Can A Debt Collector Threaten Me With Reporting False Credit Information?
Absolutely not. A debt collector cannot threaten you with reporting false credit information. As per the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), it is unlawful for a debt collector to employ threats of reporting false information about a debt to credit bureaus or neglect to report a dispute that has been filed. Engaging in such behavior can lead to fines imposed on debt collectors.
Under 15 U.S.C. Section 1692e(8) of the United States Code (U.S.C.), debt collectors are prohibited from engaging in “false or misleading representations” concerning your credit information. Specifically, this includes:
Communicating or threatening to communicate to any person credit information which is known or which should be known to be false, including the failure to communicate that a disputed debt is disputed.
In the legal matter of Federal Trade Commission v. Critical Resolution Mediation, LLC, the FTC has accused Critical Resolution Mediation collectors of impersonating law enforcement officers, mediators, and attorneys. Moreover, the collectors from Critical Resolution Mediation allegedly resorted to threats of arresting and imprisoning consumers, in addition to revoking their drivers’ licenses, garnishing their wages, or damaging their credit scores, all in an effort to force immediate payment of debts. The complaint was lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. In response to the case, the Court issued a temporary restraining order on September 30, 2020.