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Categorized | Lawsuits

What is a Charge Off?

A Charge-Off is an accounting procedure used by the Credit Card Company to state that they do not believe that you are going to pay your debt. They are required by IRS regulations to report all delinquent debt (180 days past due) as a charge-off.  This allows the government to track the amounts of bad debt in our country.  Just because your account has been charged off by the credit card company does not mean that you do not owe the debt, although that is a common misconception.

A charge off typically occurs after several months of non-payment by an account holder. Each credit card company has different lengths of time at which they charge off a debt, but most range from 3 to 6 months of non-payment.  In that regard, every single claim that I handle is a charged off account.  Again, this means little to you as the consumer…it is merely an accounting term, and it has no bearing on whether you owe debt or not.

Once the account is charged off, it is at this point that the Credit Card company will begin collection proceedings against you, either by having their in-house collection department contact you, or by selling/outsourcing your account to a collection agency.

Contact our office at 412-823-8003 or toll free at 1-888-536-6644 for a free telephone consultation if you are being sued by a Collection Agency in Pennsylvania or have other questions about a charge-off.

2 Responses to “What is a Charge Off?”

  1. harry says:

    In PA, what is the length of time a Charge Off amount will appear on your credit report if you have “settled” the original balance owed?

  2. Greg Artim says:

    That is a federal question, pursuant to FCRA adverse credit is 7.5 years past the date of delinquency (usually earlier than the charge off date). 10 years for judgments.


Credit Card Lawsuits

If you are faced with a credit card lawsuit, whether its an original creditor or a junk debt buyer, contact my office at 412-823-8003 right away. We offer a free, no obligation review of any credit card based lawsuit that is filed in PA.

FDCPA Attorneys

Many Debt Collectors threaten people, that's a fact. Threats of wage garnishment, jail, fraud charges and contacting employers, friends and relatives happens every day to people just like you. The truth is that most of these threats are illegal. If a debt collector is threatening you, contact our office at 412-823-8003 for a free initial consultation.