What happens when a consumer wins a debt collection lawsuit?

does winning a debt collection lawsuit mean account deleted from credit reports

does winning a debt collection lawsuit mean account deleted from credit reportsQuestion: A creditor has recently filed and the case was granted to dismiss without prejudice. Would it be appropriate to now send a “Notice of Insufficient Verification” to the CA requesting they remove the collection listing from my credit report?

Answer: Well technically, you have won your case and the debt collector should remove the collection listing from your credit reports. However, a “dismissal without prejudice” means the plaintiff (creditor) retains the right to re-file the lawsuit against you.

Perhaps there was some legal deficiency or lack of evidence which caused the court to dismiss the case with the possibility the plaintiff can cure the deficiency and bring the lawsuit a second time.

Typically when a case is “dismissed with prejudice” you have won the case and you no longer owe the debt. It is kaput, finished; the end…and it must be removed from your credit reports. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits the reporting of false credit information to the credit bureaus. Additionally, the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires only accurate information be reported. A collection agency can no longer report you owe money when a court of law says otherwise.

Your situation is different with the case being “dismissed without prejudice”. Nevertheless, I suggest you strike while the iron is hot and attempt to get the collection listing removed from your credit reports.

You can deal with the collection agency as you mentioned above or you could dispute directly with the credit bureaus by sending a letter requesting deletion to each credit bureau that is reporting the collection account including the following information:

  • Explain you were sued and you won the case
  • Give the case name and number
  • Include the court name, address and phone number
  • List the name and account number of the collection agency
  • Attach a copy of the Order

The credit bureau will open an investigation where they will delete, update, or verify the listing to remain the same within 30 days of opening the investigation. If the collection account violates the FDCPA or the FCRA, then it may be appropriate to sue and recover money damages for the collection agency and credit bureaus reporting false information. Good luck to you.