Q. I think I have been mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance. Can my loan be written off?
If your Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) has been mis-sold to you, you may be able to claim a refund for the monies paid for the PPI only. Therefore any loan amount would still be outstanding. Recently there have been reports of a County Court writing off a debt due to the mis-selling of PPI. These reports are not correct. The debt was written off for other reasons.
For more information please visit the FOS website
Q. I am being chased for a debt that does not belong to me. What should I do?
This could be due to a mis-trace. A mis-trace is where a debtor has moved address without informing their creditors. As a result the creditors must try to locate the debtor. Unfortunately searches sometimes result in the wrong address being contacted, this is usually due to a similar name or a link on the debtors credit file.
In the first instance, if you have been sent mail addressed to an indivdual that does not reside at your address you should mark the envelope "not known at this address" and return it back in the post. However, if you can establish who has sent the correspondence, without opening it, then it would be very useful to make direct contact with the sender. Unfortunately, in the case of tracing for debt colection purposes, some debtors will 'pretend' they are not resident and return mail. This leads to further trace activity and can create future mis-trace scenarios. To minimise the possibility of this, and if you can establish the company pursuing the debt, make direct contact with them. You will be asked a number of questions, including your name and date of birth, to confirm your identity. Once it has been established that you are not the debtor, the agency will be able to suppress your details from their system and update their client's records, which will prevent any further contact being made by other agencies looking for the same indvidual in the future.
Q. I have notified the company that I am not the debtor but they keep on calling and / or writing to me.
The likelihood is that the individual who is trying to be contacted, is also being traced by a number of different tracing companies. These companies will be using the same tracing tools as the agency you have advised. However if there is a delay in updating records, further correspondence could be sent. Whilst it can be frustrating, making contact with the various agencies is essential in order to ensure all your records are updated. This will lead to your address being removed from their records more speedily and therefore preventing future contact.
It may transpire that there is a "link" attached to your address with the Credit Reference Agencies. Please see the below FAQ, 'how do I remove a link between my name and a debtor' for advice on dealing with this.
Q. How do I make a complaint?
Please go to the ‘I have a complaint' page.
Q. If a debt collection company believes a debtor lives at my address will my house be blacklisted?
No, there is no longer such a thing as an address blacklist. All records are held against an individuals credit file, even if your address is linked with a debtor this should not affect your credit worthiness.
Q. How do I remove a ‘link’ between my name and a debtor?
Links can result from fraudulent activity, or a link between a previous address you may have resided at. The Government recommend that you regularly view your credit file to ensure all the information on there is correct and up to date. You should contact a credit reference agency to view your file. Experian (0115 941 0888), Equifax (0207 298 3000) and Callcredit (0113 244 1555) will be able to provide you with details of your file and will contact whoever put the link on the file and work to remove it.
Q. I keep getting contacted by different collection agencies over the same debt. Every time I inform one they pass the debt to another.
This is because they are all getting the information from the same source. Please see the question How do I remove a ‘link’ between my name and a debtor to see how to fix that source.
Q. Can a debt collection agency threaten me with legal action?
A collection agency can inform a debtor of the possibility of legal action, they can only do this in a non threatening manner and where they or their client have the legal right to take such action.
Q. Can a debt collection agency repossess goods?
No, bailiff action and debt collection are completely different. Before goods can be repossessed a court judgement must have been granted.
Q. Can my creditor sell my debt to a debt collection agency?
Yes, this is called debt sale & purchase. As a debt is legally considered property it can be sold.
Q. My debt has been sold, does this affect my rights?
No, you have the same rights against the purchaser as your original creditor. In fact in most cases purchase can significantly help debtors as interest is usually frozen, although this is not always the case.
Q. I note that the copy agreement must be a ‘true copy’ what does this mean?
A true copy does not have to be an exact photocopy of the agreement. This is preferable if it can be located however a template of an agreement, for that product, from the time the loan was taken out would suffice. This does not have to have your signature on.
Q. Does the copy agreement have to be an exact copy of my agreement?
No, please refer to the question above.
Q. My creditor cannot provide a copy of the agreement and has now said they will write the debt off. However they will not remove the default from my credit file or refund monies paid, is this correct?
Yes, simply because the agreement cannot be provided does not mean that the debt never existed. If you have been paying towards the debt this is evidence that the debt is yours and therefore the creditor has a duty to reflect this in your credit file/record.
Q. What happens if no agreement was signed?
Then no agreement needs to be provided. Not all debts require signed agreements. Debts such as utilities and overdrafts taken out before May 2010, or non credit contracts do not require a signed agreement or do not fall under the Act which requires agreements to be given upon request. Although we do expect members to do their best to comply with reasonable requests for information.
Q. I have sent in a Subject Access Request, what should I receive back?
Any data that the company you asked has on you. You will not be entitled to a complete history of the debt if the debt used to be or is currently owned by a different company.
Q. I have received an arrears notice despite the fact that I have kept to my repayment arrangement with the debt collectors.
If the arrears notice has on it ‘this notice was sent under the Consumer Credit Act’ or words to that effect then simply ignore it. It is a legal requirement for a creditor to send this notice based on the original contract and not any repayment arrangement.
Q. I have received a notice of defaults sums despite the fact I have kept to my repayment arrangement with the debt collectors and/or the debt collectors have promised not to apply any default sums.
If the default notice has on it ‘this notice was sent under the Consumer Credit Act’ or words to that effect then it may be the case that no sums have been added. It is a legal requirement for a creditor to send this notice based on the original contract and not any repayment arrangement. You should contact your creditor if this is the case to see if they are adding the charges. Even if they are not they will have to show them in future statements.
Q. My debt was purchased; can I know how much it was purchased for?
No, this is commercially sensitive information so members are not obliged to divulge this. It is not the case that a debt purchased for less than the outstanding amount reduces, the full amount is still legally outstanding therefore knowing the purchase price does not make a difference.