Please does anyone have any advice on this?
The facts as they have been reported to me:
Mr X leaves the property in 2008.
Mrs X remains at the property and there is a verbal agreement
that she will transfer the utility bills to her name.
Mr X still legally owns the property until it is repossesed by the bank in 2010.
In 2015 Mr X obtains a copy of his Equifax credit report and discovers that United Utilities have registered a default dated March 2015.
Unitied Utilities will not remove the default as they say Mr X did not notify them he had moved/was no longer responsible for the water charges at the property.
The ICO have today sent this response:
Dear Mr X,
I write further to my email of 19 February.
Based on the evidence provided, I consider that it is likely that United Utilities has complied with its obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) in this case.
I feel it may be useful to explain that a default on a credit file means that an organisation considers the relationship between itself and the individual to have broken down.
United Utilities has explained that whilst the last payment was made in 2007,
they had been attempting to chase the debt and a default notice was only issued in February 2015
when collections activity was deemed exhausted
and the relationship was deemed broken down.
United Utilities has explained that the credit for £268.88 was a false credit
and has confirmed that that the default date of 14 March 2015
and default balance of £3093 were accurate
and up to date at the time it was shared with Equifax.
United Utilities has explained that they acted on the information available to them
as you did not inform them that you had ceased being responsible for charges at xxxxxxxxxxxxx until May 2015.
I understand that while the default will remain,
United Utilities will request amendments to your credit file to reflect the subsequent information received by you.
I appreciate you may be disappointed by this,
but I hope the information provided above explains the reasons for our decision.
Lead Case Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office
01625 545 774
Is there anything to stop a company registering a default from so long ago, or would there be if an agreement was regulated by the CCA? Is there any point Mr X arguing that he did not take out a credit agreement with United Utilities? I believe that utilities companies have only recently been allowed to 'share' data with credit reference agencies, so it's not something Mr X would have agreed to/been aware of upon opening the account.
Thanks for reading.