How to Remove Public Records from Your Credit Report

public record

What is a public record?

Public records are information pertaining to legal matters that have a direct impact on your finances. They list things like paid and unpaid debts, legal liabilities, and your payment history.

They tell a creditor if you are a good risk for a loan. When you are taken to small claims court, and a judge makes a ruling against you, this judgment is considered a public record.

Foreclosures, bankruptcy, tax liens, civil judgments, and lawsuits are all types of public records that the government is required to file and keep available for the public. Most public records stay on your credit report for seven years.

However, bankruptcies may remain as long as 10 years, and unpaid tax liens can stay on your credit report indefinitely.

How to Remove a Public Record from Your Credit Report

Removing a public record from your credit report requires filing separate disputes with all three major credit bureaus.

If you have a public record on your credit report, you can attempt to dispute the negative information with the credit bureaus to have it removed. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) gives consumers the ability to dispute incomplete and inaccurate information contained in their credit reports with the credit bureaus.

The credit bureaus decide whether or not a dispute is frivolous solely based on your communication and any proof that you can provide. Public records also involve government agencies and courts. Therefore, some additional steps may need to be taken in addition to disputing the information with the credit bureaus.

This is one of the reasons that many people hire a credit repair company when it comes to repairing their credit and removing public records from their credit reports.

Get Public Records Removed Now!

If you’re looking for a reputable credit repair company to help you with public records and repair your credit, we HIGHLY recommend Lexington Law.

They can help you dispute (and possibly remove) the following items:

  • late payments
  • collections
  • charge offs
  • foreclosures
  • repossessions
  • civil judgments
  • tax liens
  • bankruptcies

Call them at (800) 220-0084 for a free credit consultation. They have helped many people in your situation and have paralegals standing by waiting to take your call.

Bankruptcy (Public Record) Removed from Credit Report Report

bankruptcy removed from TransUnion

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They are now offering $50 off the initial set-up fee when you and your spouse or family members sign up together. The one-time $50.00 discount will be automatically applied to both you and your spouse’s first payment.

Active military members also qualify for a one-time $50 discount off the initial fee.

Do public records affect your credit score?

Having a public record on your credit report negatively impacts your credit score. Public records can be a deciding factor when a lender is making a financial decision.

Having a tax lien, civil judgment, or bankruptcy removed once they are on is a time-consuming job. If you have public records dragging your credit score down, get professional help to have them removed. If you’re able to remove any kind of negative information from your credit report, it should definitely improve your credit score.

What kind of information is included in a public record?

If you file for bankruptcy, the amount the court found you legally responsible to pay will be listed. There will also be an exempt amount. This is the amount the court says you are not responsible to pay.

Lastly, there will be an asset amount for the number of personal assets the court used to make its decision. These will all be listed in the bankruptcy and are the kind of public records that can significantly lower your credit ratings and affect your borrowing power.

Some other things that you might find in your public records might be things you consider personal, things like if you have had financial counseling, a financial statement, garnishments, and financial marital claims from a divorce. However, all of these things affect your income, and so they affect your credit.

What information is not part of your public record?

You may feel like your whole life is on display, but it’s not entirely. There are a few categories of strictly confidential records that are protected by law. Confidential records include welfare benefits, income tax, education level, and medical and criminal records.

These records are kept confidential because they contain Social Security numbers, contact information, health history, and financial information.

How are public records made public?

The government takes making public records available to the public very seriously. It runs a service called PACER that is provided by the federal judiciary. PACER is short for Public Access to Court Electronic Records.

This is an electronic public access service. It lets users get case and docket information from federal appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts via the Internet.

The federal website for PACER says that it currently hosts over 500 million case file documents. These are available immediately after they have been electronically filed.

This is one of the ways your records become public records. This also allows your information to be reported to the three credit reporting agencies.

Keeping Information Off of Public Records

If you are facing small claims court or some other kind of financial dispute, it would be beneficial for you to settle out of court and avoid a public record on your credit report.

It is usually better to deal with your creditors directly if possible. Adverse records can affect your credit, whether they are paid or unpaid.

Criminal history is not a public record that will be included in your credit report. It is illegal for credit reporting agencies to use your past criminal history in deciding your credit score.

Have you been taken to small claims court and lost? If so, you probably have a public record of some sort on your credit report, usually in the form of a judgment.

Lauren Ward
Meet the author

Lauren is a Crediful writer whose aim is to give readers the financial tools they need to reach their own goals in life. She has written on personal finance issues for over six years and holds a Bachelor's degree in Japanese from Georgetown University.