What to do if a collection agency has posted some old accounts as new accounts which has broughtdown my credit scores?

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What to do if a collection agency has posted some old accounts as new accounts which has broughtdown my credit scores?

Asked on July 24, 2011 Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

This is known as "re-aging" a debt. This occurs when a collection agency tradeline on your credit report is reporting a newer one than your actual original creditor tradeline. This allows that negative information to remain on your credit report for longer than permitted by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

If you think  that this has happened to you check the tradeline of the original creditor for the debt (i.e. when the debt first went delinquent). You will either see a date of last activity (DOLA) or a removal date. If their DOLA does not match the original creditors, or if their removal date is more than 7 years from the true DOLA, your debt has been re-aged.

Contact the collection agency in writing and tell them that re-aging a debt is against FCRA guidelines and that they have 15 days to remove their illegal tradeline from your credit report  - do not send a copy of your credit report (it's best to send the letter certified mail).

If the collection agency does not remove their tradeline, send letters to each of the credit reporting agencies that are reporting the re-aged DOLA. Inform them that the DOLA has been illegally re-aged which is in violation of the FCRA. Show when the date the debt went delinquent with the original creditor and the date that the collection agency shows do not match up. Make the collection reporting agencies aware that you attempted to rectify this with the collection agency but they would not fix the tradeline.

The credit reporting agencies will conduct an investigation into the correct DOLA of the debt and any illegal actions on the part of the collection agency. If the reporting agencies do not remove the re-aged tradeline, write another letter demanding that they make the deletion and that their willful non-compliance will result in your filing complaints with both the Federal Trade Commission and your Attorney General.


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