Why are expired bankruptcies still affecting us?

Dear James,

My husband and I were made bankrupt six years ago. We were discharged after the first year and our credit report has now been cleared of the record. However, when we applied for a current account we were told that bankruptcy information on us was still showing and that we needed to provide evidence of our discharge. This will cost us £140 to obtain. Why should this be if our credit reports are clear and is there any thing we can do about this other than pay out £140?  

Christine, Didcot

Dear Christine,

The bank you approached for a current account is likely to have obtained information from three sources to assess your request: your application form, their own internal records and your credit report from one of the three credit reference agencies. Of those three, only your credit report would contain current information about a bankruptcy. You say that your credit report has been cleared of the bankruptcy now, but I’m wondering whether you’ve checked your reports with all three credit reference agencies. If one of the other agencies still has your bankruptcy on file for some reason and the bank checked with them, that may explain what has happened. Your bank should be able to tell you which agency they consulted, then you can take it from there. If this isn’t the issue then I have one more theory: namely that the bank is for some reason looking at an old copy of your credit report. A copy of your report from whichever agency the bank used will show you exactly when the bank carried out the credit check. I do hope you manage to get to the bottom of this soon. You really shouldn’t need to shell out for a discharge certificate. (April 2012)

James
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