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What does it mean to “re-age” a debt?

To “re-age” a debt is to change the date the debt was defaulted. A debt is defaulted when a consumer fails to make a payment as scheduled. By re-aging a debt, a debt collector can make it appear that a debt is newer than it is.

            By making old debts look newer, debt collectors can keep debts on a consumer’s credit report longer than allowed. (Most debts fall off a credit report after seven-and-half years.) Re-aging can also make it appear that a debt is still within the statute of limitations (four years for most debts in Texas) and that the consumer can be sued to collect it. Finally, re-aging hurts consumers because older negative entries effect a credit score less than newer entries.

            The best re-aging cases are the first two categories: reporting non-reportable debt or making debt look within the four-year statute of limitations.