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Fifth Third Bank oops: You filed bankruptcy!

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Imagine discovering that the 'Big Three' credit bureaus have you on file for filing bankruptcy, when you have never been late on a bill in your life.

That's what a number of Fifth Third Bank customers are learning this week, after receiving a letter in the mail from the Cincinnati-based bank explaining that it made an "error."

Fifth Third Bank explains in the letter that it "inadvertently reported that you had filed for bankruptcy" to the major credit bureaus last fall.

It says it is alerting the agencies, and that those affected should not worry about their credit being damaged from this.

Customers Upset, Worried

The bank is not saying how many customers have received this letter, but we are hearing from several viewers and at least one WCPO employee who found one in the mail on Monday.

One viewer told us "we work very hard to keep our credit record clean. We owe nothing to anyone. My wife is retired and has no regular dealing with Fifth Third Bank. We are puzzled about how this can happen."

The viewer told us that he heard from a customer service agent that "several thousand" customers are receiving the letter, but the bank will not confirm that.

In a statement, a Fifth Third Bank spokeswoman told us:

"This is related to a reporting error that occurred late last fall at the time of a systems change. The error was corrected in December through updated reporting to the credit bureaus. 

I can’t share the number of customers impacted, but I can tell you that it was a limited number and we are reaching out to all of them. 

If the customer did not have an issue at the time, they should not have one now.  We have taken action to ensure the mistake won’t recur.

The accuracy of our customers’ credit history is important to us, and we will ensure that no customer will suffer negative impact. "

What You Can Do

Customers with questions should call 5/3 customer service, and check their credit report at Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.  You can see a free copy of your credit report at all 3 agencies by going to www.annualcreditreport.com.

Fifth Third Bank says this should not have lowered your credit score, essential to getting a loan.

As always, don't waste your money.

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