CA's and the words "Credit Bureau"

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Phreedom, Sep 28, 2003.

  1. Phreedom

    Phreedom Well-Known Member

    I posted this on another board and thought it was important enough to share it here too:

    I have a CA that is using the words "credit bureau" in their name. I tripped across this FTC opinion letter:

    Section 807(16) of the FDCPA, 15 U.S.C. § 1692e(16), prohibits "debt collectors," from falsely representing or implying that they operate or are employed by a "consumer reporting agency," as that term is defined by section 603(f) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(f).

    I did a BBB search in my county and I discovered 9 companies using those words. Chances are a LOT of CA's are in violation so keep that in mind . There are other variations, read the opinion letter.
  2. jam237

    jam237 Well-Known Member

    Almost everyone that read, and studied the FDCPA knows this already.

    However you have to check to see whether the CA which is using the terms are a CRA, or are affiliated with a CRA. IF they are, then they can use "Credit Bureau" in their name.

    A lot of Credit Bureaus double-dip as collection agencies, or have collection agency devisions.

    If a Credit Bureau of _________ has a collections department under them, then they could use a letterhead for their envelopes with "Credit Bureau of ________", they can use "CB_C" as well (but not "CB_ COLLECTIONS", or "Credit Bureau of _______ Collections", as that'ld be an illegal third party disclosure of a collections purpose.)
  3. Phreedom

    Phreedom Well-Known Member

    Great input Jam237. A few questions:

    I checked with the BBB listing for the one I'm working on and it shows them as a "collection agency". The FTC opinion letter was very specific in saying

    How many CA's actually provide credit information in the same fashion and for the same purpose as EX, EQ or TU?
  4. jam237

    jam237 Well-Known Member

    All that is required for them to be considered a Credit Bureau is that they provide some type of consumer credit report (or technically any type of report, not really a credit report, since any CRA could claim Credit Bureau as long as they meet the definition of a CRA) to third parties, they may only have one third party client, but the fact that they have that one third party client allows them to designate themselves as a Credit Bureau.

    Many local Credit Bureaus are just that, they may be affiliated with one of the three CRAs, or they may just provide information on local business customers to other local businesses, but as long as they provide information that they have gathered to at least one third-party they can still claim the Credit Bureau moniker.

    Check to see if your state lists collection agencies and credit bureaus in your state, if they are required to be state licensed, and they're licensed as a credit bureau, chances are they do have as a part of their operations a credit bureau function, the BBB may not list always them as being such. Maybe the BBB never had someone complain about them as a CRA, but has received complaints about them as a collection agency.
  5. mh1757

    mh1757 Well-Known Member

    I think the deifinition states "bona fide". Not too manr CA's meet this criteria - only the big ones. I had the same problem with a CA and had the negative tradeline removed because of this.
  6. Phreedom

    Phreedom Well-Known Member


    California does not require license or bonding. It would be difficult to determine if a CA actually does provide info

Share This Page