Can Old Debt Be Reported

Can a debt collector put an old debt-- over 7 years old -- back on your credit report.

Reply from

No. Collection accounts may only be reported for seven years and six months from the date you first fell behind with the original creditor. Whether paid or not, the collection account be dropped after that time period. However, if they creditor or collector sues you and gets a judgment against you, that judgment may be reported separately with a new reporting period.

If a collector is manipulating the dates on an account so it appears more recent than it is, or if it is reporting the account longer than allowed by law, get a free consultation with a consumer law attorney as soon as possible. The collector may be breaking multiple laws by doing so.

Comments for Can Old Debt Be Reported

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Dec 19, 2011
old debt being reported
by: stephanie

Thank you for asking this question and thank you for answering the question. Just had one reported on credit reported this month,that went back to a 1996 loan.And the date that I first fell behind on the payment was July of 1998. It really helped to know this.

Stephanie- You're welcome. A collection account from 1996 or 1998 should be long gone from your credit reports!

Jan 13, 2012
Old debts die hard
by: Todd

I have a 7k debt (loan and penalties) from a non accredited bible college that is separated by Church and State that dates back to 1993. They quit contacting me in 1994 when I never paid it, but kept adding interest until 1997. Now all of the sudden they are sending me letters and notices expecting me to pay it back after 18 years...crazy. Shouldn't this have been written off years ago? I doubt they could even sell it considering how old it is. Not to mention the fact that I don't think normal business and debt rules apply to a church/bible college that, at the time, considered itself separate from normal state laws. Anyone have for me feedback on this?

Reply from

Was this a federal student loan or a private student loan? If the latter, then the statute of limitations should apply. There is no statute of limitations for federal student loans. You may want to go ahead and talk with a
consumer law attorney for advice if they threaten any kind of legal action.

Jan 16, 2012
Old Debts die Hard...reply
by: Anonymous

It wasn't a loan at all. I never signed papers for a loan or anything, it was a pay when you can deal. From time to time they would inform us on what our outstanding balance was.I was never loaned any money in any way to pay for my schooling there.

Jan 20, 2012
old debts
by: Anonymous

i have been sent a debt which i did not know about after 11 years to do with a bank account will i still have to pay this?

Reply from

Please see the answer on this page to Karen May and review that page as well.

Jan 25, 2012
To old to be collected
by: Anonymous

Thank you for this question and answer as well. My husband was just recently contacted by letter from a debt collector on a debt that was last paid on in 1994, we are now in 2012. I laughed at this and wished them luck on collecting the debt. Though I thought there was a 7 year limit on a credit debt I still had to confirm that. Thank You.

Reply from

The statute of limitations and the time period debts can be reported are two different time frames. Nevetheless, a debt that hasn't been paid since 1994 should not be on his credit reports and is very likely outside the statute of limitations (as long as there is no judgment.) It's simply too old.

Feb 13, 2012
long outstanding debt
by: Anonymous

I've just been contacted by debt collectors for a credit as far back as 2006, pls advice

Reply from

Please see our answer to Karen May on this page. The same answer applies.

Feb 16, 2012
by: Anonymous

I just received a 1099-C cancellation of debt from a credit card that wasn't paid since 2004. Am I supposed to include this as income on my taxes? I still can't pay it.

Reply from

Yes, you are expected to include it in your income. However, you may be able to avoid paying taxes on all or part of that "income" if you qualify for an exclusion or exception.

Read: 1099-C In the Mail? How to Avoid Taxes on Cancelled Debt

Feb 24, 2012
debt that nine years old
by: Karen May

I had a sams C.C back in 2003 when my granddaughter was born, I used it to pay for christmas. I think I spent 150.00 to 200.00 on it. I paid on it and after time went by, the bills stop and life being go go go I never stop to think about it.

Until about 6 months ago, I got a letter in the mail saying they wanted 625.00. The thing about that I don't own that much and My # never change until about a year, year and half ago and I have lived in the same house for 16 years.

I called and talk to them and told them this and also told them that I have never had any thing on my credit before. Now I got a letter that they will take 375.00 and that currently, no attorney has reviewed my account and I need to pay with in 30 days or this office will assume this debt is valid. this is 9yrs old and Sams stop sending the bills, not me.

Reply from


Depending on what state you live in, this debt may be too old to effectively collect. It may be statute of limitations: find out first before you pay it.

Jun 11, 2014
Old Credit Card debt
by: Anonymous

I was recently called on a private line at work by a collection agency who used my past married name stating they were calling to collect on a 2001 Capital One credit card for the total of $801.00. After 13 years, I simply don't remember this account or even if I had a Capital One card!

My ex had filed for Bankruptcy in 2002 and this collection company said the account was part of the bankruptcy which was dissolved 2006. This collection company said that the statue of limitations never ends and that I am legally responsible for repayment.

He was very rude and refused to answer many of my questions. I lived in Idaho from 2000-2007. I asked for a copy of the contract and he said his computer was down. If this is true, and this account was in the Bankruptcy, can the third party collection agency pursue me after the 2006 dissolvement of the Bankruptcy. I believe Idaho's SOL is 5 years? Thank you for your time.

Reply from

It would be extremely rare for a consumer credit card debt to be subject to a statute of limitations that long. (In most states it is 4-6 years.)

But given that this "collector" told you that it never expires (which simply isn't true for credit card debts), you may either be dealing with a scammer or a rogue debt buyer.

Please don't do anything until you have read our ebook which you can download for free here. It will help you understand your rights.

Oct 30, 2014
old cc debt - can collection still be reported?
by: Anonymous - RH

I have 3 credit cards I defaulted on back in 2007 due to loss of employment. (I would have to look back to see exactly when). They have all been written off by original lender (BOA & Chase) but when I pulled my credit report I noticed all these collection accounts that all look new that have been renewed several times & it looks at if I have 9 trade lines in default when in fact it was 3 back from 2007.

I haven't even heard a peep from any of these people until tonight. There was a message from yet another company not listed on the credit report calling about the old chase account that had been purchased by this company.

Is there anything I can do to stop them from reporting over and over as new debt? And if I reach out the the credit reporting agency to report it what does it fall under? Fraud? I just don't know what to do. Please help. This is hurting my ability to work in my field of accounting.

Reply from

It would be helpful to know when you defaulted. Collection accounts may be reported for seven years plus 180 days from the the date you first fell behind with the original lender. If the credit cards are listed on your accounts with a charge off date, then these collection accounts may be reported roughly seven years from that charge off date. (Most credit cards are charged off six months after a consumer defaults.)

If your credit reports don't list the charge offs for those credit cards, then it's likely they are too old to be reported and therefore the collection accounts are likely too old to be reported as well.

Dispute them in writing with the credit reporting agencies. If they are confirmed as correct, then it is possible the collection agencies don't have accurate records and you may need to file a complaint with the CFPB or get a consumer law attorney involved. Read: href="">how to dispute credit report and collection account mistakes.

As far as the collection agency that contacted you goes, you need to check into whether the href="">statute of limitations has expired.

Mar 20, 2015
10yr broken apartment lease
by: Anonymous

Broke apartment lease 10yrs ago will it still show today.

Reply from

Unless they obtained a court judgment against you for the debt it should not be on your credit reports at this late date.

Oct 07, 2015
cc debt
by: Anonymous

I had capital one card in 2006. I lost job and couldn't make payments. Was on my credit report but has dropped off because was 9 years ago. They sent me a pre-approved letter I did and was approved. Haven't received card yet but was wondering can they add that old bill to my new bill?

Reply from

No, not unless you agree to that and it sounds like the statutes of limitations have long ago expired on this debt. But just because you got a preapproved offer you may not have get the card. They may discover the unpaid debt and if so, may reject the application.

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