previous occupier/debt collection

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I may not have the right page for you to help me but, i am worried that my credit reference and home is at risk. I moved in to this property 04/06/03 since then i have had nothing but letters from companys demanding money for arrears, also i had a debt collector at my door wanting to take my posessions!All of which are addressed to previous owner. Just let me know if this affects my credit ref and my home as i have been told that checks are based on your address. yours faithfully T Talbot.

-- tracey talbot (traybry2002@aol.co.uk), September 05, 2003

Answers

Hi Tracey,

This is an increasing problem

Yes credit files are linked to addresses. And even the following steps may not stop some determined debt tracing companies from persisting to knock on the door.

The easiest method is simply to show them proof of identity - if you feel uncomfortable doing this then simply tell them to go away - they have no legal entitlement to pursue you for someone elses debts - should a debt collector not get the message then complain to the Office of Fair Trading, making sure you have the debt companies / agents name.

If Baliffs persist (shouldnt if you do as advised below) show proof of ID and contact the court they represent if non cooperating.

ALSO DO THE FOLLOWING :-

a) Inform your Local Postal Sorting Office that the person(s) named on the demands have gone away and that you do not want anymore of their post sent to your address. - This will have a 'knock on' effect in that the post office will return all future letters to the sender(s) advising them 'gone away' - this includes any court papers.

b) Advise, in writing, the following credit reference agencies that you have no link whatsoever to the person(s) concerned and that they have 'gone away' - you are the new occupier / owner of the property - they may require you to pay a small fee of 2 before allowing a 'comment of disassociation'.

EXPERIAN Experian's web site is http://www.uk.experian.com/consumer/index.html

Their telephone details: 'If you have any queries regarding the information recorded on your credit report you may wish to discuss the matter over the telephone. Our telephone number is 0870 2416212 and the lines are open, Monday to Friday, between 8.00am and 6.00pm and on Saturday, between 9.00am and 1.00pm. As the lines can be very busy you may wish to avoid the peak times of 10.00am to 11.00am and 12.00pm to 2.00pm on weekdays.'

This is what Experian have to say about links to other people 'Your credit report can currently include financial information about other people if you share (or have recently shared) the same address and either have the same surname or a financial connection. This is because the finances of people within a household are often connected and helps lenders avoid creating financial difficulty. When an individual applies for a copy of his or her report the credit reference agency is legally obliged to send all of the information a lender might see. This therefore includes any family information outlined above.

During 2003, credit reports will be amended to include financial information about only the person being searched. The names of other people will also be included but only those who are financially connected with the applicant.'

To obtain your credit report - Send a letter including your name, date of birth, address and any addresses where you have lived in the last six years.

Post to: CHS Experian PO Box 8000 Nottingham, NG1 5GX

Please include a postal order or cheque for 2 made payable to Experian Ltd.

EQUIFAX

Their web site is http://www.equifax.co.uk/consumer/whoefx.html

'write to Equifax, requesting a copy of your Credit File. Please ensure that you provide the following information:

Your full name, including title, forename, middle name and surname (and maiden name if appropriate) Any other name you have been known by Your date of birth Your current address, including house number/name, street name, district, post town and postcode

Any previous addresses lived at during the last 6 years. List each address separately including house number/name, street name, district, post town and postcode Please enclose a cheque or Postal Order payable to Equifax for the statutory fee of 2.00 and send your letter to:

Credit File Advice Centre PO Box 1140 Bradford BD1 5US

Please note that Equifax will process your Credit File application and post it to you within 7 days. However, if we are unable to verify your residency at your current address, we may ask you for further information prior to processing your request.'

Further Assistance Should you require further help once you have received your Credit File, please telephone 0870 010 0583. Please note that calls may be recorded for training and quality purposes.

Finally (last one! - not used by many lenders and debt companies)

Relevant web site is: http://www.callcredit.plc.uk/corporate_scripts/consumer_faqs.asp

Callcredit plc Consumer Services Team PO Box 491 Leeds LS3 1WZ Tel: 0870 060 1414

'Your full name Date of Birth Current address (including postcode) Any previous addresses you have held in the past six years, and the length of time at these addresses Any previous names you have been known by Your signed authority The statutory fee of 2, either in the form of a cheque or postal order made payable to "Callcredit plc" Post your request to us at Callcredit plc, Consumer Services Team, PO Box 491, LEEDS, LS3 1WZ with a payment of 2 for every individual requiring a copy of his or her file. '

GOOD LUCK!

-- fairer financial world (fairerfinancialworld@hotmail.com), September 05, 2003.


Tracey,

The following comes from a solicitor in relation to your posting...

This situation is covered by the OFT Debt Collection Guidance - I haven't got them to hand, but I think it is covered in the bit about disputed debts. Also, regarding the Blemain, as Lexie said, it is important to see the terms and conditions and look at the particulars of claim. Also, they are on a list I have from a barrister which covers agreements which may be unenforceable but would need to see copy of the agreement to be able to check. As already mentioned on the site, one of the problems with sub prime lenders is that they often add high charges. These accrue interest with the result that the normal monthly payment (plus the arrears as per Norgan) will then often be insufficient to repay the loan by the end of the term If a lender is being unreasonable by taking possession action very soon after default, it is worth checking if they are CML members (doubtful) or subscribe to the mortgage code. if they do., it is worth seeing if they are in breach of any of the provisions relating to taking possession action.

Hope this is useful,

Mark.

-- M Amos (idgroms@hotmail.com), September 12, 2003.


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