How Long Do Deficiency Judgments Remain on Your Credit Report?

by Ciele Edwards ; Updated July 27, 2017
A deficiency judgment can occur after a foreclosure.

A deficiency judgment is a public record that appears within your credit history. Deficiency judgments often occur after a home foreclosure or a vehicle repossession and have a negative effect on your credit score.

The Facts

When a creditor repossesses property to satisfy a debt, the value of the property may be less than the amount owed to the creditor. When this occurs, a creditor may sue you for the balance. If the creditor wins, a deficiency judgment will be issued against you.

Time Frame

A deficiency judgment will remain on your credit report for seven years. If the judgment remains unpaid, however, your creditor may apply with the court to have the judgment renewed for another seven-year period.

Function

The purpose of a deficiency judgment is to help a lender recover losses beyond that of the repossessed property. These types of judgments are often necessary if the item was willfully damaged by a borrower prior to repossession.

Considerations

If your loan paperwork states that the loan is a “no-recourse” loan, this means that, in the event of a repossession or foreclosure, your lender cannot sue you for any balance beyond the item itself.

Effects

In some states, a creditor may request a writ of garnishment from the court after being awarded a deficiency judgment. This will give the creditor the legal right to garnish a certain percentage of your wages every pay period.

About the Author

Ciele Edwards holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and has been a consumer advocate and credit specialist for more than 10 years. She currently works in the real-estate industry as a consumer credit and debt specialist. Edwards has experience working with collections, liens, judgments, bankruptcies, loans and credit law.

Photo Credits

  • Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Daniel Rothamel