If you have ever had a lawsuit that ended up going to trial then you are likely quite familiar with what a judgment is. A judgment is a court’s decision in regards to a lawsuit. It is quite common for debt collectors or creditors to sue people for not paying their debts and then obtaining judgments. Judgments are public record, which means that anyone can gain access to them. It is often the case that credit-reporting agencies obtain these records in order to put them on consumer’s credit reports. These can remain there for up to seven years from the date that the judgment was filed. Both paid and unpaid judgments can severely hurt your credit score, and it can even be used in order to deny you future credit. Luckily there are ways to remove judgments from your credit report.
Wait Seven Years
All of the credit bureaus remove paid judgments after seven years, which means that you will no longer have it on your credit report after this time. It is recommended that you obtain a free copy of your credit report in order to see exactly what your creditors see when they look at your credit report in order to ensure a judgment was removed after that time. Keep in mind that unpaid judgments can remain on your credit report forever in select states, in other states after a certain number of years a credit agency can renew a judgment if it has still gone unpaid.
Hire a Lawyer
You may want to hire a lawyer in order to produce all legal documents. You may have to file a Satisfaction of Judgment, appeal or Motion to Vacate depending on your specific case. Keep in mind that these documents are required to meet certain legal standards in order to be filed. Although hiring a lawyer can be expensive, it may be well worth it if you believe you are able to remove your judgment early. If your judgment process was improper, there was a false judgment made against you or the plaintiff didn’t show up to court than the money spent on your lawyer will allow you to raise your credit score and give you many more financial opportunities.
File a Motion to Have Your Case Vacated
If you can find proof that your creditor no longer exists, there was an unjust claim or that there were improper court procedures then you may be able to file a motion to have your case vacated. If your case is successfully appealed send in copies of a motion that has your judge’s signature on it to all of the major credit bureaus.
Negotiate with Your Credit Agency
Before you pay off your judgment, it’s worth trying to negotiate with your credit agency for a better deal. If it’s valid then you can get the judge to oversee the negotiated judgment. Doing this will allow you to pay off the debt directly, and so the credit agency may agree to list your judgment as being legally void instead of just satisfied. Once this is done you can then submit court documents to all of the credit bureaus in order to have it removed from your credit report.
File For a Satisfaction of Judgment
Once a judgment has been satisfied, make sure that your lawyer files all of the documents and that a judge has signed them. Once your documents are filed with a clerk of court you can then send copies of it to all of the credit bureaus. Keep in mind that once a Satisfaction of Judgment has been filed, credit bureaus don’t have to remove the paid judgment for seven years. Be aware that if a paid judgment is listed on your credit report as a satisfied judgment or if it is still listed after seven years then it is likely due to the fact that a Satisfaction of Judgment was never properly filed.
If the Judgment Doesn’t Belong to You
If the paid judgment that you have on your credit report doesn’t actually belong to you then you can hire a lawyer in order to have the judgment vacated. If you go to court and are able to prove that the judgment isn’t valid then you can file all of the documents with a court and then send them to credit bureaus and your credit agency that filed for a judgment in the first place. If you do this successfully then the credit bureaus must remove the false judgment in a month or less.