We’ve written before about vacating default judgments. But once you’ve gotten the court to set aside the judgment, what do you do next?
One of the most important aspects of getting a default judgment set aside is that the judgment has a huge negative impact on your credit report. And unlike most adverse items on your credit report, a judgment can be reported against you for up to 10 years! So it is very much in your interest to make sure that no judgments are reported against you. If you’ve suffered a default judgment, then it may still be possible to have it vacated or set aside under Rules 55 or 60 of the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure. But even if you’re lucky and smart enough to have convinced a court to vacate a default judgment against you, it doesn’t automatically disappear from your credit reports.
In many cases, the credit reporting agencies will pick up on the judgment shortly after it was entered against you, but they may not detect the subsequent court order vacating the judgment. If that happens, it is up to you to make sure they do the right thing. Here’s how:
First, you write a letter to the credit bureaus telling them exactly what is wrong with their reporting: that there’s a judgment reported against you which was vacated. The letter should be sure to remind them that you want them to remove all reference to the judgment.
Second, you should attach a copy of the court order vacating the judgment to your letter, so you can ensure that they have the proof that you’re telling them the truth. Send it certified mail to be sure they get it.
Once they receive the dispute, they have 30 days to investigate and resolve your dispute. That should fix the problem.
However, if they don’t remove the judgment, or if they remove it temporarily and later re-insert the judgment into your reports, you need to call a lawyer who understands the Fair Credit Reporting Act. If a credit reporting agency has refused to fix inaccurate information after you have disputed it, they are liable to you for all damage that causes you, and on top of that, they have to pay your lawyer’s fees if you win.
If you need assistance resolving credit report errors relating to a default judgment that was vacated, call us today at 251.272.9148.