Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

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What Affects How Long Something Stays on My Credit Report?

Dear Melissa,

I had some doctor bills and signed for a car for someone at one of these buy here pay here and they didn’t pay and it got repossessed almost 5 years ago or more. The car company has since filed bankruptcy. I pulled my credit report and they are showing up on there as being in collections and not due to drop off until 2013. My questions are: by pulling my credit report does it start over with the date that it drops off and will they be able to come after my husband for these bills which occurred before we got married. Nothing is in my name (house, car, etc.) and we live in Georgia. The debts accrued in Tennessee at the time. Any help you can provide would be great.

Gina T.

Dear Gina,

No, no matter how many times you pull your credit report, it will never change the amount of time a collection account can stay on your credit report.  The law is seven years from the date of delinquency, which is usually 6 months after the account was not paid.

The fact that nothing is in your name is good.  It means they cannot put a lien against your house for a bill that it is in your name.  Unscrupulous collection agents may threaten to come after your husband (their mantra being – you married your wife, you married her debt), but since the debt was incurred before you were married, he is not legally responsible for it.

I am guessing that the accounts went delinquent in 2006 since you have stated they will remain on your credit report.  Just an FYI, you are half way through the statute of limitations.  In Tennessee, each of these accounts carries a statute of 6 years.

Melissa Douros
Dovco Collection Solutions, Inc.

Do YOU have a question for Melissa? Email her at melissa@dovcocs.com.

As the owner of Dovco Collection Solutions, Inc., Melissa Douros uses her eight years of being a collections specialists to offer advice and answer questions pertaining to debt collection.  With running her own successful collection agency, she seeks to keep debt collectors accountable for their actions and in line with the law.

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