The following is an actual reader submitted question:
Q: How can I tell if there are any judgements against me?
A: If your judgement is a matter of public record, it should appear on your credit report. Typical items that might show up on your credit report include bankruptcies, foreclosures, tax liens, judgments and overdue child support. Timing also matters, as it takes 7-10 years from the date of filing for something to be removed from your credit report (see this blog post on the Credit Report Statue of Limitations for specifics). So if you had a judgement filed against you over 7 years ago, it might not still be showing up on your report.
Make sure you check all 3 of your credit reports from the credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) for judgments, as it is possible for the information to show up on 1 of the reports and not the others. If you don’t have your current credit reports, consider signing up for the Privacy Guard 30-day trial for $1. You’ll get your 3-bureau credit reports, all 3 credit scores and Norton Internet Security Online for just $1, and even if you decide to cancel during the trial period you’ll still get to keep these items.
Or you can sign up for the Identity Guard free 30-day trial, which will give you all 3 credit scores and a free public record report. The public record report should indicate if you have any judgments against you, and both it and the scores are yours to keep free of charge, regardless of whether you cancel during the trial period or not.