The fico people report that most negative information will stay on your report for a maximum of seven years.
They report the following information can remain longer:
Negative information remains for 7 years from the initial missed payment that led to the delinquency.
Active positive information can remain indefinitely (if an account is closed that has been positive, then it will typically remain on your report for 10 years after the date the account is closed).
A collection account remains for 7 years from the initial missed payment that led to the collection.
Chapter 7, 11 and 12 bankruptcies remain for 10 years from the date filed.
Completed Chapter 13 bankruptcies remain for 7 years from the date paid, and 10 years if not completed.
Tax liens remain for 7 years from the date filed if paid and remain indefinitely if not paid.
All judgments remain for 7 years from the date filed.
Inquiries remain for 2 years.
New York State Residents Only:
Satisfied judgments remain 5 years from the date filed.
Paid collections remain 5 years from the date of last activity.
California State Residents Only:
All tax liens remain 7 years from the date filed."
For more information on short sales