Bankruptcy Law, Credit, Timothy Kingcade Posts

How Long Do Debt Collections Affect Your Credit Report?

When you are being pursued by debt collectors, the incessant phone calls can make you feel anxious and stressed.  The number one piece of advice we give when dealing with creditors is to be honest with them.  Never make a promise to pay if you are unable to do so and do not avoid creditors or collection attempts.

A collections action is essentially any type of collection on a debt. Whenever a creditor submits an account to collections, a notification is submitted to the credit reporting agencies. This notification will almost always result in the consumer’s credit score dropping. The more collections that show up on the person’s credit report, the bigger the drop will be. Any type of collections will show up on a credit report, including credit cards, medical bills, loans and mortgages.

Once a collections action is reported, it will stay on a person’s credit report for seven years.  The same time period applies for missed or late payments. To put these figures in comparison, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case will stay on a person’s credit report for ten years and Chapter 13 bankruptcy for seven years.

Credit reports treat debts all in the same manner, so if the collection is for a secured debt, such as a home or car, it will be treated the same way as credit card debt. However, medical debt is treated somewhat differently than other unsecured debt. New rules regarding medical debt have made it more difficult for it to impact your credit score as quickly. The new rule builds additional time between patients and insurance companies to resolve such matters.  Up until this point, there was no grace period and medical debt could appear on your credit report as soon as it was reported as an unpaid debt. The three credit reporting agencies now have to wait 180 days before putting an unpaid medical bill onto your credit report.

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If you have questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at

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