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Topics addressed on June 8, 2011:
Removing accounts and judgments that are not yours
I have two judgments on my credit report that have been satisfied, and I don’t know how to get them removed. I also have an account from a company showing in my report, but I never had an account with them. What do I do?
The judgments will be removed automatically, but not immediately.
Civil judgments are deleted seven years from the filing date. The status of the judgments will be updated to show that they are satisfied, but they will stay on your report for the remainder of that seven year period.
You should dispute the account you don’t recognize. To do so, you first need to get a copy of your personal report directly from Experian. The report will include instructions to enter a dispute online, by telephone or through the mail.
State in your dispute that the account is not yours. Experian will contact the source of the information, which then must either have the account removed or verify that it should continue to be reported. If you disagree with the results of the dispute you can add a statement to your report explaining why you disagree.
In some instances accounts that actually are yours are reported under a different company name. Retail credit accounts are a common example. Although the credit card shows the name of the retail store, the account may appear under the name of the parent company of the retail chain in your credit report, which can be confusing.
Before entering a dispute consider contacting the company to ensure the account truly is not yours. The company may have the account removed based on your providing them additional identifying information.
Thanks for asking.
- The "Ask Experian" team