Chloe Meltzer | December 01, 2022
Summary: Thinking that the dates don't match up on your debts? Learn how to write a re-aging debt letter to have your debt lawsuit dismissed.
Re-aging is a serious violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. If you notice any signs of re-aging, it is essential to take action. Re-aging a credit account is not only illegal, but it causes older negative accounts to appear to be more recent. This eventually leads to ruining your credit score.
Neither creditors nor debt collectors can re-age an account. From the moment an account ages, it cannot be taken back in time. Regardless of how many times an account is sold from one collector to another, the date of first delinquency (DOFD) cannot change.
To get technical, re-aging is an illegal act due to FCRA Section 623(5)(A). This law states:
“In general. A person who furnishes information to a consumer reporting agency regarding a delinquent account being placed for collection, charged to profit or loss, or subjected to any similar action shall, not later than 90 days after furnishing the information, notify the agency of the date of delinquency on the account, which shall be the month and year of the commencement of the delinquency on the account that immediately preceded the action.”
Essentially, re-aging an account means that a debt states differently than the original date of the first debt. If there is a different date (meaning it has been changed) it is an illegal practice of re-aging. Re-aging is illegal under the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) for a few reasons. Not only will re-aging allow a collection to remain on your credit reports in-perpetuity, but because it can seriously destroy your credit.
The DOFD, known as the date of first delinquency, determines how long a negative account can remain on your credit report. Officially, the DOFD is the date that your account became 30 days late with no payments made. Negative credit items can remain on your credit report after 7 years from the DOFD. All collection agencies must comply with this amount of time, and abide by the DOFD. If they do not, then you have the right to take legal action against both the creditor and the credit bureau.
Re-aging is an extremely illegal act that can be detrimental to your credit score, and your life as a whole. Low credit scores not only mean that you may have trouble getting a house loan, but you may even lose your current housing, it can affect your job, and it will be impossible to obtain a loan. If you believe that you are a victim of re-aging, you must take action.
The first step if you believe your debt account has been re-aged is to request documentation from the credit account. This is not yet a dispute letter, but only a letter requesting your “consumer disclosure file.” This file provides you a lot of different information that will help you when you do write your re-aging debt letter.
Clearly state what you are asking for including:
You will also be required to pay the processing fee of $12.
The next step is to secure the proof of re-aging. This means that the collection account must match the DOFD of the original creditor you owe. If the collection agency shows a more recent date, then re-aging has occurred.
At this point, you have proof of the re-aging of your account. This means you will need to write to the collection company with a dispute.
State who you are, who the original creditor is, and the account you are disputing. You should request the account be deleted immediately, and include documentation of why.
It is good to note that if it has been a while since you have been contacted regarding the debt, disputing the debt can sometimes renew the efforts to collect. If the statute of limitations has expired, then the debt will be dismissed.
The statute of limitations on a debt is a legal date on which the debt expires and you can no longer be paid. Although it varies in every state, typically the statute of limitations will last anywhere from four to six years.
Re-aging is a serious crime under the FCRA, so it is essential you report it to the Federal Trade Commission. You can also report this to your State's Attorney General. The entire time it is essential to keep all documentation in regards to your case.
After reporting the re-aging to the FCRA, and filing a dispute with the credit bureau, you should also report the collection agency to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). You have various consumer rights, and they must be preserved.
There is a simple format to write a re-aging debt letter. It should read as follows:
“To whom it may concern,
I am inquiring about my account with the name of [account name]. The account number is: [account number].
Please provide my consumer disclosure file under FCRA Section 609(a)(1). I am also requesting the date of first delinquency, as well as the FCRA compliance date, along with the name of the party who reported the date of first delinquency.
My rights dictate my ability to obtain this information.”
If you are writing a re-aging debt letter you should do so with the full intention of having all of your information deleted. This means that instead of asking for your account to be corrected in a dispute letter, you should only state that you know the debt was re-aged, and it needs to be erased. Be sure to provide clear and concise information, with plenty of proof to support your claim.
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How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.
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Here's a list of guides for other states.
Being sued by a different debt collector? We're making guides on how to beat each one.
Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.
Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.
Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.