Court judgments typically stay on your credit report for seven years from the date of filing. But what if a judgment was vacated by the court?
In an ideal situation, this vacated judgment would be automatically removed from your credit report as the credit agency collects data from the court system. Realistically, however, it may take some time for your credit report to be updated to reflect the vacated judgment, and it is wise to be proactive, particularly if you will be applying for a loan in the near future.
The first step is to obtain a copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian). Reports are available for a nominal fee. Federal law also allows you to obtain one free credit report from each of the three agencies every twelve months.
Once you obtain a report, review it carefully for accuracy. Assuming the vacated judgment still appears on your report, you will have to initiate a dispute with each agency.
Each agency’s process may be slightly different, but you will need to provide each agency with a letter disputing the judgment along with the court order vacating the judgment. Depending on the agency, you may be able to submit the court order online. The dispute generally must be resolved within thirty days.