The date of last activity is a common term you may encounter when engaged in fixing your credit. Date of last activity can be a huge source of confusion for consumers.
What is the Date of Last Activity (DLA)
The date of last activity (DLA) can be any transaction on an account, the last payment made on the account, the date the account was transferred or sold to a collection agency, the date an account was charged-off, date a collection agency updated the amount owed or even the date the account was updated after a dispute was investigated.
The DLA can change anytime there is new activity on the account. The date of last activity can be positive or negative. The last activity date should have little impact on credit scores and no bearing at all on when accounts are due to be purged from credit reports.
Confusion sets in when the date of last activity is mistaken with the date of first delinquency (DOFD).
Date of Last Activity vs. Date of First Delinquency
Date of First Delinquency is the date a consumer first became 30 days late, never brought the account current and a charge-off ensued. The date of first delinquency is very important and should never change once an account has been charged off.
DOFD starts the clock on the 7 year reporting time period and thus determines how long a negative item can remain on your credit report. It is the Fair Credit Report Act’s Compliance/Obsolescence Date and cannot be changed.
The Federal Trade Commission Says:
“If you report information about a delinquent account that’s placed for collection, charged to profit or loss, or subject to any similar action, you must, within 90 days after you report the information, notify the CRA (credit reporting agency) of the month and the year of the commencement of the delinquency that immediately preceded your action. This will ensure the CRAs use the correct date when computing how long derogatory information can be kept in a consumer’s file.”
Read the FCRA Opinion Letter of Brinckerhoff-Johnson regarding the commencement of delinquency and how long negative information can be reported. The FTC makes it very clear, in their opinion letter that certain negative accounts can only be reported a specific amount of time, then they must be deleted.
Date of last activity (DLA) is usually on a credit report, while the date of first delinquency (DOFD) can sometimes be harder to determine on credit reports.
In order to find out the correct date an item on your credit report will be purged, simply write directly to the credit reporting agencies. Example: “Please provide me with the FCRA Compliance/Obsolescence Date and the month and year this item will be removed from my credit report.”
Send the letter directly to a customer or consumer relations department, not the dispute department. This is a request for information, not a dispute. You can also call and request the information but it is always good to get things in writing, especially if you are repairing your credit.
Remember, you must have your credit report in front of you before you call or write because the credit reporting agency will ask for a report number. Find out how to order your credit reports.
It is imperative to know DOFD because some debt collectors and even original creditors engage in illegal “Re-Aging” of accounts which leads to negative information remaining on your credit reports longer than legal time period of 7.5 years. Re-aging is a violation of the FDCPA and FCRA.
How the Date of Last Activity Can Impact Credit Scores
People are often surprised when collection accounts update; but it’s legal. If a debt collector updates the DLA to reflect an increased balance on a collection account, it indicates recent activity.
Credit scoring models consider recent activity as a potential risk factor, which can negatively impact the credit score.
Therefore, while it is necessary to update the account balance for accuracy, it’s important to note that this update may have a temporary adverse effect on credit scores.
The obligation to update the balance on a collection account to maintain accuracy can inadvertently lead to a lower credit score due to the inclusion of recent activity in credit scoring models.
More About Collection Agencies
- Settle Debt for Pennies on the Dollar
Once a debt is sold to a collection agency you have a chance to settle the debt for a lesser amount, often pennies on the dollar.
- Pay for Delete Agreement
Thinking about paying a collection account? Your credit scores may not improve unless you get the collection account deleted with a pay for delete agreement.
- How To Deal With Debt Collectors
17 Tips to Deal with Debt Collectors Like: Stay calm, stay off the phone, know your rights and request proof of debt.
- What is Debt Validation
Debt validation lets you question the validity of a debt.