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  1. It might be "standard practice" now, but is it legal, without a signed contract/agreement. The data protection act and cases won all suggest not.
  2. Good morning. I was wondering if someone has the definitive answer to this one: Is it still the case that a supplier has to have a consumer's signed agreement before they are allowed to share the consumer's information with a credit reference agency? I have had an electricity and gas account with utilities supplier "Eon" since April 2011. It was arranged over the telephone. There is no signed agreement. When the account was opened over the telephone they did not ask me to confirm that I agree to allow them to share my information with a credit reference agency, or indeed any other third party. For the record, they also didn't state that they would be doing this at all. From googling around they seem to be receiving quite a number of Injunctive Relief Orders from customers who believe that Eon has committed a breach of the Data Protection Act by sharing their info with Credit Reference Agencies, and appear to be being successful in having the account and all data removed from their file. If they are actually legally allowed to share my information with credit reference agencies, I believe they have made some mistakes with my account and I am struggling to get them resolved. 1. My account began in April 2011 when we moved into the property. According to Experian it didn't begin until 6 months later in October 2011. 2. There are no payments, no information whatsoever recorded in the months between the incorrect start date of October 2011 and May 2012 inclusive. 3. There are 4 red "payment late" boxes recorded on the account between June and September 2012 4. There is no information recorded in the boxes between October and December 2012. We were late for the payments between June and September 2012 - A combination of being outside UK and a regular problem with post not arriving. This was resolved in December and we are no clearing the balance by direct debit. The first payment was made in December. In a call to Eon this morning, I pointed out the incorrect account start date, and that in every other credit account that I have recorded on Equifax, both the positive and the negative information is recorded - So any payments that are made are shown in green and any payments that are late are shown in red. I also pointed out that as this is not the case it looks to anyone checking my file that I have made absolutely no payments in the history of the account. Whilst all of my other credit history is excellent, this one misrepresented account it causing my credit score to be recored as "Very Poor". I also pointed out that even if they had recorded all of the payments that I HAD made on the account, that because the account opening date was incorrectly reported by 6 months on my Equifax report, that ratio of payments made on time against those that weren't made on time over the incorrectly reported period of the account would also be inaccurate and look worse than it actually is. The CSR I spoke with spoke a lady in Credit Reporting. The CSR came back to me and gave me the following answers via the lady in Credit Reporting: 1. Eon are aware that the start date of customers accounts are incorrect on Equifax. Apparently if they change the date at their end it reverts back to the incorrect date the following month. 2. As Eon didn't have a payment agreement with me at the time, they are unable to record the payments I made on my account. I pointed out that if not having a payment agreement with them excludes them from being able to record the payments I have made in the months I have made them, then surely it also excludes them from recording the payments I haven't made in the months I haven't made them.........Apparently it doesn't work like that Sir, although no further explanation could be given. 3. I agreed in November 2012 to pay off the balance that was owed along with new usage monthly by direct debit beginning on December 3rd. Despite now having a payment agreement with them, Eon states that they do not display any information on any monthly payments that have been made by customers.....Only those payments that aren't made....So even with a payment agreement they're still only reporting the negative payment information and not the positive......Surely this isn't correct. No other organisation with whom I have a credit account reported on Equifax behaves like this....They record good and bad to give a fair and accurate picture of my credit worthiness. Eon's behaviour just makes their customers look bad, even if they pay. 3. Eon reckons that the Data Protection Act allows them to share customers information with third parties including credit reference agencies without a signed contract or agreement with a customer because they point out that they will be doing so in their terms and conditions. Even if that is the correct interpretation of the law and no signature or agreement by the customer is required, as far as I am aware Eon only started doing this in 2012 - They started supplying with gas and electricity long before this in April 2011 - I wonder if the fact that the account incorrectly shows that it begun 6 months later in October is something to do with the law changing? Either way, I have never signed any contract or agreement with them of any kind. They never asked me if I wished to allow them to, or stated that they would share my information with any third party or credit reference agency when I started the account in April. I have been advised by their CSR to write to the Ombudsman, or report anything I am unhappy with to Equifax who will report it back to the lady in Eon Credit Reporting. Apparently it's pointless writing directly to Eon Credit Reporting - It smacks to me that Eon is chucking any old nonsense on Equifax reports, and relying upon Equifax to resolve their mistakes for them. In the meantime, my credit rating is being seriously screwed up by one organisation's ineptitude. Do I have grounds to threaten Eon with an Injunctive Relief Order? It seems to me that any other path could take a long, long time, and I would quite like to apply for a mortgage NOW!
  3. I appreciate all of your answers to my questions so far PT, but I have to say, I have always been taught that in any situation where you are dealing with an organisation, particularly where they are claiming that they are a creditor, regardless of whether or not the debtor is liable, you always, always, always deal in writing only and never ever by telephone. Mistakes are made, and dare I say it, creditors do indeed tell "porkies" in order to obtain monies. I am sure cash-strapped local Councils are no different. To that end I have knocked up the following incorporating your extremely helpful advice. I would be interested to read what you and other Caggers think of it: Dear ** *****. Thank you for your letter dated *** pertaining to Council Tax at **** ***** ***** ****. The last time I lived in this County was some years ago. To enable me to resolve this matter appropriately and as quickly as possible with the Council, would you please provide me with the following information? 1. The number of liability orders that **** ***** Council have in my name. 2. The dates that each of these Liability Orders cover. 3. The amount that each of these Liability Orders is for 4. The amount that remains outstanding on each of these Liability Orders 5. The date upon which any of the amounts outstanding were passed for enforcement, if indeed any of them have been. I would be grateful if you would also please provide me with photocopies of each of the Liability Orders. I would be happy to use the Subject Access Request process in order to obtain these copies if you would prefer. In any case, I would ask that you please allow 28 days before passing this matter for any enforcement in order that I can receive and respond appropriately to the information that you provide me with in response to this letter. I have sent this letter using Special Delivery Next Day, to demonstrate my wish to work with the Council to resolve this matter as quickly as possible. Naturally, the Council Tax pertaining to my current address is a separate matter and I shall settle the amount due for the period that you billed me for on ** **** ** by the due date of *** ***.
  4. I take your point, but it is still a relevant question, particularly as payment for the new account is due this month and the Council may choose not to respond that quickly - If they haven't obtained a liability order for the old alleged debt, couldn't they still take any payment they receive for the new account as settlement for the old. As although they can't fight to recover the old debt through the court without an LO, they are entitled to attempt to recover the debt through their own actions or those of a DCA?
  5. So PT, (sorry to sound daft, just like to be accurate) are you saying not to use the line "This is not an acknowledgement of any debt" and simply ask them to respond to the questions you originally suggested?: 1 - how many Liability Orders they have 2 - exactly what periods of time they cover - and do these fit in with when he moved etc. 3 - how much each one is for 4 - how much is still outstanding on each Presumably in their reply to that letter they need to supply photocopies of the actual orders. Or is he expected to take their word for it?
  6. Hmmm. Just had another thought. Presuming that the Council did not gain an LO within the time allowed by the law: He has to pay his "new" Council Tax bill for the period November 2010 to the end of the financial year by January. If he pays it, are they allowed to divert that payment to an account they claim is outstanding? What about if he sends payment by cheque rather than blindly transferring it, along with an accompanying letter stating "The amount of the cheque enclosed is to settle account Council tax at pertaining to the address and dates stated in your letter ref number whatever, which was dated so and so date, and is not to be used for any other purpose"? As I said, without an LO in the time the law allowed, could they ignore the letter and divert the payment to the any account they allege is outstanding? Without an LO within the time the law allowed, could they add what the claim to be owed to the new account?
  7. So in a nutshell the letter should be "this is not an acknowledgement of any debt" followed by the questions you have stated? I can see your reasoning if that is the case - He only needs to discuss the LOs as if they haven't been applied for within the time the law allows, there's stuff-all they can do to collect any outstanding tax anyway? Is that about right? Just want to say also, thank you so much to all those who have replied.
  8. Morning! A pal has just moved back to a local authority in England in which he was last resident back in 2003. Last week he received a Council tax bill for the remaining months of 2010/11. Yesterday he received a letter demanding that he contact their office within the next 7 days to discuss payment arrangements pertaining to two addresses in which they claim he was resident between 2001 and 2003. Failure to do so will result in them passing the matter to their enforcement agent. I am dealing with this as he's not exactly internet savvy. I've just searched previous threads on this board. There's lots of info (lots for Scotland which tells a tale about their system I guess!) but not much for England, so just wanted clarify a couple of points if someone's got a mo for me? 1. Am I correct in thinking that if the Council has failed to obtain a liability order from the Courts within 6 years specifically from the date that BILLING (presumably that will be around the date he moved in?) began (rather than the date of any "default"), that the item is Statute Barred and they cannot use the Courts System to recover any alleged debt? 2. Am I also correct in understanding that the only thing can do as a consequence is to continue to attempt to recover the debt by use of their own/outside DCAs? 3. If they have failed to obtain a liability order within 6 years of the original billing date, and they decide to attempt to collect this alleged debt directly/via a private bailiff firm, is either party able to do anything other than simply send letters and knock on the door? Or are they able to go to Court and seek some sort of legal enforcement or perhaps bankruptcy? I other words, what's the worst they can do? 4. If a liability order was sought in the past (he's not sure if it was or not but the term "rings a bell"!) for an amount which was settled, can that liability order be used to seek further payment from a different period in the future at the same address or perhaps even a different address? 5. Can the Council seek to perhaps amalgamate the new bill for his current address with what they allege he owes from the past? 6. Can the Council refuse a payment plan for his new bill at his new address whilst they claim there is an old amount outstanding? I ask as looking at his new bill this morning, I notice that where they show the total amount owing for the period 11/10 to 03/11, in the instalment plan box below that they've entered the whole amount as one instalment due on Jan 1st! Finally (and I really appreciate you reading all of this!) am I correct in thinking that the way forward from here is to write the Council a : "This is not an acknowledgement of any debt - Please forward all previous billing information pertaining to the accounts that you allege I owe. Also please forward copies of Liability Orders obtained within 6 years of the original billing date of the accounts that you allege that I owe" letter? Is that the correct content/wording/terminology or is there anything specifically that he should or shouldn't be including Really appreciate your help. This is what happens after a couple of Friday shandies and mentioning "There's a website I know..."...Doh!
  9. Thanks again - The library was shoving weird things up on my screen earlier but it's OK now. So is this the correct "prove it" letter to send to the DCA? "Name/Address: Date: Dear Sir/Madam I note from a recent view of my credit file that your company has lodged a default stating the above reference number, for a debt which you claim is owed by myself/ourselves. Firstly I/we would point out that I/we have no knowledge of any such debt being owed to (insert company name). Secondly, the linked address you have provided is not an address I have ever lived at, had mail forwarded to, nor given out as any kind of contact or other address for myself and I would ask that the link be removed immediately unless you can provide evidence to the contrary. I/we am/are familiar with the CPUTR 2008 and the Office of Fair Trading's Guidance on debt collection, which states that it unfair to send demands for payment to an individual when it is uncertain that they are the debtor in question. I/we would also point out that the OFT say under the Guidance that it is unfair to pursue third parties for payment when they are not liable. AND in not ceasing collection activity whilst investigating a reasonably queried or disputed debt you are using deceptive/and or unfair methods. Furthermore ignoring and/or disregarding claims that debts have been settled or are disputed and continuing to make unjustified demands for payment amounts to physical/psychological harassment. I/we would ask that no further contact be made concerning the above account unless you can provide evidence as to my/our liability for the debt in question. I/we await your written confirmation that this matter is now closed. Otherwise I will have no option but to make a complaint to Trading Standards and also inform the Office Of Fair Trading of your actions. I/we look forward to your reply. Yours faithfully"
  10. Hi. Neither of the links in your last post seem to work properly. Can you please have another go? Thanks! Regards the address, it's actually my parent's address, but it was never given to them by me, I have never lived at that address and I have never ever given that address out as my own. I am almost 20 years past the age of 18 so I don't think anyone should be trying to make my folks responsible for my actions!
  11. Thank you for that.....and for reading my epically long post! I'm going to go for the prove it letter to start with. Can you point me in the right direction of a template, or will this be a DIY job? Should I be asking them for the default warning letter at this stage or just a copy of the agreement? Or something else??? Thanks again
  12. Hi. I'm in a bit of an ongoing battle with a well-known DCA over a mobile phone contract they allege to be mine that went into default in 2007. A default appears on my credit file, but only with Experian, not with CallCredit and not with Experian. The default is at a linked address which is not in any way linked to me at all! I am not sure that the debt is even mine, but for the purposes of the following, can we assume that it is. I have been in touch with the DCA by email stating that I do not acknowledge the debt and that it is linked in error to an address that is not and never has been mine. I have very carefully worded the email asking them to remove the link, and that since it has been linked in error, any mail pertaining to this account either from the DCA or the original creditor has been going to the wrong address, therefore I have not had the opportunity see it and, if the debt is mine, which again I am not acknowledging that it is, I have not therefore had the opportunity to settle it before it has gone into default. I have asked the DCA for a deal. If they can present me with the correct paperwork showing the debt to be mine, I will settle it in full in one payment and in return, since the incorrect address has meant I never received any letters and have not been able to stop it going to default, I have asked that in return they remove the default from my file entirely upon so doing. The DCA has responded stating that should the debt be shown to be mine and the address to be incorrect, they are only prepared to link the debt to the correct address and show it as "satisfied" if I settle as described. As far as I am aware, a "satisfied" default will not alter my credit worthiness to any degree over an unsatisfied default. Their response seems a little unfair given that it is an error not of my making which has caused this to go so far. If the debt is mine, I would have settled it long ago had I been receiving the mail for it. I had been out of the country from end 06 onwards and was only receiving mail redirected from my CORRECT address in UK!!! I have written back suggesting that the DCA's response is a little unfair and giving the reason why I believe it to be so. Does anyone have any idea how I should play this next? Presumably as a mobile phone contract, this IS regulated by the Consumer Credit Act but I CAN'T request a Consumer Credit Agreement? Should this be an SAR request instead? Should this go to the DCA or the original creditor? Assuming that the debt is indeed mine, presumably if they can't provide me with an original and true copy of the Default warning letter within a set period of time they will have to remove the default from my credit file anyway? Is this correct? Does anyone have any advice? Thank you in advance.
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