I see bankruptcy posts in this section and wanted to contribute some good information on how to go about handing the credit reporting side of things.
Consumers need to order all 4 credit reports:
If the consumer is entitled to their free credit report for the year they should go here.
Once the consumer has all of the credit reports - identify all of the companies that are going to be included in the bankruptcy. Take down the name of the company, the amount owed, the account number, and the address for the company.
If you can't find companies on the credit report, then look for past statements or collection letters received and get information off of these.
If some of the data is outdated or you are still missing companies owed then call the creditor or collection agency to verify the balance, and the address where to send payment. I don't recommend telling creditors or collection agents that you are planning to file bankruptcy - a good number of times you are going to find them hanging up on you. Leave the notification to the lawyer. If they ask for payment, just tell them you will mail them soon and leave it at that.
Once you have all of the data, forward that to the lawyer.
When the bankruptcy is filed and has been discharged you need to go to the court house and pay a fee for a copy of the discharge and bankruptcy papers. You can forward a copy to the credit reporting agency of the discharge and schedule showing what all creditors where included. Ask the credit reporting agency to update judgment as discharged and all of the accounts as included in bankruptcy / zero balance.
Here is the run down on the reporting periods:
Chapter 13 bankruptcy public record will show on the credit report for 7 years from the file date.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy public record will show on the credit report for 10 years from the file date.
All of the separate accounts included in bankruptcy can show on the credit report 7 years from default.
It is so important that you find and report all companies owed, you don't want to have to go back later and re-open a bankruptcy to add companies that were missed.
If a creditor or collection agency tries to collect on a discharged debt, then notify your lawyer or the bankruptcy trustee. Sometimes you can just mail a copy of the discharge with the schedule of lenders included to the company trying to collect.