Credit reference agencies

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I saw this on your site:

"Credit reference agencies such as Equifax have subsidiaries that trace repossessees (in Equifax's case, the tracing agency is called Wescot and is based in Glasgow). We have evidence that the credit reference agencies pass on details of your applications for credit to their tracing agency subsidiaries."

I have also noticed on my credit record, such entries as: "XXX investigations". I have clearly not gone to this company for credit, why are they allowed to search my record? Isn't this illegal?

On a slightly different note, can one take action for defamation or libel be taken against credit refernce agencies if they refuse to remove an entry that is incorrect?

-- Ash (pop@poppy.com), June 19, 2001

Answers

I personally doubt that Equifax have performed the tracing using a tracing agency. XXX investigations have issued credit checks on the instructions of the lender that is either seeking to locate you, or, somebody else thta thye suspect is associated with you, or, they are simply attempting to get a current financial picture of you.

Are these companies allowed to issue credit checks against your name - NO THEY ARE NOT.

If you have loads of cash then you could do something about it. There are a number legal angles available to you, invasion of privacy, violation of the consumer credit act, etc..

But, if you had loads of cash then these people would not be chasing you in the first place.

What can you do if you do not have loads of cash?

Very little is appears, but there are a number of actions available to you;

1, Issue a DPA SARN against XXX Investigations for 10.

This will provide limited information before 24th Oct 2001 and will only result in them supplying you with computer based information. If you issue the SARN after 24th October 2001 then you should get all the manual records as well.

This may provide you with documents which could be used against the lender, the credit reference agency and the investigations company. But, no holding your breath.

2, Submit an Assessment request to the Information Commissioners.

This is free. State that your rights under the DPA have been violated and you want an assessment. If the assessment confirms that your riights have been violated then you can go to court and requets compensation for stress and any losses as a result of the violations. (See a solicitor who knows what he's doing and understand the DPA) This part is going to cost you money. In theory you could apply to a magistrates court for compensation, not require a solicitor and you will be able to claim upto 5,000 compensation. (My opinion is that you will get shafted)

And that is about all you can do.

This is all "Best Advice" based on my own experiances. I'm sorry if any of it is incorrect, but there you go.

-- guess (i.hate.abbey.national@another.com), June 20, 2001.


There are different types of search against files at credit reference agencies. Anyone can search the public data files. These include electoral roll, court data and bankruptcy information. Even a member of the public can search these if you pay the agency the fee.

Credit searches can only be carried out with your consent (asignature on a form or agreement given over the phone or on the net by ticking a box and sending it to them).

The chances are that the xxxx Investigations did a public data check and that's why it's on your file. They'd lose their licence if they did credit checks on you.

-- Anon (anon@hotmail.com), June 29, 2001.


Sorry but what is all this twaddle about public searches being held by credit reference agencies?

Only a firm registered with the creidt reference agency can issue a credit check against you. These searches are recorded, but the company issuing them is able to delete the search.

I've worked in banking for 30 years and I've never heard of a public search being recorded by a credit reference agency. Utter nonsense.

-- anon (i.hate.abbey.national@another.com), July 15, 2001.


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