How Long Before a Collection Agency Can Report to a Credit Reporting Company?
Once a payment becomes 31 days overdue, the original creditor has the right to report it as delinquent. However, third-party collection agencies, including debt buyers, must adhere to specific procedures before they can report debts to credit reporting companies and credit bureaus.
The Debt Collection Rule, introduced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on November 30, 2021, outlines the specific measures that debt collectors and debt buyers must adhere to before reporting debts. After they have complied with the regulations concerning establishing contact with you, they are permitted to lawfully report the debt to credit reporting agencies. Their options include:
- Having an in-person discussion about the debt.
- Communicating with you over the phone regarding the debt.
- Sending a letter concerning the debt via mail.
- Using email or other electronic means to discuss the debt.
- If the collection agency chooses to convey the information in writing, they must allow a reasonable period (typically around 14 days) to pass, in case they receive a notification that the letter or electronic message was not delivered.
Once the collection agency sends you a debt collection validation notice containing all the necessary information about the debt, they can proceed with the reporting process after the required 30-day period, unless you dispute the debt.