I started the process of cleaning up my credit about 6-7 years ago and I did a great job. My scores have been in the higher 700's for the last few years. All of the negatives were removed my from report and everything has been great. The other day I received a letter from a collection agency stating that they are attempting to collect on a debt from 1996. They followed up with a phone, which caught me off guard.
I am posting this because I am unsure how to address the issue. I know that debt over 7 years can't be included on our credit report however I am a bit concerned that they may insert it on my report. The debt is $180 for an old phone bill. Does anyone have any advise on the best way to handle this attempt to collect?
a debt collector can still call after the 7 years to collect a debt, but they CANNOT report it on your credit report. You can write what is called a desist of communicate letter to block all contact. Shogun or Robert probably can clarify more.
If they report their collection to a CRA, they must report the DOFD on the OC account to the CRA within 90 days of reporting the collection. FCRA 623(a)(5).
That is done under its own unique code, called the FCRA Compliance Date/Date of First Delinquency. Other reportings they make, such as date of their collection, dont affect the reporting of the DOFD.
In reporting the DOFD, they must follow rigid procedures spelled out in section 623(a)(5), which all involve getting, or attempting to get, the DOFD from the OC.
Assuming they report in compliance with those procedures, the correct DOFD should be in your file.
It then becomes the responsibility of the CRA to monitor all accounts with a reported DOFD, and to discontinue the inclusion of any reported charge-off or collection after 7 years plus 180 days from the reported DOFD. The debt collector is not party to that determination, and has no way to extend the credit report exclusion period absent the reporting of an incorrect DOFD. If they report an updated DOFD that is not in compliance with section 623(a)(5), they place themselves in serious legal peril.