Ask your question about collection accounts on your credit reports here!


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Mar 12, 2012
Civil court judgement
by: Curious

Will a civil judgement for $4000.00 on my credit report hurt my chance at getting a job?

Reply from

It could, if the employer reviews credit reports for hiring purposes.

May 26, 2012
charge off
by: toncha

On my credit report there is a charge off from the original creditor but I paid the account to a collection agency. Is there anything I can do to get the charge off erased from my credit report?

Reply from

Unfortunately, if that information is accurate (and it sounds like the debt was charged off) then it can stay there for seven years. Paying the debt off later doesn't change it. But the balance on the charged off account should be listed as zero.

Sep 16, 2012
credit report
by: Anonymous

I got a loan 12 years ago for a computer for $2990.00, I had insurance on this that I paid.
My house was broken into 2 years later and my computer was stolen. I had the police come out and reported my computer.

I then contacted the company I got the loan with, gave them the police report number, because I had insurance I was told this was all I needed to do.
10 Years later they have contacted me saying I owe $8000.00, I don't have this sort of cash and why have they contacted me now?

What can I do???

Reply from

There are so many issues here. First it sounds like you don't owe the debt because you had insurance. Secondly, even if you do owe it, it is very likely that the statute of limitations has expired for this debt. Few states have statutes of limitations that last that long.

Please read our page about using a cease and desist letter to stop a debt collector from contacting you. If you believe it applies to your situation, you can simply send a letter asking them not to contact you again. You can explain that you had insurance that paid the debt and that it's too old (if you believe that applies). Send it certified mail, return receipt requested. If they try to contact you again, talk with a consumer law attorney.

Read: How to get debt collection legal help for FREE or at little cost

Apr 02, 2013
Collections account reporting
by: Anonymous

Can a collection amount be shown as owing on a credit report after a states statute of limitation time period has elapsed, and the debt is no longer owed by state law?

Reply from

Yes - the length of time collection accounts can remain on your credit reports is 7 years and 6 months from the date you fell behind with the original creditor leading up to when the account was placed for collection. That's part of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The statute of limitations is a matter of state law and can run 4-6 years.

Jun 11, 2013
Paid report?
by: Anonymous

I have 3 seperate payments to collection agencies for medical bills that are on my report. One for 175.00, one for 174.00, and one for 81.00. All three are small and were paid as soon as they hit my report but I wasnt aware of the pay for delete at the time. Each are a year old, is there anything I can do or sample letters to have to send something to them to have them removed off my report since they are paid and were small. I have heard of goodwill, any advice to get them off.

Reply from

Sometimes when consumers dispute older debts like these that have been paid, collection agencies don't confirm them and they are deleted. It may be worth a try.

In the meantime you may want to let your elected officials in Washington know you support the Medical Debt Responsibility Act, which would require these accounts to be deleted from your credit reports when they have been paid.

Apr 25, 2014
Insurance subrogation
by: Anonymous

A pipe froze in my apartment and water leaked under the flooring. When my landlord called his insurance company to make a claim, he blamed the frozen pipe and subsequent damage on me. As a result, I am being asked by his insurance company to reimburse them. I do not have renters insurance, so the burden would be mine to pay. It's almost $2,500. I can't pay it, nor do I think I should have to, because it wasn't my fault. Letters have been sent back and forth between the insurance company and my lawyer and in the latest one, the insurance company is saying they are going to report it to the credit reporting agency. My lawyer is planning to threaten them with a possible credit defamation suit if they do so, but I'm worried about this damaging my credit. My credit already isn't great after going through a divorce and I've been trying to get it back on track. I fear this will ruin it and it will be years before I can get it back to where it is now, which isn't very good. How damaging would this be to my credit?

Reply from

A collection account will be very damaging to your credit reports. Your scores may drop significantly. It would be a good idea for you to monitor your credit reports and scores so you can see if it shows up on your credit, and how much it affects your credit. This information may be helpful if your attorney needs to sue for credit damage. You can monitor your credit score for free at

Jan 24, 2015
credit report
by: Anonymous

Hi, I have a 30 year old debt to the Illinois department of human services for a food stamp overpayment which I disputed at the time. I have never made any payments on this account. Now it has reappeared on my credit report with the date of delinquency 4/2010 is this legal?

Reply from

We doubt it. The only unpaid items that can remain on credit reports are tax liens and judgments. It is possible this may fall under that category, but it's not an issue we have come across in over 25 years of this work! We recommend you go ahead and dispute it with the credit reporting agencies reporting it. Keep good records. If it is not fixed, contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for help. Good luck!

Mar 30, 2015
apt was rejected
by: Anonymous

Have applied for an apt and was turned down because I was behind in my credit but paid everything off. It shows a zero balance all paid off. The credit bureaus just said I had delinquent accounts but did not tell them they were all paid off. Also told them I have several liens that were 10 years of older I was turned down. What can I do?

Reply from

I'm sorry we're confused. You say the credit bureau shows zero balance but then that they are not paid off. We're not sure what you mean. But if you have wrong information by law you have the opportunity to dispute them. Have you read our page on how to dispute credit report errors?

Apr 04, 2015
can I be sued?
by: Anonymous

Once a debt is on my credit reports can I still be sued?

Reply from

Whether or not a past due debt has been reported to the credit reporting agencies has no bearing on what a debt collector can and can't to try to collect the money. Although debt collectors often report past due debt to credit bureaus, collection agencies and credit bureaus are not affiliated with one another.

When you are late with a payment that you owe, the creditor to whom you owe the money will probably begin reporting your past due payment to one or more of the three national credit bureaus -- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion -- and eventually, if you do not pay what you owe, the debt is likely to be turned over to a debt collection agency. At this point, the agency will start reporting to the credit bureaus that your debt is in collections, which will be very damaging to your credit and which will lower your FICO score.

If the collector's calls and letters do not get you to pay what you owe, then the collector may sue you. Again, the fact that the debt is on your credit report has no relationship to what the collector can and can't do to collect the debt. And, if you are sued, that fact is likely to show up in your credit report as well and further damage your credit and your credit score.

If you would like to learn more about what debt collectors can and cannot do when you owe a past due debt and about your options when you are contacted by a collector, I recommend that you read our ebook, Debt Collection Answers: How to Use Debt Collection Laws to Protect Your Rights.

Apr 04, 2015
Can Old Debts Appear on My Credit Reports?
by: Amy

If I have a debt that's over 7 years old can they keep reselling it and reporting it to my report? I have 3 hospital bills from 2000 and they keep selling the account and then its re posted as a debt from the date they purchased it. The new dates on my report are showing that one of the accounts is past due as of 2011 and we have not lived there (Illinois) since 2000.

Reply from

It is not unusual for collectors to sell or buy old debts. However, collection accounts that are more than seven years and six months old (from the date you first fell behind with the original creditor ) should not appear on your credit reports. That’s true regardless of whether you paid them off or not.

In addition, collection agencies are supposed to report the original date of delinquency when they report collection accounts to the credit reporting agencies. It sounds like this is not happening in your situation.
Please read our tips for how to dispute credit report errors. It sounds like you should be able to dispute these items because they are too old, and it also sounds like they should be removed from your credit reports.

Be sure to put your disputes in writing so you have a record in case the credit reporting agencies do not correct them. If this does not solve the problem, you will want to talk to a consumer law attorney. You may have a case for credit damage.

Please keep in mind that if the statute of limitations has not expired on these debts, the collection agencies may still decide to sue you to collect. It is our understanding that the statute of limitations for most consumer debts in Indiana is ten years, so it may be the statute of limitations may have expired on these debts. We are not attorneys, though, so please don't take that as legal advice.

Jun 19, 2015
Student loan collection account
by: Anonymous

I had a student loan in 2006.the loan was defaulted when I consolidated it in 2012 and was paying to another company.i recently pulled my credit report and seen that the loan that was consolidated was still reporting on my credit as a collection account wit a balance. When I contacted the company they stated that it was a computer error,it was paid in full august 2012, And it would be updated.

It was updated as paid collection and the payment history shows charge off/collection from may 2015 as far back as June 2013. When I spoke with them about the payment history and how badly it damaged my score they told me it was nothing they could do for me. Is there anything that I can do to have the payment history/degoratory marks removed?

Reply from

It's a little hard to understand exactly what happened here and whether it is being incorrectly reported. Unfortunately we aren't quite sure whether what you are describing is accurate. Nevertheless, to protect your rights under federal law, you MUST dispute the information you believe is wrong with the credit bureaus that are reporting the mistakes. If they don't correct it, you can either talk with a consumer protection attorney to see if you may have a case for credit damage, or file a complaint with the CFPB. So we recommend you start by putting your dispute in writing to the credit bureaus. (Keep good records in case it's not corrected.)

Oct 25, 2015
Collections can't find me in their system at ALL
by: W.Trammell

A medical collection is and has been reporting a collection on my report for 5/6 years now. I have just caught this bc I tried to get a loan for a mortgage. I have never received a letter or call, and my correct address and number is on my credit report. I contacted them to get more information, because I didn't recall going to ER during this time period with out insurance. When I gave them the account number listed on credit report they couldn't find it. Then they checked with my SS# full name and bdate. Still NOTHING. They then told me that I needed to "prove" they were reporting to my credit. What do I need to do?!

Reply from

Are you in the middle of a mortgage loan application now? If so then talk with your loan officer about the best way to proceed. You probably won't be able to close the mortgage loan with an account that is listed in dispute so you want to proceed carefully.

If you haven't already found a home to buy then you have a little more time. You should file a dispute with the credit reporting agency (or agencies) reporting it. They are supposed to verify it and if they can't it must be removed.

We talk more about how to handle credit report disputes in our ebook which you can download here for free.

Apr 22, 2016
State statue of limitations to collect credit card debt
by: Anonymous

The original creditor HSBC Bank Nevada N A ITSA opened date Jul 12, 2012 was sold now CACH LLC - I owe $2391. Another collector recently contacted me by phone stating they hold the debt, my question for state of Illinois is there a statue of limitations to collect this?? Does the clock start over every time they have a different collector? How can I find out? I did attempt to settle wen I had some money, but they refused.

Reply from

You didn't state what type of debt this is. Is it a credit card? If so our understanding is that it is five years in Illinois. Different types of debts have different statutes of limitations. It does not start when a collector buys the debt. It starts when the debt becomes delinquent or the last payment is made. We go into more detail about how this works in our free ebook.

Apr 28, 2016
Collections and judgments
by: Anonymous

If I've paid off my collections and they removed all of them from my credit report, per my request, will the judgment that was filed be removed as well?

Reply from

Judgments may be reported for seven years from the date they are paid, or until the statute of limitations expires if they are unpaid. Paying them off doesn't automatically remove them but if they are more than seven years old (from the date the judgment was entered by the court) they should be removed.

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