What Should I Do If a Collections Agency Calls About Old Debt?

What Should I Do If a Collections Agency Calls About Old Debt?

Your Credit Minute Show Notes:


  • 00:00                                   What’s up guys. This is Nick Suggali with Credit News Daily.
  • 00:03                                   Great question of the day today. What should I do if a collection agency calls about an old debt? This is a simple answer. Do not engage. Do not engage. Don’t have a conversation. Don’t fight. Don’t do this back-and-forth. Do nothing, okay.
  • 00:22                                   Listen, if it’s a legitimate collection agency and they’re reaching out to you, they should be able to do it in writing. And when they do something in writing, you can reply in writing. And what happens, you have a paper trail, okay.
  • 00:32                                   You’re unsure if that debt is past the statutes of limitations? You’re unsure if the collection agency can verify the debt? You want to put them through the pressure of validating everything via the Fair D- Debt Collections Practices Act? Guess what? You can’t do that over the phone, you can only do that in writing.
  • 00:47                                   So my suggestion? If you do get on the phone by mistake with them, simply say this, “Hey Mr. Debt Collector, um, I don’t know who you are, I’m not validating everything. If you need to tell me anything, please send it in writing. [inaudible 00:01:01] have my address.” Click.
  • 01:03                                   Literally, click, okay? If they don’t have that information, they’re not legitimate, okay? Do not engage, do not verify anything. Um, one of the scams of a debt collection agency is they’ll call you and they’ll pressure you to make a five dollar payment towards a debt. Otherwise, they will send you to jail.
  • 01:20                                   Number one, they can’t send you to jail, and if you do send them five dollars in over the phone, guess what? You have re-initiated or restarted the statues of limitations. You’ve got another seven years of misery with that debt collection agency.
  • 01:32                                   Also, check some of our previous vlogs, okay? We have a reference point that shows you your state by state statutes of limitations, which shows you when each of these debts could possibly expire in the state that you live in. Okay?
  • 01:44                                   Also, even if a debt is within the statutes of limitations, what’s to say the debt collector can validate it, okay? Um, have you ever heard of something called the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, probably haven’t. It’s pretty boring stuff. It’s on our website under the tab, “Credit Laws.” I would suggest reading through it or contact us to help you or assist you with this topic, okay?
  • 02:04                                   Ah, FDCPA, what it’s basically telling you is, “Hey, Mr. Debt Collector, you want money from a- a- um- ah, from a consumer? You need to be able to validate the debt. Show me um, your ability to buy debt my state. Show your license, your licensing to collect on debt in my state. Okay? Um, show me when the contract was signed, okay? Show me a copy of the contract. Show me copies of statements. Show me the bills. Show me proof of the date of last activity. If you have in fact, reported it to the credit agencies, okay?”
  • 02:37                                   Um, you know, validate that the statutes of limitation hasn’t in fact expired. Okay? So these are things you can ask for from these companies. But you should never, ever, ever engage over the phone. This is something you want to ask for via a letter, something you put in writing, something that should be sent to the debt collector. That way, you have your paper trail, you have everything dated, you can view registered letters if you don’t have a PO Box, so you know who’s signing for it.
  • 03:04                                   Um, but again, let’s get off the phone, guys. This is Nick Suggali with Credit News Daily, thank you for this amazing question. Let’s see where this one came out of. This one is out of let’s see here, we have Astoria, Queens, New York. All right guys, thank you so much. Have a great day.

Why did my credit score drop even though nothing changed?

Your Credit Minute Show Notes:


  • 00:00                                   Hey what’s up guys, Nik Tsoukales from Key Credit Repair. We are gonna go through the credit question of the day, which is, why did my credit score drop even though nothing changed? Well, I have to tell you, something did change. Uh, just things you might not realize. So the credit report, keep in mind, is constantly changing. The credit score when you’re pulling it up online, or whether a lender is pulling it up, um, is going to pull data or it’s going to be a snapshot of the data in that moment. Now keep in mind from one moment to another things can change. Okay? And let me elaborate a little bit on that, ’cause some of the things you might think of haven’t changed, but I’ll actually break down some of the things that could have.
  • 00:43                                   So, you’re going to notice here, I included a little chart here of what makes up your FICO score. Okay? So at 35 percent which is payment history, we 30 percent is amount owed or debt, 15 percent length of history, 10 percent new credit, and 10 percent credit mixed. So let me give you an example of some things that may have changed that you haven’t realized. Um, first thing is payment history. Okay? You might not have a new lay payment so you’re wondering, Nik why should my credit score change if I don’t have a new lay payment. Well maybe you’ve had a few more positive payments. That could actually cause your credit score to go up. Okay? Um, if you’ve had a recent lay payment obviously the credit score is going to go down. Okay?


  • 01:27                                   Amounts owed. This is the big one. I would say this is the biggest culprit. Um, we get people that call us all the time and they will say my credit score has dropped five thousand points, five million points, I don’t know why. I haven’t been late, I haven’t done anything wrong. And in fact they really haven’t done anything wrong, but typically what we’re seeing is this part of the credit score is being affected because of something called, uh, credit card utilization rate. The proportion of your credit card balances compared to your credit limits affect this 30 percent of your credit score.
  • 02:02                                   So let’s say, um, two months ago you pulled up your credit report and it was almost identical with the exception to the fact of, oh, with the exception to the fact that your credit card balance was 100 dollars. Okay? And when we pulled it up this time, the credit card balance was 300 dollars, and that credit limit is, is 500 dollars. Okay? Um, that utilization rate, okay, your proportion of balance compared to credit limit, um, is, has gone up considerably higher. Okay? And that will affect the 30 percent of what makes up your credit score. And obviously if, if that credit card utilization rate has dropped, this part of your credit score will benefit. Okay? So if you’ve pulled up your credit report recently or you’ve pulled up your credit score and there hasn’t been really any adverse change or new negative, uh, uh information, this is the first thing I would check out. Okay? It’s, it’s really the quickest opportunity to grab some points too. Okay?
  • 03:03                                   Um, the next thing is, length of history. Okay, the length of history for your active accounts really affects your credit score in a pretty big way. It’s 15 percent of your credit score. So let’s say you have had a couple accounts that have just dropped off, some older accounts that were closed out a decade ago and they just fell off your credit report because of the statutes of limitations. Well that could adversely affect this part of your credit score as well. Okay?
  • 03:28                                   The other thing is new credit. Let’s say if you’ve got a bunch of new, uh, credit cards recently, um, typically that will, you’ll see a small drop on your credit score. Okay? Um, probably if it just happened, you might see a quick 10 point drop in your credit score, but really over the course of 90, 120 days it should actually help your credit score pretty substantially because you’re gonna start getting on time payments on those cards. Which will positively affect the 35 percent of you credit score that’s payment history. Okay? If they’re credit cards, um, and you keep the balances at zero, it should help your credit score which is amounts owed. Um, because your credit card utilization rate, theoretically, should drop because your proportion of balance to limit has now dropped. Okay?
  • 04:16                                   Um, and then we have credit mix. This is one no one is really talking about. Okay? Let’s actually circle this. The ideal mix is real estate number one. Uh, you have installment credit number two and revolving credit number three. Revolving being things like credit cards, lines of credit, overdraft protection. Installment credit is things like student loans, care loans, car leases, um, personal loans. Okay? And real estate credit being home equity lines of credit and mortgages. Okay? So let’s say your entire credit picture has stayed the same, um, but maybe you don’t have a car loan anymore. Maybe that balance was already down to like your last payment. The last time you checked your credit report recently was closed out. Um, this 10 percent of your credit score could be affected, ’cause you no longer have that perfect mix. You no longer have any installment credit. Um, maybe you have, uh, you know length of history maybe is gonna be a little more adversely affected if that auto loan was 10 years old and it just dropped off. Okay?
  • 05:21                                   Um, so that could have an affect. Amounts owed really shouldn’t have an affect. Um, you could see an adverse affect from payment history, because now you have one less account reporting an on time payment. Okay? So there’s a little bit more than what’s, than what meets the eye with your credit score. There’s a lot that goes into it, but keep in mind the culprits typically are right here. Okay? The culprit is typically right here in amounts owed. So if you’ve seen your credit score drop or there’s been an adverse change, um, obviously if you’ve had a new late it would show up inside of payment history. If you haven’t and all of your accounts are intact, I want you to check your credit card utilization rate. Again, proportion of credit card balances to the available credit limits.
  • 06:04                                   Guys this is Nik Tsoukales with your credit minute. Check us out at keycreditrepair.com for anything credit related. If you have any credit questions you’d like me to answer, uh, I’d be happy to, uh, drum out here on my fancy new little white board. And um, thanks for checking us out guys. Have a great day. Peace.

New Credit Scoring Models Won’t Work if Lenders Ignore Them

Chances are you’ve already heard some of the rumblings regarding the way new credit scoring models work. To recap, some of the newer models exclude any medical debt that consumers owe as well as the likes of settled delinquencies and collections. Under new scoring models, tax liens and civil judgments have also changed in the ways they are reported – all for the betterment of consumers. In a perfect world, this is great news for the consumer, as individuals are likely to see a boost in their credit scores and qualify for lower interest rates on long-term financed purchases like auto and mortgage loans. As a result of these changes, credit score boosts may be enough to qualify consumers that otherwise wouldn’t have even qualified for a loan. But there’s one problem – lenders aren’t embracing them to the same degree that consumers are. In fact, some are using old formulas to determine consumer risk that don’t exclude everything that we listed above.

Chances are you’ve already heard some of the rumblings regarding the way new credit scoring models work. To recap, some of the newer models exclude any medical debt that consumers owe as well as the likes of settled delinquencies and collections. Under new scoring models, tax liens and civil judgments have also changed in the ways they are reported – all for the betterment of consumers. In a perfect world, this is great news for the consumer, as individuals are likely to see a boost in their credit scores and qualify for lower interest rates on long-term financed purchases like auto and mortgage loans.

New Credit Scoring Models Won’t Work if Lenders Ignore Them. New Credit Scoring Models Won’t Work if Lenders Ignore Them”

As a result of these changes, credit score boosts may be enough to qualify consumers that otherwise wouldn’t have even qualified for a loan.

But there’s one problem – lenders aren’t embracing them to the same degree that consumers are. In fact, some are using old formulas to determine consumer risk that don’t exclude everything that we listed above.

Why Aren’t Lenders Using New Scoring Models?

So just why aren’t the majority of lenders using the new scoring models and instead relying on old FICO scoring formulas? That’s a good question, and it’s one where the answer varies based on the lender. For instance, some lenders have stated that they’re too small and the older formulas are a better indication of potential consumer risk. Other lenders, conversely, say that they’re too big to institute changes in how they determine consumer risk and that any change this significant could be disruptive to the way that they do business. Then there are the lenders who are just simply putting off integrating such formulas.

Whatever the reason, the true loser is the consumer in all of this. In a way, lender refusal to use new credit scoring formulas discourages responsible credit behavior. Think about it: Why should a consumer be motivated to pay off a collection if a settled collection is still going to be counted against them on their credit report and credit score? The refusal of lenders to adapt to the current times and the newer scoring models could actually prevent consumers from enacting credit repair strategies.

Taking things a step further, the lender would also benefit by adopting these new scoring formulas. That’s because weighing consumers under the new scoring formulas would likely earn them new customers that may not have qualified for a loan before. New customers and more customers equal more revenue for a firm. Isn’t growing to become more profitable the goal of any business, big or small? Credit scoring is changing to become more consumer-friendly. Lenders need to be changing too. It should be a win-win for both parties involved.

Old Debt – Beware of resetting the clock

Everyone makes mistakes, but when mistakes are committed pertaining to financial decisions, the consequences have a tendency to be more far reaching. For instance, things like foreclosure, bankruptcy and old debt can stay on your credit report and impact your credit score for many years before it is

essentially erased from your record. While it’s possible to enact credit repair strategies while you wait for the clock to expire on these negatives, your score likely won’t see the boost that you’re looking for until time expires on the debt. It’s important for consumers to be aware of the statute of limitations pertaining to debt in their particular state – but it’s also just as important for consumers to be aware of a variety of no-no’s that could potentially

restart the clock on old debt, keeping it on your record for many more years. This post will take a look at several of these things to stay away from so you don’t restart the clock on old debt that is soon to expire.

How Not to Reset the Clock on Old Debt

1. Watch the Clock: There are two “clocks” you need to be aware of – the statute of limitations clock and the credit report clock. The former varies by state, is usually anywhere from three to six years and basically sets a timeframe for how long collections may be forced on a debt. The credit report clock dictates how long old debt can stay on your record, which is seven years.

2. Know the Default Date: Seven years after you’ve defaulted on a debt, it must come off your credit report. Be sure you know this date and build good credit, as your score will likely progress the closer you get to the seven year mark. Judgments are the exception, as they can stay on your report up to seven years from the filing date.

3. Be Careful with Collectors: A debt collector’s job is to get you to settle or make payments on a debt. Some try to accomplish this by any means necessary. Be careful what you say if you choose to speak with them, as just an admittance that the debt is yours can essentially tick the clock back to the start.

4. Tell Collectors to Stop: If you’re being pestered by debt collectors, it’s your right to tell them to stop. This can be an ideal way to avoid a possible slip up – just be sure not to admit the debt is yours when you contact them.

5. Be Wary of Payment Options: Many collectors will offer the option of paying off a debt for a lesser amount than what you actually owe. Be wary of paying off debt and always be sure you have confirmation that it was paid in full if you proceed with such an option.

6. Hire a Lawyer: If you ever believe you’re in the wrong, seek legal representation.

Debt Collector Suing you?

Nobody ever wants to be wrapped up in any type of a lawsuit, however if a past debt of yours has been sent to collections, then the possibility of being sued is there. That’s right, typically when an account goes to collections, the debt collector will take one of two routes based on the research he/she does on you. These are to either:


  • Regularly contact you as a means of getting you to settle the debt.
  • Take you to court.

Usually, the latter decision is made when the collector thinks they can get more money out of you that way. However, usually when a debt collector takes a consumer to court, they’ve very confident that they’ll be on the favorable side of the outcome. That’s because suing a consumer isn’t cheap – there are attorney fees and filing fees involved, which certainly can add up. In other words, taking a consumer to court isn’t a slam-dunk move that’s made – it has to make sense. first

So let’s say a debt collector thinks suing you makes sense in your case. Would you know what to do? Here’s a closer look:

A Debt Collector is Suing Me: What Now?

You just got the notice in the mail that you’re being sued for a delinquent debt. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Don’t ignore it: Ignoring the notice will only make things worse. Contrary to what many people believe, ignoring the lawsuit won’t make it stop or go away. So when the notice comes, be sure to sign it to make it known that you received it. If you ignore the lawsuit, the likely outcome is that the court will order a judgment for the debt that you owe – plus you may be required to pay any attorney fees the collector accrued. This is often completed through garnishing your wages, placing liens on any property you own or freezing your bank account until the debt is settled. We’ll say it again because we can’t downplay its importance – don’t ignore the lawsuit!
  • Lawyer up: After acknowledging the lawsuit, you need to seek legal representation. We strongly advise speaking with an attorney that specializes in the Fair Debt Practices Act so that you can get a complete and thorough understanding when it comes to your rights. It’s also worth noting that in most debt collection lawsuits, an agreement is reached outside of the courtroom that is satisfactory to both parties. But without a qualified lawyer, you’re likely headed for defeat.

Of course, we’d be remiss to mention that the best way to avoid this type of lawsuit is to stay on top of your finances, pay bills on time and don’t let your borrowing get out of hand. For those that are sued though, know that you can often reach an amicable agreement with the collector if you have the right representation.


Collection Accounts-if I pay it will be get deleted?

Outside of bankruptcy and foreclosure, arguably the biggest black eye that you can have on your credit report is a delinquent debt that went to collection accounts. These accounts are some sort of debt that you fell behind on, then just let escalate to the point where a debt collector took it over. Collection accounts can cause your credit score to take a huge hit. Worst of all, they can stay on your credit report up to seven years from the time you fell behind on payments. But if you pay off the delinquent account, it will be removed from your credit report, right?
Wrong. This is a common misconception that many people have. But regardless, it’s still crucial to settle any outstanding accounts that have gone to collections. We’ll explain why in this post.

So What Good Is Paying Off A Collection Then?

We know what you’re thinking – if settling a collection account won’t get it removed from your credit report, then what good is it to settle it? Settling is important for two reasons:

  1. It prevents you from potentially being sued by the debt collector, which can result in the court ordering wage garnishment, putting a lien on your properties or freezing your bank account until the debt is settled. Lawsuits are headaches that you don’t want to have to deal with, trust us.
  2. Settling a debt can actually help your credit score over time. That’s right, while the collection account may stay on your report for up to seven years, the account will be marked as paid. As this information on your credit report gets older – and you maintain good consumer habits – your credit score will gradually improve the closer you get to that magic seven-year mark.


Is There Anything I Can Do To Get It Removed?

Yes, but you must know that in the end it’s still likely that the collection account – even if it’s paid – remains on your credit report. If you really want to do your due diligence and kick the tires on every option to get collection accounts removed, contact a qualified credit repair company to help you in your cause. These sorts of companies have the know-how and expertise to work with both the credit bureaus and creditors themselves to permanently remove paid delinquent accounts – and well before the seven-year removal period.


The best way to have collections removed from your credit report is to make sure that you never have an account go to collections in the first place. Do this by making smart borrowing decisions, paying all of your bills on time and practicing good debt and financial management techniques.


Earlier this month, “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver made television history when he orchestrated the largest one-time giveaway in history on his HBO program. But he didn’t give away a car to everyone in his studio audience, a la Oprah Winfrey from back in 2004, a stunt which gave away an estimated $8 million in prizes. No, instead Oliver did something a bit more unique – he forgave about $15 million in total debt from about 9,000 consumers. It was debt that Oliver bought for about $60,000 – less than half a cent per dollar – after he started his own debt buying company. But as you might imagine, Oliver has no interest in becoming a debt buyer, the giveaway was really the culmination of a scathing takedown on debt buyers and how unregulated the practice is – especially when many debt buyers are attempting to recoup significant medical debt, debt that people need to either take on or risk death in some cases.

What is Debt Buying (and Why is it Scary)?

It’s estimated that Americans owe a total of about $12 trillion in debt, $435 million of which is considered to be “seriously delinquent,” or 90 days or more past its due date. Such debt can also take a toll on one’s credit score. When a lender has “given up” to a certain extent on collecting debt, it has become common for them to sell it off at an extremely reduced rate to a debt buying company. This debt buyer can then go after the consumer in an effort to recoup the total amount owed, as they now have access to consumer names, social security numbers, phone numbers and other personal information.

Debt buyers are unlike a collection agency because they’re not working for a lender – they own the debt outright, and sometimes the lengths at which they’ll go to collect are extreme and possibly illegal. For instance, they’ll often harass people at home or at work, threaten violence or even contact their bosses at their places of employment.

And if they can’t get the debt through intimidation, they’ll file a lawsuit. In fact, in some American cities, debt buyers file more lawsuits than any other type of plaintiff.

As Oliver highlighted in “Last Week Tonight,” debt buying is a sleazy business. But what really makes it scary is how unregulated it is. In many U.S. states, for example, anyone can become a debt buyer. Oliver himself knows this because he spent $50 to create CARP, a debt buying company based in Mississippi, in order to buy the $15 million in medical debt that he forgave on his show.

Oliver forgave the debt that he acquired through CARP, but he’s probably the only debt buyer that has done so. But here’s to hoping his stunt on “Last Week Tonight” opened the eyes of policymakers that debt buying needs some significant reform.

For one reason or another, things happen. And when circumstances affecting one’s financial situation arise, consumers may find it difficult to keep up on things like credit card bills, phone bills and more. If there’s an issue making ends meet, a consumer may stop paying a certain bill. While this is never advised, like we said, things happen. After the creditor realizes payments are not being made, they’ll contact the consumer to let them know, but eventually, after three to six months of inactivity, the debt may be turned over to a collection agency. At this point, the credit bureaus will also be notified and you’ll likely see your credit score take a hit.

But you’re not done once the debt goes to collections. No, it’s only just begun – and things can get messy and confusing. With that said, this post will cover what to expect when a debt goes to collections:

What to Expect When a Debt Goes to Collections

  • Assigned vs. sold debts: Your debt is either assigned or purchased. When it’s assigned, the debt is simply turned over to collections with a contract to collect. When it’s purchased, the creditor has sold the debt outright to a collection company. No matter the situation, the collection company has motivation to collect, as they’re paid for results. For instance, agencies with assigned debts can keep up to 60 percent of what they collect. And there’s certainly motivation for an agency to collect if they’ve purchased the debt.
  • They work fast: As soon as a debt is passed on to a collections agency, you can expect to be hearing from them. Generally speaking, the earlier contact can be made, the better the likelihood of settling or collecting.
  • Collection agents can be ruthless: There’s a lot at stake when it comes to collecting debt, so an agent may revert to extensive – and possibly illegal – tactics as a way of collecting it. Make sure you know your rights when it comes to this, as you do have rights as a consumer. If collection agencies are breaking the law, they may be punished.
  • Assigned debts can be tricky: In the case of assigned debts, the collection agency is still taking barking orders from the creditor. So as they work to recoup what is owed, agencies can’t do anything without first checking with the creditor – they’re essentially just the middle man in things. For instance, an agency can’t sue you without the creditor’s authorization. Similarly, if you settle with an agency for less than what is really owed, nothing can be set in stone until the creditor agrees to the terms.
  • Negotiating: In most cases, you may be able to settle with an agency to repay less than the amount that is actually owed.

Not Collectible StatusWhat is “Not Collectible Status? One way or the other, the IRS is going to get the money that you owe it. If you owe taxes, preferably, the IRS will receive this payment during tax season following the completion and submission of your annual tax return. But for some people that either owe taxes, have fallen behind on taxes or have just flat-out stopped filing tax returns, the fact is that they may not have the financial means to keep up with what they owe to the IRS. If the IRS finds out that they have no chance of collecting what is rightfully owed to them from a delinquent taxpayer, than a particular individual is marked “CNC,” or “currently not collectible status.” This post will take a closer look at how this designation works.

Not Collectible Status : CNC 101: The Basics

As we noted in the opening, the IRS is going to know if you fall behind paying taxes or filing your tax returns – and it is going to come after you for it, either via mailed notices, phone calls or home visits until you give them what you owe. But if all this fails, it’ll likely enforce collection. This is done by garnishing your salary, taking control of your bank accounts and/or selling off other properties or assets you own.

However, if you’re able to prove to the IRS that their actions through enforced collection would present an “economic hardship,” then the IRS will likely place a hold on your status by identifying you as “currently not collectible.” Be warned though that achieving this status is a process, and what you may perceive to be an economic hardship the IRS may merely conclude is just an inconvenience – so it’s a bit of a process to achieve CNC designation and, ultimately, the IRS has the final say.

CNC Payment Process

Like we’ve been saying, sooner or later the IRS gets what its wants – so don’t think that CNC status is the end to your tax problems. It’s a compromise on behalf of the IRS – no tax is forgiven and you’ll still certainly be subject to penalties that you’ve accrued by failing to pay your taxes or failure to file the proper documentation.

So, just how does the IRS get its money? There are a few ways:

  • Follow-up date: In some cases, the IRS may designate a follow-up date on your CNC status, meaning that they reopen it and send it back to collections to start the process again.
  • Automatic re-opening: Should you fail to file a tax return or continue to let back taxes accrue, the IRS can re-open your case for collection. It can also re-open your case if it’s found that your financial situation has changed and you’re now better able to pay.
  • Refund repayment: Many CNC cases are also resolved by arranging that future tax refunds that you’re owed go toward paying unpaid taxes.

The important thing to remember when it comes to CNC, is that the “C” stands for “currently” – not “permanently.” And one way or the other, the IRS will get the money you owe it. If anything, CNC status should serve as a much-needed wakeup call to the particular individual to get their taxes in order, to get their finances in order and to make good with the IRS.

Negative Accounts – Can They Reappear On Your Report After Removal?

Erroneous entries on your credit report can drag your score down. And, that is why federal law requires that debts be either validated or removed when they are challenged. But, can the debt come back to haunt you after you’ve gotten it removed? The answer is that it depends on why and how the account was deleted in the first place.

The one reason a debt can come back.

If a creditor fails to validate a debt within 30 days, it is removed. But, in certain electronic dispute processes, there is an exemption that can allow an account to be put back on your report without notice. In these cases, if the lender researches and finds that the account information is accurate, the account can be put back on your credit report. However, there are processes that can protect you from having this happen.

Debts that must stay deleted.

Accounts that are deleted through a dispute that specifically requests permanent removal protect you against those accounts coming back. In processing over 14,000 removals, Key Credit Repair has not yet seen a single item re-instated.

But, what about a collection agency that suddenly contacts you about a debt that you know has been rightfully removed? Don’t let them bully you into paying a debt that you don’t owe, especially if it was removed for any of the following reasons:

The debt is too old. Most records fall off your credit report after seven years. If something comes off your credit report because of age, do not respond to creditors trying to collect the debt. It cannot be added back without new action because it has passed the deadline for removal.

It isn’t yours. If the debt was erroneously put on your credit report, it cannot be readded. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, it is against the law for collection agencies to report debt that they know is inaccurate.

It’s a duplicate. Sometimes, a debt will show up more than once on your credit report. Once you have shown that the debt is a duplicate, the entry should be removed and should not be added back.

When you are in the process of repairing your credit, check your credit report regularly to ensure that it is up to date. You can get one report free per year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies, as well as free access to limited versions of your credit report through sites like CreditKarma. By knowing what can and cannot be put back on your report, you can protect your credit and your good name. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you restore your credit and enjoy the opportunities you deserve.