The 7-Year Issue: Debt Collectors, Original Delinquency Dates, and Your Credit Report

In this profession, we deal with many debt-buyer cases where the original creditor has very limited involvement. Many debt buyers purchase old debts where the original creditor fails to provide original account statements or provide accurate information regarding previous payments made by the consumer. When it comes to your credit report, you want to be sure that any information a debt buyer is reporting is based on accurate information from the original creditor.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that the debt collector use the date of delinquency used by the original creditor, if the creditor reported a date to a CRA. In the event that the original creditor failed to report an original delinquency date, then FCRA requires that the collector establish and follow reasonable procedures to obtain the date of delinquency from the creditor or from a reliable source of such information.

If following such procedures does not yield the collector a date of initial delinquency, then the furnisher must establish and follow reasonable procedures to ensure that the date reported precedes the date on which the account was placed for collection, charged to profit or loss, or subjected to any similar action.

Although a violation of this provision of FCRA would not entitle a consumer to private right of action, there may be a violation of the FDCPA if a collector misrepresents the legal status of the alleged debt at issue. If you believe a debt older than 7 years is appearing on your credit report and the collector has misrepresented its legal status by indicating that it is not beyond the statute of limitations, contact an attorney with The Langel Firm today.

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