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The Report on Public Credit was issued by Alexander Hamilton as a means to encourage order in the American economy for the benefit of commercial and industrial interests.Specifically, Hamilton argued for full funding of the national debt (approximately $11 million) and assumption of state debts incurred during the War of Independence (approximately $40 million).Some interest groups had recommended repudiation of the debt and others partial repudiation, but Hamilton argued that the young nation's good credit could be assured only by proper treatment of all creditors. The issue was especially critical in the South: State governments there had worked hard to begin paying off their obligations, but Hamilton’s plan pledged them to assist other states that had let their debts languish.A compromise was finally achieved in which the South reluctantly accepted Hamilton’s financial plans in return for Northern support of the eventual establishment of a permanent capital on the Potomac. (This turned out to be a good deal for the North and a poor one for the South; the fact that the capital was located in a mosquito-infested swamp between Virginia and Maryland in the end meant little to the South over the years.)
A credit report is a summary of your personal credit history. Your credit report includes your identifying information — like your address and date of birth — and information about your credit history — like how you pay your bills or if you filed for bankruptcy. Three national credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) collect and update this information. Most national department store and bank credit card accounts are included in your file, along with loans, but not all creditors report information to credit bureaus.
The information in your credit report can affect your buying power. It can also affect your chance to get a job, rent or buy a place to live, and buy insurance. Credit bureaus sell the information in your report to businesses that use it to decide whether to loan you money, give you credit, offer you insurance, or rent you a home. Some employers use credit reports in hiring decisions. The strength of your credit history also affects how much you will have to pay to borrow money.
- make sure that the information they collect about you is accurate
- give you a free copy of your report once every 12 months
- give you a chance to fix any mistakes
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a federal law, requires this.
Why should I get a copy of my report?
Getting your credit report can help protect your credit history from mistakes, errors, or signs of identity theft.
Check to be sure the information is accurate, complete, and up-to-date. Consider doing this at least once a year. Be sure to check before you apply for credit, a loan, insurance, or a job. If you find mistakes on your credit report, contact the credit bureaus and the business that supplied the information to get the mistakes removed from your report.
Check to help spot identity theft. Mistakes on your credit report might be a sign of identity theft. Once identity thieves steal your personal information — information like, your name, date of birth, address, credit card or bank account, Social Security, or medical insurance account numbers — they can drain your bank account, run up charges on your credit cards, get new credit cards in your name, open a phone, cable, or other utility account in your name, steal your tax refund, use your health insurance to get medical care, or pretend to be you if they are arrested.
Identity theft can damage your credit with unpaid bills and past due accounts. If you think someone might be misusing your personal information, go to IdentityTheft.gov to report it and get a personalized recovery plan.
It is very important to know what is in your credit report. But a credit score is a number that matches your credit history. If you know your history is good, your score will be good. You can get your credit report for free.
It costs money to find out your credit score. Sometimes a company might say the score is free. But if you look closely, you might find that you signed up for a service that checks your credit for you. Those services charge you every month.
Before you pay any money, ask yourself if you need to see your credit score. It might be interesting. But is it worth paying money for?
If a public record is on your credit report in error, you can use the credit report dispute process to have it removed. You also have the right to dispute the error with the court who provided the entry if the credit bureau doesn't remove the error.
Despite credit repair agencies that claim otherwise, it can be difficult and nearly impossible to remove legitimate public records from your credit report. These can almost always be verified by the court.
If a judgment was filed in error, for example, you weren't properly served, you may be able to have the judgment vacated. It's best to speak to an attorney if you believe a judgment was filed against you in error. Having the judgment vacated is like the judgment never happened, and credit bureaus can not report this type of judgment.
You may be able to have a tax lien removed from your credit report by first paying the tax lien and then requesting the revenue department - whether it's the IRS or your state revenue department - to release the lien.
While you may not be able to remove the public record from your credit report, paying it off can help you rebuild your credit score.
Placing a credit freeze allows you to restrict access to your credit report. This is important after a data breach or identity theft when someone could use your personal information to apply for new credit accounts. Most creditors look at your credit report before opening a new account. But if you've frozen your credit report, creditors can't access it, and probably won't approve fraudulent applications.
You have the right to place or lift a credit freeze for free. You can place a freeze on your own credit files and on those of your children age 16 or younger.
Place a Credit Freeze
Contact each credit reporting agency to place a freeze on your credit report. Each agency accepts freeze requests online, by phone, or by postal mail.
Online: Experian Freeze Center
By mail, write to:
Experian Security Freeze
PO Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
Online: Equifax Credit Report Services
By mail, write to:
Equifax Information Services LLC
PO Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348-5788
Online: TransUnion Credit Freezes
By mail, write to:
PO Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
Online: Innovis Freeze Options
By mail, write to:
Innovis Consumer Assistance
PO Box 26
Pittsburgh, PA 15230-0026
Your credit freeze will go into effect the next business day if you place it online or by phone. If you place the freeze by postal mail, it will be in effect three business days after the credit agency receives your request. A credit freeze does not expire. Unless you lift the credit freeze, it stays in effect.
Lift a Credit Freeze
If you want lenders and other companies to be able to access your credit files again, you will need to lift your credit freeze permanently or temporarily. Contact each credit reporting agency. You'll use a PIN or password to lift your credit freeze. You can lift your credit freeze as often as you need to, without penalties.
It takes one hour for a lift request to take effect if you place it online or by phone. It can take three business days if you request the lift by mail.
The Report on Public Credit - History
Ever wondered what information goes into your credit report, and what to look for as you’re reviewing it? A credit report is a summary of your unique financial history. The three nationwide credit bureaus collect and maintain a history of your credit activity as reported by the lenders and creditors you have accounts with. Your credit report includes important information about you, including:
- Personal information, such as your name, Social Security number, aliases or former names, current and former addresses, and sometimes your current and former employers
- Account information, including payment history, account balances and limits, and dates the accounts were opened or closed. This includes credit accounts that may be in your name such as credit cards, mortgages, student loans, and vehicle loans
- Bankruptcies and accounts in collections and
- Inquiries, which lists the lenders and other companies that have accessed your credit report.
As you look at your credit report, keep the following in mind:
- In the personal information section of your credit report, is your name listed accurately, and your address up to date?
- In the account information portion of your credit report, are the accounts listed complete and accurate?
- If any of the information is inaccurate or incomplete, it is important to contact the lender or creditor that issued the account, or the nationwide credit bureau that issued the credit report.
Why is knowing about my credit important?
Your credit reports tell a detailed story about you, including information about your financial accounts, and your payment history. Those who can access this information, including third parties with “permissible purpose”, may accept or deny your applications for credit based in part on the information in your credit reports, as well as their own lending criteria.
The more you know about your financial accounts and credit history before making a big decision like buying a house or a car, the more prepared you will be to take on the financial obligations that may happen as a result.
Am I eligible for an additional credit report?
Another way you can receive a copy of your free credit report from the three major credit bureaus is by meeting one of the following requirements as outlined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
If you meet one of these requirements, you are entitled to one additional free copy of your credit report during any 12-month period:
- You're unemployed and intend to apply for employment within 60 days
- You're receiving public welfare assistance
- You believe your credit report contains inaccurate information due to fraud
You are also entitled to a free copy of your credit report if you meet these requirements:
- You've been denied credit or insurance within the past 60 days
- You've placed a fraud alert on your credit reports
If you live in certain states, you may be eligible for additional free credit reports.
Civil judgments like the one you describe are a debt owed through the court. In the past, the judgment would have become part of your previous tenant's credit report with no action on your part. However, Experian no longer shows judgment and tax lien information as part of a consumer's credit history.
Bankruptcy is now the only public record information that is collected routinely by the national credit reporting companies, including Experian.
What's Not Included a Credit Report
Similarly, a credit report does not include information about income, banking relationships such as checking or savings accounts, or assets such as certificates of deposit, retirement accounts, stock holdings, or real estate.
There are organizations that may collect some or all of that information, such as debit bureaus that maintain checking account histories, or background checking companies that may collect information from a variety of sources and compile it into a comprehensive report, but they will no longer appear in a credit report.
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The Meaning of “Derogatory Public Record”
Public Records That Can Appear in Your Credit Report
Updating Credit Report to Show Bankruptcy Is Discharged
Updating Bankruptcy Information
What Happens If I Don’t Pay My Credit Card Bill?
Experian Credit Report Does Not Include Eviction
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"Other" Consumer Reports: What You Should Know about "Specialty" Reports
The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) g ives consumers the right to free consumer reports from so-called nationwide specialty consumer reporting agencies every 12 months. S pecialty reporting agencies compile reports about such things as your:
- Residential or tenant history
- Check writing and banking history
- Employment history
- Insurance claims
- Medical records and prescription history
2. Your Right to Free Annual Reports from Nationwide Specialty Consumer Reporting Agencies
The FCRA gives consumers the right to a free report from a nationwide specialty consumer reporting agency once every 12 months. Requests must be made directly to each specialty reporting agency. There is not a central source for obtaining your free specialty reports.
Each agency must establish a toll-free telephone number for requesting consumer reports. Some, but not all, agencies also allow online, faxed, or mail-in requests.
What information goes into a “specialty” report?
Specialty consumer reporting agencies operate much like credit bureaus. The agencies collect information about you from a variety of sources, including:
- Public records of criminal or civil cases
- Your credit history
- Bankruptcy filings
- Companies with which you have an existing or prior business relationship, such as insurance companies or banks
- Your medical information
- Driving records
From this information, the specialty reporting agency compiles reports based on the requirements of targeted users such as insurance companies, employers, and landlords.
Do I have any rights to dispute errors in my specialty report?
Yes. Under the FCRA, you have the right to dispute inaccurate information in any specialty report prepared about you. When you dispute information, the reporting agency has an obligation to investigate and correct any inaccurate or outdated information. The company that provided the incorrect information must also correct the error.
Who can I complain to if I have a problem with my specialty report?
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is the regulatory authority for most consumer reporting agencies. You can file a complaint online or by call the CFPB at (855) 411-2372.
3. Home and Auto Insurance Claims Reports
Specialty reports that tell insurers about claims you have made against your homeowner’s or automobile insurance polices are prepared by two companies: LexisNexis (CLUE report) and Verisk Insurance Services (A-Plus report). For more details on insurance claims reports, see PRC's guide CLUE and You: How Insurers Size You Up.
4. Tenant Screening Reports
A large number of companies prepare reports for landlords concerning individuals who have applied to rent housing. Consumers may have a particularly difficult time exercising their right to a free specialty report when the market is saturated with agencies. This may prove to be the case for tenants who want to check their file. If you learn you will be subject to a tenant screen, you may save yourself a lot of time and trouble by simply asking the landlord the name and contact information for the screening company.
The Consumer Finance Protection Board (CFPB) maintains a list of consumer reporting companies that includes most nationwide tenant screening companies. There are also local companies that prepare tenant screening reports.
5. Banking and Check Writing History Reports
Several companies provide reports on your check writing history:
- ChexSystems is a nationwide specialty consumer reporting agency that collects and maintains information from member financial institutions such as banks and credit unions. If a bank closes your checking account because of insufficient funds, for example, it will make a report to ChexSystems that other banks will check when you apply for new accounts. You may call (800) 428-9623 or visit the ChexSystems website to obtain your free report.
- TeleCheck maintains a database of returned checks and instances of fraud. It provides check authorization and verification to member retailers. Call (800) 835-3243 or visit their website to obtain your free report
- Certegy Check Services collects check writing histories and provides check screening services for retailers who accept checks as payment in their stores. Call (866) 543-6315 or visit their website to obtain your free report.
- Early Warning Services assists payment processors and check acceptance companies by providing real-time verification against high-risk accounts and identifying items at the point-of-sale with a high likelihood of returning unpaid. Call (800) 325-7775 or visit their website to obtain your free report.
- Cross Check provides check verification services for retailers who accept checks as payment in their stores. Call ( 800) 843-0760 or visit their website to obtain your free report.
6. Employment Background Screening Reports
Generally, an employment background screening report will exist on you only if someone has already paid to have a report compiled. The Consumer Finance Protection Board (CFPB) maintains a list of consumer reporting companies that includes contact information for some of the major employment screening companies.
If you have ever worked in the retail industry, your name may appear in little-known databases that identify former retail employees questioned or fired regarding an alleged theft. Such databases like the one maintained by First Advantage Corporation's Esteem database, do not include an arrest or conviction. Rather, the data included is often a name along with a vague reference to an incident involving a retail employee. To receive a free file disclosure from First Advantage Corporation, see the company’s request form.
7. The Work Number Employment Data Reports
The Work Number provides employment data reports, which are limited to basic employment information (such as name of employer, dates of employment, salary, and job title) obtained from participating employers. The Work Number is an employment and income verification service. It is not a background screening service.
Essentially, the Work Number permits companies to outsource certain payroll and human resource functions. Thus, it operates somewhat differently than a typical consumer reporting agency in that it only collects information from the employers with which it has contracts. The Work Number maintains information on at least 30% of the U.S. working population. It is owned by the credit reporting agency Equifax.
The Work Number will provide you with one free Employment Data Report every 12 months. You can obtain a free annual disclosure by calling (866) 604-6570 or by going to their website. You can download the Employment Data Report Request form and follow the instructions to complete and return the form. Once your request is received, your Employment Data Report will be mailed to you within 15 days.
If you believe information in your Employment Data Report is inaccurate, you may contact the Work Number’s Client Service Center at (800) 996-7566 to have your dispute investigated. Your information will be blocked from verifiers during the reinvestigation. Results of the reinvestigation will be provided within 30 days of receipt of a dispute.
8. National Consumer Telecom & Utilities Exchange (NCTUE)
National Consumer Telecom & Utilities Exchange (NCTUE) is a consumer reporting agency that maintains customer data reported by utility service providers that are members of NCTUE. These providers include cellular, local, and long distance phone companies, cable and pay TV services, internet service providers, and electricity, gas, and water utilities. The data includes information about a consumer’s account history, unpaid closed accounts and customer service applications.
Consumers may obtain a free NCTUE Disclosure Report containing the information in their data report. NCTUE does not receive information from every service provider. Therefore, they may not have a Disclosure Report available for everyone. To request a copy of your NCTUE Disclosure Report call (866) 349-5185 or visit their website.
If you believe that any item contained in your NCTUE report is incomplete or inaccurate, NCTUE will investigate the matter. Complete and return the Research Request form included in the disclosure report and provide details of the information you believe is inaccurate.
The NCTUE database is housed and managed by the credit reporting agency Equifax, but it does not include Equifax credit information. Although NCTUE is managed by Equifax, if you have placed a security freeze on your Equifax credit file, it will not affect your NCTUE report. It is necessary freeze your NCTUE credit file separately on the NCTUE website.
9. LexisNexis Full File Disclosure
A LexisNexis Full File Disclosure includes both the consumer’s file and a public records search. You can see what information about you is maintained in LexisNexis files. This is the information that is used by LexisNexis to create consumer reports. These consumer reports may be sold to businesses with a legitimate business need for that information. The public records search will contain information available in county, state or federal public records such as real estate transaction and ownership data, lien, judgment and bankruptcy records, professional license information, and historical addresses.
LexisNexis offers consumers their Full File Disclosure free of charge once per year. To order your Full File Disclosure, read the instructions and download the forms on their website. The form must be mailed with the required identity authentication documents. Once LexisNexis has verified your identity, all information will be mailed to the address you provide on the request form.
B3-5.3-09, DU Credit Report Analysis (12/04/2019)
This topic describes how DU analyzes credit report data and requirements lenders must follow in response to the credit-related Findings messages. This topic includes:
The lender should examine inquiries to determine whether they represent potential sources of undisclosed credit. If new debt was obtained, the lender may need to correct the loan application and resubmit it.
Trended Credit Data
Lenders are not required to analyze trended credit data in the credit report. For more information, see B3-2-03, Risk Factors Evaluated by DU.
Supporting documentation is required when a credit report liability with a balance greater than zero is omitted from the loan application.
Authorized User Tradelines
DU takes credit report tradelines designated as authorized user tradelines into consideration as part of the DU credit risk assessment. However the lender must review credit report tradelines in which the applicant has been designated as an authorized user in order to ensure the tradelines are an accurate reflection of the borrower's credit history. If the lender believes the authorized user tradelines are not an accurate reflection of the borrower's credit history, the lender should evaluate the borrower's credit history without the benefit of these tradelines and use prudent underwriting judgment when making its final underwriting decision. In order to assist the lender in its review of authorized user tradelines, DU issues a message providing the name of the creditor and account number for each authorized user tradeline identified.
When ensuring tradelines are an accurate reflection of the borrower's credit history, as a general guide, if the borrower has several authorized user accounts but only has a few accounts of his/her own, the lender should establish:
the relationship of the borrower to the owner of the account,
if the borrower uses the account, and
if the borrower makes the payments on the account.
If the authorized user tradeline belongs to another borrower on the mortgage loan, no additional investigation is needed. On the other hand, if the borrower has several tradelines in good standing and only a minor number of authorized user accounts, the lender could make the determination that:
the authorized user accounts had minimal, if any, impact on the borrower's overall credit profile and
the information reported on the credit report is an accurate reflection of the borrower's credit history.
The lender is not required to review an authorized user tradelines that belongs to the borrower's spouse when the spouse is not on the mortgage transaction.
For manual underwriting consideration of authorized users of credit, see B3-5.3-06, Authorized Users of Credit.
Disputed Credit Report Tradelines
When the credit report contains tradelines disputed by the borrower, DU will first assess the risk of the loan casefile using all tradelines, including those disputed. If DU issues an Approve recommendation using the disputed tradelines, no further documentation or action is necessary. DU will issue a message specific to this scenario.
If DU does not issue an Approve recommendation when including the disputed tradelines, DU will re-assess the risk without using the disputed tradelines. If DU is then able to issue an Approve recommendation, the lender must investigate the tradelines to determine whether the borrower is responsible for the accounts or if the account information is accurate or complete.
If the borrower is not responsible for the disputed accounts, the lender must obtain supporting documentation and may deliver the loan as a DU loan. No further action is necessary regarding the disputed tradelines.
If the borrower is responsible for the disputed account, the lender must investigate the information, including determining the aspect of the tradeline that is being disputed. If the borrower is able to provide documentation to disprove any adverse information (such as canceled checks), the lender may deliver the loan as a DU loan.
If the borrower is responsible for the disputed account and the account and tradeline information is accurate and complete, the loan is not eligible for delivery as a DU loan. The lender may manually underwrite the loan if the transaction is eligible for manual underwriting.
The monthly payments for the disputed tradelines must be included in the debt-to-income ratio if the accounts belong to the borrower.
Note: Tradelines reported as medical debt are not shown in the disputed tradeline message. Therefore, lenders are not required to investigate disputed medical tradelines.
The following scenarios are examples of when a loan receiving an Approve/Eligible recommendation with the disputed tradeline(s) excluded from DU's risk assessment would be eligible for delivery as a DU loan:
A borrower’s account was referred for collection by the creditor. Subsequently, the borrower paid off the account, but the pay-off was not reported on the tradeline. The borrower requested that a dispute be placed on the tradeline. The tradeline information was accurate, but because it did not reflect that the borrower paid off the account, it may be considered incomplete. The borrower must provide documentation that the account was paid in full.
A borrower and his son have the same name (Sr. and Jr.). The borrower’s credit report contains a tradeline that actually belongs to the son. The tradeline is reported as disputed. The borrower can provide confirmation that he is not obligated on the account.
The servicer of a disputed loan indicates a late payment in January of the previous year. The borrower can provide documentation (such as canceled checks or bank statements) that indicate that the payment was made on time.
The following scenario is an example of when a loan receiving an Approve/Eligible recommendation with the disputed tradeline(s) excluded from DU’s risk assessment would not be eligible for delivery as a DU loan:
The credit report indicates a disputed tradeline on the borrower’s mortgage being refinanced. The tradeline indicates a 60–day late payment in January of the previous year. The borrower cannot provide any documentation to support that the payment was made on time.
DU Debt Comparison
DU compares the balances and payments of the debts on the credit report with the debts on the loan application. If material differences are found, the lender must confirm that all debts from the credit report are included on the loan application and provide documentation to support the use of payments and balances lower than those on the credit report. If the debt affects the debt-to-income ratio by more than the allowable tolerances, the lender must add the debt to the loan application and resubmit the loan. Otherwise, the lender is expected to provide documentation that supports the omission from the loan application. See B3-6-02, Debt-to-Income Ratios, and B3-2-10, Accuracy of DU Data, DU Tolerances, and Errors in the Credit Report, for additional information.)
Contradictory, Derogatory, or Erroneous Information
Lenders are obligated to take action when contradictory, derogatory, or erroneous information would justify additional investigation or would provide grounds for a decision that is different from the recommendation DU delivers. For example, if the credit report reflects a previous foreclosure but the information was not accurately mapped to DU, the lender must consider this when making its final underwriting decision.
Duplicate Public Records
Items that typically appear in the Public Records section of the credit report (judgments, bankruptcies, foreclosures, and tax liens) are often duplicated because the credit agencies may not attempt to merge items of this severe nature. As a result, these items may also appear in more than one verification message in the Underwriting Findings report. If it is clear from the credit report data that the items are duplicates (identical account numbers, date filed, and dollar amounts), the lender can disregard the duplicates and document the item once. However, if it is unclear from the credit report whether any of the items are duplicated, the lender should treat each item individually and obtain the required documentation for each item, as indicated in the verification messages.
Judgments and Liens
Open judgments and all outstanding liens that are in the Public Records section of the credit report will be identified in the Underwriting Findings report, and must be paid off at or prior to closing. Documentation of the satisfaction of these liabilities, along with verification of funds sufficient to satisfy these obligations, must also be maintained in the permanent loan file.
DU applies the following guidelines to the processing of loans with mortgage delinquencies:
If any borrower’s credit report contains a mortgage tradeline that is 60 or more days past due when the account was last reported by the creditor and the account was reported within the 12 months prior to the credit report date, the loan casefile will receive a Refer with Caution recommendation and will be ineligible for delivery to Fannie Mae.
If there is a mortgage that is disclosed on the loan application but not reported on the credit report, or the mortgage is on the credit report with an outstanding balance but the payment history has not been reported in the last six months, DU will issue a message requiring the lender to confirm that the account is not two or more payments past due as of the date of the application and that it has not been past due by two or more payments in the last 12 months. If the lender determines that the borrower does have a mortgage that is past due by two or more payments or has been past due by two or more payments in the last 12 months, then the loan casefile is not eligible for delivery to Fannie Mae.
Borrowers may not bring past-due mortgage accounts current prior to closing in order to circumvent Fannie Mae’s policy regarding past-due mortgages. However, the lender may apply some discretion with regard to the application of this policy if it determines and documents that the past-due account status was not the fault of the borrower—for example, if the servicer misapplied or lost the borrower’s payment.
Loan casefiles will receive an Ineligible recommendation due to excessive prior mortgage delinquency if the borrower has a mortgage tradeline on his or her credit report that has one or more 60-, 90-, 120-, or 150-day delinquency reported within the 12 months prior to the credit report date.
The above policies will apply to all mortgage tradelines, including first liens, second liens, home improvement loans, HELOCs, and manufactured home loans.
Underwriting when the Credit Report Contains Inaccurate Mortgage Delinquency Information
When DU identifies a mortgage delinquency on the credit report and the information is inaccurate, the lender may instruct DU to disregard the mortgage delinquency information on the credit report. This is done by entering “Confirmed Mtg Del Incorrect” in the online loan application and resubmitting the loan casefile to DU. When the loan casefile is resubmitted to DU, the mortgage delinquency information on the credit report will not be used.
If the lender enters “Confirmed Mtg Del Incorrect”, the lender must document that the mortgage is not currently 60 days or more past due, and has not been 60 days or more past due in the last 12 months.
Past-Due, Collection, and Charge-Off of Non-Mortgage Accounts
Accounts that are reported as past due (not reported as collection accounts) must be brought current.
For one-unit, principal residence properties, borrowers are not required to pay off outstanding collections or non-mortgage charge-offs—regardless of the amount.
Note: If the lender marks the collection account Paid By Close in the online loan application, DU will issue a message in the DU Underwriting Findings report stating that the collection must be paid.
For two- to four-unit owner-occupied and second home properties, collections and non-mortgage charge-offs totaling more than $5,000 must be paid in full prior to or at closing.
For investment properties, individual collection and non-mortgage charge-off accounts equal to or greater than $250 and accounts that total more than $1,000 must be paid in full prior to or at closing.
Prior Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure, Preforeclosure Sales, and Charge-Off of Mortgage Accounts
Per the requirements of B3-5.3-07, Significant Derogatory Credit Events — Waiting Periods and Re-establishing Credit, an amount of time must elapse (the “waiting period”) after a significant derogatory credit event before the borrower is eligible for a new loan salable to Fannie Mae. The waiting period commences on the completion, discharge, or dismissal date (as applicable) of the derogatory credit event and ends on the disbursement date of the new loan. Because DU does not have the disbursement date of the subject loan, DU uses the date of the credit report to measure whether or not the applicable waiting period has been met. However, because the credit report date may not result in an accurate calculation of the waiting period (it is earlier than the disbursement date), the lender may use the disbursement date to confirm that the waiting period has been met. See the table below for additional information.
If the completion, discharge, or dismissal dates (as applicable) reflected in the credit report are complete and appear to comply with the applicable waiting period requirements, DU will issue a recommendation, but the lender must still confirm that the waiting period has been met and may base its determination on the disbursement date of the new loan.
If the completion, discharge, or dismissal dates (as applicable) reflected in the credit report are complete, but do not appear to comply with the applicable waiting period requirements, a Refer with Caution recommendation will be issued. DU uses the date of the credit report to determine whether or not the applicable waiting period has been met. The lender may obtain an updated credit report and resubmit the loan casefile to DU after the required time has elapsed or manually underwrite the loan using the disbursement date to confirm that the waiting period has been met.
If the completion, discharge, or dismissal dates (as applicable) reflected in the credit report are incomplete, the lender must confirm that the waiting period has been met and may base its determination on the disbursement date of the new loan.
DU will determine if the date of the event was within the applicable waiting period. However, the recommendation will not be changed and the lender must confirm the waiting period requirement has been met, and may base its determination on the disbursement date of the new loan.
Note: See B3-5.3-07, Significant Derogatory Credit Events — Waiting Periods and Re-establishing Credit, for additional information regarding significant derogatory events. DU is not able to identify whether the borrower’s derogatory credit event(s) was the result of extenuating circumstances. See below for information on how to treat extenuating circumstances and B3-5.3-08, Extenuating Circumstances for Derogatory Credit, for additional information.
DU applies the following guidelines to prior bankruptcies:
If a Chapter 13 bankruptcy was discharged within the last two years, dismissed within the last four years, or filed but neither discharged nor dismissed within the last four years, the loan casefile will receive a Refer with Caution recommendation and will be ineligible for delivery to Fannie Mae.
If a non-Chapter 13 bankruptcy was filed, discharged, or dismissed within the last four years, the loan casefile will receive a Refer with Caution recommendation and will be ineligible for delivery to Fannie Mae.
DU will not take bankruptcy information in the public record section of the credit report into account if the bankruptcy is dated more than seven years prior to the credit report date.
DU will not take tradeline accounts that are reported with a bankruptcy status code or manner of payment (MOP) code of “7” into account if there is at least one bankruptcy reported in a public record within seven years of the credit report date. In this scenario, DU assumes the date filed and the date discharged in the public record are more accurate than the dates in the tradeline i.e., specific filed and discharged dates do not exist in the tradeline.
DU will use tradeline accounts that are reported with a bankruptcy status code or MOP code of “7” if there is not a bankruptcy reported in a public record within seven years of the credit report date. In this scenario, the lender will need to verify the actual filed and discharged dates to determine that the bankruptcy meets the DU bankruptcy policy.
DU is not able to determine if multiple filings have occurred due to the manner in which bankruptcies are reported to the credit report. DU will issue a message when it appears that there may have been multiple bankruptcy filings. This message will list each of the bankruptcies seen on the credit report, and will instruct lenders to ensure the loan casefile meets the criteria for underwriting loan casefiles with multiple bankruptcies.
Underwriting when the Credit Report Contains Inaccurate Bankruptcy Information
When DU identifies a bankruptcy on the credit report and the information is inaccurate, the lender may instruct DU to disregard the bankruptcy information on the credit report in the eligibility assessment. This is done by entering “Confirmed CR BK Incorrect” in the online loan application and resubmitting the loan casefile to DU. When the loan casefile is resubmitted to DU, the bankruptcy information on the credit report will not be used.
If the lender enters “Confirmed CR BK Incorrect”, the lender must document that the Chapter 13 bankruptcy was discharged two or more years or dismissed four or more years from the disbursement date of the new loan, or that the non-Chapter 13 bankruptcy was discharged or dismissed four years or more years from the disbursement date of the new loan
Underwriting when a Bankruptcy Was Due to Extenuating Circumstances
When DU identifies a bankruptcy on the credit report and that bankruptcy was due to extenuating circumstances, the lender may instruct DU to disregard the bankruptcy information on the credit report in the eligibility assessment. This is done by entering “Confirmed CR BK EC” in the online loan application and resubmitting the loan casefile to DU. When the loan casefile is resubmitted to DU, the bankruptcy information on the credit report will not be used.
If the lender enters “Confirmed CR BK EC”, the lender must document that the bankruptcy was due to extenuating circumstances, and that the Chapter 13 bankruptcy was dismissed two or more years from the disbursement date of the new loan, or that the non-Chapter 13 bankruptcy was discharged or dismissed two or more years from the disbursement date of the new loan.
DU applies the following guidelines to prior foreclosures:
Mortgage accounts, including first liens, second liens, home improvement loans, HELOCs, and manufactured home loans, will be identified as a foreclosure if there is an MOP code of “8,” or a Remarks Code that indicates a foreclosure is present in the credit report data and associated to the tradeline.
If a foreclosure was reported within the seven-year period prior to the credit report date, the loan casefile will receive a Refer with Caution recommendation and will be ineligible for delivery to Fannie Mae.
If the filed date and the satisfied date of the foreclosure are both unknown, but it appears that the foreclosure occurred within the seven-year period prior to the credit report date, the lender must confirm that the foreclosure did not occur within the most recent seven-year period.
Foreclosure laws vary by state and the time it takes to complete the process may vary by state. DU assumes that the date the foreclosure was reported in the tradeline is the date of the foreclosure sale or liquidation. The lender must confirm that all foreclosures are satisfied.
Mortgage accounts that are identified as a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure or preforeclosure sale will not be identified as a foreclosure.
Underwriting when Inaccurate Foreclosure Information Exists
When DU identifies a foreclosure on a credit report tradeline and the foreclosure information on that tradeline is inaccurate, the lender may instruct DU to disregard the foreclosure information on the credit report in the eligibility assessment. This is done by entering “Confirmed CR FC Incorrect” in the online loan application and resubmitting the loan casefile to DU. When the loan casefile is resubmitted to DU, the foreclosure information on the credit report tradeline will not be used in the eligibility assessment.
If the lender enters “Confirmed CR FC Incorrect,” the lender must then document the foreclosure was completed seven or more years from the disbursement date of the new loan, or that the account was not subject to foreclosure and the loan complies with all other applicable requirements.
Underwriting when Extenuating Circumstances Exist
When DU identifies a foreclosure on a credit report tradeline and that foreclosure was due to extenuating circumstances, the lender may instruct DU to disregard the foreclosure information on the credit report in the eligibility assessment. This is done by entering “Confirmed CR FC EC” in the online loan application and resubmitting the loan casefile to DU. When the loan casefile is resubmitted to DU, the foreclosure information on the credit report tradeline will not be used in the eligibility assessment.
If the lender enters “Confirmed CR FC EC,” the lender must then document that the foreclosure was due to extenuating circumstances, the foreclosure was completed three or more years from the disbursement date of the new loan, and the loan complies with all other requirements specific to a foreclosure due to extenuating circumstances.
Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure
DU applies the following guidelines to prior DILs:
DU will determine if a mortgage tradeline is a DIL by using specific Remarks Codes that are present in the credit report data and associated to the tradeline.
When DU identifies a DIL, the lender must document that the event was completed four or more years from the disbursement date of the new loan, or two or more years from the disbursement date of the new loan when the lender confirms that the mortgage loan meets the applicable time frames and eligibility requirements for a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure due to extenuating circumstances.
Preforeclosure Sales or Short Sales
DU will determine if a mortgage tradeline is a PFS by using specific Remarks Codes that are present in the credit report data and associated to the tradeline.
When DU identifies a PFS, the lender must document that the event was completed four or more years from the disbursement date of the new loan, or two or more years from the disbursement date of the new loan when the lender confirms that the mortgage loan meets the applicable time frames and eligibility requirements for a preforeclosure sale due to extenuating circumstances.
Charge-Off of Mortgage Accounts
Mortgage accounts, including first liens, second liens, home improvements loans, HELOCs, and manufactured home loans, will be identified as a charge-off if there is an MOP code of “9” (collection or charge-off) and there is no information indicating the account may also be subject to a foreclosure (MOP code “8” or foreclosure Remarks Code), a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure (DIL Remarks Code), or a preforeclosure sale (PFS Remarks Code).
When DU identifies a charge-off on a mortgage tradeline, the lender must document that the event was completed four or more years from the disbursement date of the new loan, or two or more years from the disbursement date of the new loan when the lender confirms that the mortgage loan meets the applicable time frames and eligibility requirements for a charge-off due to extenuating circumstances.
What is a Credit Report and What Does it Include?
A credit report is a summary of how you have handled credit accounts, including the types of accounts and your payment history, as well as certain other information that’s reported to credit bureaus by your lenders and creditors.
Potential creditors and lenders use credit reports as part of their decision-making process to decide whether to extend you credit — and at what terms. Others, such as potential employers or landlords, may also access your credit reports to help them decide whether to offer you a job or a lease. Your credit reports may also be reviewed for insurance purposes or if you’re applying for services such as phone, utilities or a mobile phone contract.
For these reasons, it's important to check your credit reports regularly to ensure the information in them is accurate and complete.
The three credit bureaus that provide credit reports nationwide are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Your credit reports from each may not be identical, as some lenders and creditors may not report to all three. Some may report to only two, one or none at all.
Your Equifax credit report contains the following types of information:
This section of your Equifax credit report includes personal information, such as your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth. The identifying information contained in your Equifax credit report is not used to calculate credit scores.
This information is reported to Equifax by your lenders and creditors and includes the types of accounts (for example, a credit card, mortgage, student loan, or vehicle loan), the date those accounts were opened, your credit limit or loan amount, account balances, and your payment history. It may not contain all your credit accounts for several reasons, such as closed accounts that have dropped off your report after a certain period of time, or accounts not reported to Equifax by lenders.
There are two types of inquiries: “soft” and “hard.”
“Soft” inquiries may result from your checking your own credit reports, companies extending you pre-approved offers of credit or insurance, or your current lenders and creditors conducting periodic reviews of your accounts (known as “account reviews.”) Soft inquiries do not impact credit scores. Regularly checking your credit reports can help you monitor your credit accounts and enable you to recognize inaccurate or incomplete information, or suspicious activity that may signal potential identity theft.
“Hard” inquiries occur when companies or individuals, such as a credit card company or loan servicer, review your Equifax credit report because you have applied for credit or a service – for example, a new loan, a credit card, or a mobile phone contract. Hard inquiries remain on your Equifax credit report for up to two years and may negatively impact credit scores, although the impact may lessen with time.
Your Equifax credit report contains information about bankruptcy public records and related details such as the filing date and chapter (type of bankruptcy).
This includes past-due accounts that have been turned over to a collection agency. These can include your credit accounts as well as accounts with doctors, hospitals, banks, retail stores, cable companies or mobile phone providers.
You may also want to check your Equifax credit report if you’re planning a big purchase, such as a car or a home. Doing so can help you understand what lenders and creditors may see when you apply for credit.
7 thoughts on &ldquo How to Remove Public Records From Your Credit Report &rdquo
I have a letter from my landlord indicating Iam making payments towards a judgement. Is it at all possible this information to be noted on my credit report?
I have a civil suit back in 2015 about paying my rent late. However, it was paid in full in court & all parties agreed. However, when I went to apply for two apartments I got denied because of the civil suit still being on my public record.
I told the landlord this happened a long time to go in the year 2015, but they don’t care they will not sign or give me a break because a civil suit is on my public broker. How Can I get that off my public record? The funny part is I still reside at the same residency that took me to court. I’m still living here and I’ve been living here for 6 years. Oh my rent is paid on time ever since. However I need to move and I can’t move until that civil suit is off my public record. I hope someone can help me and assist on what I can do next. Of course I did ask them my apartment complex to remove the public record but they have not responded back yet and when I consulted with the lawyer and they said they don’t need to respond. So now I’m stuck and I really need to get this off my public record so I can move on to another apartment complex within Illinois.
Hey, I am in the same situation looking for help. Were you able to remove the record ? I need some help.
I am in the same situation and really need guidance on what to do.
My credit score says I have a derogatory public record. How do I find out what is it? I’ve never filed bankruptcy, or had a “civil judgement” or a tax lien? Please someone help!
Go down to the county clerk office and search public records in your name, it’s free.
Can an active child support be removed from showing on credit reports? What would be the best way moving forward?
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