Case Note 205558 [2010] NZPrivCmr 1: Debt collector fails to follow procedure and loads disputed debt with credit reporter

A woman incurred a small debt which was transferred to a debt collector due to her failure to pay it by a certain time. The woman contacted the debt collector and advised it that she disputed the debt. Ten days later, the debt collector transferred the debt to a credit reporter, who then loaded it as a default on the woman’s credit report. The woman ultimately paid the debt but she was not happy that her disputed debt had been transferred to a credit reporter.Principle 8 of the Privacy ActPrinciple 8 of the Privacy Act provides that an agency must not use personal information without taking reasonable steps to ensure that it is accurate, up-to-date, complete and not misleading. In this case, the debt collector was clearly put on notice that the woman had disputed the debt but transferred it to the credit reporter anyway.

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