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What is the FCRA Compliance Date aka DOFD

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The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Compliance Date determines how long some negative credit items such as charge-offs, late payments or collection accounts can remain on consumer credit reports.

Typically a negative credit item, such as a charge-off can remain on your credit report for 7 years from the date of first delinquency.

The date of first delinquency also known as the “DOFD” is the date an account became 30 days late which led to a charge-off by the creditor. The FCRA’s Compliance/Obsolescence date determines when the 7-year reporting period begins for accounts that have been charged off or placed for collection.

A creditor must notify the credit reporting agencies within 90 days of reporting a charged-off account of the MONTH and YEAR of the COMMENCEMENT of the delinquent account which immediately preceded the account being charged-off.

Here is what Section 623(a)(5) of FCRA says:

“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…”

The commencement date is very important as it determines when the clock starts to tick on the statute of limitations on negative credit reporting on consumer credit files. The most important fact for consumers to remember is that this date cannot be changed and is only established by the original creditor who charged-off the account.

This means a charge-off account that is transferred to a collection agency or purchased by a collection agency does not change the FCRA Compliance date. Therefore, if a charge-off is due to drop off a consumer credit report and a collection agency purchases that account, after the compliance date has passed, that collection agency can no longer report that account even if they recently purchased the debt.

The collection agency can continue to pursue you for the debt, however, they cannot report the debt on your credit report. If the collection agency changes the FCRA Compliance date, they have illegally re-aged the account and committed a serious violation.

There are other dates associated with collection accounts that can change. For instance, if you make a payment on a collection account, the “date reported” would change to the then current month/year. The date of last activity can be updated but those dates are not used as the FCRA Compliance Date that determines when the account will be deleted.

Here is what Section 605(c)(1) of FCRA says:

“(1) In general. The 7-year period referred to in paragraphs (4) and (6) of subsection (a) shall begin, with respect to any delinquent account that is placed for collection (internally or by referral to a third party, whichever is earlier), charged to profit and loss, or subjected to any similar action, upon the expiration of the 180-day period beginning on the date of the commencement of the delinquency which immediately preceded the collection activity, charge to profit and loss, or similar action.”

In simpler terms a creditor can charge-off an account 180 days after the first date you missed a payment. The date you became delinquent begins the “Aging” process and once the debt has matured 7.5 years, it must be DELETED from your credit report.

The FCRA Compliance/Obsolesces Date is not always clear on consumer credit reports. It is not the date of last activity or the date reported. You may have to contact the credit reporting agencies to find out when a negative item is due to be removed from your credit reports.

To request the FRCA Compliance Date you will have to write to each credit bureau to request it. Ideally all the credit bureaus would contain the same date but in some instances the FCRA Compliance Date may vary by a few months. The FCRA Compliance date will tell you the date the account first became past due and no other payments were made.

The date of the initial missed payment, called the original delinquency date, determines how long an account with a negative payment history will remain on the report. The original delinquency date is the date the account first became delinquent and was never again brought current. Accounts with late payments should be removed seven years from this date.

If an account has been sent to a collection agency, they may report the collection account as a separate item on your credit reports. The collection account should have the same original delinquency date as the original account, and will therefore be removed on the same date.

Here is a simple sample letter to get the FCRA Compliance Date:

Example: I am inquiring about [account name] and [account number]. Please provide my consumer disclosure file under FCRA Section 609(a)(1) and provide me with the date of first delinquency, the FCRA compliance date and the name of the party who reported the date of first delinquency.

[Note: Be sure to accompany your letter with the required processing which is currently $11.50 and at least 2 forms of identification].

If you believe a creditor or collection agency has re-aged a negative credit item read further about re-aging and then take action. You may have a winning lawsuit on your hands if they refuse to correct the matter or if your creditworthiness has been harmed.

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Pat L

    October 4, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    I have a student loan debt that was report as delinquent in 2010. I filed bankruptcy in 2011. I was able to get my other student loans in a repayment plan but this particular one did not qualify. Will this debt fall off my credit in 2017?

    • Lisa Phillips

      October 5, 2015 at 7:49 pm

      Most federal student loans along with private student loans should be treated just like any other delinquent debt on your credit reports – it will come off your report 7 years after the first date of delinquency. However, a Perkins loan can stay on your credit report until the loan has been paid in full, even if it is longer than seven years.

  2. Mrs. Mosby

    September 30, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    A junk debt buyer is reporting the wrong DOFD on my credit report. Even though I provided a previous credit report showing the original creditor and the DOFD on the original debt, Transunion claims this is not proof. The dispute has been verified about 4 times. How can they verify wrong information? I have done everything I can. I have hired a consumer attorney to help me as Transunion is useless and I am certain the collection agency is illegally reaging. I filed complaints with the BBB, CFPB and FTC.

    So I requested the compliance date from Transunion with the $11.50 processing fee. How long does the credit bureau have to provide this information to me? It’s been a month. They cashed my check, however, have not sent me the information.

    • Lisa Phillips

      September 30, 2015 at 10:29 pm

      I do not have a time-frame for the credit bureaus’ processing and turnaround time. You will have to contact Transunion.

  3. Jay Bell

    April 10, 2015 at 9:46 am

    I want to send a letter to request the FCRA Compliance Date. Do I need to send it to all three credit bureaus? What other information do I need to include with the letter I send? I’m hoping to clean up my credit soon. Thank you.

    • Lisa Phillips

      April 10, 2015 at 11:44 am

      If you want to make sure the FCRA Compliance date is approximately the same across all three major credit bureaus then you will have to send the request to each one. This is a better sample letter to send:

      Example: I am inquiring about [account name] and [account number]. Please provide my consumer disclosure file under FCRA Section 609(a)(1) and provide me with the date of first delinquency, the FCRA compliance date and the name of the party who reported the date of first delinquency.

      Be sure to accompany your letter with the required processing fee, which is currently $11.50.

      • Kirsten Schreiber

        December 28, 2015 at 9:58 am

        Hello I would like to know if you request the FCRA compliance date from each credit bureau with the letter you have suggested above and the fee of $11.50, can you only request information on 1 single account or can you include multiple account that you would like this information for.

        • Lisa Phillips

          December 28, 2015 at 10:53 pm

          You can include all the accounts in one letter that you would like the FCRA Compliance Date for.

      • Rhonda

        February 12, 2016 at 9:49 am

        Would you advise to send the FCRA Compliance letter certified mail return receipt? If so, I have contacted all three credit bureaus and they all have given me a P.O. Box address. I just don’t see how it would get to the appropriate party with a P.O. Box. Would you be able to provide an address for all three credit bureaus to assure my letter gets to the write place?

        • Lisa Phillips

          February 13, 2016 at 1:03 pm

          I suggest sending any correspondence to the credit bureaus via certified, return receipt mail just in case you need proof at some later date. It’s difficult for the credit bureaus to deny they received something when you have proof you sent it. You did it right by contacting the credit bureaus to get their most current addresses. I see no problem with you sending your request where they instructed you. However, here are the addresses I have used to request my full consumer disclosure files:

          TransUnion LLC
          Consumer Disclosure Center
          P.O. Box 1000
          Chester, PA 19016

          Experian’s National Consumer Assistance Center
          P.O. Box 4500
          Allen, TX 75013

          Equifax Credit Information Services, Inc
          P.O. Box 740241
          Atlanta, GA 30374

          • Rhonda

            April 17, 2016 at 5:35 pm

            Hi Lisa,

            I have recently sent correspondence to one of the credit bureaus requesting the date of first delinquency, the FCRA compliance date and the name of the party who reported the date of first delinquency for each account. In their response I received from them an updated credit report that specifically stated that no payment date was reported and that the account would remain on my credit file by the collection agency until 2021. In addition, the original creditor was re-inserted in my credit report.

            Under the original creditor my credit report states the date opened was January 2002; first reported September 2010; date of status September 2011.The account was transferred/closed.

            Under collections my credit report states the date opened was June 2015; first report September 2015; date of status September 2015. What can I do at this point. Any advice is appreciated.

            Thanks

          • Lisa Phillips

            April 25, 2016 at 1:30 am

            The collection agency can report their own opening dates and status dates. What they cannot do is report a different date which the account is due to be removed from your credit reports. Any collection agency handling the account must have the same DOFD of the original creditor. If not, that means the collection account can stay on your credit reports much longer – which constitutes illegal re-aging.

            When a consumer’s credit file does not contain a reported DOFD by the original creditor, the collection agency must contact the original creditor to obtain the DOFD from them. Under no circumstance should the DOFD be determined by the collection agency. The original creditor has a specific requirement under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Section 623(a)(5) to report the date of first delinquency on the original creditor account to the credit bureaus.
            It’s hard to believe the original creditor did not report a DOFD to the credit bureaus because a DOFD is required if the original creditor reports any information related to an account that has either been charged-off or transferred/sold to a collection agency. Not to say that it can’t happen.

            But, if your situation involves no DOFD ever being reported then I can only suggest you do the following: (1) Contact an attorney familiar with FCRA rules because there may be several violations involving the original creditor and the collection agency; and, (2) Make a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau requesting the credit bureaus permanently delete the collection account because inaccurate information is being reported along with illegal re-aging. And, request the original creditor’s information be deleted due to inaccurate information being reported also.

            At this point it seems both the original creditor and the collection agency are simply pulling dates out of the air and inserting them in your credit files. When making your complaint to the CFPB you should have a date in mind of what you believe the DOFD should be since you are refuting the collection agency’s date. The best of luck to you.

  4. T Washington

    July 14, 2014 at 8:02 am

    I Recently had old collections account removed and I just check my credit report now the collections are back on my credit report with new collection company and new open date

    • Lisa Phillips

      July 15, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      It sounds like the old collection agency sold the debt to a new collection agency. If this is the case then the new collection agency can report the debt on your credit files until the 7 year federal compliance date has been reached. Federal law requires the original creditor to report the original delinquency date of the account that led to charge off and any subsequent collection efforts. The original delinquency date is the date from which the seven year period is measured.

      Unfortunately an unpaid debt can be sold repeatedly from one collection agency (junk debt buyer) to another. But no matter how many times that unpaid debt goes from one collection agency to another, it can only remain on your credit for 7 years from the date the original debt first went unpaid and no other payments were made. Collection agencies may continue to try to collect the debt, however, even after it has been removed from your credit report.

      But the only way the debt can be on your credit report now is:

      1. You made payments on the debt and the clock was restarted on the time period in which the debt can remain on your credit reports;

      2. The latest collection agency illegally re-aged the debt, making it seem like the date you first went delinquent is more recent; or

      3. The time the original debt first went unpaid and no other payments were made has not yet been reached. Meaning you still have some remaining time of the 7 years that the debt can legally be reported on your credit files.

      Look at your credit reports, they should tell you when the debt is due to be removed from your credit files. For example:

      Experian Credit Report has under the “Status Details” the month/year an account is scheduled to continue on your record.

      Equifax Credit File has under Collection Agency Information, the “Date of 1st Delinquency” which should tell you the month/year the original creditor reported you as delinquent and no other payments were made after that date.

      Transunion Consumer Report has under each collection entry the “Estimated date that this item will be removed” the month/year the item should be removed.

      If you find the collection has passed the 7 year reporting period then dispute the account with the credit bureau reporting the account. If possible, document the original delinquency date and request the credit bureau delete the account because illegal re-aging has occurred. Good luck to you!

  5. T Parks

    July 29, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    Lisa, I just want to say, “Thank you!” You have helped me increase my credit score over 100 points with the information you provide. Most of my debt is old debt.
    It has been an uphill battle but I do see the rainbow after this terrible storm.

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