your credit report. Reaffirming your mortgage is not necessary in order to keep your home. In most cases it is not advisable that you reaffirm your mortgage. Signing a reaffirmation agreement for your mortgage, makes you personally liable for the debt, after bankruptcy. This is an option you should consider only after consulting with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. If your bankruptcy case was closed and you did not sign a reaffirmation agreement, then you will have to check if it is possible to have your case reopened to sign a reaffirmation agreement. Whether you can do this will depend on the local practices in your area. Some courts will not allow you to do this.
Having your mortgage payments reported on your credit report is one step of many you can take to rebuild your credit. There are many other options available for rebuilding your credit score. For further information on rebuilding your credit go to: How Can I Improve My Credit Score after Bankruptcy?: