Bankruptcies, Liens, and Judgments Are Important Data!
Lenders have historically put significant weight on the presence of public records on an applicant's credit report. And with good reason. A recent study showed that consumers with liens or judgments as part of their credit history are twice as likely to default on a loan as those with no outstanding liens or judgments.
In 2016, the bureaus were sued multiple times because of incorrect public record data being included on their credit reports. This happens because there are 10,000-20,000 "jurisdictions" of municipal authorities. Some of these records are sealed and the parties involved are not disclosed until it goes unpaid. The defendant then must file an action in the civil courts. Even in 2018, smaller courts still don't electronically publish information. In addition, public records are frequently logged with only one identifier, so it's not hard to get them "mixed up" with people who have the same name.