How forgiving is Bank of America with old debt?

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Brooklyn
 
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How forgiving is Bank of America with old debt?

Postby Brooklyn » Fri Nov 27, 2015 3:26 pm

When I was a student back in 1997, I had a car financed through Bank of America. The short version of the story is that I was young and irresponsible, and the bank ended up repossessing the car. BoA eventually dismissed the balance of the loan as a charge off (about $7000), and my credit was basically ruined for the next 7 years. I decided then and there to take a 7-year moratorium on applying for credit of any kind--no car loans, no credit card applications, nothing. It was cash or the barrel or nothing.

Now, was that the best way to rebuild my credit--bringing everything to a screeching halt? Maybe not. But again...young and foolish.

Fast forward 18 years: my credit has been completely rebuilt. I now have FICO scores in the 780-800 range, and 4 credit cards with about a $40,000 credit limit combined. The charge-off fell off my credit report a decade ago and no longer appears on any report that I've been able to pull; even so, I've never wanted to do business with BoA again, primarily because I've been worried that trying to get back in with them make them suddenly "remember" my old debt and decide to come after me.

The problem is this: I love Amtrak, and Amtrak recently ended their credit card association with Chase and went with BoA. Chase converted my old card to Freedom, but the BoA Amtrak Master Card is the one I really need for accumulating miles. My question is, would it be a mistake to apply for a card through BoA, given my history with them? And might they decide to come after me for the charged off debt once I conveniently remind them that I exist?

I would really, really appreciate the advice of any members who want to take the time to contribute. I've worked too hard and too long on rebuilding my credit to risk having it fall apart because of something stupid on my part like sticking my neck out. Thank you in advance.


Tubpbs
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Re: How forgiving is Bank of America with old debt?

Postby Tubpbs » Fri Nov 27, 2015 4:05 pm

While I obviously cannot predict their exact behavior... Technically attempting to collect the debt is plainly illegal. Whether or not they will approve you is unknown, but I would wager that if you would otherwise get approved, you will get approved for the card.

That being said, anything could happen with them. They could attempt to collect money from you, they could attempt to tarnish your report OR they could be excited that you're back and have great scores and want you a customer or they could not even notice.

No one knows what will happen, but you've done everything you can to do better etc etc with your credit in the meantime. They can't blame you for that.

Good luck. Please let us know what you decide. I would also wait for some more replies, maybe someone has direct first hand experience with BoA with his exact scenario. You never know.
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Brooklyn
 
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Re: How forgiving is Bank of America with old debt?

Postby Brooklyn » Sun Nov 29, 2015 7:58 pm

Tubpbs wrote:While I obviously cannot predict their exact behavior... Technically attempting to collect the debt is plainly illegal. Whether or not they will approve you is unknown, but I would wager that if you would otherwise get approved, you will get approved for the card.

That being said, anything could happen with them. They could attempt to collect money from you, they could attempt to tarnish your report OR they could be excited that you're back and have great scores and want you a customer or they could not even notice.

No one knows what will happen, but you've done everything you can to do better etc etc with your credit in the meantime. They can't blame you for that.

Good luck. Please let us know what you decide. I would also wait for some more replies, maybe someone has direct first hand experience with BoA with his exact scenario. You never know.


Thanks for taking the time to reply--I really appreciate it.

At this point I'm thinking it's just too risky to apply and potentially undo all the credit rebuilding work that I've done over the past 15 years--I'd love to have the rewards card for train travel points, but at what cost? Even so, I'll definitely take your advice and wait for more replies before coming to a final decision. Thanks again.

ingramjuan
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Re: How forgiving is Bank of America with old debt?

Postby ingramjuan » Sun Nov 29, 2015 11:08 pm

Brooklyn wrote:The problem is this: I love Amtrak, and Amtrak recently ended their credit card association with Chase and went with BoA. Chase converted my old card to Freedom, but the BoA Amtrak Master Card is the one I really need for accumulating miles. My question is, would it be a mistake to apply for a card through BoA, given my history with them? And might they decide to come after me for the charged off debt once I conveniently remind them that I exist?Thank you in advance.


Similar to what Tubpbs written in their post, its been far to long for them to come after you, but doesn't stop them from remembering. I would say go for it, the only thing they can do is turn you down, and it will cost you a hard pull of your credit file.
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Elijahmex
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Re: How forgiving is Bank of America with old debt?

Postby Elijahmex » Wed Dec 02, 2015 8:22 am

Like ingramjuan said, the worse thing that could happen is that they turn you down and your CS will drop a couple of points. After all these years I can't see how they would want to ruin you for such a "small" amount. Your scores are very good so you don't have much to lose here. I say go for it!!
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