I'm a CPA, and I've seen a couple things that bend the general rule.
Some places like the Federal Student Loan program, will re-classify an older school loan, ending in "A", and call it "B". Not only has the older debt been renewed another 7 years, it now includes interest and penalty.
I also had a client that had many smaller medical bills on her report. I urged her to pay them, some through a collection agency... Wouldn't you know it - another collection agency smelled blood in the water, and tried to collect money owed on a furniture loan - that was older than 7 years and not even on the Equifax report!
Long story short, pay what you can, esp. if a small amount merits its own row or listing. The only sure way to make stuff go away is by paying, not waiting for creditors to give up!