The Maine Bankruptcy Court recently ruled that a creditor that intentionally inaccurately describes the status of a discharged debt on a credit report violates the bankruptcy discharge injunction. In the case of Curtis v. Salem Five Mortgage, Salem Five continued to list a discharged mortgage debt, which Curtis's ex-spouse was responsible to pay, on Curtis's credit report as an open account. Curtis, and the Maine Consumer Protection division of the Attorney General's office, requested that Salem Five change the credit report notation to reflect that the debt was discharged and that there was no balance due from Curtis, but Salem Five refused to do so.
Judge Kornreich, of the Maine Bankruptcy Court, concluded that the First Circuit precedent of Pratt v. GMAC provided the authority for finding that Salem Five's actions were an effort to collect a discharged debt. This Curtis decision should reduce the opportunities for creditors to pressure debtors to pay discharged debts by continuing to inaccurately report the discharged bills on credits reports.