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JC&MELI asked in Business & FinanceCredit · 1 decade ago

Need Credit Report Help?

I have looked at my credit report and there is a collection agency on here. For a sell phone that i have had with my mother 7 years ago. I was not able to pay the bill. But it has never showed on my credit report until this year. What is the limit that a company has to collect there money before it become illegal. how would i go about fighting the charges on my report

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The time limit to seek legal action to collect is determined by each state. Most states have an average time limit (statute of limitations) of four to five years.

    You can find your states SOL at the following:

    If the debt is "time barred" meaning beyond your states SOL to seek legal action, simply send them a letter certified mail/return receipt stating the debt is time barred and you will use that as your defense and to stop hassling you.

    Here is a sample you can use (fill in the blanks)

    To Whom It May Concern

    This letter comes in response to your [letter dated xx-xx-20xx] (copy enclosed) or [phone call from xx-xx-20xx], concerning the collection of the above referenced account.

    First, I want to inform you that I am well aware of my rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and applicable State laws. Having said this, I hope to save both of us a great deal of time by informing you that I formally dispute the validity of this debt. In addition, I am aware that the time period limiting legal actions to enforce this type of debt in (insert your state or the state in which the contract was signed) has expired. Furthermore, I am aware that any attempt to bring an action in court that is time-barred may result in sanctions for filing a frivolous claim.

    As of today, I consider this matter closed and demand that your agency and affiliates immediately cease and desist contact with me regarding this matter except to advise me that your debt collection efforts are being terminated. Further communication attempts of any form or substance are prohibited by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 USC 1692a, et seq. I plan to report any such violations to my State Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission and, if necessary, to take whatever legal action is necessary to protect myself.

    Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.


    Your Name

    Also note that the 7 year time period mentioned by others concerns the time limit for the debt to be reported on ones credit report, NOT the time frame for legal action. (see source)

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  • 1 decade ago

    The collection agency can try to collect forever. However, the past due balance can only be reported for a little over seven years from the point it went past due. Check the "Last Activity" date on the report associated with that bill. If it is over seven years ago, you can dispute the report with the credit bureau and have it taken off. If it is, say, last year, you can dispute the validity of the last activity date and the credit bureau will be forced to investigate and ensure that the date is correct (which, if you haven't done anything with the bill is obviously incorrect). If the last activity date is incorrect, the correct one will have to be reported and then we go back to the seven year time frame.

    Lastly, there is also a statute of limitations on how long the credit collector can try to obtain a court judgment. Call you attorney general's office (most have an 800 number) and find out what this is. This also should date from the last activity date. If you are beyond this date and the agency tries to sue you for a judgment, show up in court and argue that the statute of limitations has expired and the agency no longer has a legal right to obtain a judgment. If you do not show up, the judge will not check dates and will issue a default judgment (it is up to you to defend, not the court). This is harder to get rid of then just not getting a judgment against yourself.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The appearance of the charge on your report does not mean that they are trying to collect, or even that the debt now exists. It means only that the debt existed at some time in the past.

    Wait until 90 months (7 and 1/2 years) old after the last activity (either whenever you last paid, whenever the last charge on the account was, or whenever the first bill that you did not pay was due, whichever of these is latest). Then, write to the credit reporting agency by certified mail, return receipt requesting, stating that you "dispute" the entry on the grounds that the debt is too old to be included.

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  • CatDad
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Defaulted accounts can stay on your credit reports for 7 years beginning with the date of default....not the date that the collection agency bought your account. This 7 year time period can never be restarted regardless of how many collection agencies get the account. People always confuse this time period with the statute of limitations, which can be reset.


    If you have debt that you believe is being reported past the 7 year allowable time frame, then you need to dispute this directly with the credit bureaus and NOT the collection agencies.

    For each item in dispute, send the credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian) a letter via Certified Mail. Include a photocopy of your driver's license and social security card...If you don't include these, they may write back requesting them, which would slow the process down by several weeks. For each negative item in dispute, write a separate letter and simply include the phrase:

    Per the Fair Credit Reporting Act, I am requesting

    - validation that this debt is being reporting within the 7-year time frame as allowed under the Fair Credit Reporting Act

    - validation of the original Date of First Delinquency for this debt

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  • ?
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    That varies by state. Since it just showed up means the collection agency is going to attempt to collect now.

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