When can a debt collector report my debt to a credit reporting company?
The CFPB’s debt collection rule requires debt collectors to take certain steps before reporting a debt to a credit reporting company. Once the debt collector has followed the rules about how to contact you, then they can report your debt to a credit reporting company, provided they follow other laws about credit reporting.
Before a debt collector can report your debt to a credit reporting company, the debt collector must do any one of the following:
- Speak with you in person about the debt,
- Speak with you by telephone about the debt,
- Mail you a letter about the debt and wait a reasonable amount of time (generally 14 days) for a notice that the letter wasn’t delivered, or
- Send you an electronic communication about the debt and wait a reasonable amount of time (generally 14 days) for a notice that the message wasn’t delivered.
If a debt collector sends you a validation notice about a debt, it means they have satisfied their requirement to contact you and, in general, can begin to report the debt to credit reporting companies.
Whether or not you have a debt in collection, it’s important to frequently check your credit reports for accuracy. If you think a debt collector has improperly reported a debt to a credit reporting company without meeting their obligations under the FDCPA, you can submit a complaint with the CFPB online or by calling (855) 411-CFPB (2372).