2/21/2013 2:15 PM ET|
How to erase judgments on credit reports
A judgment on your credit reports can cause a double ding to your scores. If the debt's been paid or isn't yours, there are ways to have it removed.
Credit reporting can be very confusing for consumers. Many of us often wonder: How do the three major credit bureaus -- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion -- gather the information in our credit reports, and why do they sometimes disagree?
A Credit.com reader using the screen name "Tammy" is wondering exactly these things. Tammy wrote that she had two judgments against her for unpaid debts. Such judgments are noted in credit reports and can do serious damage to a consumer's credit score. In Tammy's case, it means that she's actually getting dinged twice: once for the unpaid debts and again for the judgments. Both wound up on her credit reports, where they will hold down her credit scores for the next seven years
There are a number of situations when a consumer can successfully get the credit reporting bureaus to delete the judgments from their reports, such as proving the debt belonged to someone else, was already paid or that the statute of limitations has already expired.
Tammy says she asked all three credit bureaus for a deletion. One credit bureau, TransUnion, agreed, but the other two refused, saying that the debt "remains" or is "verified" (which means the bureau verified that it belongs to Tammy, explains Barry Paperno, Credit.com's community director). Tammy didn't respond to emails, so we don't know any more specifics of her case, but her inquiry boils down to a simple question: "How can I get them to remove these items?"
The first thing to know, Paperno says, is that the credit bureaus reach different conclusions all the time. Maybe TransUnion's search of public records didn't turn up Tammy's judgment, but the other two bureaus did.
"They may have come up with different results," Paperno says. "Also, the bureaus do use their judgment."
What Tammy should do now depends on the situation, Paperno says. Here are three scenarios:
- The debt belongs to someone else. This is unlikely, since a local court issued two separate judgments against Tammy, finding that she owes the debt. But maybe the court made a mistake. Maybe the real debtor is Tammy's mother or grandmother, who shares the same name. If so, Tammy can file paperwork to Equifax and Experian proving that she isn't the debtor. This might mean copies of birth certificates or Social Security cards to prove she has a different birthday, utility bills to prove she has a different address or a marriage license to prove she has a different middle name.
- The debt is already paid. Maybe Tammy paid the bills before they even went to collections, in which case she can get the judgments removed from her credit. Or maybe she paid them after she received her judgments, in which case she can get the bureaus to change their descriptions of the debts to "paid." The latter won't boost her score, Paperno says, but it also doesn't hurt.
- The debt is old. Judgments and unpaid debts stay on a person's credit report for about seven years and six months. Maybe these judgments are six and a half years old, and someone at TransUnion decided to give Tammy a pass. If this is the case, Tammy should keep bugging the other two and hope for the same result. "They do nice things for people sometimes," Paperno says. Or Tammy could simply wait a few months for the judgments, and the damage they're causing her score, to go away.
More from Credit.com:
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
All three credit bureaus really truly don't know what's going on with you me or anyone else. They just receive information that someone gives them reather if it's true or false. So who are they to jude if they don't even know if the information is giving to them is even true? I found address on my reports that I asked plenty times to have removed and all three never did. P.O. Box's I never one time ever had. Ex girl friends having my last name? It's all a joke.
Truth always hurt and the powerful would like to keep it under the rug. Be brave and stand up for what you believe is right and help the victims not the parasites who suck your blood for a living. Here are some basic facts that you should know: Do your own research, there is plenty of information out there if you ever fall into this trap, set by legal parasites.
1. Never ever sign off on a stipulation from a debt collector who claim to be above the law!
They will threaten you with a law suit, without even having a single piece of evidence against you to begin with. For example: say you owe a balance on a credit card to Bank of America (BOA), and you loose your job or get hit by a truck on your way to work, you default on your cc payments. After 6 months BOA will charge off your a/c and call it a bad debt, collect money from uncle sam for bad loans, utilizing your own tax dollars back in their pocket. Then BOA will destroy your credit worthiness, so no one will lend you any credit, cause you are considered "credit risk".
BOA will now sell the very same loan for pennies on the dollar to a third party. Third party turn around and hire a debt collector owned and operated by attorney's in your state of residence. They will threaten you harass you and start asking you for money you owe BOA plus thousands of dollars in interest plus thousands of dollars in legal fees, etc. There is not a damn thing they can do, unless of cause you sign a stipulation to pay every month. If you sign a stipulation and miss 2 or 3 consecutive payments they will run to court and take a judgment against you in a heart beat. Now they can double or triple the amount you owe. Local county courts work with these collectors cause they make money in fees by taking a judgment against you, in your absence. These collectors are absolutely brutal and they will stop at nothing until they recover enough money to pay for their BMW's at your own expense. They would never think of the harm they cause in the process.
Some states are worse than others. In Minnesota, the legislature is finally trying to change the law that has caused havoc by destroying Minnesota families during tough economic times.
One thing I still don't get it , it is why 3 credit bureau are need it, shouldn't one be good enough? how they determine the Score?, why they are defferent? if a late payment is late is late for the 3 of them right
so why all scores are not the same B>S.?
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
RECENT ARTICLES ON CREDIT SCORES
New rules mean that longevity annuities -- insurance against outliving your money -- are more attractive for retirement savers.