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The Judgment Was Still Put onto My Credit Score.

Question: In 2012, a public record was added to my credit report in the form of a court judgment. I had my wisdom teeth removed when I was 19. My mother had promised to pay, but did not. I was not aware of the lawsuit because I was away from home at college. The payments were not made so the dentist filed a small claims suit for the money. I believe that my mother was served. The judgment was still put onto my credit score. It continues to seriously affect my score, which is impeding my ability to find housing.

Answer: If there in fact is a judgment, the credit bureaus are entitled to report it. Service on a member of your household at your legal residence (such as a parent) is valid if accompanied by mail to you at that address. Check the court file to see what happened.

If you pay a judgment, Illinois law entitles you to have it vacated and the case dismissed, after which the credit bureaus are no longer entitled to report it. The underlying debt could be reported as a paid collection item for 7 years from default.