DLA chasing for 57k - lender knows nothing!!

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DLA refused to provide any info when SARned, on the basis that data on me is a "legal professional privilege" (as per the DPA).Lender SARNed at same time - response from them is that, on their preliminary searches, they have NO details held on me. How can this be, if DLA are acting on THEIR instructions (supposedly) to take me to court?! Also received from lender an "I.D. required" form, which I understand is normal practice, but they have offered to supply SPECIFIC information, if they have it, info which is not covered by my SARs. Should I go ahead and request information under my SARs, for the 10 fee requested, and not enter into specifics? Could it be that their records do not go back as far as the date of repossession, 1991 - although i DID expect them to have the info they must have provided to DLA in order for them to take me to court?

-- Julie Stamp (SALEM@STAMPDJ.FSNET.CO.UK), April 17, 2002

Answers

This is exactly what Citibank did to me. We SARNed them in response to a letter (after a 5 year silence) asking us to phone them urgently. We declined to do so, but served a SARN. They wrote back saying they had no personal data relating to us. We sent copies of all correspondence to the Information Commissioner, and requested an assessment. The IC made an unfavourable assessment of Citibank (ie: she formally found they were in breach of the DPA). In the circumstances I would assume your lender will definitely also be assessed unfavourably. This looks extremely bad for them if it ever comes to court, and there's the possibility you will be able to claim compensation for damages/distress from the lender on the basis of it. So write to the IC today! Good luck,

-- Melody (mbc109@york.ac.uk), April 18, 2002.

Wow! What a fast reply from DLA and your lender Julie. I seem to recall it was only last week that you were serving SARNs on them. You don't say who the lender is and this would be useful to know. Melody's advice is sound, but I would personally write back to lender with a copy to DLA pointing out that they are in breach of the DPA and that unless they co-operate you will be forced to complain to the IC. Point out to them that the onus is on them to substantiate the claim they are making. As to what records they hold, I would be extremely surprised if they have none as they would then be unable to justify the claim at all. Have you actually received a court summons? If the answer is no then just see it for what it is, the usual bluster. Follow the advice on this site concerning requesting information. Be polite, but be stubborn and persistent. Good Luck

-- Gordon Bennet (arsenewhinger@hotmail.com), April 18, 2002.

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