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When Congress originally considered the Fair Credit Reporting Act in the 1960s, it appears as though the permissible time periods for removing adverse information originated as a compromise between the differing House and Senate positions. The House considered limiting the time period to three, seven or 14 years. The Senate, however, proposed a more general standard of a “reasonable period of time.”
According to the Congressional Reporting Service, some consumer advocates argued that the “reasonable” standard was too ambiguous and pointed out that the seven year time period was already being commonly used by industry at the time.
Not surprisingly, Magnuson cautions against shortening the reporting period. “The seven years as a predictive timeframe has withstood the test of time when it comes to balancing fairness against safety and soundness concerns.