How to remove public records on your credit report.
How to remove a public record, judgement, or late payments from your credit report.
(Edited for readability)
Dave: Hi Everybody Dave Sullivan here for the Credit Guy TV with a special interview with honorary Credit Guy Wes. Wes is going to talk about how to remove public records on your credit report. I get a lot of questions about the federal IRS tax lien and how those can be removed from your credit report. I always get questions about state tax liens and public records. I found Wesley who was able to actually get a judgement removed. Wesley, why don’t you tell us a little bit about how the public record got on your credit report.
Wes: We had a landlord issue and the landlord took us a court and won, so they got a money judgment and it went into the Public Record section of my credit report. That is basically it, that is the long and short of it.
Dave: So there was a judgment that the court found that you were liable, for a specific amount of money. Then the court started to report that on your credit report as a public record. What was your first step to try and get this resolved?
Wes: We got involved with a credit repair company and then found out through your videos, that it is just not the way to go, so we stopped using them. I just started to scourer the internet trying to figure out how this was going to work and how to get rid of the judgment. We were trying to buy a house and course that judgment being so fresh, the banks were just not going to lend us.
Dave: Yes, a lot of people turn to a credit repair company. I really feel like people who are motivated like Wesley, are able to do a better job than a credit repair company. Normally, you are paying a credit repair company a significant amount of money every month. That money could be used to pay down debt. I really recommend for people who are motivated, that they try this on their own. That is what Wes did and I am very impressed with what he was able to accomplish. What did you do? How did you start to step forward with the process of getting the judgment removed?
Wes: After we paid it and of course the judgement shows paid on the credit report. I thought that would be good, but I didn’t know if that was going to be good or bad from the banks perspective. It turns out that if you have a judgment, the banks are not going to overlook it, even if it’s paid. I started to do more research and I found this section of the Fair Credit Reporting Act Section 609 or US code 1681 depending what you are looking for. That section says collection companies are required to send you documentation that they used to verify that the debt belongs to you.
Dave: So the validation debt section.
Wes: Correct, collectors have to send you documents to verify that they have the correct individual. So I figured out what we needed to say (Wes’s example letters are on the worksheet for step two of the six steps to a better credit score), once we got everything right, I wrote a letter and mailed it in. They sent it back with a request for new information. I then sent in another letter and they responded with their second letter requesting more information. I sent in a third letter and they responded with a letter that said they would delete it. I was like wow, really? I was really impressed with that. I was like wow, this just came off my credit report, to be honest with you, and it took my credit score up forty points.
Dave: Yes, I’m sure.
Wes: Easily forty points, I showed my wife I was like look! Look! We were all excited. The biggest thing is we did not give up.
Dave: It is so important.
Wes: Yes very important.
Dave: You wrote them a validation of debt letter correct?
Wes: Well no, I wrote them a letter requesting that they send me some information back validating this was my debt. It wasn’t so much about the debt. The court is required to have paperwork that validates it is actually me. If they take it right off of a computer system, they may not know if that is actually you. The court gets the information from whoever seeking the judgment. They are required to verify it is me, send me the paperwork where I signed for the debt. It is required by law under the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1974. If the court doesn’t have the original paperwork, they have to remove it. The first and second letters sent to the court, they will reply with a standard response for more information to discourage the requester.
After the third letter the court is more likely to investigate it. I think we discuss the court case (Carmen Dixon-Rollins v. Experian Information Solutions) The judge through that case ruled that the court cannot just rely on computer generated documentation. The court has to do an investigation and get it right, that’s what this is all about.
Dave: So you are referring to the way that court judgments are gathered by a third-party companies.
Dave: Also, the fact that inside the court system, they are not allowed to have a social security number. That also creates ways where mistakes are made.
Wes: Right, the other thing is when you ask the court, they will probably not be able to reach the old landlord.
Wes: Yes, so at that point they have to investigate it when you dispute it. That’s why I say don’t give up.
Dave: Right. The hard work will pay off.
Wes: Yes, it’s going to be more than just a onetime request. Consistence and not giving up is what will pay off. The Fair Credit Reporting Act states, they are required to have a “contract” that you signed for the original credit application or insurance. I had some late payments on my truck, I was trying to get those removed, after a few letters they deleted them also.
Dave: You’re doing all this work on your credit report. Were you actually able to close on a home?
Wes: Yes, we were. We closed at a 3.6 interest rate.
Dave: That is really is good, where did your score start and where do you think you wound up?
Wes: My score started at about 550 and I told my wife we had our work cut out for us to get where we needed to be. While we worked on this landlord issue we were able to stay with my in-laws. While we were trying to figure it out.
Dave: Where did you wind up? How long did it take you?
Wes: It could have been a lot quicker, if you know what you’re doing. I didn’t know what I was doing, about 8 months or so.
Dave: So somebody who really knows nothing about the process, it only took you eight months. I think that is very reasonable.
Wes: We had a few missteps and you have to wait for the court to respond.
Dave: Yes, thirty days.
Wes: Sometimes it took 20 days, sometimes 10 days. We got a response back and we would move to the next step. I’m not finished yet, but we closed on the house and I stopped. Yes it really comes down to your motivation.
Wes: You cannot stop. They make you play by the rules, so you have to make sure they’re playing by the rules you know, because they just put anything on your credit report.
Dave: Right, yes collection companies seem to default putting it on and then it’s up to you to figure out how to make your way through the maze of correcting it.
Dave: Wes, aside from not giving up, is there one piece of advice you would give somebody just starting out with this process. Or if you could go back eight months and talk to yourself what would you tell yourself?
Wes: First of all I would save all that money we spent on the Credit Repair Company.
Wes: My advice is to get a credit monitoring service so you know what’s going on. Don’t look at your credit score it will keep you up at night. It’s just like a roller coaster,
Dave: Yes, because when you dispute something it actually comes out of the scoring model. Your credit score can come up higher than you really should be, and then it sinks down again after the dispute is resolved.
Wes: The other thing I would recommend is don’t apply for any credit, while you are going through this process.
Dave: Good advice!
Wes: Don’t apply for anything because inquires count and the banks will not like it if you have 42 inquires. If your goal was to buy something or get a home or buy a car, wait until you get the thing you want before you apply for anything else. Also, don’t give up! That would be the biggest mistake people make, giving up.
Dave: Wes, thanks so much for coming out and sharing your story of success.
If you’re looking for other ways to improve your credit score please go to GetLoanReady.com you can get free videos and worksheets to increase your credit score from a more holistic perspective. Never Pay Collections
If you want to see more videos about credit and credit scoring check these out at www.thecreditguy.tv. If you are a mortgage lender please share this on your Facebook or LinkedIn page. If you have any questions, leave them down below I’d be happy to answer them.