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Breaking News

Hunstein Decision Not Final for All Other Circuit Courts Pending Possible R…

Steel Rose

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals is withholding issuance of the mandate in Hunstein v. Preferred Collection and Management Services, Inc.as of June 14, 2021. Therefore the Hunstein Decision is not final in all other circuit courts pending all 12 of the 11th circuit judges determining if they will rehear the case...

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The Bottom Line

Product Spotlight

CSS Product Spotlight

Henry Gardner

CSS, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise class accounts receivable management and financial software offers a broad portfolio of platforms & solutions. CSS enables companies to transition their legacy revenue & payment management systems to a modern, cognitive, centralized, cloud-based Financial Ecosystem®. CSS may be utilized to provide business financial...

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Skip Tracing Advisor

Developing a Network of Closed Sources by Ron Brown, Skip Tr…

Ron Brown

As we begin this article it is very important that the professional tracer clearly understand what constitutes a “CLOSED SOURCE”, the value of a closed source network and the obligation due to each closed source. Definition: CLOSED SOURCE… sources of information with restricted access and information available only through mutual information...

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Collection Software Roundtables

Shielding Collectors From TCPA and FDCPA Violations

Joshua Fluegel

The demands of regulators lead collection professionals to collect debt with the credo of “as little contact with the consumer as possible.” Every eliminated encounter with a consumer while the payment is still being collected is one less chance for a TCPA or FDCPA violation. For this reason many accounts...

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Feature Stories

Hunstein on Rehearing – Revisiting Article III Standing in t…

Eve Cann and Jonathan Green

On April 21, 2021, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision in Richard Hunstein v. Preferred Collection and Management Services, Inc., and potentially created a new claim under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) – ruling that a debt collector's sharing of information with a vendor is a violation...

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Collection Agency Advisor

The Secret to Excelling in Profit AND Performance

Gordon C. Beck III

To each their own. That’s what I keep telling myself when discussing with my competitors what their strategy is to run and operate a successful collection agency. Everyone’s outlook is different, but the same. Sure, everyone wants to be a top agency, that’s what everyone is supposed to say. But...

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Legal Collection Advisor

Executive Orders Impacting Collections

Michael Starzec

No, this is not a review of the 1996 thriller starring Kurt Russell, Halle Berry and Steven Seagal but it does focus on the prestige of the word “Executive.”   At hotels and sports arenas, you want the executive suite. In Illinois, at least a 1,000 corporations integrate “executive” into their...

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Collection Industry Advisor

3 Options to Offer During Tax Season

Nick Jarman

When it comes to collecting debt, tax season is without argument the most profitable season of the year. Tax season starts at the beginning of February and wraps up in early May. February generally sees the highest return and slightly tapers off each month thereafter. One issue that can ease...

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Compliance Advisor

PCI Compliance, SOC, and HITRUST

Debra J. Ciskey

With the June, 2019, disclosure of a data breach at AMCA looming large in the rearview mirror, debt collectors both large and small are scrambling to verify the security of their consumer portals and their consumer information in general. With numerous vendors and auditors serving the industry in this key...

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Derogatory remarks remain on your credit reports for about seven years

  • Written by Steel Rose

Derogatory remarks can remain on your credit reports for about seven years. It takes time to make them disappear. The remarks will have less influence on your credit scores over time — and will even fall off eventually.

Creditors, such as credit card issuers, mortgage lenders and student loan servicers, regularly send information about your accounts to the credit bureaus. That information can either positively or negatively impact your credit. Items such as late payments, charge-offs, foreclosures and hard inquiries generally have a negative impact on your credit.

Expect one of these items to impact your credit within 30 days or so after a missed payment. But that timeline varies depending on when the lender reports to the credit bureaus and how quickly the credit bureaus update your credit reports. At that point, the credit-scoring company may use the updated information to calculate a new credit score for you.

Derogatory items may stay on your credit reports for seven to 10 years or more, according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. But here’s the good news: As they age, negative items have less of an impact on your credit scores. Here’s how long you can expect derogatory marks to stay on your credit reports:

Hard inquiries 2 years
Money owed to or guaranteed by the government 7 years
Late payments 7 years
Foreclosures 7 years
Short sales 7 years
Collection accounts 7 years
Chapter 13 bankruptcies 7 years
Judgments 7 years or until the state statute of limitations expires, whichever is longer
Unpaid taxes Indefinitely, or 7 years from the last date paid
Unpaid student loans Indefinitely, or 7 years from the last date paid
Chapter 7 bankruptcies 10 years

It’s important to keep this in mind: Your debt isn’t simply erased once it falls off your credit reports. If you never paid off the debt and the creditor is within the statute of limitations, they may decide to try and collect the money. The creditor can call and send letters, sue you or get a court order to garnish your wages.

The only sure way to get rid of a debt is to pay what you owe, or at least an agreed-upon part of what you owe. If you’re looking to put your debt behind you and move on with a clean slate, contact the collectors listed on your credit report. Before making the phone call, make sure you know:

  • The debt is legally yours.
  • How much you owe the creditor.
  • What you can realistically afford to pay per month or in a lump sum.

If you negotiate a payment for less than the full amount owed, be sure to get the payment agreement in writing from the collector before you send in any payment.

Most negative items should automatically fall off your credit reports seven years from the date of your first missed payment, at which point your credit scores may start rising. But if you are otherwise using credit responsibly, your score may rebound to its starting point within three months to six years.

If a negative item on your credit report is older than seven years, you can dispute the information with the credit bureau. Ask to have it deleted from your credit report.

Positive information on your credit reports can remain there indefinitely, but it will likely be removed at some point. For example, a mortgage lender may remove a mortgage that was paid as agreed 10 years after the date of last activity.

It’s up to the lender to decide whether it reports your account information to the three credit bureaus. That includes your debt that’s been paid as agreed. You can call the lender and ask it to report the information, but it might say no. However, you can add positive information to your credit reports by using your existing credit responsibly, like paying off credit card balances each month.

You can build healthy credit over time by starting with these steps:

  • Make on-time payments. This is one of the most important factors that impacts your credit scores. If you think you can’t afford a payment, reach out to the lender right away. It may be willing to work out a payment plan and keep your account in good standing.
  • Check your credit reports. This will help you understand and track your overall financial health. Also look for errors, such as incorrect credit card balances, trade lines that aren’t yours and accounts that are incorrectly marked as delinquent.
  • Dispute and fix errors. About 20 percent of consumers have an error on at least one credit report, according to a Federal Trade Commission study. Getting an error removed may help your credit score improve.