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Can CA run your credit?


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As others have said, yes, they are considered to have permissible purpose in obtaining your credit report. In more detail: They may do so to track you down. But there is a condition. Once they obtain your credit report, they must send a dunning letter containing the validation notice within 5 days. The FDCPA requires that they send this notice if they contact you directly or indirectly.

FDCPA Section 803 Definitions

(2) The term "communication" means the conveying of information regarding a debt directly or indirectly to any person through any medium.

Since a credit pull creates an inquiry to which you are entitled to be aware of, it is an indirect communication through the CRA as a 3rd party.

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Methuss,

I wonder...what if a CA pulls a repot on someone they think is a debtor they are looking for and then after getting the report, they have sufficient information to show that the person who's report they pulled isn't the person they are looking for - what would the CA be required to do in that case?

If they know the person isn't the right one, they wouldn't want to send a dunning letter since that would then be a violation in itself I think (knowingly sending a collection letter to the person they know isn't the debtor). However, I would think their "permissible purpose" to pull the report in the first place is still valid assuming they had some logical/legitimate reason to think the person who's report they pulled was who they were looking for. Would they have to ask the bureaus to make the inquiry record "go away" and if so, would than cause other problems for the CA?

Nothing important here...just wondering out loud to some extent. :)

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I wonder...what if a CA pulls a repot on someone they think is a debtor they are looking for and then after getting the report, they have sufficient information to show that the person who's report they pulled isn't the person they are looking for

Then the CA is in big trouble. The FCRA requires that anyone pulling your credit report have permissible purpose. The part CA's rely on to pull your credit is in section 604(a)

(F) otherwise has a legitimate business need for the information

(i) in connection with a business transaction that is initiated by the consumer; or

If they pull your report and find that they pulled the wrong one (meaning there is no connection between you and the transaction they are pulling for) then they have no permissible purpose. You can sue them for $1000.00 for each report they pulled. Permissible purpose does not include "fishing" for info.

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I wonder...what if a CA pulls a repot on someone they think is a debtor they are looking for and then after getting the report, they have sufficient information to show that the person who's report they pulled isn't the person they are looking for

Then the CA is in big trouble. The FCRA requires that anyone pulling your credit report have permissible purpose. The part CA's rely on to pull your credit is in section 604(a)

(F) otherwise has a legitimate business need for the information

(i) in connection with a business transaction that is initiated by the consumer; or

If they pull your report and find that they pulled the wrong one (meaning there is no connection between you and the transaction they are pulling for) then they have no permissible purpose. You can sue them for $1000.00 for each report they pulled. Permissible purpose does not include "fishing" for info.

I'm not saying you are wrong but that doesn't make sense to me and here is why...

I have two relatives with the same last name, same first name and same middle initial (different middle names, however)...even though we have different SSNs, and for many years, different addresses, it has been VERY common over the years for each other's sfuff to wind up on the wrong credit bureau report. That said, I could easily see how a CA, looking for my father for example, could pull what he believes is my father's report (based on the name) only to find that it is actually my report insted of my father's.

I just don't see how the CA has done anything wrong in that case since they didn't intentionally pull the wrong report...they pulled the right name and it just happened to be the right name but wrong person...I would suspect that happens quite often. I don't see that as fishing for info, simply a mistake.

All academic I know. :)

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Intent is irrelevent. If no PP existed and a consumer report is procured, there is liability.

I've sued several CAs over this. They've either settled pre-trial or I prevailed in my MSJ.

CAs should be more prudent when obtaining a consumer's report instead of pulling them willy nilly. My information is too private and valuable to just let anyone have access to it.

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Well, I'm sure the "you must be a CA to say that" crowd will come out of the woodwork with this next statement but I frankly don't see the justification for punishing a CA for a simple mistake.

Granted, the innocent consumer shouldn't have to suffer harm for a mistake but at least in my mind, there is a significant difference between a CA pulling reports "willy nilly" and making an honest mistake.

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Well, I'm sure the "you must be a CA to say that" crowd will come out of the woodwork with this next statement but I frankly don't see the justification for punishing a CA for a simple mistake.

Granted, the innocent consumer shouldn't have to suffer harm for a mistake but at least in my mind, there is a significant difference between a CA pulling reports "willy nilly" and making an honest mistake.

Punishing? What are you talking about? It's just how the system works Robert it's not punishment, it just business. I thought you understood that?

Just kidding Robert, I didn't really think you understood, but I do.

Punishing debtors is okay with you because it's "just" business.....no wait....it isn't even punishment, right?

But when the CA's get punished er...I mean "just businessed", it's just not fair, right? xsheepx

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Tha CAs make millions of dollars per year...that helps offset their losses when they have to pay for their "mistakes". :p

Remember, if Congress had wanted to include a "mistake" clause when they wrote the FCRA, they could have. The FDCPA has the bona fide error defense. Apparently Congress thought obtaining a report without a PP to be pretty ergegious or they would have provided a similar defense in the FCRA.

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Punishing? What are you talking about? It's just how the system works Robert it's not punishment, it just business. I thought you understood that?

I realize this may be a difficult concept to understand but my disagreement with you, nolo, is not, in a grammatical sense, your use of the word “punishment”, it is with your assertion that businesses act out of an intent to punish consumers.

Per the dictionary; to punish is:

1. To subject to a penalty for an offense, sin, or fault.

2. To inflict a penalty for (an offense).

3. To handle roughly; hurt: My boots were punished by our long trek through the desert

When someone does something criminal or contrary to statutory law (such as FCRA/FDCPA) as is being discussed here, then the result, if they are found guilty of that offense, is "punishment".

What I have and do reject is your assertion that all/most/many businesses set out with the intent of pushing debtors into default on their debts and then sending CAs after them because of a desire to “punish” them rather than acting out of an intent to collect debts which are legally owed (and which most of the time, consumers have created totally of their own volition).

Ascribing human, emotional intent to businesses, especially in a broad-based manner as you have in your other posts on the issue, is as lacking of logic as claiming that when an SUV rolls-over in an accident, it’s because the SUV wanted to punish its occupants; NOT because a vehicle with a high center of gravity is more likely to roll over in an accident.

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Tha CAs make millions of dollars per year...that helps offset their losses when they have to pay for their "mistakes". :p

Remember, if Congress had wanted to include a "mistake" clause when they wrote the FCRA, they could have. The FDCPA has the bona fide error defense. Apparently Congress thought obtaining a report without a PP to be pretty ergegious or they would have provided a similar defense in the FCRA.

The "CAs make millions of dollars per year" statement seems a more like rationalization than justification - somewhat like saying that those who make more income should not only pay more $$$ in taxes but a higher percentage of their income as well so as to be "fair" to those who are "less fortunate". :)

In any case...if the FCRA makes no distinction between a simple error and an intent to pull without PP then I suppose they had sufficient reason even if it doesn't seem logical to me!

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This attorney already knew where I lived, as they had sent me a letter previous to pulling my credit. Also, their client, NLR had received a DV letter from me that had my current address on it, so the need to "track me down" was not there, they knew where I was before pulling the report. Do they still have a valid reason??

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No problem Robert, I knew you wouldn't get it.

The only one here who doesn't get it is not me, nolo. There is nothing for me to "get" as you’ve offered nothing but opinion.

Claims are meaningless without evidence to support them...wild, ridiculous claims such as you are making require an even greater level of evidence to support them than reasonable ones do yet you’ve offered no evidence at all.

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This attorney already knew where I lived, as they had sent me a letter previous to pulling my credit. Also, their client, NLR had received a DV letter from me that had my current address on it, so the need to "track me down" was not there, they knew where I was before pulling the report. Do they still have a valid reason??

If you really feel they had no legitimate purpose I believe you have the right to challenge them on it.

I think you'll find, however, that your address had little or nothing to do with the pull...more likely that they were looking for evidence of assets, income, etc.

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What if they pulled a wife's credit report when they are in fact looking for the husband? Can they hurt a wife's credit score. They could have easily taken the info from the husband's CR and not the wife.

"Soft" inquiries are not supposed to "hurt" a credit score while "hard" inquiries will lower a score. Hence, why some people get so upset at unwanted/unwarranted pulls.

The fact that a debtor has a spouse does not give a CA or anyone else a free ticket to pull the spouse's report - the spouse would have to also be legally responsible for the debt the CA is trying to collect (such as if the spouse was a cosignor, etc).

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FDCPA 807 (8) 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.

Isn't the CA violating this as well, since they are having their attorney pursue collection? It appears that they didn't tell him that I DV'd the first letter I received from CA.

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What if they pulled a wife's credit report when they are in fact looking for the husband? Can they hurt a wife's credit score. They could have easily taken the info from the husband's CR and not the wife.

By "they", I assume you mean an OC or CA.

If the wife is not listed on the account, there would be no permissible purpose.

Also, the FCRA makes absolutely no distinction between a "hard" or "soft" inquiry. Either PP exists or it doesn't. If not, then the entity that obtained the consumer's report is liable to the consumer.

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I sent a DV to Unifund in July 2003. Didn't hear anything back and filed it in the back of my mind. Fast forward 2 years and 3 months, they pull my credit. Isn't that continued collection activity?

If you disputed and requested validation within 30 thrity days of the CA's initial contact and if it's the same CA then yes, that woudl, as I understand it, that would be considered "continued collection activity" which is precluded by FDCPA.

If your dispute/DV was not done within 30 days of initial contact then they can continue to try to "collect". If it's a different CA, then as I understand the law, the new CA would be in the clear to try to collect and you would need to go through the dispute/DV process again with this CA.

Further, I would suggest that even if it isn't legally considered collection activity, I would think that the CA does not have a PP to pull a CBR on you in regards to a debt they are precluded by law from pursuing.

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