Question: I had a question about tax liens, specifically how to remove them. I had a lien filed against me in California back in 2004, and managed to fully pay it off the next year. I pulled a copy of my report and found that all the credit bureaus had it listed as “released” (which I guess is good), but it was still on my report. Is there a way to get it removed entirely?
This can be kind of a tricky subject when it comes to credit repair, as tax liens are the only items on your credit report that are based on the date you paid them, not on the date you were first late on the account like everything else on your report. Tax liens also typically stay on your report for at least 7 years after you pay them, making things like buying or selling a home or car, or opening new lines of credit much more difficult than they need to be.
Getting a lien removed from your report can be very difficult and time-consuming, but it is possible – especially if the lien itself has already been released. Your best bet to get it removed entirely would be to dispute the information with the credit bureaus that are reporting it. Draft up dispute letters, detailing your case with proof of payment and release, and let the bureaus know you want the liens removed from your report.
The credit bureaus will then have 30 days to verify your claims. Since state tax liens fall under the Public Records category of your report, that means contacting the courts to have it taken care of. If the courts can’t find and verify your lien in that time, the lien must be deleted from your report entirely.
And that’s really the best you can hope for when trying to get state tax liens removed from your report. Obviously, having them paid and released is important, but having them removed before the 7 year mark can be more difficult to accomplish than removing collections or late payments, but if you’re persistent, it can pay off.
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