Answer: Re-aging a debt, credit card or other past due accounts resets the collection limitations clock and may give collectors and creditors a fresh start. Creditors DO NOT have to re-age past due accounts, but when they do without your permission or payment, their actions may be in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, if the re-aging constitutes false information furnished or transmitted to a credit reporting agency. Re-aged debts may also restart a statute of limitations on collections. Speak to Attorneys For Consumers in your state for a free consultation about how re-aging may affect you.
Re-aging a past-due account means your creditor sets the account due date back to current or marks payments as more current than they actually were. Creditors may only re-age your account once in a 12-month period and twice in a five-year period for open-ended accounts (credit cards, charge cards, store cards etc.). To be considered for re-aging:
- You must demonstrate a renewed willingness and ability to pay;
- Your credit card account should be at least 9 months old;
- You need to make at least three consecutive minimum monthly payments.
Don’t ask for re-aging if you will not be able to keep up with the payments. In other words, don’t waste your re-aging opportunity! It’s better to wait until you can truly keep up the payments before approaching your creditors and asking them to re-age your account.
Some creditors never re-age accounts, some will only re-age an account one time and other creditors follow the federal guidelines that allow once in a 12-month period or twice every five years. It simply depends on the creditor’s re-aging policy. Some creditors will re-age past due accounts if you agree to enter a debt-workout program or debt-management plan.
When asking creditors to re-age your accounts, be sure to get it in writing! If your creditor won’t put the details of your re-aging program in writing, do it yourself. Keep a record of the conversation and send a copy of it to your creditor (keep a copy for yourself).