Here you’ll find a glossary of terms that can sometimes be found in the credit history section of a Whitepages TenantCheck report. Please keep in mind that this is a general guide and terms and definitions may differ from state to state.
Bankruptcy is a legal process carried out by individuals or businesses (the debtor) when they are not able to pay their debts to entities they own money to (creditors). When a petition to file bankruptcy is granted, the debtor is relieved of their debt, while giving the creditor the opportunity to recover some of the money owed. There are multiple types of bankruptcy, and we’ve outlined the ones that may show up on a Whitepages TenantCheck report here:
- Chapter 7 is when the debtor sells off any assets of value in order to pay back as much of their outstanding debt as possible. If there is a remainder that the debtor cannot pay, this portion is discharged. Both individuals and businesses can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but businesses typically only go this route if they do not intend to continue operating afterward.
- Chapter 11 is typically for businesses that intend to continue operating during and after the bankruptcy proceedings. Rather than being relieved of the debt entirely, the business puts together a plan to pay back their creditors at a different schedule than originally agreed upon. Essentially, the debtor will try to reorganize their business to cut costs and increase revenue in order to pay back creditors in full.
- Chapter 12 is similar to Chapter 11, except it is for farmers. The debtor still owns and controls their assets, but must create a payment plan to pay back creditors.
- Chapter 13 is for individuals who have too much money to qualify for Chapter 7. They are able to keep control of their assets, but are required to create a 3-5 year plan to repay creditors in full.
Forcible detainer refers to an individual being evicted.
Foreclosure is a legal process where a creditor takes control of a property. For example, if a homeowner fails to make payments on their mortgage and the lending bank issues a foreclosure, the homeowner would be evicted and the bank could then sell the house.
Forbearance is when a debtor is a type of payment release that lets someone temporarily postpone payments due to a temporary hardship, such as medical costs or sudden unemployment.
Liens are claims made toward property by a creditor in order to ensure they are repaid. A common example of a consensual lien is when an individual takes out a home loan. Until the loan is repaid, the bank holds the lien on the house and may use it as collateral if it is not repaid on schedule. Non-consensual liens are issued by creditors when a debt has not been paid in full by the agreed-upon deadline. Here are the types of liens that you may see on a Whitepages TenantCheck report:
- Homeowners association liens are issued for unpaid membership dues owed to a homeowners association.
- Hospital liens may be issued in cases of unpaid medical bills.
- Judicial liens are issued by courts when one party is ordered to pay another as part of a lawsuit.
- Mechanic’s liens are issued when someone has failed to pay for work done on their property, such as having a roof replaced or car repaired.
- Tax liens are issued by either a state or the federal government to someone who owes money in taxes.
- Water and sewer liens are issued after an individual fails to pay their water/sewage bill.
Transferred to recovery refers to a situation where a lender sends an outstanding debt to a collections agency after someone has not paid the money owed.
If you encounter a term or phrase on your Whitepages TenantCheck report that you’re unfamiliar with, please let us know by submitting a request to our Customer Care Team, and checking the "TenantCheck Term" box.