Help is coming for people who are drowning in collections and debt. And for people working on fixing their credit.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is going through certain proposals to overhaul the debt collection industry. The idea is to stop abuse and make sure collectors are following proper protocol. But in this overhaul, there is good news for folks who are suffering from charge offs or collections on their credit.
First, the CFPB is going to put a new limit on how often the collector can contact the person owing money. They want to stop the harassment that sometimes happens.
Second, they will be required to disclose more details, which will make it easier for people to dispute inaccuracies.
Third — and this is a big one — collectors will not be able to pursue collecting money during the dispute process without providing sufficient evidence.
Furthermore, these rules also apply if the account is sold or transferred to another collection company.
As I said, this is all being reviewed by the CFPB now. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available by subscribing to this blog (on the right side). And please pass on this information to others who are struggling with debt, imperfect credit, or who are professionals in the mortgage or real estate industry.
Many thanks to photographer Ian Espinosa for the free use of his photo.
The Date of Last Activity (DLA) listed on your credit report is important to understand. This date is updated when one of three things happens on any active account:
- You make a payment,
- You miss a payment, or
- Your balance increases.
The Date of Last Activity used to include the “drop off” date, or the date the item will be removed from the report, but this is no longer the case. The “drop off date” is now a separate item and often not on the report at all.
Who sets the Date of Last Activity?
Creditors and debt collectors are responsible for reporting this information to the bureaus who then update the DLA accordingly.
Is a debt collector messing with your Date of Last Activity?
Some debt collectors sneakily make regular changes to consumers’ accounts, which triggers a balance increase to be sent to the bureaus and changes the DLA. This can hurt your credit score. Some unscrupulous creditors do this to intimidate people in hopes of pressuring them to pay.
What should you do about the Date of Last Activity?
When reviewing your credit report, pay special attention to the Date of Last Activity–especially on delinquent accounts. Make sure that the DLA reflects the actual date that a payment was made, missed, or the balance increased. If it is not, begin the basic dispute process to have the item changed or (better yet) deleted.
The Fair and Accurate Credit Reporting Act (FACTA) protects you from having erroneous or false derogatory information be posted on your credit report.
Does the DLA determine when an item will fall off your credit report?
No. The original delinquency date determines when the item will be deleted from your report. However, the DLA does influence your credit score. (This is crucial to know and a whole topic in itself. Don’t shoot down your score by updating an old derogatory DLA!)
Collection accounts are deleted seven years from the original delinquency date of the original account. Collections accounts are always associated with the original account so they must be deleted at the same time.
For more information on how credit scoring works and how to take control of your own credit, see Repair Your Credit Like the Pros here.
Book reader Paige Bellamy wrote: “This is the best credit repair book I have ever read. This book is filled with tons of useful information.”
Ashton Ammons, Senior Credit Consultant wrote: “Carolyn did a fantastic job writing this book, I’ve been in the credit repair industry for many years and through these chapters she’s provided our team with new insight, strategies and ideas to be able to produce even better results for our clients. I like a lot of the lingo and terminology she uses throughout the book. It’s true we use a lot of the same words and jargon around here at the office. She’s explains the content in very understandable step by step manner and I believe she truly wants to help the reader better understand how credit works. This book is one of the best investments I’ve made in a long time.”