When a debt collector reports a collection that is open and unpaid, they must also report the date of first delinquency.
The peirod from date of initial delinquency up to the current date establishes the overall period of delinquency that continues to increase with each updated reporting, or reporting by a new debt collector.
That affects scoring, similar to a creditor reporting increase in delinquency under their account from, for example, 60-late to 90-late.
Paying terminates any continued reporting as an unpaid, open collection with a balance, and thus freezes the overall period of delinquency, thus permitting the collection to begin to age in scoring effect.
No, unpaid collections do not diminish in scoring impact as the time from initial delinquency grows longer.
That only applies to paid collections.