Can a Debt Collector Change the Default Date on My Account to Report It On My Credit Report? – Elizabeth

“Dear Steve,

Got into financial trouble with ex-husband 12 years ago. Some joint accounts were not closed prior to divorce and as a result did not get paid.

I am receiving collection notices for accounts that have fallen off my credit report and over 10 years old. Can these “new” collection people report this on my credit report? If any payment is made can these companies report on my credit?

I also requesting a credit bureau investigate an issue because a company purchased a collection and started the clock from the date of their purchase instead of the original date. How can that be fixed?


Dear Elizabeth,

You can dispute the with the individual credit bureaus. Should be reported no more than 7.5 years from when the account went delinquent. If any payments were made after that, by either joint account holder it can start the clock over again.

Just because an account might no longer appear on your credit report or be outside the statute of limitations does not mean they can’t attempt collection.

I would contact the collection agency in writing by some traceable means and dispute the validity of the debt and at the same time get the credit bureaus working on it.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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