Can a collection company pull my credit?


The 9th circuit court has ruled that collection companies cannot pull your credit report. A lot of people get overly concerned with inquires on their credit report, which should be the case excessive inquiries will hurt your credit.


The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently decided Pintos v Pacific Creditors

Association in January of 2007. In the facts of the case, the Plaintiff’s (Ms.

Pintos) car was towed. She failed or refused to pay the towing company so they sold her car at auction. The car did not fetch enough money to pay her towing bill.

The towing company turned the remaining debt (the difference between the auction price and the towing bill) over to Pacific Creditors Association


(“PCA”). During

collection activities, PCA pulled Ms. Pintos’ credit report. The 9th Circuit

held that this was a mistake. Under the Fair and Accurate Credit

Transactions Act (“FACTA”) the newest revision of the Fair Credit


Reporting Act, a collector may only pull a credit report in connection with a “credit transaction.” Ms Pintos did not ask or apply to the towing company for credit, an important legal distinction. Ms. Pintos lost her claim at the trial court but not in the 9th Court of Appeals.


This case could be important as a defense if a collection agency is suing you.


It could get you some money as well should you decide to sue over the FCRA violation. The information that a collection agency has pulled your credit report is another reason for dealing with your credit today. 


STEVE VENNEMANN 651-334-8312