“Debt collector on your credit report — dispute with the collector or with credit bureau?”
This is a question we received through a comment on our channel, which is a place where we will be answering more questions from. We appreciate the questions that you guys write, and we look forward to answering more of your questions in the future!
When you’re dealing with false credit reporting, it can be confusing as to whether you should directly dispute with the debt collector, or if you should dispute with the credit bureau first.
Every situation is different, but here are a few thoughts to think about.
The advantage of sending a dispute letter directly to the collector.
Sending a dispute letter to the debt collector is almost always a good idea. You can tell them that you dispute owing them money, you would like to see proof that you owe them, and revoke their permission to call you, etc.
If there is false information on your credit report, let the collector know in the dispute letter. If they don’t fix it, then you can likely sue under the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act).
You can also send a dispute letter to the credit reporting agencies.
So this letter goes directly to Equifax, Experian, Innovis, Sagestream, TransUnion, etc.
This triggers responsibilities for those guys under the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act). And when they reach out to the debt collector (known as a “furnisher“) then the debt collector can be sued under the FCRA if the collector does not fix the error.
You can also combine both of these strategies at the same time.
So you send a dispute letter to the credit reporting agencies and you send the same letter (or a similar one) to the collector. Our dispute letters on credit report errors are often addressed to the credit bureaus and to the collector.
This puts the responsibilities of the FCRA on the credit reporting agencies — and on the collector assuming the agencies send the dispute onto the collector. (If they don’t, the reporting bureaus have violated the law).
And the direct letter from you to the collection agency puts the agency on the hook for the FDCPA if it does not fix the problem.
Let’s look at a very common example.
We have a number of cases where the debt collector sues a consumer for say $5,000, then the consumer settles for $3,000. Afterward, the collector says the consumer owes $2,000 on the credit report when they actually owe $0.
But if you don’t sue immediately, then dispute.
My suggestion is dispute with the collector and with the credit reporting agencies.
So when they don’t fix the error, you sue all of them. The collector under the FDCPA and FCRA. The credit reporting agencies under the FCRA.
You see, when the collector keeps the false information on your report, then your case becomes more valuable.
Not only have they falsely reported on your credit report, but they have now done an investigation (which is bogus) and have decided to keep the false information on your report.
That proves that this wasn’t just an accident, but an intentional violation.
Let us know if you have any questions!
Feel free to leave a comment down below, or if you have a question pertaining to your unique situation, feel free to get in touch with us directly.
You can reach us by phone at 1-204-879-2447, or you can fill out a contact form and we will get in touch with you quickly.
We serve consumers all over the state of Alabama.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Thanks for reading, and have a great day/