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   "Charge Off" Means an Account Has Been
   Written Off or Sent to Collections
The term "charge-off" means that the creditor or lender has written off the debt and will no longer pursue payment. However, this charge-off notation will remain on your credit report for seven years. In addition, some charged-off accounts may be sold to collection agencies at a later date, allowing the collection of the debt to be reactivated with this reactivation notated on your credit report-which may start yet another seven-year cycling-off period.

It might be worthwhile to contact the creditors on accounts that are presenting problems and discuss the possibility of setting up new payment plans. Even though charge-off notations can remain on your report for seven years, new notations that you have paid off these debts will also appear. And current and future credit grantors would likely take a positive view of making such an effort to pay off old debts.

For related information on credit reporting periods, you may wish to visit our web site at http://www.creditmatters.com/expert/report_periods/report_periods.asp.

Copyright 2000, CreditMatters.com

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