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Is there a staute of limitations to the amount of time an item can stay on your credit report?

Mesa, AZ |

I have items on my report dating back to 1998. Some of them are charge offs. I am in desperate need of fixing my credit and want to start the process myself. Is there any law that governs how long something can stay on my credit report?
At the time I had all the credit problems I lived in Philadelphia and I am now a resident of Arizona.

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Attorney answers 2


Items can only remain on your credit report for 7 years from the date of last activity except in the case of bankruptcy or a judgment which can remain on the report for 10 years from the date of discharge or entry. What you need to look at is the date you made the last purchase or date you made the last payment. If it has been 7 years since either of those events then the account should no longer be reporting. It is not unusual for a debt buyer to report the date of last activity on an account as the date they purchased the account. That information is inaccurate and if you point that out and request from the creditor proof of the date of last activity once you can establish it has been more than 7 years, you can challenge the item and should be able to have it removed.


I am not licensed to practice law in your state.

These comments are made for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists between us.

Many times debt buyers will report debts older than 7years by "re-aging" it by starting the seven years period from the time the debt was bought. You can dispute such debts with the credit bureaus and these may be removed for awhile then re-appear. Because of a quirk in the federal law, you can't sue the debt buyer for doing this. The only thing that will happen is a fine against the company by the Federal Trade Commission.