Contact The Creditors And See If You Can Negotiate. Think About What This Says To A Bank About You. You Defaulted On $17,500 To Prior Creditors And You Are Asking TheM To Take A Risk On You FOr A Good Deal More Than That. Judgments Are Usually Good For 10 To Twenty Years And They Can be Renewed So They Can Be On Your Credit Report For A Very Long Time If Not Taken Care Of. Good Luck.
Disclaimer: The foregoing answer does not create an attorney-client relationship with Attorney Cannella or her firm. This answer does not constitute legal advice, is provided for informational and educational purposes only for persons interested in the subject matter, is not legal opinion, nor confidential in nature. Each situation is fact specific and may be subject to state specific laws. Without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem fully.
This is a judgment call (no pun intended). If there are judgments on your record, sounds like the creditor filed the judgments with the appropriate county court (Kings Co. in your case). Only time will get those county filings off your credit history. As to the judgments themselves, as the prior attorney's answer pointed out, judgments can be renewed and therefore would be reported on your credit history again for at least another seven years after renewal.
If you contact the creditors and work out payment agreements, as part of the deal the creditor would have to give you satisfaction of judgments and you would have to insist that the creditors' individual debt reports to the credit agencies show that the debts were paid in full. At least then you could explain to the mortgage banks that you satisfied the judgments.
Then again, the mortgage bank may not like the fact that you allowed judgments to be entered against you or that you paid off the judgments for less than the full amounts. There is no perfect solution but I highly recommend that you contact a consumer credit attorney to find the best solution for your situation if getting a mortgage now is important to you.
If they show up on your credit report, they will fall off in 7 years. But in New York State, money judgments are enfoceable for 20 years. And they become liens on real property you own or acquire. So they can still affect you. Be careful about buying real property in the County where the judgments were filed!
If these are judgment you had no recollection of, you may want to see if you can get them vacated. A good consumer lawyer - and there are several in the City- can guide you. But do yourself a favor and get copies of the court file at teh Clerk's Office.