When Does a Debt Collector Report to a Credit Bureau?
Finding out your debt has been turned over to a collection agency can be terrifying, especially if you weren't aware that you owed. This can be especially true if you owe medical debt. There are a lot of factors to consider, such as how it will impact your credit, how long you have to pay, if they can take your stimulus check, and what the debt collector can and can't do. It's also good to know when a , so you know how long you have to act.
While you can try to negotiate with a debt agency yourself, this can be very time-consuming, and can often cause more stress than it's worth. A faster and more efficient way is to let DoNotPay help.
How Long Does a Creditor Have to Wait Before Selling Your Debt to a Collection Agency?
There really isn't any good news here. Clark reports that a creditor can sell your debt just one day after your payment is late.
This isn't a common occurrence, however. When a debt collection agency buys your debt from the creditor, they do so at a huge discount. So if you owe $3,000, they might only pay $2,000. This means your creditor is losing by turning you over to a collection agency. This gives you room to negotiate directly with the creditor before they sell your debt.
If you are facing financial trouble, it pays to be upfront about it. Many creditors will be willing to work with you. While some may not, it's always worth trying. If they do turn you over to a collection agency, however, it's important to know how soon it can hit your credit report.
Most creditors have their own time frame of when they choose to turn you over to a debt collector. This can range from 60, 90, 120, or even 180 days. If you speak to your creditors, they may be willing to tell you how long you have before they turn you over.
How Soon Can a Debt Collection Agency Report You to a Credit Bureau?
The original creditor who you owe money to can't just turn you over to a credit bureau the day after you're late for a payment, according to Lemberg Law. There are laws that must be followed, and they can't report you until your payment is 31 days late.
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That doesn't apply to debt collection agencies. They can report you to a credit bureau immediately, so once you've been turned over, they don't have to wait.
If the debt collector decides to report you, this can affect your credit for the next seven years. This period will start 180 days after your account is either placed in collection or charged off.
What Does Collection Debt Mean for Your Credit Report?
Being late on a payment doesn't look good on your credit report. Having a debt turned over to a collection agency does far more damage, and could potentially seriously lower your score.
When this happens, it can impact a lot of areas of your life, such as renting an apartment, getting a job, or buying a house or car. The fact that it will stay on your record for seven years means that this isn't the sort of problem that disappears overnight.
What Options Do You Have Once It’s Reported to a Credit Bureau?
You do have rights if your debt has been . Rather than just accepting it, there are a few things you need to know.
- Verify that the debt is real. You can do this by requesting a debt validation letter.
- Verify the full amount owed, the original collector, what the debt was for, and the name of the debt collector.
- Research the collection agency, and make sure that it is a legitimate company and not a scam.
- Dig a little deeper. Facts you need to know are:
- How old is the debt?
- What is the full amount?
Once you know that the company is legitimate and that the debt isn't about to expire due to the statute of limitations, you need to talk to the debt collector. They can't seek out payment indefinitely, as there is only a limited amount of time they can pursue payment, but this can sometimes linger on for years. Some of the things you need to discuss include:
- How do you want to be contacted? You can request that the debt collector not contact you at all, or they not call your place of work.
- You can request that the debt collector remove the report from the credit bureau. Make sure that they record it as "paid in full" if they won't remove it. If the debt collector reports it as "debt settled" it will continue to damage your credit report.
- If the debt collector is harassing you, report them to the FCRA.
What Are Your Rights?
When dealing with a debt collector, it's important to know what your rights are, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
- You have the right to know exactly how much you owe, and the collection agency can't charge interest.
- A debt collection agency can't contact you at work unless you give them permission.
- They are not allowed to tell your family, friends, or place of work that you owe money. What they can do is contact your spouse. They can also request information such as your address, phone number, and place of employment, but they can only contact them once.
- They are only allowed to contact you by phone between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
- They can't call repeatedly to the point that you feel harassed.
- You can file a dispute letter if it's not your debt.
The FDCPA or Fair Debt Collections Practices Act is responsible for upholding your rights. Even though you have rights, this doesn't mean the debt will just go away, however.
How to Handle a Debt Collection Agency on Your Own
There are a few things you can do to deal with a debt collection agency on your own.
- Pay off the debt.
- Inform the debt collector to stop contacting you. This could escalate to them suing you for the full amount.
- Contact a lawyer to learn more about your rights. This will also mean the debt collector will contact a lawyer, who they will most likely be less demanding with.
- Don't pay off debt that will expire soon. Once the statute of limitations runs out, then you are no longer required to pay it.
Each of these steps can be costly, both in terms of stress and money. Unless you can pay it off in full, you'll be dealing with the collection agency for a while, and anything that goes on your credit report isn't going away any time soon. DoNotPay can help.
DoNotPay Can Assist With Negotiating With a Collection Agency
Dealing with a collection agency like ERC isn't always straightforward. Some are willing to work with you, while others aren't satisfied and will . Some might even try to take you to court if you fail to pay. DoNotPay can help you navigate this potential problem by answering a few questions.
Once we know more about your problem, we can help you decide what you should do next.
Here's how it works:
- Search “debt collection” on DoNotPay.
- Answer a series of questions about the debt collectors, including when you were contacted and how you were contacted, so we can determine if they have violated any debt collection laws.
- Decide which course of action you want to take based on our guidance, such as filing a debt verification request, demanding for the collectors to stop contacting you, or reporting them to the CFPB.
And that's it! Once you choose the course of action you want to take, DoNotPay will handle the rest. We'll deliver your request directly to the debt collectors via first-class mail, or file your complaint automatically with the CFPB so that they're no longer able to use unfair debt collection practices.
Why You Should Give DoNotPay a Try
There are a lot of options available to you. Some may make the problem worse, however. Rather than try to figure it out on your own, give DoNotPay a shot. We can help because we're:
- Fast — We know the best methods to pursue, and don't waste time.
- Easy — All we need you to do is answer a few questions.
- Successful — We'll work hard to get you a solution that works for you.
DoNotPay Works With a Wide Range of Companies
There are multiple debt collection agencies out there, and DoNotPay covers a large range of them. Not only that, but we are familiar with laws in different states, so it doesn't matter if you're dealing with a debt collector located in California or Florida, we can solve your problem.
DoNotPay Can Do So Much More
Once we help settle your debt, we can also:
- Help you clean up your credit report
- Explain Disney Copyright Infringement
- Cancel timeshares
- Help request a divorce certificate
- Find discounts
- Notarize documents
When you're ready to take back control of your life, give DoNotPay a try.