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I do not have debt problems, and actually have no debt. I have spent much of my adult life working abroad so depending on the country I am in I have different levels of credit. In the UK I do not have great credit as have never had a UK credit card and do no want or need one.


Yesterday I received two letters. The first I opened was from Farifax Solicitors. It was laser printed, and not on letter headed paper. It was not signed by a solicitor, or even a legal assistant on behalf of a solicitor. The signature was an electronic signature saying Fairfax Solicitors. The letter stated I owed £5500 to Barclaycard and if this was not paid then they would pursue me in the courts.


In a little shock I opened the second letter. This was from Max Recovery services. It was the same letters as the Fairfax one, and on the same laser printed paper, not letter headed, same address, same everything, stating that I owed £5500 to Barclaycard and agreed last August to enter into a payment plan.


Now all this is impossible. When I returned to the UK I looked at credit cards when finding an apartment and was told specifically by Barclaycard that they would not give me one until I have lived in the address for 2 more years, so there is no way I could have run up a debt so high prior to the agreement date of August last year. I have only been living in my current address for 9 months too. So I called Fairfax.


Fairfax, for a solicitors, sounded like a call centre. My call was connected but no one picked up so I got to listen to laughing, and a room of people talking for a while before a woman picked up. I told her about the letters. She told me it was about an IVA signed last August. I did not know what an IVA was, and am still not 100% sure. I told her I have never had a Barclaycard. She then asked my DOB. I thought this was odd and feel stupid because I told her. She said this was the DOB they had on record. I told her I have never had a Barclaycard, and never signed an IVA, and have only lived at my address for 9 months. She asked of my previous addresses but I could tell from her tone that she was not interested. I asked her why and how she got this address. She then asked, out of the blue, if I have ever lived in Sunderland. I have never lived in Sunderland, or even been there. She then wrapped up quickly, saying it was a "bad trace" and hung up.


I called the Financial Ombudsman's office and was told that these companies buy a chunk of bad debt from a bank for virtually nothing, as the bank has already written them off in their books. The company then search for the name via many sources and, as soon as they find matches, they blanket bomb the people they find with such letters. Innocent people, like myself, will then call, complain and say they have no debt and the company will apologize and say it was a "bad trace."


There is nothing we can do apparently. I am concerned though, that my credit report has a couple of blips put on it by Fairfax without thinking, so I have asked for an up to date credit report and have mailed Fairfax asking specifically that question. Did your bad practices damage my credit score in any way?


Let's see what they say.


I would advise anyone that gets such a letter to be very wary.

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Hi and welcome to CAG, the best source of information on the net (but then I am biased :smile:)


I would definitely get a copy of your credit report and see if they have put anything on there and if they have-go get em! They would need your permission to access your file and as you haven't given it to them, they're at fault.


You are on a phishing list. You might get more letters and if you do, report whomever is sending them to Trading Standards

If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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