If a charge off has come off of my credit report, can a debt collector have it put back on?
The debt is past the statute of limitations.
A charge off is a statement on your credit report that the credit company has written off your debt as "bad debt". It is not the end of the world. The credit card company has the right to place it on your report if the debt is still outstanding but only for seven years under the Fair Credit Reporting act. The seven year statute of limitations on information listed on your credit report figures from the date of last activity. According to the FCR Act Section 605 a debt can remain on a credit report for 7 years and 180 days after the delinquency that caused the account to go bad. Sometimes creditors will sell their bad accounts or post information on the credit report to show an activity date that is less than 7 years. THIS IS PROHIBITED. In short, the time clock starts on the month the original delinquency started by the original account, regardless of whether the account has been sold to a collection agency, was paid at a later date, or a judgement was placed. The FTC has ruled this to be the law when it comes to time periods. If the credit reporting agencies are showing an account on your record that orginally went bad more than seven years ago, regardless of date of last activity, dispute the information and they will have to remove it. The reasoning behind this is similar to chapter 13 bankruptcy which stays on your credit for just 7 years instead of chapter 7. The courts have ruled if you did not file a bankruptcy and had several bad credit items they would strictly fall in under the chapter 13 guidelines. I ended up paying on debts that were less than 7 years old and had all the collections, judgements, and original creditors of more than 7 years removed. Even though the judgement was only 2 years old and unpaid and the collection account was only 3 years old, they were still bound to the time line of the original creditor. This regulation prevents accounts from staying on your credit forever.