A judgment is a court order that results from a lawsuit. Only civil judgments are reported to the credit bureaus. These types of judgments are court rulings that pertain to the repayment of a debt. When you owe a creditor money and don't pay it, the creditor can try to recover it by going to court and suing you for it.

Judge and Gavel

How long does a judgment stay on my credit report?

In most cases, judgments can stay on your credit reports for up to seven years. This means that the judgment will continue to have a negative effect on your credit score for a period of seven years. In some states, judgments can stay on as long as ten years, or indefinitely if they remain unpaid.

4 types of judgments

Just like there are different types of debts, there are different types of judgments. Here are the different types of judgments:

Unsatisfied judgments

When a judgment is taken out against you, you are expected to honor the decision. Until the judgment is satisfied, it remains unsatisfied.

Satisfied judgments

A satisfied judgment is the opposite of an unsatisfied judgment. It means that your debt is either paid or settled. While you may not have completely paid off your debt in full, you can satisfy a judgment by making a new payment plan and paying what you and the lender agreed on.

Vacated judgments

A vacated judgment is one that the court dismissed after an appeal.

Renewed judgments

Renewed judgments are sometimes referred to as re-filed judgments. A judgment can be renewed in many states if it hasn't been satisfied. In many states, the case can be renewed as many times as the creditor wants to pursue it.

How can I satisfy my judgment?

Sometimes, it might be difficult to know who you have to pay to satisfy the judgment. You should have paperwork from the court explaining who to pay and when you need to pay. If you don't have the court's information, then you may need to contact the creditor who took the judgment out against you.

What should I do if a creditor tries to sue me?

When a creditor tries to sue you, you'll receive a court summons. Many people ignore the summons and don't show up to court. If you're not there to defend yourself, the judge usually issues a default judgment against you.

The judge may even order that your wages are garnished or place a lien on your property. If you show up, you can try to defend yourself. If you're not sure what to do, then you can seek out an attorney for legal advice on how to handle the summons.

How can I delete a judgment from my credit report?

If a judgment is on your credit report, and you think it has errors, you can dispute it with the credit bureaus. If you have supporting documentation as to why the judgment should be removed from your credit reports, this may make disputing easier.

If you need help challenging a judgment on your credit reports, you can also find help with a credit repair company like Slate Credit Repair. We are experts in helping clients remove negative items that are inaccurate, unverifiable, and unfair. Contact us today for a free personalized credit consultation.