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  1. THE CO-OPERATIVE BANK PLC ran an "Identification: Generic Check" on Experian. Do they do this for all transferred Britannia accounts or should I be concerned? I have not applied for any products from them. The only Co-op product I have is an old Britannia Building Society savings account with a very small balance that was transferred to them during the merger and I haven't even updated the passbook for a couple of years as it's only a few pence interest.
  2. Lowell (also trading as Red and taking over accounts from 1st Credit - 1st credit being notorious for sending "statutory demands" that aren't worth the paper they're written on) attempts to collect a lot of statute barred Barclaycard debts. Offering "discounts" or (wait for it!) the ability to "bid" for your account (yes, that's right, tell them how much you want to pay and they may even say yes and accept your money in convenient monthly installments!) is a classic tell-tale sign of a statute barred debt and a desperate attempt to collect. It is now time to file a written complaint with your local Trading Standards office telling them you are being harassed by Red and enclosing copies of the correspondence you have sent and received. Red knows that once Trading Standards are involved, the pursuit of statute barred debts has to be abandoned as soon as the consumer refuses payment. I bet after you file a complaint with Trading Standards you will soon get a letter like this and the matter will end.
  3. It is important to note that a Default Notice can only be served on a LIVE credit agreement. If a credit agreement has been cancelled, there can be no default notice sent to your current address or any other address. Note that a "Default" recorded by a credit reference agency is not the same as a "Default Notice" for a credit agreement. A "Default Notice" for a credit agreement means the lender can terminate it (ie your credit card has no more available credit, your overdraft is revoked, you cannot borrow any more). A cancellation notice would then be sent to advise the agreement has been cancelled after you miss the deadline if the lender chooses to do so. If you do not receive a cancellation notice and bring your account up to date at a later date, then your agreement may still be live but your credit limit may be inaccessible (ie you may be paying off a card you cannot use or a loan knowing you cannot get another loan from the same lender). Some lenders will serve a default notice if you miss just one payment; others will serve a default notice if you are two, three or six months in arrears. Some others may keep sending you a default notice every time you miss a payment (it has been known to happen to people who get paid 3-4 days after their payment due date). A "Default" in a credit file may be reported immediately or months later. For example, no matter how far behind you were in your payments when you were served with the default notice for your agreement, if you continue to not pay or pay less than the required minimum payment then the lender may choose to report your account as 3, 4, 5, 6 months behind in payments before changing the status to a "D". That "D" status is the "Default" on your credit file that is difficult to change. Other lenders may choose not to report any of their accounts at all unless they have gone on the "D" status (i.e. nothing on your credit file for months then a "D" appears or report a "D" immediately after you miss the deadline). Once the status goes to a "D" it will generally not change other than a) to remove the account altogether at the request of the lender, b) to mark the account as satisfied if it has been paid in full, c) to drop off automatically (whether paid or not) on the first Saturday after six years since the date a "D" was entered. It may be that your continuing payments have prevented the account from going to the "D" status and as far as the credit reference agency is concerned you simply have an account with a bad payment history and as far as the lender is concerned they terminated your facilities (ie cannot borrow any more or get any credit from them again) but the amounts under the original agreement are still due and you are paying it. Paying on an account that has a "D" status means that no matter what you pay, it has no effect in your file, no more balances are recorded once a "D" is in place - if you owe £10000 and pay £9900 of it, you still have a "D" and £10000 in your file. If you pay all £10000 you will see an "S" and £10000 (default satisfied). Furthermore, if despite making payments the status of your account gets worse (e.g. you need to pay £1000 and you pay £50 and the credit agency reports it going from 4 to 5 months behind) that does not help either as sooner or later the account will reach "D" Default status. There is no provision at present to challenge the balance on a Default. You could add a NOTICE to your file to explain how much you paid but it will not help much. Check your file carefully and see what is reported for that account and how many months behind the payments are showing and how close you are to "D" status (anything over 6 would be critical).
  4. Talking about defaults, apparently a company called "Fairmile Partnership LLP" has recently been adding them to credit files. Only a few problems, of course.... 1) The defaults are added to what Fairmile believes to be the debtor's latest address, not where they were incurred. That is, defaults dated "2002" have been added in "2007" as if they were accounts at the debtor's latest address. Posting a default on the supposed most "current" address of a debtor is highly questionable, as is the fact that the default got registered some 5 years after an account supposedly defaulted. 2) The Fairmile incarnation that registered the defaults was not a registered company until 2005. In addition, it turns out there are at least 7 (seven) different Fairmile companies, with very strange data: 1 - incorporated 07/01/2005, paperwork appears to be filed on time 2 - incorporated 07/01/2005, return due at companies house 04/02/2007 (overdue) 3 - incorporatd 07/01/2005, on 14/11/2005 changed its name to RIDGEWORTH FAIRMILE RECOVERIES LLP 4 - incorporated 27/10/2005, return due 24/11/2006 (overdue) 5 - incorporated 27/10/2005, filed account as DORMANT company (no activity) on 31/05/2006 6 - incorporated 30/05/2006, too new, no accounts filed, on 15/05/2007 chaged its name to FAIRMILE RECOVERIES LLP 7 - incorporated 14/06/2006, too new, no accounts filed 8 - incorporated 14/06/2006, too new, no accounts filed Companies house data freely available also indicates: Nature of Business (SIC(03)):None Supplied The company did not directly disclose to companies house that it was in the business of debt recovery. Apart from other considerations, the fact that two companies clearly related have failed to file paperwork with companies house could surely be a good enough reason for the Office of Fair Trading to investigate. If the "DORMANT" company has ever sent a letter, then presumably that would be enough reason to shut all Fairmiles down ("DORMANT" companies are those that did not trade or did any business during their accounting year). 3) The debt for which the default was registered is clearly BARRED. Not simply statute barred, but completely DEAD under the PRESCRIPTION AND LIMITATION ACT (SCOTLAND). It does not exist, and Fairmile has acknowledged that by putting a default date of over five years ago on the credit file. Unfortunately, information can technically be retained in credit reference agencies for six years from the date of the default, even if a debt in Scotland expires in five The problem is, even if Fairmile is taken to court, there will not be much compensation for their victims (who pay off debts legally dead) and would take too long. And they are not the only company pursuing barred debts.
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