Anonymous asked in Business & FinanceCredit · 1 decade ago

Can a collection agency put negative marks on your credit report seven years after the origination of the debt

I have a medical bill from February 2000 that I considered at the time, and still consider, to be illegitimate. I didn't pay it.

In 2004 it was sold to a collection agency.

No negative mark was ever made on my credit report from the medical facility, and now that seven years have passed and they no longer claim the debt, I presume no negative mark can be made by them.

But what about the collection agency? Does the fact that they purchased the account in 2004 post-date the debt? Or does the original statute of limitations still apply?

11 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Oh yes they can, and they will and they do. At least they did to us.

  • 1 decade ago

    Actually, there are some very bad answers here.

    Legally, debts remain on your credit report 7 years from FIRST DATE OF DELINQUENCY. For example, if you became delinquent 30-120 days after due... that would be the start date of 7 years.

    It's standard that some of these reported dates are off just because of the time it takes to report them to a credit agency. You should expect standard delinquencies to remain 7.5 years after first delinquent. However, if something is reported on your credit report for over 7.5 years from FIRST DATE OF DELINQUENCY it is a mistake.

    Dispute it. If that doesn't work, get a letter from the company that reported the delinquency that includes the FIRST DATE OF DELINQUENCY and send this to the credit reporting agencies so they have to correct it. If the account was turned over to another company they can not restart the time.

    BTW... just because the debt is off your credit report doesn't mean it isn't still owed. The debt is owed until paid no matter how many years pass... however, if the statute of limitations has run out in your state for a judgement against you the owners of the debt really have no teeth to make you pay it.

    Good luck!

  • Steveo
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Slimick is mostly right. However the statute of limitation on a debt is different from when it shows up on your credit report. The original debt cannot be collected when the date of the last action on the account, to the current date is more than the statute of limitations for that state where you reside. There is no federal statute of limitations.

    The credit reporting agencies are different. If you legally still owe on the original debt, then that information can be still on your record. Since this is an open account, and if you didn't pay since 2000, it is either still open, or it's a done deal. Check the website below for your state and then decide what to do.

  • 1 decade ago

    The original statute should still apply. I would contact the current collection agency and ask them for proof of the debt ie, signature showing acceptance of financial responsibility 9 times out of 10, they will not have it because they purchased the debt. If they can't show you proof of the debt tell them to cease contacting you, and report it to your credit bureaus. If they do show you the debt is valid contact the original debtor the hospital, and either negotiate with their hardship department to reduce the debt or accept it as a write off. Here is an example letter:

    To be sent within 30 days of receipt of letter from collection agency if you dispute the debt)


    Certified mail, return receipt requested

    Collections, Inc.

    Any town, USA

    Re: Jane Doe

    Account Number __________________

    Dear Sir or Madam:

    On [ date ], I received a letter from you stating I owed $3,000 for medical debts with Fix It Hospital. I dispute that I owe this debt. I gave the hospital medical coupons. Please investigate this matter, and stop all efforts to collect this debt until you provide me with verification.



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  • CatDad
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Okay...there is some REALLY bad advise here...Here's the correct answer: Defaulted debt can at most be reported for seven years on your credit report...beginning at the original default date....The clock cannot under any circumstances be re-started for this seven year reporting cycle....Making a payment at a later date or a collection agency buying the account will NOT re-start the seven year cycle..

    The Fair Credit Reporting Act specifies that seven years is the max amount of time to be punished with negative entries on a credit report.....To re-start/re-age old defaulted debt would mean that the same negative info could be basically reported indefinitely on your credit report....It can't....If any firm is trying to re-age this debt/re-start the seven year cycle, you need to dispute this with the credit bureaus...stating that this is a Fair Credit Reporting Act Violation.

    Note: the statue of limitations is a totally different concept than the credit reporting cycle. The SOL refers to the amount of time legal action can be taken against you.....This CAN be re-set with recent payments.

  • 1 decade ago

    The statue of limitation is 7 years, if it shows up on your report, dispute it. HOWEVER, if you at any time admit to this debt to the collection agency, it could reopen the debt so to speak and begin the 7 year cycle anew with them being the person you owe the debt to and not the hospital. Keep checking your report. I had one removed by Experian but the same one appeared on TransUnion and they said it was valid and would not remove it, even though it's 8 years old now.

    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    In MN, at least, each time the credit agency sends you a bill or notice of collection, the statute of limitations is renewed - in other words, there is no statute of limitations on a debt in collections. unless the credit company decides that it is a waste of time and effort to keep trying to collect, the debt may remain active.

    perhaps you should try to deal with the hospital/medical agency and get them to forgive the debt.

  • Jo
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    depends on state, some states have uncollected data for ten years , get a copy of your credit report and see whats on it, if there are negative remarks you need to dispute them to the agency

  • ssmesq
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    If you replied to the collection agency, it can be considered to make the debt active again, therefore starting the clock.

  • 1 decade ago

    to the best of my knowledge the statue of limitations

    would protect you.

    a collection agency will purchase accounts for pennies

    on the dollar and try and collect.

    i am pretty sure i am right, you owed the money to

    the medical people and not the collection agency.

    for complete peace of mine contact an attorney.

  • 1 decade ago

    they can put negative remarks on your report and it can stay on there up to seven years, but after the seven years you should be able to start over

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