The short answer is: There’s no such thing as an Eviction Expungement in North Carolina. 'Expungement' has a very specific definition in the legal world tied to criminal records. Evictions are purely civil matters (usually) and therefore not eligible for what we understand to be a traditional expungement. That said, the longer answer is much more complicated and interesting.
Evictions are a Big Problem in Charlotte
Home eviction is devastating. Causing mental health issues and physical stress, evictions leave a family searching for answers. Here in North Carolina, evictions are a huge problem. The Tar Heel state has 8 cities in the top 100 nationwide for evictions. Especially in urban areas like Greensboro and Charlotte, evictions are commonplace and homelessness is a growing concern. Widespread societal issues, like lack of affordable housing and stagnant wages, have increased eviction rates across the state. Combining these societal issues with a legal system that stacks the deck against renters produces a perfect storm against tenants statewide. Mecklenburg County, in particular, has the most eviction complaints filed in the entire state each year. In a city where upward economic mobility is nearly nonexistent, evictions and homelessness are a real challenge to overcoming those trends.
How Much Does an Eviction Really Matter Though?
An eviction can have long lasting consequences for a renter that aren’t foreseeable or avoidable when financial times are toughest. A bad financial month or couple of months can lead to up to a decade worth of additional housing stress for someone with an eviction on their record. An eviction can show up on a background check for up to 10 years, staining credit reports and making it extremely difficult to find new housing. One of the biggest roadblocks to escaping homelessness, or preventing it altogether, is the existence of an eviction judgment on your record. But there's still hope to saving your record and getting back on your feet if even if you have an eviction.
Is There Anything That Can Be Done To Fix My Eviction?
Unfortunately for renters with evictions, expungements are only available for criminal offenses in North Carolina. However, all hope is not lost. An attorney may still be able to help tenants get eviction judgments removed from their record and, subsequently, credit reports. On a case by case basis, a qualified landlord tenant attorney can review your eviction case to determine if proper court procedures were followed and, in certain circumstances, file motions with the court to overturn a wrongfully filed or obtained eviction. Alternatively, an attorney can sometimes negotiate with your prior landlord to get your eviction judgment vacated and dismissed. Every case is different and there’s no guarantees that a case can be resolved through either of these methods. That said, it’s usually worth it to have a qualified attorney at least check your case out. If you need help trying to get an old eviction off of your record, contact us today!