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Topics addressed on August 6, 2008:
Paying a collection account after it is deleted from your credit report
If you owe a debt that's been either "charged off" or "sold" to a collection agency and it has been past seven years so it is no longer listed on your credit report as "bad" credit and you start to repay the collection agency, will it show up on your credit history that you're making payments and stay there for seven years?
The seven year period for deleting an account is measured from the first late payment on the original account. That date is called the original delinquency date. The federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act, requires collection agencies to report the original delinquency date with the collection account. It is illegal to change that date.
Because the deletion period is measured from the original delinquency date, paying a collection account will not cause it to reappear on your credit report or restart the seven-year clock.
Even when a debt can no longer be reported on a credit report, there is the aspect of whether is it is still a legally collectible debt. Most states have laws or statutes of limitations that specify a number of years, after which a debt is no longer collectible. It is my understanding that making payments within that timeframe may extend the statute of limitations on the debt. I am not an attorney, so cannot give legal advice. I suggest you check the debt collection laws that apply for your state.
Thanks for asking.
- The "Ask Experian" team