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Bank: Errant bankruptcy filing reports due to computer glitch

How does that saying go? To err is human, to really mess things up requires a computer. That may be what a lot of customers of one bank are mumbling to themselves right now. The bank is based in another state, but has branches around Texas.

In just the past few weeks, an unspecified number of customers (some stories put the figure at around 20,000) started receiving notices from the Fifth Third Bank saying that they had been reported to credit reporting agencies as having filed for bankruptcy. None of the customers had.

Some observers might say that what appears to be salt in the wound is the fact that the problem was first noticed back in October. The letter from the bank says the problem was fixed by December. The bank doesn't explain why it took until February to let individuals know.

The bank blames the inadvertent reports to the Experian, Equifax, Innovis and TransUnion credit bureaus on a glitch that occurred during a computer system upgrade. Again, no specifics are offered as to what exactly happened or how many people might have been affected.

The bank insists that the issue has been fixed and that no one should have suffered for it, unless they happened to have been applying for credit or were denied credit during the time frame in question.

All those assurances may do little to assuage customer concerns. As experts in the bankruptcy field are well aware, there are a lot of misconceptions about bankruptcy and the effect it can have on a person's credit. That can lead to unnecessary fear and anxiety. To be sure you have all the right information, it's best to consult an experienced attorney.

Source: Mlive, "Fifth Third Bank incorrectly reports credit card customers as bankrupt," Shandra Martinez, Feb. 19, 2014

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