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Time Limit for Negative Credit Reporting

November 15, 2017

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 U.S.C. §1681 et seq. permits individuals to bring lawsuits against credit bureaus and data furnishers for reporting negative credit information beyond seven years.  Our San Diego based law firm handles FCRA cases across California.  If you have obsolete information on your credit report and cannot clear it up by sending disputes you may be able to file an FCRA claim.


Reporting of obsolete adverse information is prohibited by the FCRA.  15 U.S.C. §1681c(a) states in pertinent part that credit reporting agencies (“CRAs”) are prohibited from reporting: “…(4)  Accounts placed for collection or charged to profit and loss which  antedate the report by more than seven years.   (5) Any other adverse item of information, other than records of convictions of  crimes, which antedates the report by more than seven years.”  


Credit reporting agencies (“CRAs”) can violate the FCRA by issuing reports with obsolete information in two different ways.  First, the CRA is liable under section 1681c if it is negligent in making any consumer report that contains any obsolete information.  15 U.S.C. §§1681c, 1681o.  Second, the CRA is liable under section 1681e(a) if it is negligent in maintaining reasonable procedures designed to avoid reporting obsolete information.  15 U.S.C. §§1681e(a), 1681o. 


In general, the 7 year time frame for credit reporting is not extended by making payments on your account. The 7 years for credit reporting negative information runs from the date the account is delinquent, not from when you make a final payment.  However, it is wise to consult with an attorney before taking action if you have questions about the credit reporting time limit and what may or may not extend it. 


If you live in California and have been harmed by obsolete credit reporting please contact our firm to discuss how we can help.

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