Credit Reporting by Debt Collector in Massachusetts

17 Oct Credit Reporting by Debt Collector in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts a debt collector can not report to a credit reporting agency in its own name. The regulations of the Massachusetts Division of Banks state that it is unlawful “For a debt collector to report to a consumer reporting agency on its transactions or experiences with a consumer in the debt collector’s name. However, a debt collector may, with the express written authorization of the creditor, report to a consumer reporting agency in the creditor’s name.” 209 Code Mass. Regs 18.17(11). Therefore, in Massachusetts if you have a trade line in your credit report from a debt collector, the debt collector has violated the law. There is an interesting issue related to debt buyers. Companies who buy defaulted debts from creditors are considered “debt collectors” under both state and federal law. The regulation suggests that a debt buyer can never report to credit reporting agencies because it can not do so in its own name and it also can not do so in the name of the original creditor because the consumer no longer owes a debt to that creditor. Any statement to the contrary would be false and therefore a violation of both federal and Massachusetts debt collection laws.

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