Private student loans charged off years ago. Creditor reported to credit reporting agencies as such (at least to Transunion), but now has reported them as being OPEN and CURRENT with a $0 balance. My credit score has sunk 84 points in a month.
Is this legal? If not, what can be done?
There are a number of issues here to consider. In the state from where you sent your email the statute of limitations is four years. Meaning that the lender has four years from the time you defaulted to bring a legal action against you.
That being said, the issue of debt under the statute of limitations or time barred debt is not as clear cut as you would hope.
If your private student loan debt was in default for more than four years in your case, and you had not made a promise to pay, then you may be able to raise the issue that the debt is time barred and thus the lender can not bring a case against you.
However, the lender can certainly sue you for debt that is past the statute of limitations, you would need to raise this as a defense. If the court determined that the debt is indeed time bared then the lender would be unable to proceed with the lawsuit.
Just because a debt may be time bared does not mean that collection can’t be attempted. If the collector can get you to acknowledge the debt as legitimate or make a promise to pay it can start the clock over again and make you subject to suit.
Another trick is to re-report old debts on credit reports. A delinquent debt should not be reported for more than 7 years and 180 days from the time it last went delinquent.
I would strongly suggest that you find a consumer attorney who is licensed in your state and discuss both the issue surrounding the statute of limitations and any possible credit report discrepancies.
There are a number of issues that can impact the statute of limitation or time bared clock and before you rely on such a defense I would suggest a legal opinion to clearly understand if your debt is truly time bared.
One place to look for a consumer attorney, is here.
If you want to read more about the statute of limitations, click here.