The FCRA requires furnishers to indicate a zero balance when an account is included in bankruptcy. They can report the account as included in bankruptcy, but they must also indicate a zero balance. It also requires that they indicate when a nonfiling spouse is not the primary obligator. In other words, if your spouse filed bankruptcy and wrapped joint debts into it, then the furnisher cannot report your account as “included in bankruptcy.”‘ Moreover, the furnisher must indicate the bankruptcy chapter under which a consumer filed.
Many states have their own laws concerning bankruptcy reporting, and it would be wise to check to see whether any such laws are being violated.
If a creditor reported erroneously under any of the circumstances here, I would (a) dispute the entry with the bureaus and the furnisher (and then look at legal avenues if they fail to make the entry accurate), or (b) file a declaratory judgment lawsuit and have the whole tradeline removed.
Personally, I like the second option a lot better. Having the tradeline removed will strengthen your chances of removing the bankruptcy entry altogether. Again, if the furnisher rectifies the situation as a result of a credit bureau dispute, then there’s no cause of action available under the FCRA, but there may be other breaches of law.
It’s a bad idea to make payments on debts discharged in bankruptcy. If you ever become late again, creditors may report delinquencies subsequent to the bankruptcy. If you run into some money and wish to pay such debts, only do so when they can be paid in full and there’s no possible chance of future delinquency. Further, do so only when the furnisher agrees to remove all adverse references in exchange for payment.