I had a collection account I was unaware of that I paid to avoid any issues (less than $500). Since it is reported on my credit score as "collection account or delinquency accounts" or something alike, I was wondering if that actually constitutes delinquency.

When filling out forms for any sort of reason (rent application, driving license application, visa application etc...) I always declare that I have never been convicted and that I have never committed any criminal act. But now I'm wondering if collections count for that matter.


Assuming the debt is legitimate, this does indeed constitute a delinquent account. However, this is a civil matter, not a criminal matter. This account would not constitute a criminal conviction or even a criminal act.

You would be aware had you been criminally convicted. You'd have been charged by a police officer and would have had to show up in court. That sort of thing doesn't happen to bad debts except in extreme circumstances. Obtained monies through fraud? Filed false tax returns? Then you may be criminally charged. But short of that, no.

Note that I have a guy who stiffed me out of about $12,000 for computer programming work I did for him. I filed a civil suit against him and won. Even then, he never paid up. But because this was a civil matter, he could still honestly swear he has never been convicted of a criminal act.

Off-topic, but note that pretty much every member of the population has committed a criminal act of some sort; it's almost impossible to avoid. You should be careful stating otherwise. Most forms would only ask if you've ever been convicted, or perhaps if you have ever been charged.


This would be criminal if you first-payment defaulted (generally interpreted as fraud), and even then you'd know if you were convicted because you'd be in a courthouse in front of a judge. Assuming this is not the case, you're probably in the clear.


Writing a bad check is a criminal act in most US jurisdictions. So is not paying your taxes. Other than that, you're fine.

  • What constitues a "bad check" exactly I wonder? – sharptooth Dec 19 '11 at 10:49
  • @Sharptooth - Basically its a check that gets presented to the bank for payment and is returned Non-Suffecient funds or Account Closed. In where I live in Illinois they only prosecute serial(3+ unpaid bad checks) offenders or Account closed but they could choose to go after first time offenders too. – user4127 Dec 19 '11 at 17:08

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