When a bank has foreclosed on your property, the record of the foreclosure will normally stay on your credit report for 7 to 10 years. Like many negative entries, some foreclosures will stick even after that time and you will need to use the dispute process to get it corrected (or even resort to legal means).
But what about a foreclosure that hasn’t expired? Is it possible to remove a foreclosure from your credit report? The short answer is "yes". But of course, there is more to the story.
Removing a foreclosure from your credit report can be difficult. The first thing to understand is that there is likely going to be no question whatsoever of ownership. So taking the advice of some so-called "experts" that say "just dispute every negative item as ‘not mine’" will get you nowhere. Disputing every negative item as "not mine" is not only dishonest, it’s pointless. It doesn’t work. And it’s even more pointless for a foreclosure that you know is yours.
The real key with foreclosures is finding the right leverage to get the foreclosure listing removed. With the large number of foreclosures that happen every year, it is easy for mistakes to be made along the way. If you can find those mistakes with your own foreclosure process, this can be used to try and get the foreclosure removed.
If the lender messed up and broke the law or otherwise failed in the foreclosure process, then it may be worth the effort to do what you can in order to hold them accountable for their actions. Generally, it is NOT going to be easy and every bit of evidence you can find of errors and problems with the foreclosure process will be helpful.
The other approach you can take to removing foreclosures is dealing directly with the bureaus, and treating the foreclosure like any other item on your credit report. In other words, you would review the listing on your credit report and look for incorrect or missing information, and you start the dispute process with the bureaus based on that. You would send a detailed dispute, with plenty of accompanying documentation.
If the entry is removed at that point, great.
If not, you would generally follow up with a method of verification request, and see if the bureau follows through with their procedural requirements.
If they fail to follow the required procedure, then you would follow up with further complaints such as to the state Attorney General and any other secondary approaches.
If you can’t get the foreclosure removed from your credit report, the best thing to do is to start the process of rebuilding your credit after the foreclosure is finalized, and to treat your credit with great care, being sure to not add any more negative marks.
Even with the foreclosure on your report, it is likely that your credit will be "usable" soon enough if you can manage to keep late payments and anything else OFF your report, and work on re-building a positive credit history at the same time.