The date of last activity (DOLA) can be any transaction on an account, the last payment made on the account, the date the account was transferred or sold to a collection agency, the date an account was charged-off or even the date the account was updated after a dispute was investigated.
The DOLA can change anytime there is new activity on the account. The date of last activity can be positive or negative. Confusion sets in when the date of last activity is mistaken with the date of first delinquency (DOFD).
The date of first delinquency is the date a consumer first became 30 days late, never brought the account current and a charge-off ensued. The date of first delinquency is very important and should never change once an account has been charged off.
DOFD starts the clock on the 7 year reporting time period and thus determines how long a negative item can remain on your credit report. It is the Fair Credit Report Act’s Compliance/Obsolescence Date and cannot be changed.
The Federal Trade Commission Says:
“If you report information about a delinquent account that’s placed for collection, charged to profit or loss, or subject to any similar action, you must, within 90 days after you report the information, notify the CRA (credit reporting agency) of the month and the year of the commencement of the delinquency that immediately preceded your action. This will ensure the CRAs use the correct date when computing how long derogatory information can be kept in a consumer’s file.”
Read the FCRA Opinion Letter of Brinckerhoff-Johnson regarding the commencement of delinquency and how long negative information can be reported. The FTC makes it very clear, in their opinion letter that certain negative accounts can only be reported a specific amount of time, then they must be deleted.
The date of last activity (DOLA) is usually on a credit report, while the date of first delinquency (DOFD) is harder to determine. Experian and Transunion will list the date negative information will be deleted from your credit reports. Equifax uses the date of last activity (DOLA) as the date of final delinquency (DOFD). Nevertheless, the date a derogatory item is scheduled to fall off your credit report should not change.
In order to find out the correct date an item on your credit report will be removed, simply write directly to the credit reporting agencies. Example: “Please provide me with the FCRA Compliance/Obsolescence Date and the month and year this item will be removed from my credit report.”
Send the letter directly to a customer or consumer relations department, not the dispute department. This is a request for information, not a dispute. You can also call and request the information but it is always good to get things in writing, especially if you are repairing your credit. Remember, you must have your credit report in front of you before you call or write because the credit reporting agency will ask for a report number. Find out how to order your credit reports.
It is imperative to know DOFD because some debt collectors and even original creditors engage in illegal “Re-Aging” of accounts which leads to negative information remaining on your credit reports longer than legal time period of 7.5 years. Re-aging is a violation of the FDCPA and FCRA. Learn more about “Re-Aging” and what to do if it has occurred.