Is It Illegal for a Creditor and Collector to Report The Same Account? – Josh

“Dear Steve,

Is it illegal for both a creditor and a collector to report the exact same account? I have several old credit cards that show charged off and then a duplicate of that account by a collection agency. Isn’t that double and even triple punishment for the same account? My credit score goes lower whenever the same account is reported more than once. It would seem only fair that if you have one account that isn’t paid, its only reported once (either the original creditor OR the collector, not both!)


Dear Josh,

I don’t know about “illegal” but it’s clearly a screwup if they are reporting the same information.

However, if the original account is reported by the original creditor as a $0 balance but listed as a charge off, that sure seems accurate and factual. The account could then be purchased by a new debt owner who could report that account balance and collect on it.

But the 7.5 year clock for reporting on the credit report should begin with the day the original creditor reported it as delinquent.

Your credit report is supposed to be a true and accurate reflection of your credit history and from what you shared it sounds like the facts reported are accurate.

If you can it would make sense to resolve the past due debt and move forward without any current collection account.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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