Table of Contents
What is CBNA?
CBNA stands for Credit Bureau of North America. CBNA was a debt collection agency that was founded in 1998 and stopped operating in most states in 2011. 1 They frequently operated as CBNA, LLC and officially switched to that name in 2010. 2
Other companies that use the CBNA acronym
Credit Bureau of North America isn’t the only organization that uses the acronym “CBNA.” Items on your credit report labeled CBNA may also refer to:
- Citibank, North America
- Community Bank, North America
- Comenity Bank, North America
If you see CBNA on your credit report, review the item carefully to make sure you understand which company it’s associated with.
A CBNA collection account on your credit report is more likely to have come from Credit Bureau of North America because it’s a debt collection agency. Conversely, a hard inquiry is more likely to have come from one of the other organizations listed above, because they’re lenders that conduct inquiries before extending new lines of credit to people.
Who did CBNA collect for?
According to court filings and other records, Credit Bureau of North America bought various consumer debts from financial institutions like American General Financial Services (now OneMain Financial Services). 3 4
Was CBNA a scam?
No, Credit Bureau of North America wasn’t a scam. They were a legitimate collections agency. However, CBNA did receive a number of complaints and lawsuits for violating consumer rights. 3
It’s also important to note that even though CBNA has stopped operating, scammers may still pose as them.
If someone claiming to represent CBNA calls you and tries to collect a debt, be very careful. Wait for written confirmation of the debt before you consider paying anything, and be sure to ask questions during the call to clarify what they’re claiming their relationship was with CBNA.
What happens when debt collectors go out of business?
CBNA may still appear on your credit report even though they’re no longer in business. This has several implications for your finances and credit.
How CBNA can still appear on your credit report
CBNA can appear as a collection item on your credit report for up to seven years, even though the business is no longer in operation. 6
Items like this remain on your credit report for a simple reason. Your credit report shows records of your debts and credit activity, and it’s mainly used by lenders and other interested parties to assess your creditworthiness.
Accordingly, even after you close an account or pay off a debt, derogatory items like late payments and collection accounts remain on your credit report for years so that individuals and businesses can assess your risk as a borrower.
Ultimately, information will stay on your credit report until one of the following things happens:
- The reporting period ends (this is 7 years for most derogatory items, except for some types of bankruptcy, which can reach 10 years). 6
- The data-furnishing company (in your case, CBNA) tells the credit bureau(s) to remove the account from their records.
Unless CBNA has updated your account records with the credit bureaus, the collection item will remain on your account for seven years.
You may still have to repay the debt
Even though CBNA is no longer in operation, there is still a chance you’ll have to repay the debt—just not to the same company. It’s not uncommon for debts to be sold or transferred from one debt collection agency to another. The process can sometimes take a while, so debts that you thought were settled can sometimes show up years later.
Fortunately, the uncertainty regarding who currently owns your debt may make it easier to get the CBNA collection account removed from your credit report.
How to get CBNA off your credit report
If your credit score is suffering as a result of CBNA debt, then don’t worry. You have two options for getting their collection accounts off your credit report.
1. Send a credit dispute letter to the three credit bureaus
In accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) are required to delete disputed information on consumer credit reports if the information is inaccurate or cannot be verified. 6
If you dispute the items on your credit report by sending a letter to the bureaus reporting your CBNA debt, they have 30 days to obtain evidence that the debt is valid and belongs to you. If they’re unable to do so (which is likely, considering CBNA is no longer in business), then they’ll have to delete the collection account from your credit report. 6
The credit bureaus also need to delete the collection account from your credit report if the debt is past its statute of limitations.
2. Get help from a credit repair company
If you don’t have success filing a credit dispute or you just need some assistance, then find a credit repair expert who can remove CBNA collection items from your credit report for you. This can save you time and help you avoid the frustration of trying to remove their negative marks on your own.