How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask socrateaser Your Own Question
socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 37842
Experience:  Attorney and Real Estate Broker -- Retired (mostly)
Type Your Bankruptcy Law Question Here...
socrateaser is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My husband and I filed bankruptsy chapter 7 not including

Customer Question

my husband and I filed bankruptsy chapter 7 not including our home, it was over 8 years ago. We were getting a credit report up until 2015, our mortgage company quit reporting our credit score. Our lawyer never had us fill out a affirmation document, now we are trying for a loan, we can't get our mortgage company to retroactive our credit report score now. Which is stopping us from getting a loan, what can we do?
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Muskegon, Michigan
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: ? not sure what you mean, they agreed as of today they will release our credit score from now on, but they refuse to retroactive it
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: We are trying to finance another home! and we can't get the loan to go through without an up to date credit score
Submitted: 13 days ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 13 days ago.


1. You cannot file Chapter 7 without including your house. However, the trustee may decide that it cannot be sold for any value, so you may have been permitted to keep the property.

2. Mortgage companies and other creditors do not report credit scores. They report account status. So, if you mean that the creditor stopped reporting your account status, and refuses to provide it retroactively, then that makes sense, at least from a technical viewpoint.

3. Assuming that I understand your facts, then I strongly suggest that you try a few different lenders, because the Fannie Mae rules (the rules that every bank/institutional lender and mortgage broker uses to underwrite loans) does not require a specific credit score. Quoting from the Fannie Mae guide:

Public Records, Foreclosures, and Collection Accounts

A credit history that includes any significant derogatory credit event is considered high risk. Significant derogatory credit events include bankruptcy filings, foreclosures, deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure, preforeclosure sales, mortgage charge-offs, judgments, tax liens, or accounts that have been turned over to a collection agency.

The more recent such events occurred, the more adverse the impact is on the credit profile. Although most public record information is retained in the credit history for seven years (ten years for bankruptcies), as time passes, it does become less significant to DU’s credit evaluation.


DU evaluates inquiries made within the most recent 12 months of the credit report date. Research has shown that a high number of inquiries can indicate a higher degree of risk. However, multiple inquiries made by different mortgage lenders or different auto loan creditors within the same time frame is not viewed by DU as multiple inquiries (these types of inquiries generally reflect borrowers shopping for favorable rates or terms). A borrower who has frequently applied for, or obtained, new or additional credit represents a higher risk.

Bankruptcy (Chapter 7 or Chapter 11)

A four-year waiting period is required, measured from the discharge or dismissal date of the bankruptcy action.


As you can see from the selling guide, after four years, the bankruptcy is not considered a disqualifying factor. And the only negative issue with the failure to report your account is that there's no history. But, a reasonably competent loan underwriter will know that you filed bankruptcy, so you had no obligation to pay the mortgage, and thus the mortgage company had no corresponding obligation to report your account.

The point here is that the lender has chosen, on its own internal policy, to turn this reporting issue into a disqualifying factor. There's no legal reason why it should be so. Consequently, you need to try some different lenders, because if you have income, and equity in your property, then you will get a loan from some lender. It may simply take longer to find the right fit.

On the direct issue of forcing the lender to retroactively report your account, you could sue in state or federal court under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), on grounds that the lender is materially misrepresenting your credit status. But, that could take months or even years to resolve. So, in my opinion, you will save a lot of time by trying different lenders until you find one that will be more accommodating. Even if you have to pay more interest, it won't likely be as much as you would have to pay a lawyer to represent you in court.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) -- otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.

Thanks again for using Justanswer!

Expert:  socrateaser replied 12 days ago.

Hello again,

I see that you have reviewed my answer, but that you have not provided a rating. Do you need any further clarification concerning my answer, or is everything satisfactory?

If you need further clarification, concerning this matter, please feel free to ask. If not, I would greatly appreciate a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) – otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.
Thanks again for using Justanswer!