Doug's Credit Center Blog

How to Remove a Judgment from a Credit Report for Free

When you apply for a credit card, you fully intend on paying back that money in the future. A hospital stay, the loss of your job or a number of other factors can leave you feeling like you can’t cover the money you borrowed. If you don’t pay off your balance, your creditor can file a lawsuit against you to recover those funds. Once you have a judgment against you, you need to remove it as soon as possible.

The Judgment Process

The judgment process starts when you stop paying on a credit card or car loan. Federal law says that the creditor must charge-off your account after a minimum of 120 days, meaning that the auto finance company decides that you won’t pay off the balance. It can then hire a collection agency or sue you for the balance. Once the company files a lawsuit, the following occurs:

  • You receive notification of the pending legal action
  • You replay to the paperwork you receive
  • The court finds for you or the creditor

If the court finds for your creditor, it will place a judgment on your credit report. This judgment appears to anyone who checks your credit report. The next time you apply for a car loan, the dealer might refuse to give you a loan because it views that judgment as a risk that you won’t pay off your car loan.

Removing Judgments

You only have a few options when it comes to removing a judgment from your credit report. If the judgment is at least six and a half years old, you can request that the credit reporting agency remove it from your account. It should disappear after seven years, but some car loan judgments will appear longer. You also have the option of paying off the total amount due through the courts or to the collection agency, but you’ll need to contact the credit reporting agency to ensure it removes the case.

Removing a judgment from your credit report isn’t easy, especially if you still owe on the debt. Paying it off or waiting until you can ask for its removals are your best options.

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