It was six years ago this month – July 1, 2017 – that all three of the major credit bureaus dramatically changed the information that they report on their credit reports.  This is when the National Consumer Assistance Plan (NCAP) was implemented, which was a result of the legal settlement between Equifax, TransUnion and Experian and the plethora of state attorneys general that filed the lawsuit against them.

The biggest impact of data loss on credit reports was the removal of most public record information, specifically all tax liens and all civil judgments, including forcible detainer or unlawful detainer judgments (evictions), which are essential for the multifamily and rental housing industries.  The only public records that still remain on credit reports today are bankruptcies.

However, many businesses need to know if tax liens and civil judgments exist, when they evaluate an individual, either for the extension of credit, or for entering into some business relationship with them.  The good news is that tax liens and civil judgments can be obtained from alternate sources, other than credit reports.

For the apartment industry, a separate rental housing judgments/evictions database exists.  For other business needs, a Bankruptcy-Lien-Judgment search is available.  Either or both of these products should be used in conjunction with a credit report, as the credit reports still provides valuable payment history, as well as an indication of how leveraged or financially extended that an individual is.

The lawsuit settlement mentioned above only impacted the three credit bureaus.  To obtain tax lien and civil judgment information, just seek out a reliable background screening company that is also a consumer reporting agency.

Remember, if you need tax lien and civil judgment information, credit reports have not provided them for over six years, but a reliable background screening company still can.

Posted by: Rudy Troisi, L.P.I., President and CEO, Reliable Background Screening

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