Same Debt Reported Twice? Lawsuit Investigation Looks into Duplicate Collections on Credit Reports
Last Updated on January 9, 2023
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are no longer investigating this matter. The information here is for reference only. A list of open investigations and lawsuits can be viewed here.
At A Glance
- This Alert Affects:
- Anyone who had a duplicate collection account on their credit report.
- What’s Going On?
- Consumers’ credit scores may have been negatively affected by duplicate collections on their credit reports, and attorneys working with ClassAction.org are looking into whether this was caused by a reporting error. If so, it’s possible that a class action lawsuit could be filed.
- How Could a Lawsuit Help?
- A class action lawsuit could compensate people whose credit was damaged by double reporting and even help remove duplicate collections from their credit reports.
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are looking to speak with people who had the same debt collection account improperly listed more than once on their credit report.
Equifax reportedly sent letters to some consumers who apparently had duplicate collection accounts on their credit reports, which may have been the result of a reporting error. Double reporting could negatively impact a person’s credit score, and attorneys are now investigating whether a class action lawsuit can be filed to help compensate people whose credit may have been damaged by a duplicate collection account.
What Causes Duplicate Accounts on a Credit Report?
There are several reasons the same debt may be listed more than once on your credit report – and it’s important to recognize when an account is accurately listed twice and when it may have been an error.
A collection account is a debt that has been charged off or closed by the original creditor and transferred or sold to a debt collection agency or debt buyer. According to Credit.com, when an account is in collections, it may still show up twice on your credit report – once as a charged-off account reported by the original creditor, and once as a collection account reported by the collection agency or debt buyer. Each time a debt changes hands, it can be reported by the new owner of the debt, but only one of the entries should reflect an outstanding balance in your credit report.
However, if your credit report lists duplicate collections for the same debt that are both being reported as open, that could be an error – and potentially have financially damaging effects.
Can Duplicate Collections Affect My Credit?
Yes, a duplicate collection account can lower your credit score – which in turn can cause lenders to offer you loans with higher interest rates and less favorable terms, or cause you to be denied credit.
One collection account can have a significant impact on your credit on its own. If the account is then improperly duplicated on your credit report, it will look like you have multiple collections and could cause even more damage to your credit.
Lenders and creditors may consider how often you’ve had debts sent to collections, so someone who has had multiple debt collections may be less likely to be approved for a loan or offered credit than someone who has had only one.
How Do I Know if I Have Duplicate Collections on My Credit Report?
Some consumers have reportedly been sent a letter from Equifax stating they had duplicate collection accounts on their credit report.
Even if you didn’t receive a letter, you can check for double reporting by requesting a copy of your credit report. By law, you can request a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major consumer reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. This can be done through AnnualCreditReport.com or by phone or mail.
Once you have your report, compare the account numbers and debt amount for each entry to check whether there is a duplicate.
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