Answer: According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, when your past due account is sent to collections, debt collectors can legally check your credit report where the original creditor has or had that right. Instances where the original creditor (and thus subsequent collectors) have that right (often referred to as a “legitimate business purpose”) include when you sign credit agreements such as mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, because in your application you also agreed to allow the creditor (and its designated representatives) to pull your credit reports on you anytime they feel it’s necessary.
However, if the original creditor did not have the right to access your report, the debt collector may not. Instances where such “pulls” are “impermissible” include (but are not limited to) credit accounts where you are an authorized user, debts for traffic and parking tickets, and some medical procedures
Two very common reasons for pulling credit reports are late payments and collection actions. In the case of late payments on credit cards, you can expect your creditor to not only pull your credit report, you can expect them to raise your interest rate. This happens thousands of times a day!
If you think you are the victim of an impermissible pull, or just aren’t sure, call 888-332-7252 and speak to a lawyer experienced in fair credit reporting claims as excessive pulls may lower your credit score and give rise to a claim for monetary compensation to you from the debt collector.