Tax Liens and Civil Judgments May Disappear from Credit Reports

Starting July 1, 2017 credit reports may no longer show state or federal tax liens or civil judgments against consumers. Equifax, Experian and TransUnion announced that they will use stricter standards for reporting this information on credit reports. Among other requirements, the nation’s three largest credit reporting agencies will no longer report on tax liens and civil judgments where the individual’s social security number and/or date of birth are not shown in the public record. With respect to tax liens, it is estimated that more than half of public tax lien information does not show the information that the credit bureaus will require in order to include it on a credit report. Civil judgments are even less likely to be included now, particularly since states like Indiana specifically prohibit disclosing social security numbers in court filings. For creditors looking to obtain this information on consumers, there are other services available that can provide tax lien or civil judgment information on individuals with the same name, but it will be up to the creditor to verify whether or not this information relates to the same consumer.