Whats the safest way to settle a Civil Judgment and be sure its removed from my record permanently?

Asked over 2 years ago - Seattle, WA

I have two past Civil Judgments on my Credit Report from 2004 that I never attempted to clear. The original amounts were $55 and $1218 (now around $4500 after interest), and I have read that they can stay on a report for 10 yrs in WA state and be renewed after that time. I want to know the best way to settle and have these removed from my record. I'm not sure what the Civil Judgments are for, possibly and unpaid Dr bill ($55), and an old cell phone that was stolen ($1218). No one has ever tried to seize any of my funds or property. I would like to reduce the settlement amount and not have this come back to haunt me in the future when I plan to buy a house.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Robert Daniel Kelly

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . You should probably get a "Satisfaction of Judgment" document as described in RCW 4.56.100 (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=4....), file it with the clerk of the court, and obtain a certified copy to send to the credit reporting agencies.

    [In accordance with the Avvo community guidelines, this communication does not constitute "legal advice", nor does... more
  2. Thuong-Tri Nguyen

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . If a judgment creditor has not collected after 10 years, the creditor likely is not going to go through with the expenses of renewing the judgment. Of course, no one can tell you the future will be or what some unknown creditor will do.

    If you want to take the risk, it is only a few more years before the 10 years expire.

    Court records are generally open to the public. If the court that entered your judgment is near, you can go to court and view the public records at the computers in the clerk's office or you can ask the clerk for copies. Then, you will know what the judgments are for.

  3. Dorothy G Bunce

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Settling a civil won't guarantee that it is removed from your credit report. Because it is a public record, it will likely remain easy to verify by the credit bureaus for a long long time.

    When you settle a judgment, make sure all the terms are in writing & formatted to be filed with the court.

    Hope this perspective helps!

  4. Gary D. Bollinger

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    Answered . Find the judgment creditor or its attorney & make arrangements for payment & their filing of a satisfaction of judgment.

    The effect of a paid judgment is less than that of an unpaid judgment on your credit record.

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