Court Judgments and Credit Reports

In 2017, the three largest Credit Reporting Agencies – Experian, Equifax and Transunion implemented some changes to what “public records” they report, according to a Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) press release.  “Public Records” means information obtained from courts and other public entities. This includes bankruptcies, tax liens and judgments.

Starting July 1, 2017, these CRAs were to start dropping tax lien and judgment data if the data does not include name and address, and either social security number or date of birth. This is presumably because of problems definitively matching judgments to individuals. In addition, the data will have to be updated at least every 90 days – presumably to avoid judgments that have been vacated continuing to appear on credit reports for months.

In Maryland, old court records do not include social security numbers and usually do not have complete dates of birth. However, we’ll have to wait and see what happens, because this change is a voluntary move by the CRAs, not a change in the law.  CRAs do not directly examine court records when they add judgments to credit files.  Instead, they rely on third party “data-vendors”, whose information may not be quite the same as what appears in the court file.

CONTACT US: If a Maryland judgment is showing up on your credit report, feel free to contact us for a consultation.