Why Collectors Hate To Mark Your Account As “Disputed” On Credit Reports

Why Collectors Hate To Mark Your Account As “Disputed” On Credit Reports

credit reports

We previously wrote about how collectors must mark your account as “disputed” on your credit reports when you dispute it.  But why don’t the debt collectors want to do this?

There Is Only One Reason Debt Collectors Credit Report.

Collectors will act pious and say they owe some obligation to creditors around the world to report you as being in collection.  That’s complete garbage.

The only reason collectors report on your credit report is to force you to pay them.

A $75 collection account can be as damaging as a $10,000 collection account.

Any collection account can trash your credit report.

Collectors know this will get your attention and cause you to pay.

If You Owe The Debt To The Collector, This Is Fair.

If you owe the debt to the collector, and the reporting is accurate (dates, amounts, status, etc), then it is fair to report it.

The fact that the credit reporting hurts you is simply a consequence.

It is not illegal.

But what about when you don’t owe the debt — the amount is wrong — the dates of when you defaulted are wrong — etc.?

If It Is False Credit Reporting, Then It Is Illegal.

I gave a seminar one time to primarily debt collection attorneys and a few consumer attorneys.

The title was “Credit Reporting:  Effective Tool or Deadly Weapon?”

To illustrate it I brought out a large knife.

“Is this an effective tool or a dangerous weapon?”

The responses were “It depends on what you are using it for….”


Accurate, truthful credit reporting is fine.

It is a powerful effective tool to prompt payment.

But false credit reporting?

A deadly weapon that easily turns in the hand of the collector and winds up in the collector’s chest.

Collectors that credit report have enormous power.

They better use that power carefully and properly.

False credit reporting is one of the most effective and valuable types of suits that we bring under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

So if you have absolutely false credit reporting, either dispute it through the credit reporting agencies (using the Fair Credit Reporting Act) or sue the collector under the FDCPA.

But if you are not sure if the reporting is accurate, or if you have just received a collection call or letter, consider sending a simple dispute letter to the collection agency.

You Can Dispute The Collection Account On Your Credit Reports

Send the letter we described previously informing the collection agency you dispute the debt.

Or you can do it over phone but it is easier to prove if you have a letter you sent certified.

When you do this, the collection agency must tell the credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, Innovis, Trans Union, etc) that the debt is “disputed.”

Debt collectors often won’t do this.

When they don’t, we normally sue them.

So why do they knowingly break the law and risk being sued?

Collectors Hate To Follow The Law Because It Removes Some Of Their Leverage Over You

Remember the one reason they credit report?

It gives them great leverage to force you to pay — even if you don’t owe the debt.

But if the account is marked as “disputed” then often the negative effect of the credit reporting is lessened.

The negative effect is lessened?  But that’s the whole reason the collector reports!

So collectors think “Why should I do this when it takes away my power over the consumer?”

But the collectors can be sued!

Here’s what the collector says in his heart:  “Yeah, but so few people even know this, and fewer will ever even take any action, that I’ll make a lot more money than I’ll ever have to pay out if I do get sued.”

When Collectors Refuse To Follow The Law And Mark Your Account As “Disputed” Then Consider Suing Them To Encourage Them To Do The Right Thing

Do you like the analysis of the abusive debt collector?

Do you think it is right that they arrogantly break the law?

Arrogantly hurt you?

Arrogantly have an unfair business advantage over honorable debt collectors who follow the law?

If the collector is doing this to you, then at least consider stepping up and fighting the good fight.

I know it can be scary to face these bullies but the FDCPA is a powerful weapon and if you have a lawyer that you trust by your side, you can do heroic things.

Slay the giant.

Eventually these abusive collectors will realize it is bad business to abuse consumers in Alabama — too costly.

Do you part.  Take action now.

Contact Us.

If you have any questions, or you would like to make a game plan, give us a call at 1-205-879-2447.

You can also fill out a contact form and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

We will be glad to help you with any questions you have about your credit reports or how to handle these guys.

I look forward to chatting with you.

Have a great day!

-John G. Watts


  1. […] So I disputed this account and finally Holloway took it off my credit reports.  By the way, if you have any Holloway accounts or other collection accounts, consider sending the letter we discuss here — https://alabamaconsumer.com/2012/04/simple-letter-to-send-to-debt-collectors/ and remember that collectors hate to accurately credit report — https://alabamaconsumer.com/2012/04/why-collectors-hate-to-mark-your-account-as-disputed-on-credi…. […]

  2. […] When you answered the lawsuit and said you deny owing the money, the debt collector has to tell the credit reporting agencies that the debt it is reporting is “disputed” at least when it updates your credit report.  This can help your credit report which is why debt collectors hate to mark your account as disputed on your credit reports. […]

  3. Bill says:

    I’ve disputed several items on my credit reports lately and they all say that the items are currently being disputed by consumer. I did not know that this status essentially makes the negative mark invisible or not count against my credit report once it is disputed though. That is good information to know.

    • John Watts says:


      Glad you liked the information.

      Sometimes mortgage companies don’t want “disputed” debts — it really depends on what you are applying for and with who. Regardless, I think it is almost always a good idea to dispute collection accounts to figure out who they claim to represent and how they claim you owe the money.

      If the industry wasn’t run through with scam companies it would be different but so many people get burned by paying the wrong company it is better to be safe than sorry….

      Thanks for your comment.

      John Watts

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