Financial Education

Public Record Information

A public record section of a credit report will contain the following information, if applicable:

Collection Account: A collection account is a past-due account that has been referred to a specialist to collect part or all of the debt. For example, if a consumer does not make payments on his or her car loan, the bank may ask a collection agency to collect the amount he or she owes.

Bankruptcy: Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding that can legally release a person from repaying debts. For instance, Sam has a personal loan and large credit card debt.

Sam lost his job and filed a petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy because he could not pay back his loans. The court accepted his petition, and he was no longer required to pay back the loans. However, the bankruptcy remained on his credit report for 10 years.

In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debtor keeps all of his or her property and makes regular payments on the debts, even after filing for bankruptcy. To qualify for Chapter 13, the debtor needs to have a regular income.

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debtor gives up all nonexempt property. The debtor keeps exempt property. Exempt property is property that state law determines is needed for the support of the debtor and his or her dependents.

It is important to understand that bankruptcy has a negative impact on your credit. Depending on the type of bankruptcy, it will stay on your credit report from seven to 10 years. Having a bankruptcy on your credit report will make it hard to get credit in the future.

Tax Lien: A tax lien is a claim against property, or assets, filed by the taxing authority for unpaid taxes. For example, since Mary did not pay her taxes, the taxing authority could make a claim against her home.

Judgment: A judgment is a court order placing a lien on a debtor's property as security for a debt owed to a creditor. For example, John stopped paying his property taxes last year. After the county sent him several notices about the non-payment, the county went to court and got a judgment lien.

By getting a judgment lien, the county can claim proceeds from the sale of John's house to cover the amount of the taxes he owes.