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Can a Charge-off Remain on your Credit Report Past 7 years

A charge-off should be removed from your credit report after 7 years has passed even if a collection agency purchases the debt

I had a foreclosure in 2002 and the second mortgage is showing as a charge of on my credit report with a date of June 2002.

Shouldn't this have been removed from credit report after 7 years? Can I dispute this based on the length of time it has been since the charge off? Thanks!

Answer: Without being able to view your report, I can only assume the June 2002 is the Fair Credit Reporting Act’s Compliance/Obsolescence date.

The obsolescence period begins 180 days after the date of first delinquency which led to the account chargeoff. The FCRA’s Compliance/Obsolescence Date should never be changed; unless, a creditor or collection agency has illegally re-aged the account. I don’t think that has occurred in your situation.

The second mortgage on your credit report should have been removed by now. Sometimes these things do not occur automatically with the credit reporting agencies which is why consumers should monitor their credit report and scores several times a year.

Once an account has been charged off, the date of first delinquency should never change because it starts the clock on the 7-year reporting time period.

In actuality the 7-year reporting period is really 7 years plus 180 days (7.5 years). This is how long a negative item such as a charge-off can remain on your credit reports. A bankruptcy, lien, judgment or foreclosure can remain longer, usually up to 10 years.

A charge-off past the 7.5 year reporting date should not be on your credit report. This includes any collection account connected to that charge-off account.

Even if a collection effort began yesterday, the collection agency can attempt to collect the debt but they are prohibited from reporting the debt past the 7.5 year reporting period.

A short and simple letter to the credit reporting agencies is your first step and hopefully the only step you need to take to get the negative item removed. For example:

“Please remove (charge-off item) along with any and all collection accounts related thereto from my credit report as the FCRA Compliance/Obsolescence Date has passed. This charge-off along with any and all collection accounts related to the charge-off represents a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Delete them immediately.” Good luck to you.


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