Managing your Checking Account in Bankruptcy
When individuals are facing financial hardships, they often overdraw their account, bounce checks, or both. If this is a frequent occurrence, the bank or the individual m
ay end up closing the bank account. As a result, a person may have trouble opening up a new bank account. The reason for this is because banks and credit unions will report this information to check reporting companies. There are a number of companies, but some common ones include Chex Systems or Telecheck. When subscribing banks or credit unions check your account history, they may deny you a new account at their institution because of your past actions which can stay on your report for up to five years.
Holding Check Reporting Companies Accountable
Check reporting companies, like Chex Systems and Telecheck, are governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) just as Experian, Equifax and TransUnion are. The information submitted to the check reporting companies is required to be accurate under the FCRA. So, if you’re unable open an account after filing for bankruptcy you should make sure the information at the check reporting companies is accurate.
Just like with the major credit bureaus, you are entitled to one free copy of your report once every twelve months. You can order a free copy of your report after your bankruptcy has been discharged at each of the check reporting company websites.
Once you receive your report check to make sure everything is accurate. If a debt was discharged in your bankruptcy, it should be reported as “$0.00 owed, discharged in bankruptcy.” If it is not being reported properly you should inform Chex Systems by highlighting the incorrect information, sending them a copy of your bankruptcy discharge, debt schedules, and a letter stating it is no longer accurate because the debt was discharged in bankruptcy.
You may submit a complaint by mail to:
Chex Systems, Inc.
7805 Hudson Rd., Suite 100
Woodbury, MN 55125
Chex Systems will investigate your claim by collaborating with the banking institution. Chex Systems will then provide you with a statement with the results of their findings. If the bank responds that the account was not discharged in bankruptcy then you may have a FCRA claim against both the bank and Chex Systems for the improper reporting.
If you believe you have an FCRA claim due to improper information contained on your Chex Systems report then please contact an attorney at our office. We will either be able to help you out ourselves or provide you with the information necessary to fix the situation.
Keep Your Bank Account
By insuring banks are properly reporting your information to the check reporting companies like Chex Systems, you’ll likely be able to open a new bank account significantly faster after filing for bankruptcy. Even if you choose not to file for bankruptcy, its important to make sure the information being reported is accurate so you don’t have any future banking issues.
If you have any questions about new bank accounts or bankruptcy, contact our office at (248) 237-7979 to speak with a bankruptcy professional.