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How to Obtain Your Credit Reports


How to Obtain Your Credit Reports

The bankruptcy laws require that you give notice to all creditors at the time you file for bankruptcy.  Your credit reports serve as a simple and free tool to insure that you list each and every one of your creditors.  Clark & Washington recommends that you obtain a copy of your credit reports when you file your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case.

In the United States, three companies provide credit reporting services to banks and other credit grantors.  You may have heard about one or more of the three “credit bureaus:”

Equifax - based in Atlanta

Experian - based in Texas

Trans Union - based in Ohio

There is a good chance that a credit file has been created in your name with all three of these credit bureaus.  Fortunately, the law provides that you have the absolute right to look at your credit file.

Tennessee law provides that once a year, residents of Tennessee may request a free copy of their credit report from each of the credit bureaus.  Click here to download a free credit report request form that you can fill out and mail to each of the three credit reporting agencies.

Credit report request forms in PDF format.



Equifax  

Experian   

Trans Union

There are also several on-line sites where you can request a free credit report.  At Clark & Washington, we have found that sometimes these on-line sites do not always work because the credit agencies have on-going concerns about protecting the privacy of consumers.

One on-line source that seems to work best is called AnnualCreditReport.com.  If you request your credit report online, be prepared to answer questions about your identity.  For example, you may be asked to answer multiple choice questions about the names of previous mortgage companies or vehicle lenders, or the name of a street where you used to live.  If you cannot answer the identification questions you will have to request your credit reports by mail.

Can I File for Bankruptcy if I Have Not Yet
Requested My Credit Reports

Yes, the bankruptcy law does not require you to have a credit report on hand when you file bankruptcy.  However, in order to fill out the bankruptcy paperwork as completely as possible, Clark & Washington strongly recommends that you get your credit reports.

If you do not have time to wait, we can file your case, then request your credit reports.  If we discover additional creditors when your credit reports come in, we can amend your bankruptcy case to include new creditors.  You will have to pay an additional filing fee if we add new creditors.