As per the FCRA fair credit reporting act here is the actual answer
The credit bureaus keep your personal credit history for periods between 7 and 10 years:
Unpaid Tax Lien - Indefinitely
Chapter 7 Bankruptcies - 10 years from date filed.
Public Records - 7 years from the date of payment;
Closed or Inactive Accounts - 10 years from the date of last activity;
Derogatory Accounts - 7 1/2 years from the date of original delinquency;
As of December 29, 1997 the reporting period runs 7 ½ years (7 years plus 180 days) from the date (month and year) of the last delinquency (known as "last missed payment:).
So, regardless of how long a creditor waits to charge off, sell or transfer a debt, they must report the true and correct "delinquent or last missed payment" date (month and year) that preceded the creditor's action.
3. Example after Dec 29, 1997:
A payment was due on January 10, 2000 but, you failed to make that payment and never made another payment. The Creditor waits until August 2000 to take action (charge off, send to collections, sell/transfer debt, etc.) on the debt.
The 180 day count began on January 2000, (your last missed payment month) and runs until July 2000 at which time the seven (7) year reporting period begins and runs until July 2007.
There are certain exceptions: (1) Information about criminal convictions may be reported without any time limitation. Bankruptcy information may be reported for 10 years; (2) Information reported in response to an application for a job with a salary of more than $75,000 has no time limit; (3) Information reported because of an application for more than $150,000 worth of credit or life insurance has no time limit; (4) Information about a lawsuit or an unpaid judgment against you can be reported for seven years or until the statute of limitations runs out, whichever is longer. NOTE: what they mean is your state SOL. Some states report for up to 20 years and can renew the report.
Also making a payment will NOT reset the SOL on your credit report, it will however re-set the statutes of your state.