The three major credit bureaus, and one forward-thinking debt collector, are making changes that could allow millions of people to get loans they’ve unfairly been denied.
Equifax, Experian and TransUnion plan to remove civil lawsuit judgments — where a creditor has sued and won in court — and many tax liens from people’s credit reports starting July 1. Striking those public records could improve the scores of as many as 14 million people, some by enough to qualify for mortgages and other loans that are currently beyond their grasp.
Meanwhile, leading debt collection company Encore Capital Group has shortened the time it reports paid collections from seven years to two. The company, which owns Midland Credit Management, Midland Funding, Asset Acceptance and Atlantic Credit & Finance, also promises not to report new collection accounts to the bureaus if debtors start making payments within 90 days after Encore notifies them of the debt.
The moves are long overdue, because the system for reporting serious black marks has been broken for years.