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Home  Texas  Credit & Debt

Credit Inquiries-How They Affect Your Credit Report
There are two types of inquiries: Internal and External. 

Internal Inquiries are completely harmless and
occur when your existing creditors check up on you and also when you request a copy of your own credit report. Internal inquiries are never seen by potential creditors.

But "External inquiries" are another matter entirely.  An "external inquiry" is triggered when a consumer applies for a credit card, line of credit, loan or mortgage or gives permission to a potential employer to make a credit check. Frequent external inquiries may be viewed as a sign of iffy credit.   
How To Erase Credit Inquiries

The reason is that lenders won't know the exact details of this inquiry for the next 90 days. All they see is that something else is going on, something that may perhaps make you a greater risk

Their thoughts may go something like this: "I don't know what this is on John's credit report but I bet he's applied for more credit.  If He's got a new credit card, I bet he's also got into more debt! And If he's in more debt then he's likely not to pay us back if we give him a loan. Let's reject his application and play it safe."

Of course, the creditor could wait the 90 days to see what John had applied for, but usually, they won't. In this case, John had merely applied for a credit card and been rejected.

But paranoia got the better of them and now John's out of luck.

To avoid this trap, make sure there are no external credit checks within 90 days of when you're ready to apply for a mortgage or loan.  To ensure no inquiries are made without your permission, you'll want to put a stop to unsolicited "pre-approved" credit-card offers and the like. Shred the ones you receive before throwing them away. For More Details see How To Erase Credit Inquiries  

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Time Limit On Collecting A Debt and the Maximum Amount You Can Be Charged

Mr. Smith,

From what I understand,

You have a credit card bill that goes back eleven years. Your original bill was for $600.00 and now a collection agency wants 1800.00 from you. You've asked me if there's a limit to how long they can collect on past due bills and if there's a legal limit on what they can charge you.

I see three issues here that may relate to your situation.  However, I make no promises I'm right.  I suggest you call your local Federal Trade Commission or Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division to confirm anything I tell you. 
Can They Charge Me So Much Over the Original Amount of The Bill? My original debt was $600 and they're now asking me for $1800!
The fact is that they can charge anything they want unless they're in violation of the applicable State and Federal Usury Laws (Laws On Charging Excessive Interest Rates).  The real question is whether or not you're required to pay it at all. See Issue #3
How long can they keep this debt on my credit report?
I believe the answer is only 7 years from the date you stopped making any payments. It could also be 7 years from the date you first became delinquent, even if you continued making payments. Check your credit report and complain to the proper authorities below if it's still being reported past the 7 year date.
See for more on the time limits debts can remain on your credit report.
Even If they can't keep reporting it, can they still sue me?  This is where the state Statute of Limitations comes in. SOL's vary from state to state and are also based on the type of debt you have.
Thus, it's important to know which state's SOL applies and whether it's a court judgment, credit card debt, or if you signed a promissory note, etc. Here's what I found at the link below. Please read what it says very carefully and be sure to look at the STATE SOL Chart. It is possible the SOL Chart is outdated and I cannot vouch for the accuracy of any link listed here.  Note: Most credit card debts are considered "OPEN ENDED ACCOUNTS, which is the last column on the chart.

What state should I use in figuring out the Statute of Limitations?

According to Ron Opher, of the FDCPA applies when a 3rd party debt collector is involved. Thus, the only relevant jurisdictions are where the consumer signed the loan application and where the consumer currently lives (bank location is irrelevant). If those states are different, I believe the creditor has the choice of where to sue and can select from the state with the longer SOL. There may also be an argument that the contract was signed "under seal" which might lead to a longer Statute of Limitations than an ordinary contract.
Note: The FDCPA (Federal Debt Collections Practice Act) applies only to third parties who collect debts for others. This law governs some law firms, debt collectors and collection agencies. It does not govern the actions of the original creditor such as the bank or store who you directly owed the money to. 

Normally credit cards have agreements which state that in the event of a dispute, the laws of State ________ will apply. While the contract may or may not be binding as to which SOL applies, play it safe. Look for the credit laws and SOL in the state listed in your original agreement or loan application.,

Other Credit Laws That May Apply

See Credit Laws (Consumer-SOS)

Who To Contact For Help

I also suggest you contact your State's Consumer Protection Agency. This could be your State' Attorney General or Your Secretary of State's Office. You may also contact your State or City's Legal Aid Department.

Also See Where To Go For Help (Consumer-SOS)
Let Me Know If This Helps or You Have Other Questions.


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