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Remove date of charge-offs doesn’t change and cannot be extended

Creditors can choose when to report a charge-off but the remove date of a charge-off doesn't change, it's 7.5 years from the last payment.

Question: Hello, I had two delinquent accounts that was being reported from Citibank for the last 7 years. I was making payments on them, but due to financial struggles and medical bills I have not made a payment since 2012. The negative inquiries were due to come off my credit report last year. Then right before tax time last year I received a charge off notice for both accounts and had to report on my taxes as income. So, instead of the accounts being removed after the 7 year period they are now being listed as charge offs and will be reported for another 7years. That would be a total of 14 years on my credit report. Other than those two accounts I have nothing else negative on my credit report. I have tried submitting online disputes to the credit bureaus, but I never hear anything back.

Remove date of charge offs does not change and can’t be extended

When an account is charged-off it means the creditor no longer deems the account an asset; therefore, it is removed from the creditor’s accounting ledger. The unpaid account is moved to the non-asset (bad debt) column.

A creditor is required to report to the credit reporting agencies the date of first delinquency (the date you first went delinquent and no further payments were made) no later than 90 days after reporting a charge-off or that the account went into collections. The credit reporting agencies generally calculate the removal date as 7 years from the date you first went delinquent and no other payments were made.

Is there a time limit to a creditor reporting a charge-off

When a creditor actually reports a charge-off to the credit reporting agencies is not a matter of law. They can choose to report the charge-off whenever they please. The law only says that once the charge-off is reported, the creditor must report to the credit reporting agencies, the date of first delinquency (DOFD). Again, this is the date you first missed a payment and no further payments were made.

Why the Date of First Delinquency is important?

The date of first delinquency helps the credit reporting agencies calculate the credit reporting time period which is 7 years from the date of first delinquency. Updating your credit reports with the charge-off does not signify a new charge-off date nor does it extend the credit reporting time period.

What you need to know is that the date of the charge-off has absolutely nothing to do with when reporting of the charge-off on your credit reports will be removed. The charge-offs cannot continue to be included on your credit reports after the 7.5 years from the date of first delinquency (DOFD) on the original account according the Section 605(c) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

It’s clear something went wrong. Unfortunately, it’s up to you to get it corrected. This may take some extra time and investigation.

1. Get your current credit reports either by paying for them at Experian, Transunion and Equifax. You are entitled to free credit reports from or at annualcreditreport.com once every 12 months.

2. Review the estimated removal date or some reports may contain the actual reported DOFD.

3. If you determine the DOFD is not reported, you will need to estimate the date you made the last payments and no other payments were made. This will give you a ball-park estimate of when the negative items are due to come off your credit reports.

4. The credit reporting agencies rely on the DOFD reported by the original creditor when estimating when the negatives will be removed from your credit reports.

5. You may have to rely on your own records or recollection when you made the last payment. Once you determine those dates, you have leverage to get the negatives deleted or corrected to the appropriate date.

6. If the credit reporting agencies continue to report the charge-off past the 7.5 years from the date you made the last payment, then that is a violation of the FCRA and re-aging has occurred.

7. Re-aging is a serious violation. At this point you can make complaints to your state attorney general, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Better Business Bureau. Really, a Better Business Bureau complaint or a CFPB Complaint should do the trick in getting the negative items removed or corrected.

The best of luck to you.

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