When a debt buyer parks an old debt on your credit report or re-ages an account, it might be violating the FCRA.
When you have an old debt such as a credit menu, hospital, or utility bill, it ‘s not uncommon for the original creditor to sell that debt to a third base party, called a “ debt buyer. ” debt buyers purchase erstwhile debts, often for pennies on the dollar, and then try to collect from you. In many cases, the history is therefore honest-to-god that the legislative act of limitations ( the time limit that a creditor or bill collector has to sue you ) has expired. thus, the debt buyer ca n’t legally sue you for the debt. But just because a debt buyer ca n’t sue you, that does n’t mean it ca n’t try to get you to voluntarily pay up .
besides, if a debt buyer ca n’t sue you on an old debt, it might try other ways to get you to pay. One common solicitation technique is to “ park ” your honest-to-god debt on your credit report ; it quietly reports an erstwhile debt as new on your credit report. This is besides called “ re-aging ” a debt. If you discover that an old debt has reappeared on your citation report as a newly bill or contains inaccurate data about its old age or status, it might be because a debt buyer parked the debt on your report or re-aged the status of your debt. These debt collection practices might be illegal .
“Parking” Old Debt On Your Credit Report
When a debt buyer re-ages a debt, it often falsely reports newfangled account activeness, such as late payment delinquencies, or it might alter the date of your report, such as changing the date you opened the report or last made a payment. This can be a problem because if you apply for a car loanword or mortgage, for case, the bank might think that you ‘re presently having trouble paying your bills.
Reading: Debt Buyers & Your Credit Report
Why This Might Be Illegal: The Fair Credit Reporting Act
The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act ( FCRA ) requires consumer coverage agencies ( CRAs ), besides called credit agency, to maintain an accurate charge of your credit information. The FCRA limits the sum of time that damaging information can appear on your credit report. by and large, a delinquent bill can show up on your credit report for up to seven years from the time your foremost delinquent requital was primitively due on the account. If a judgment was taken against you on the honest-to-god debt, it may besides be reported for up to seven years from the date of judgment .
Some debt buyers try to get around this law by reporting an old debt as newer than it actually is. But by lying about the senesce of the account is or the date of any delinquency, the debt buyer violates the FCRA .
The “Silent” Treatment is Illegal
debt buyers often do n’t alert consumers that they ‘ve reported an old debt to the CRAs. so, you might not find out about the reappearance of this debt until you apply for a new loan or recognition card. You then feel blackmail to pay the old debt to clear it from your credit reputation so that you can get the new recognition or loan approval.
Because the FCRA requires debt buyers to notify you when they report negative information to a CRA, this drill violates the FCRA .
What You Can Do if Debt Buyers Report Old Debts
If you find an erstwhile debt on your credit report, resist the temptation to pay it. rather, you should immediately dispute the debt by doing one, or both, of the follow :
Dispute the old debt directly with the debt buyer. State the reasons you dispute the debt in compose and send it directly to the debt buyer. Once the debt buyer receives your written challenge, it is required to investigate the dispute and notify the CRA of your dispute. When allow, it must send corrected information to the CRA and request that the CRA remove the faulty negative information .
Dispute the old debt with the CRA following FCRA dispute procedure. File a challenge with the three major CRAs : TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Be sure to include all supporting documentation. The CRAs must then either reinvestigate the challenge or remove the negative information about the old debt from your citation reputation .
Talk to a Lawyer
If, after you follow one of these quarrel procedures, the debt buyer or CRA fails to comply with its obligations, you might be able to sue for violations of the FCRA. If successful, you might get actual damages, punitive damages, and attorneys ‘ fees and costs. To get more information about filing a befit against a debt buyer for violating the FCRA, talk to an lawyer .