- April 1971: Congress passes the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA);
- September 30, 1996: Congress amends the 1971 FCRA;
- September 30, 1997: The amended FCRA becomes effective (except the running of reporting period which becomes effective in 97)
- December 29, 1997: The Running of the Reporting Period becomes effective (455 days after Sep 30, 96)
Running of Reporting Period - Section 605 [15 U.S.C. § 1681c]
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.
Can the Running of the Reporting Period be extended?
Prior to 1996, any account activity extended the reporting period so creditors and collectors took advantage of this loophole to keep negative items on a consumer's report for many years. In order to eliminate this loophole, Congress amended the FCRA in 96 and firmly established a date from which the 7 1/2 year period begins as the month/year of delinquency (last missed payment).
Therefore, whether the 71/2 -year period has expired or not, the running of the reporting period cannot be adjusted just because one of the following events or actions occur:
- Creditor sells or transfers the debt;
- You respond to a post-charge off collection effort by making a payment or signing a payment agreement;
- You dispute the account or item with a credit reporting agency (CRA).
How long do the credit bureaus keep my credit information?
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 years from the date of original delinquency;
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