Archive for April, 2011

Debt Collectors Checking Your Credit Reports Without a Court Judgment

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

Can a zombie debt buyer or debt collection lawyers pull my credit reports, when they don’t have a credit card judgment on the original debt? Can they pull during the course their debt collection lawsuit against the consumer, before they have obtained a judgment for money?

Yes. Until the case is settled in full or paid in full or discharged in bankruptcy or discharged by operation of law (such as past the statute of limitations or dismissed with prejudice in court), the creditor and its assignees and agents can view the consumer’s credit report for purposes of collecting the debt.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. Sec. 1681b determines the situations when a company can view a consumer credit report, including debt collection agencies and their attorneys. Even without getting a judgment, they can view the debtor’s credit report because it is “in connection with . . . collection of an account of the consumer.” There are other parts of the statute which also give a creditor or debt collector the ability to review credit reports, if the debt is unpaid and remains a viable debt.

If you believe that someone has obtained your credit report without a legitimate purpose, as specified under the above section, then you should send them my sample letter 3.3 (link to free letters) by U.S. Certified Mail, return receipt requested. Please be sure to keep a copy and send the letter to the address on your credit report for the company listed under inquires, which you believe had no legitimate reason to obtain your report. Please also note that there is a statute of limitations, so stay on top of this or there will be nothing you can do about it in court, if you wait too long or find out about it too late.

Robert Stempler