The three major credit bureaus recently decided to stop reporting judgments on credit reports. This is due, in part, to the difficulty in providing accurate information. It is easy for them to gather the information when a judgment is docketed, but when a satisfaction of judgment has been filed, there is nothing to flag that, and the only way they can sometimes verify that would be to open every case file every day, which really cannot be done very well on an automated basis. There were also a lot of false judgments being reported, due to the fact that these are often not verified by way of Social Security number. Tax liens are also less likely to get reported, unless they can be verified by social security number. These policy changes were not mandated by legislation, but rather, by way of a settlement of a lawsuit by the New York Attorney General.
This is not likely to mean that judgments are irrelevant on a person’s credit history or ability to borrow. The judgments are still public records. Because a judgment becomes a lien on any real estate in the county in which it is docketed, it is unlikely that a mortgage lender would provide a loan to a person with a judgment against them.
The necessity of having a judgment removed following a bankruptcy, in order to improve one’s credit score, is likely less, and because of this policy change. But that procedure will still likely be necessary for judgment debtors who own a house and want to sell it later on down the road.