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Charged off account bought by collection agency

Hi, A credit card account was charged off almost 7 years ago and was bought by a collection agency just before the 7 year mark. I understand that although the account was bought by a collection agency, it is illegal for these accounts to appear on my credit report after 7 years. My question is, even if I dispute this item with the credit bereaus after 7 years to have it removed, what stops the collection agency from reporting it again making the problem start all over again? Doesn’t it become a revolving door? Dispute, delete, dispute, delete, over and over again. Thank you so much.

Brooklyn, New York

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  • Willie

    Good advice.the debt never goes away.

  • Newportforever

    I live in California.  What is the statute of limitations here for unpaid/collection items staying on my credit report?  Is it 7.5 years also?

    Also, when you say “Date first reported” does that mean the first time it was reported as late or as a charge off or what.

    Thanks Steve.  Your site is the best!

    • Steve Rhode

      The clock starts ticking on the date it was first reported negatively.

      I think the applicable section is this one but that’s just a best guess. You’d need to get specific advice from a California attorney.

      Remember that the statute of limitations only defines how long you can be sued for that debt. It may be attempted to be collected on forever.

      The credit report standard is for all credit report items. It is 7.5 years from the time it defaulted.

  • Steve Rhode


    It should not be reported for longer than 7.5 years after the date it was first reported as delinquent. Of course, some collectors and debt buyers may play tricks and fudge the start date. You’ll have to dispute it.

    Remember that just because it is not on the credit report that does not mean it isn’t collectible. It might be outside of the statute of limitations to sue you over but collectors can try to collect forever.

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