Are you one of the millions of Americans with old, negative debt on your credit report? If so, you are certainly not alone. Worse still, many of these people have debt on their reports that simply should not be there. This isn’t just a reference to people who have become the victims of identity theft, either. Even valid debt can only remain on your credit report for seven years. After that, the statute of limitations has expired and the debt must be removed. Unfortunately, credit agencies know that many people are unaware of this and work to get around it.
One of the biggest tricks that creditors use to keep items on your credit beyond the statute of limitations is to sell your debt to a debt collector. These companies often use very shady tactics to try to recover money, calling at odd hours, threatening debtors, and more. They also have a habit of re-aging debt. In other words, they acquire the debt and reset the seven year statute of limitations. The good news, and the one thing that many people do not seem to realize, is that this practice is illegal.
The use of credit monitoring and credit repair software is important. Using these programs, you can easily access your credit report and look for items that are beyond their statute of limitations. The seven year period begins the first time a negative item is reported to the credit bureau. If your account has been delinquent for more than seven years, even if the debt is now held by a different company, it cannot be reported to credit bureaus. If this is happening to you, taking the time to file a dispute through the three major credit bureaus will get it removed.
Filing a dispute is easy, and with the right software you can print out letters that address the problem and point out why the debt is no longer valid. Your creditor will have thirty days to provide indisputable evidence that the statute of limitations on the original delinquent debt has not expired, or they have no choice but to remove the item. Credit repair programs charge hundreds of dollars for this service despite the fact that it is something that you can do yourself. If you are looking to repair your credit and raise your scores, taking the time to remove debt beyond the statute of limitations is an excellent place to start.