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How Long Do Evictions Stay on Your Record?

How Long Do Evictions Stay on Your Record?

An eviction can be a significant stumbling block when it comes to securing future housing. If you're curious about the impact an eviction may have on your credit history and how long it stays on your record, you're not alone. Understanding the consequences of eviction can help you better navigate the complexities of renting and financial health.

The Misconception: Evictions and Credit Reports

Firstly, it's essential to clarify that an eviction itself does not appear on your credit report. Rather, the unpaid rent and any additional fees that might have accrued during the process of eviction might be sent to collections. These collections can appear on your credit report for seven years from the original delinquency date, which is the date of the first late payment leading to the collection status.

The Role of Tenant Screening Reports

Although evictions don't make their way to your credit report, they do appear on a separate document called a tenant screening report. This report, which is typically sourced from a tenant screening company, could have eviction records that span seven years.

As a potential renter, it's worth noting that landlords and leasing companies often consult these reports when making rental decisions.

A person filling out a Tenant Screening

The Impact of Eviction-Related Collections

Unpaid rent and fees following an eviction could be sold to a collection agency by your landlord or leasing company. If this agency reports to credit bureaus like Experian, the outstanding balance would appear on your credit report as a collection account.

This can negatively impact your credit score, making it more challenging to get approved for loans, credit cards, and potentially even some jobs.

The Duration of an Eviction on Your Record

Evictions can linger on tenant screening reports for seven years. The duration might be longer if an eviction resulted from a judgment against you in court. Depending on the statute of limitations in your state, an eviction might stay on your record for up to ten years.

Disputing an Eviction

There are situations where you can dispute an eviction listed on a tenant screening report or a collection account appearing on your credit report. For example, if there are inaccuracies or the eviction is falsely reported, you can contact the tenant screening company or credit bureau directly to challenge the information.

Eviction Removal Possibilities

Despite the general rule that evictions remain on your record for seven years, or until the statute of limitations expires, certain scenarios might allow for early removal:

  1. Pay-for-Deletion Arrangement: In this case, you can negotiate with your former landlord. If you agree to pay your debt in full, they might request the credit bureaus to remove the delinquent information related to your debt. However, landlords aren't legally obligated to agree to this.
  2. Eviction Expungement: If your debt is settled, you might be able to have your eviction expunged from your public record. Once the eviction is expunged, it will be sealed, and prospective landlords will not see it on your record.

In Conclusion

An eviction can indeed pose challenges, but understanding its consequences and exploring potential avenues for dispute or removal can make all the difference. Regularly reviewing your credit reports, maintaining open communication with your landlords, and taking prompt action if you foresee an inability to make your rent payment can all contribute to better financial health. Remember, knowledge is power when dealing with complex processes like evictions.