How to Remove a Foreclosure From a Credit Report

With the recent downturn in the economy and the flood of foreclosures in the housing market, a lot of consumers have been faced with devastating decreases to their credit scores. A foreclosure has a terrible effect on these scores, and doing everything you can to eliminate the item from your credit report, or minimizing its legacy, is in your best interest. To do this, you'll have to take all the appropriate steps to ensure your credit remains as good as it can be.

Step 1

Get copies of your credit reports. There are three main credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You have the right to a yearly free copy of your credit report from these companies. You can also get your credit report by contacting a company that will, usually for a fee, get your three reports for you.

Step 2

Review your credit reports in detail. Look for any errors. If you went through a foreclosure, check to make sure the information is accurate. Foreclosures cannot be removed from your credit report for seven years, so the only way to remove one is to wait for that period to expire. You can remove a foreclosure that has been erroneously included on your report, however.

Step 3

Challenge mistaken items. If you find a mistaken item, you can notify the credit reporting agency and the information provider (the person or organization making the claim) of your dispute. Provide them with information about you, as well as the details of why you think there is an error and any documentation you have to back up your claim. They will then conduct an investigation and determine whether or not to remove or modify the listing. Follow up after 30 days to make sure the mistaken item was removed.

Step 4

File a consumer statement. If the credit reporting agency does not remove the foreclosure listing, insist that they add a consumer statement to your credit report. This is a 100-word statement you write that details your claim against the foreclosure's inclusion on your report. You can also file a complaint against the credit reporting agency or the information provider with the Federal Trade Commission, or sue the parties in civil court.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always send copies of documents, never originals.
  • Keep your paperwork organized. The surest way to have a dispute rejected is by not having the proper evidence to back up your claim.

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