24 Jan Will Filing for Bankruptcy Prevent Me From Opening a Checking Account?
Over at our sister site, Credit Law Network, there are a few articles about Chex Systems and Tele-Check. These companies assist financial institutions and merchants in preventing losses from bad or fraudulent checks. Chex Systems co-sponsors an educational program for those who have bounced checks in the past to qualify to open a new bank account in the future. You can also order a copy of your Chex Systems report, just like any credit bureau. So, if you have obtained a bankruptcy discharge, will either of these companies report information that will prevent the opening of a new checking account?
The answer is maybe.
Tele-Check does not maintain a report history on consumers that will contain information about a bankruptcy discharge. Instead, Tele-Check acts more like an insurance company for merchants attempting to predict the risk of whether a particular check is bad based on patterns and statistical data. Chex Systems does maintain a report, but it does not contain information on your creditworthiness or loan repayment history. Instead, it holds information on whether a member institution has suffered a loss as the result of fraudulent activity or bounced checks.
A debt owed to a banking institution for bounced checks will ordinarily be discharged by a bankruptcy. While the debt is discharged and the banking institution is prohibited from trying to collect it, the bankruptcy does not change history. That history may discourage a banking institution from opening a new account for you. However, if you have no history of fraud or bounced checks, the bankruptcy discharge is irrelevant and there is nothing to prevent the bank from opening the account for you. If you have any question about the contents of your Chex Systems report, order a copy and review it