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Do public records reset like collections can?

Regular Contributor

Do public records reset like collections can?

I understand if you have a collection that has been sitting on your report for years and it's due to fall off soon you should leave it be. Because if you start digging into it, it will start the 7 years all over again.


Now with a public record is it the same? In my case years ago I got behind on rent and got evicted. I paid some of what I owed and at times I couldn't so eventually my landlord took it to court. The case got closed for lack of him trying to get the money. The case wasn't making progress so the judge ended it.


This was in '08. For whatever reason just today it just showed up on my credit report. I talked to Transunion so far and it sounded like I had a good case to dispute it. He said it was an unpaid case but once I told him it was closed by the courts and I had the paperwork stating that he changed his tune. It's due to come off next year this time but is there a risk if I go ahead and dispute it, could the 10 year window reset like a 7 year collection does? This has never been a collection nor was I ever garnished for it. It's just public record but I want it off there now.

Message 1 of 4

Re: Do public records reset like collections can?

There is a distinction between the judgement, which is related to court, and anything else, like a collection, which the court does not care about. The people who actually cause information to appear on your credit report, work for a third-party company (generally) that sniffs court records, and gives them to the reporting bureau. The guy who sued you cannot tell the bureau to put a judgement on your report the way these third-party organizations do. Nor can the court, as it is not the court's job. When you look at the judgement, it will have a date-filed, and that is what is relevant here. The judgement has to come off 7 years forward from this date-filed. There are certain things that the plaintiff can do to renew or a revive a judgement, so-called actions, but those actions have to be noted in the clerk's office for the court, and it will clearly state so whenever such actions occur. 


But no, it is not possible for the plaintiff to contact, say, Experian, and try to get a judgement to (re)appear. That is simply not legal. Experian can only go by what is documented in official court records.


A collection that is associated with the judgment, however, is a different matter.

Message 2 of 4

Re: Do public records reset like collections can?

Also, if it just popped up, what is happening is that there is a new rule that says that the information of a judgment (or lien) on a credit report must not be older than 90 days. If it goes stale because it is older than 90 days, it must be removed. This rule takes effect July 1st, 2017. Therefore, all three major bureaus have been rumagging-through crusty data for judgments in their consumer databases, and having the info update so that, at the beginning of next month, it will not fall-off. They are doing this for an obvious reason: If they did not force the data to stay on, their own customers would frown very hard on this. So many, many people, this year, 2017, are seeing old judgments suddenly re-appear.


The good news is that the info, being crusty, is unlikely to meet the new reporting requirements (must include SSN, for example). Therefore, if debtor were to dispute the information in a disciplined manner, old, crusty judgments will likely fall-off.


So, it goes without saying, that there is no reason to contact the plaintiff, as the plaintiff likely had nothing to do with it re-appearing. It was the bureau, covering its derriere to make its own customers happy before July 1st, 2017 deadline.

Message 3 of 4
Legendary Contributor

Re: Do public records reset like collections can?

As an aside, it is stated in the orignal post that exclusion of collections can be reset based on actions by the consumer.

Collections have an exclusion date of no later than 7 years plus 180 days from the DOFD on the OC account.

There is no reset of the exclusion date or period based on any actions by either the consumer or debt collector other than accurate reporting of the DOFD.


Judgements are a different animal entirely.  They do not have a rigid, preset exclusion date.

Under FCRA 605(a)(2), a judment must become excluded no later than the LATER of 7 years from the date of entry of the judgment, or until the expiration of the period of enforceability of the judgement.

Thus, if a judgment remains unpaid, it continues to be enforceable until either it is paid or until the statute of limitations on its enforceability has expired.

Most states have a period of enforceability for judgments that is initially 10 years, but can easily be extended upon motion back to the court.

It is thus possible that a judgment could remain in your credit report until paid.


However, the CRA appear, from anecdotal postings here in the forum, to not monitor whether an unpaid judgment is still enforceable, and take the simple approach of excluding judgments after 7 years from date of entry, even though not required under the FCRA to do so if it remains unpaid and enforceable.

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