What if your goal is to improve your credit report and there are judgments on it? When the judgment against you was won by default, you might attempt to set aside that judgment. When you previously paid off or satisfied a judgment, you have to mail proof of the satisfaction of judgment to the credit agencies (bureaus).
Reporting and fixing erroneous judgment statuses to the three credit agencies isn’t a responsibility of the judgment owners, a court, or the three credit agencies. No one starts to fix or investigate anything until you first make something happen. Begin by ordering a current copy of your credit report from the top 3 credit agencies: Experian, Transunion, and Equifax. Try AnnualCreditReport.com to request a free credit report from each credit bureau. Watch out for certain alternate websites which promise “free” credit reports, yet come with hidden charges.
My articles are my opinions and are not, legal advice. I am a judgment broker, and not an attorney. When you ever want a strategy to use or legal advice, you should retain an attorney. When you get the credit report, review the report carefully to verify that all the information on your debts and judgments, and all payments made on them, is accurate. If anything isn’t accurate and you do not owe what is listed, you can try to correct your listing by sending in a credit dispute report. When you do this, file your debt dispute form with each of the big 3 credit bureaus.
When a judgment against you was won by default, and you were really not served notice of that lawsuit, and you wish to assert the judgment was/is a surprise to you; you could try to have that judgment vacated for defective service. That requires another court hearing, and the creditor must get served notice of the scheduled hearing. If you can persuade a judge you weren’t served properly or served at all, you might be successful and get the judgment set aside. Note that even if you win, nothing stops your creditor from suing you once again, buy many judgment owners will not. If you have a court ruling setting aside or vacating the judgment, send that proof to the credit reporting agencies.
What if the judgment was outsourced to a collection agency or a judgment enforcer or a lawyer? In that case, you will need to work with the person who currently owns the judgment you owe, or whoever currently represents the original judgment creditor.
If your judgment wasn’t won by default, or you can’t vacate it, you could try to settle with your creditor, for a fraction of what is due; and that’s worth attempting. Make sure you have any agreements reached with your creditor in writing; so that you may provide the top 3 credit agencies with a copy of the credit account settlement and/or the judgment satisfaction. After your judgment is satisfied, the credit agencies will report the judgment as having been paid and/or settled.
Usually, judgments and other less than perfect items, stay on credit reports for 7 years. They can remain on your credit report for 7 years, however it is not mandatory that they will. To have judgments and other debts removed or marked as being repaid fully, you must first get them paid or set aside, and then dispute them in writing and provide proof; as some people lie.
If you persuade a credit agency to start their investigation, they will contact your creditor. If the judgment owner doesn’t respond, the agency will probably remove the entry. If you can prove it, a judgment satisfaction may be taken off your credit report, or at least it will show up as being paid fully.
If you paid off a judgment, and the judgment owner did not file that satisfaction at the court, begin by politely reminding the creditor that the law says, the creditor needs to file the satisfaction at your court. If the judgment owner will not satisfy the judgment after being paid, you may need to sue the creditor in court, showing proof that you paid the creditor or your court, and if possible, that your creditor took your payment as settling your judgment debt completely. After you prove to the three credit agencies that you paid the judgment off, it might still appear on your credit report, however it will appear as having been paid.