how long can a collection account stay on a persons credit report?
If you are referring to a negative entry on a report then the typical time is 7 years from the date of the action that led to the entry. For example, if someone misses a payment on am account and it gets reported as a late payment, it will stay on the account for 7 years before it drops off.
About the only entry that will stay on a person's credit report longer than 7 years is a bankruptcy, which can be reported up to ten years.
The creditor can continue to report the account as long as it is legally within the statute of limitations for collection under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
For example, the statute of limitations is 4 years on a delinquent account. This means that the creditor can report it for 4 years to the credit agencies if it goes into default. Then the credit reporting agencies can report it for 7 more years after that.
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