"Bumping" a Bad Collections Item?

Submitted by The Wild Norseman on Sun, 12/16/2007 - 20:44


During a conversation my fiancee and I were having regarding our finances, she brought up a problem that she seems to be having with her past.

She has some collections items in her credit history. Unfortunately, I haven't yet been able to see her report, but she said that there's one company (maybe several) that appears to be keeping the debt current, so as to avoid the seven year statute of limitations. These debts are, in fact, older than seven years, yet still appear on her credit report.

After reading the FCRA, I thought that it's flatly against regs to keep any item longer than seven years (barring a few exceptions). However, I read another post on CreditMagic that said that if a person makes any payment whatsoever, it resets the SOL. I understand that, and I'll ask her if she's made any payments within the last seven years, which would explain why that item is still on her report.

But: can a company or debt collection agency itself take action on an account regularly, like once a year or so, to keep the debt current and constantly resetting the SOL?

Other than that, I am prepared to write a letter to whichever credit agency it is telling them to remove the item, citing the relevant FCRA.

I would write the letter, you can actually go on annualcreditreport.org and get a report from each of the credit reporting agencies, you can view them for thirty days, one other thing you can do is file a dispute or a complaint on the issue right there, so I would sit down with her, pull them up and then do it right online, you can print out your complaint so that you have it in writing that you have filed the action. They are good about acting on them, I have done it in the past, at least then you would have an answer, you can quote what you want to in the complaint. goodluck.

Mon, 12/17/2007 - 03:54 Permalink

Cracker jack is absolutely correct. Hi Norseman welcome :)
Send dispute letters to the credit bureau who has the item on them. Not necessarily all the three will contain the same items. So check with the reports. Make a list of to be disputed items and send by certified mail.

Wed, 12/19/2007 - 09:11 Permalink

Hi Laura! Thanks for the welcome!

So, to clarify: there is really no legitimate way for the CA's to keep an account active barring legal action to renew the SOL?

Wed, 12/19/2007 - 20:35 Permalink

They can keep the account alive by reporting to the bureaus. As it is your debt is validated so it can be reported in case of any missed payments. But the account stays alive if you pay. Check your SOL always before paying any old debt.

Thu, 12/20/2007 - 06:50 Permalink


There are two different SOLs.
Regarding the affirmative defense in the event of a lawsuit, this will vary from state to state, however, generally speaking, a payment will renew this SOL. Creditors and collectors are not permitted to alter this; you do by payment (or in some cases, acknowledging the debt in writing or verbally while being recorded).

Regarding credit reporting, the delinquency is supposed to drop off after the seven years; a payment does not alter this (this means it is possible to be legitimately sued for a debt that is no longer on your credit report).

Hope this helps.

Fri, 12/21/2007 - 01:34 Permalink

Thanks a lot morningstar for the clarification.

Fri, 12/21/2007 - 07:08 Permalink

Okay, so I'm still a little confused.

My Experian report has four dates listed: Date opened, reported since, date of status, and last reported. Which of those dates is the one that I need to look at as far as the seven year SOL? My Experian report also has an item which has a "creditor's statement" which says"account legally paid in full for less than full balance." This is still detrimental right? The last action on this account was in 2003. Should it still be on my report?

My Equifax report has this item in it:

Account Name: Capital One
Account Type: Revolving
Acct Number: (not pertinent)
Date opened: 08/1999
Balance: $1,525
Date reported: 08/2005
Past Due: Account Statue: Charge off
Credit limit: $0

What, if anything can I do about this one?

Thanks all of you, for your replies.

Sat, 12/22/2007 - 08:36 Permalink

It is my understanding that the Statute of Limitations is the date that you last made a payment. Everything that I have read about activity and sol states this but a statute of limitation can be frozen if legal action is taken, that is why alot of companies sue, just prior to the statute of limitations running out.

Sun, 12/23/2007 - 02:14 Permalink


the CapOne entry can remain for 7 years following the date of charge off. I do not know if in your case whether the "date reported" refers to charge off date, or the date you settled.

Thu, 12/27/2007 - 03:25 Permalink


Is it necessary that the date reported has to be any one of them? It can be a different date as well is it?

Thu, 12/27/2007 - 04:10 Permalink

To the best of my knowledge, there is no legislative requirement stating that a creditor must report negative information in a timely manner. It is conceivable that contractual agreements between the credit bureaus and creditors may state otherwise, however a consumer would likely have little to no recourse in this area (not going to be privy to such documents).

Thu, 12/27/2007 - 07:32 Permalink