Reading your credit report Part 5: Collection Accounts

Collection Accounts

Collection accounts are accounts that are seriously past due and have been transferred to an attorney, collection agency or creditor’s internal collection agency. As your debt is transferred between different agencies, you may see several records on your report for the same debt.

Only one record should be marked as open at a time. All the collection records and the original debt record will expire from your credit report at the same time. Collection records use a unique summary format on your credit report:

  • Creditor Name:  The official name of the company that is currently attempting to collect the debt.
  • Account Number:  An identifying number for your account with the collection agency. This is not the same as the account number on your original debt.
  • Original Creditor:  The name of the original creditor where you accumulated your debt. This could be an account that is listed on your credit report (such as a credit card) or an account that is not listed on your report (such as a library, video rental or cell phone company). If this creditor was a medical office, the name may be masked for your privacy.
  • Responsibility:  This indicates your responsibility for the account. For example, individual, joint or co-signer.
  • Condition:  The status of your collection record. For example, open, closed or paid.
  • Original Balance:  The amount of debt owed on the original account before it was transferred.
  • Date Opened:  The date the account was transferred to the collection agency.
  • Date Reported:  The date of the collection agency’s last update to this account record.
  • Remarks:  Notes about the account as reported to each credit reporting agency. For example, this section may note that the collector has been unable to locate you or that you have not yet paid the debt.

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