When Can a Creditor Pull a Consumer’s Credit Report? The Ninth Circuit Ignites a Controversy

Last month the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided an important consumer protection issue concerning when creditors trying to collect consumer debts can permissibly pull consumers’ credit reports. The Court held that creditors can only pull credit reports if the debt involves a “credit transaction,” in which the consumer directly participated and voluntarily sought credit. This was an important victory for our client, Maria Pintos. Her car was towed for a registration violation and sold, but the sale price didn’t cover the towing and impound charges. The towing company assigned the outstanding debt to a debt collector, which pulled her...

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Old Consumer Debt: When Is It Too Old To Collect?

Debt collectors often buy old consumer debt and aggressively try to collect it. Sometimes the debt collector will threaten to sue, or threaten to put the debt on your credit report. How valid is that warning? How do you know when debt is too old to collect? Liz Weston’s article in MSN Money explains that there are two limitations periods you should know about. First, the statute of limitations restricts the time in which a creditor can sue on a debt. In California, creditors must sue within four years to collect on promissory notes, contracts and credit card debt. If...

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