How long does an negative item remain on my credit report?

Credit reporting agencies like Experian are governed by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and companion state laws. The FCRA permits credit agencies to list positive information on your credit report indefinitely, although it generally remains for 10 years. Accurate negative information, such as a late payment or an account turned over to a collection agency, can remain on your credit report for seven years. Bankruptcies may remain on your credit report for up to 10 years. Unpaid tax liens may remain for up to 15 years.