Credit reports are extremely important for finances. They are more or less statements with information about your personal credit history, as well as your current situation, payment history, and account status. Consumer reporting agencies, or credit bureaus, collect information about your finances from lenders, creditors, and even credit card companies. Credit bureaus store this data, and lenders or other businesses view these reports when deciding whether to do certain things for you.
If you’re struggling with how to remove a public record from your credit report, you need the experienced bankruptcy attorneys at O’Bryan Law Offices. Public judgments from courts about one or more of your debts can have you ending up with an entry on your credit report. While they are difficult to remove, it is not an impossible feat. With the help of a knowledgeable Kentucky bankruptcy attorney, you’ll be back on your feet in no time. For more information on how to remove a public record from your credit report, call our office at 502-339-0222 for your free consultation. We also offer debt counseling in Kentucky for those who are unsure what to do next.
What Is a Public Record?
First, let’s start with understanding exactly what a public record is. Public records are filed by public agencies, and include a broad range of information that the general public has access to. This information encompasses audio files, court records, inspection reports, permits, and so much more.
When it comes to your credit report, the only information that goes on public record is that which corresponds to debts or delinquencies. If or when your name is attached to a public record, you will always be notified. Public records come from a number of different sources. For example, courts create public records regarding bankruptcies, foreclosures, or failures to pay taxes that result in tax liens. Additionally, if a lawsuit names you, the court creates a public record when they issue a judgment in which you must pay damages. While some types of public records do not show on your credit reports, many do.
Is Bankruptcy a Public Record?
Yes. Unless you have your bankruptcy records sealed, any and all documents associated with the bankruptcy are public. The information contained in these cases is all public record. The two main ways to access these records are through the clerk’s office, or through PACER. PACER is the Public Access to Court Electronic Records. It allows the general public to access federal court records almost instantly. Credit bureaus make information, such as bankruptcy, public record by collecting the data and disclosing the information to the public. These credit reports change often, at least on a daily, if not hourly, basis.
Why Is a Bankruptcy Public Record?
The simplest answer is that bankruptcy cases are also court proceedings, and all court proceedings are public record. Unless a judge orders your records sealed, they are public record. However, there are parts of your bankruptcy that do not fall under the umbrella of public record. Sensitive information, such as your social security number, are always redacted (blacked out) in order to protect both the information and you. Additionally, only your birth year is shown from your birth date. As we stated above, PACER allows the public to view federal court proceedings. Because bankruptcy courts are part of the federal court system, they are public record. Most PACER users are either bankruptcy attorneys or their colleagues.
Not long ago, newspapers included “legal notices” sections. These notices often included bankruptcy filings. However, as bankruptcy filings have become more common since the 1970s, these notices are increasingly rare. Except in the case of businesses filing for bankruptcy, many newspapers do not include personal bankruptcies. Even when newspapers report on these business bankruptcies, they often only report on large businesses that affect a significant number of jobs.
How to Remove a Public Record From Your Credit Report?
Unfortunately, removing public records from credit reports is either difficult or impossible. In many cases, credit bureaus only remove public records if that record contains information that is incorrect or inaccurate. Below, we outline the different types of public records, and how to remove them from your credit report.
Unless the entry is a mistake, bankruptcies cannot be removed from credit reports. The good news is that, as the bankruptcy ages off of your report, its potentially devastating effects to your credit score lessen.
Similarly to bankruptcies, these are very difficult to remove except in cases where the information is incorrect. However, you can explore other options in order to prevent or avoid foreclosure. One of these options is a short sale. Short sales allow you to sell your house for less than you owe. If you negotiate with the bank on a short sale ahead of time, you can avoid foreclosure.
Unpaid tax liens have the potential to stay on your credit score indefinitely. Paid liens, however, are removed from your credit report after a certain period of time.
How Long Do Public Records Stay on a Credit Report?
Different types of public records stay on your credit report for different amounts of time. In this section, we explain the different types of public records in terms of their longevity on credit reports.
Most types of bankruptcies remain on your credit report for up to 7 years. Completed Chapter 13 bankruptcies stay for 7 years, while Chapter 7 bankruptcies stay for 10 years. The older the bankruptcy, the less impact it has on your credit score.
A foreclosure will also stay on your credit report for 7 years. This 7-year period begins on the date of your first missed mortgage payment.
In the past, tax liens stayed on your credit report for up to 7 years for paid liens, and 10 years for unpaid liens. However, credit bureaus no longer include tax liens in credit reports.
Contact a Kentucky Bankruptcy Attorney Today
Even if you feel like your bankruptcy or foreclosure is weighing you down, you still have options. With the help of the bankruptcy attorneys at O’Bryan Law Offices, we’ll help get you back on track to financial security. If you need help or legal advice about your credit report, we’re here to help. Give us a call at 502-339-0222 today to schedule your free consultation.