This is one of the most common questions asked in credit repair. Today we’ll walk through the major derogatory accounts found on credit reports and give you an understanding of how long each may report on our credit reports.
Statute of Limitations:
The Fair Credit Reporting Act or FCRA governs how the credit reporting agencies or CRA’s and Data Furnishers manage our information. In the FCRA there are limitations on how long items are legally allowed to report. The following data is a breakdown of the time limits by account type:
Late Payments: Although some credit reports only show a 24 month payment history, late payments remain on our credit files for 7 years from that late payment date.
Collections and Charge off Accounts: Credit accounts become collections or charge offs after they have gone 180 days past due. That 180th day of delinquency or 6th late payment is called the “last date of delinquency.” The time limit in the FCRA requires these accounts to be removed 7 years after the last date of delinquency. No other date on the credit report supersedes this.
Bankruptcies: The FCRA allows for Bankruptcies to remain on your credit report for “up to 10 years.” Typically chapter 7 Bankruptcies are removed 10 years from the file date. Chapter 13’s are typically removed after 7 years from the file date.
Tax Liens: Tax Liens are like murder cases! Much like the way you can be tried at any time for murder, there is no statute of limitation on how long a tax lien may report on your credit as long as it remains unpaid. Once you have paid them, a 7 year SOL is then applied to that account based on the released date. Two tips here: First, make sure you file the release with your courthouse so that your 7 year timer can start. Second, if they are IRS liens, are paid and were less than $25,000 total, you can use IRS Form 12277 to have them removed within 90 days.
Judgments: Judgments show up in the public records section of our report because they were approved as a valid debt by either an executed court case or by default because the consumer never showed up for their court date. These accounts can be tricky because although they have a Statue of Limitation of 7 years like collections, they may be revived at any time by the judgment holder as long as they follow the proper guidelines for doing so. That being said, the potential for them to remain indefinitely until paid is very real.