Debt delinquency timeline: what to expect
- The federal Fair Debt Collection Practice Act doesn't cover debt collection calls from the original creditor.
- Know your state laws. Each state has different laws regarding wage garnishment, seizure of assets and statute of limitations for debt collection.
- Any payment will restart the statute of limitations. "Some collectors will try to trick you as the statute is approaching. They will call and ask for just a small payment, like $10, to renew the statute," says Andrew Housser, a board member of the American Fair Credit Council, a group formerly known as The Association of Settlement Companies.
- All information regarding the delinquent account will live on your credit report for seven years from the date you first missed a payment, says Rod Griffin, director of public education at Experian.
- Third-party debt collectors sometimes sell off debt to another debt collector if they haven't had any success. Make sure the debt shows up as the same account on your credit report. Sometimes it may look like another delinquent account, and you'll want to dispute any duplicates.