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What is a general guide as to an authorized pull by a collection agency?

Are they normally entitled to a soft pull simply by virtue of being involved in the collection of an alleged debt? At what point do repeated pulls suggest poisoning a credit report?

Is a JDB entitled to a hard pull? I would think not, as they do not extend the consumer credit. Or are they considered creditors temporarily upon acquiring the debt?

Is a collection agency representing an OC entitled to a hard pull?

Is a collection agency representing a JDB entitled to a hard pull?

Edited by Happybluesky
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1681b(a)(3)(A):

(3) To a person which it has reason to believe

(A) intends to use the information in connection with a credit transaction involving the consumer on whom the information is to be furnished and involving the extension of credit to, or review or collection of an account of, the consumer

I'm still a little confused as to whether a collector can do a pull if no account they are attempting to collect is listed on a cr but, if it's listed, they can.

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And a JDB is entitled to a hard pull only AFTER they own the debt. The timing is hard to prove, but many will pull your credit before they decide to buy a debt....

I suspect this occurs, in fact, I have seen JDBs pull my credit and later own an account.

But others say that is unlikely as these accounts are purchased in bundles, as portfolios, and there is no way they could know in advance whose account is included, or that to check hundreds of credit reports would be unwieldly.

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do you have specific case law for this?

I found this FTC opinion which states:

2. Is a permissible purpose for obtaining consumer credit reports for the sole purpose of determining possible debt by a collection agency for the purpose of soliciting collection business from creditors?

No. You report that a debt collector and a major credit bureau assert that the collector has a "legitimate business need" to obtain a random selection of credit histories for the purpose of determining overdue accounts and then contacting the creditors on the account to solicit collection business. section 604(a)(3)(F)(ii) does provide a permissible purpose to a party that "has a legitimate business need for the information to review an account to determine whether the consumer continues to meet the terms of the account." In our view, this section authorizes a provider of an existing account (e.g., a bank that has established a checking account with the consumer) to obtain a report on the individual. In the scenario you described, the debt collector has no "account" to "review" when it orders a credit report (in fact, no "account" may exist for some consumers), but instead seeks to randomly examine credit files in order to solicit collection business from creditors. The collector is not authorized to obtain (nor a CRA to furnish) a consumer report for that purpose. The entire focus of Section 604 is to protect the confidentiality of consumers' personal data in the files of CRAs, by restricting access to parties who have a specific need for it.(2) If a third party such as a debt collector can review the consumer's file to see if there exists any account that the creditor has reported as delinquent, the section has totally failed its goal.

FCRA Staff Opinion: Brinckerhoff-Benner

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I honestly wouldn't waste a lot of time or energy worrying about pulls on your credit report from a collector because:

1. You probably have a charge off or late pays on your credit report from which are far more damaging than an inquiry.

2. If this is a medical collection and you have no other lates on your credit report, it's still more important to worry about the collection rather than the inquiry.

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