It can be difficult to remove judgments from your credit report. If you can avoid getting a judgment placed on your credit in the first place, this is the best thing you can do because it can be extremely detrimental to your credit report. If you’re being sued, you should contact the lawyer or agency suing you first to see if they can remove the case by settling the amount with you first before it goes into the court system.
Once a judgment is noted on your credit report the statute of limitations can be anywhere from 5 to 20 years depending upon the laws of the state that you live in. In many states, judgments can also be renewed if the creditor decides they want to re-file the suit -potentially making the judgment permanent until satisfied so if you have been sued, it’s best to just pay it as quickly as possible. Here are a few things you can do to make the situation better if it has already been put on your credit report:
Always be sure to look up your state’s statute of limitations – the length of time that legal proceedings can be initiated, thus stating if the creditor can file a lawsuit with you or not. If the statue of limitations has passed (most are around four to seven years), you can dispute the judgment with your credit reporting bureau. This is important because sometimes the courts and credit bureaus are not consistent with their filings. And often, credit lawyers will try to get around legal rules in order to try and get you to pay the debt.
You will have thirty days for the bureau to report it to the courts and decide whether the debt is valid or not. If it’s not verified by then, the credit bureau must delete it.
If the debt is still valid, you could try and negotiate with the creditor to get the judgment dismissed. You and the debtor, in writing, would work out a payment, and in turn the debtor would dismiss it, having it be declared “legally void”.
Once you pay a judgment it’s still on your credit as a satisfied judgment. It can stay on for seven years, from the date the judgment has been satisfied, meaning paid off, but usually not before then. There’s not much you can do to remove judgments from credit once they’ve gone on.
Another idea may be to contact a credit lawyer. They will do all the work for you, and they know the ins and outs of the law and the procedures and paperwork involved, so a good credit lawyer may be a great help in getting your credit cleaned up.
Technically it is very difficult to get a public record entry removed from your credit. An experienced and reputable credit repair law firm may be able to help to get the judgment removed depending upon the circumstances but they cannot guarantee that they will succeed.
Sometimes the only option is to pay the judgment and then wait out the seven years, in the meantime being sure to keep paying your other debts on time and keep tabs on your credit. Make sure once you pay off the judgment that it’s listed on your report as paid and satisfied.