Starting this month, civil judgments and tax liens that don't contain certain minimum identifying information (name, address and either your Social Security number or your date of birth) will be excluded from your credit report. A civil judgment is a court ruling against you in a non-criminal matter where a payment of damages is owed. A tax lien is a government claim on your property if you fail to pay your taxes.
As a practical matter, nearly all civil judgments and half of the nation’s tax lien records do not contain this identifying information. So, if you currently have either a civil judgment or tax lien showing on your credit report, there’s a good chance that it will be removed. However, it may take a few weeks for this to occur.
Your credit score is a number derived from your credit report that represents a snapshot of your credit report. Once any negative information is removed from your credit report, you may see a boost in your credit score. It is estimated that this change in credit reporting will affect about 12 million consumers who currently have non-compliant information on their credit reports. It is expected that some consumers will see their credit scores rise by 20 to 40 points.
You can get a free copy of your credit report once a year from each of the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) at www.annualcreditreport.com. Learn more about your credit report and your credit score by reading our Consumer Guides Credit Reporting Basics: How Private Is My Credit Report? and Your Credit Score: How It All Adds Up.