28 Apr 2022

What Is Credit Report Double Jeopardy and How Can I Fix It?

If you don’t pay debts when they are owed, you can seriously damage your credit report. The question many people ask us is:

What happens if a single instance of debt multiplies and fills my credit report with multiple negative items?

Michael Bovee, who is the founder of the Consumer Recovery Network, notes how Double Jeopardy works:

“You fall behind on an account and your creditor charges off your account. Your credit report lists a charge off, which is very negative. Then the creditor sells the debt to a collection agency who also reports it as a collection account. Now you have two negative accounts on your credit reports.”

Even though this strike is the SECOND strike against your credit report, it is still legal.

What Is Credit Report Double Jeopardy and How Can I Fix It
What Is Credit Report Double Jeopardy and How Can I Fix It

“But if the original creditor sold the debt to a collection agency, then it should not continue to report a balance owed. That’s double the damage and is not permitted,” he says.


Becoming a Victim of Credit Report Double Jeopardy

If you’ve become a victim of Credit Report Double Jeopardy, there are things that you can do to remedy the situation. Let’s look at a few of those remedies in more detail.


Request Debt Validation

Start by sending out validation letters to each of your debt collectors on your credit report and ask them to identify a few entities, including:

  • Original creditor
  • Current account owner
  • Current balance
  • Date of last payment

Debt collectors, according to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, must send a written notice to the consumer within five days of initial contact, in which the consumer has 30 days to respond.


Dispute Potentially Inaccurate Collection Accounts

Send out dispute letters to debt collectors that have responded with potentially inaccurate information. The debt collector will then have to list the account on the credit report as “disputed.” This notation reduces the harmful impact that the information will have on the consumer’s credit score. The consumer has a cause of action under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in the case that the debt collector does not provide the “disputed” notation.


Hit It At the Source

If you were not able to determine which collection agencies to pay with the previous steps, you can speak with a consumer law attorney. You may also file a complaint through the attorney general’s office or the Better Business Bureau.


Finding The Best Way Out Of Double Jeopardy

Regardless of the method that you choose to go with, whether it is one of these or another one, it is crucial that you do your research and choose a method that makes sense for your particular situation.

If you’re looking for more information about paying off debt and using tradelines to potentially boost your credit score, make sure to get in touch with us here at Boost Credit 101. We have tons of representatives standing by to help answer any questions that you may have. We look forward to helping you reach your financial goals.