How do I report a bad debt to the credit bureaus?

Google seems to be full of ways for me to get and or repair my own credit report but how can I go about entering bad debt information against someone? As a small time landlord I have only two properties and three rental units. A previous tenant amassed thousands of dollars in unpaid rent and when I got a judgment against her in “rent court” she simply moved out, while promising me she would repay “every penny” owed me. As it turns out, the rent court judgment only gives me (re)possession of the property and is not a “money judgment/award” against the tenant. I need to report this just debt to the credit bureaus and make her report so bad she will see the wisdom of repaying me. The only mechanism for reporting that I have been able to find are agencies that charge not unsubstantial membership fees to provide this reporting “service” for me. Isn’t there some way I can DIY it? Maybe a bigger landlord can justify these services. What doea a little guy do? FWIW, her promise to repay was done in front of a witness. Does this constitute an oral contract? TIA

Can you get a money judgement against the tenant in regular (small claims, even) court? That will appear on her report.

Probably, but I can’t locate her to have her “served” and the local small claims $ limit is about half of what she owes me. :frowning:

Have you tried looking for her on the Internet? It’s amazing what you can find by just typing a person’s name in quotes into a search engine.

They have a helpful menu, as well as contact info, I’m certain someone from there will point you in the right direction.


This google answer may also be helpful.

You need a reporting account with a credit bureau. The credit bureaus don’t (yet, thank Og) have a bounty system where you can just turn people in. Somewhere I have a link to information about how to sign up. I’ll poke around for it and post it if I can find it.

[del]I still have not found a link about the need to set up a reporting relationship, but there is another way.[/del]

You can use a collection agency like this one. A good collection agency will have reporting relationships with all three bureaus.

I don’t know anything about this specific collection agency, I’m only using it as an example. But it looks like a package that includes reporting is pretty cheap.

Ahhh. . . . wait. Yes, here

And this link from the bottom of that page talks about the relationship you need to establish and how to do it if you don’t want to use a third party to report the debt.

Hope this helps.

And what good would that do you? She was your tenant and you were already able to prove that she owed you back rent. What more does an oral contract give you?

And the short answer is “probably not.” There is no consideration.||||

This website seems to be scarily useful in locating people.