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Information Commissioner guidelines on filing defaults with credit reference agencies


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The following attachment contains guidelines on filing defaults with credit reference agencies. It was published in 2007.

 

guidance_on_defaults.pdf

 

These guidelines have now been superseded by a new set which apparently have been drafted by the credit reference agencies themselves but with approval and apparently "close involvement" of the information Commissioner.

 

high_level_prinicples_document_final.pdf

 

You can spot the difference because the original 2007 version is on information Commissioner headed notepaper and the information Commissioner claims responsibility for it.

 

The more recent 2014 revised version contains merely a "foreword" by the Information Commissioner.

 

Of particular interest is the clear difference in approach to disputed accounts.

 

The 2007 guidance gives very clear directions as the steps to be followed when deciding whether or not to refer a disputed account to the credit reference agency file.

 

The 2014 guidance appears to be completely silent on this matter.

 

Although this important issue has clearly been deliberately excluded from the more recent guidance, you should remember that first of all – this is only guidance. Secondly, the original 2007 guidelines make it clear that the entering of a disputed account on to a credit reference agency file risks breaching the legal requirement of – accuracy.

 

Although the subject of disputed files has been omitted from recent guidance, "accuracy" is still a lawful requirement for all entries placed onto credit files. This means that the steps which the 2007 document advises should be taken, are still relevant and we feel that where there is an account which is subject of a valid dispute – as per the 2007 guidance, that this should not be referred to the CRA's.

 

We appreciate that this places some organisations in great difficulty because it must take a great deal of time and judgement to make the right decisions. However, we are also fully aware that many organisations are really quite cavalier about the status of disputed accounts and will even use the credit reference agency as a stick to beat troublesome customers with.

 

If you feel that you have a marker which has been unlawfully placed on your credit file because you have a valid dispute – such as a mobile phone provider failing to carry out their side of the bargain, then you should read the two guidance documents above – and keep the 2007 version very much in mind.

 

Just because the 2007 version has been revised, it does not mean that it has no validity.

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cheers for that.

yes, statute (Con Credit Act) re disputed a/c's (notices of correction), and accuracy.

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