Who can use the credit bureau to police contracts?
February 16, 2007 7:42 PM   Subscribe

When and who can contact credit agencies regarding reneged payments to reflect on a payees credit report? Is this limited to businesses and banks or less official transactions as well?

I know for a fact that if I didn't pay my rent, my land lord who lives down the street could easily have this reflect on my credit report. What happens when two parties have signed an agreement and one reneges, do I have the ability to report this? I find it interesting that two people who are non landlords (or something similar) have to go through small claims court instead of using the good ol' credit bureau to defend the institution of signed pieces of paper. Basically, can the average Joe use the credit bureau to uphold agreements between two average Joes when a contract has been signed?
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (4 answers total)
I don't think the average joe can use the credit bureau without a third party's assistance. In order to send consumer credit data to credit reporting agencies like Transunion, etc., you need to be a registered business and meet certain criteria to open an account with the agency. Also, it isn't free. There is a cost associated with data reporting and collection agencies and lenders are charged fees to report on consumers.

There are third party businesses who facilitate credit reporting for personal loans. I can't think of any off hand, but maybe someone else can provide a name/link.
posted by necessitas at 8:50 PM on February 16, 2007

There is a cost associated with data reporting

Frequently, it's a two-way transaction. Companies that report histories to the bureau also purchase reports; supplying credit histories can mean a discount on bulk report purchases.

posted by gimonca at 9:11 PM on February 16, 2007

It's unlikely that such a debt would ever be reported, unless it gets sent out to collection, and the collection agency reports it, or unless it goes to court and there's a court judgment, which pretty much always gets reported.

Bureaus need consistent, reliable sources; a one-time report from someone they have no experience with would represent significant risk and overhead for little benefit.

Incidentally, landlords typically don't show up on big-3 consumer credit reports either, except for collections/judgments. However, there are separate reporting companies that cater only to landlords, such as this one.
posted by gimonca at 9:43 PM on February 16, 2007

I can tell you this for Canada, but you haven't mentioned where you are. (US I presume.)
posted by loiseau at 6:05 AM on February 17, 2007

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