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  • FIRST POST
    • magyar
    • By magyar 27th Nov 17, 12:47 PM
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    magyar
    Unknown debt default showing on credit record
    • #1
    • 27th Nov 17, 12:47 PM
    Unknown debt default showing on credit record 27th Nov 17 at 12:47 PM
    I recently applied for a car loan and got accepted but at a higher rate of interest than I expected, which rather surprised me since credit record should be good.

    I checked Equifax and discovered there is a defaulted loan against my name but for an address I don't recognize in a completed different part of the country for £975, registered by Lowell Group who appear to be a distressed debt purchaser, with no other info other than that it appears to be on behalf of a communications company.

    I contacted Lowell who refused to give me any information, simply said "there must be someone with a similar name" (very unlikely, I have an uncommon surname). I have registered a correction with Equifax but their web site implies all they will do is write to Lowell and ask them to remove it.

    I've spoken to Sainsbury's Bank, who offered me the loan, and explained - however they simply say they can only go on what is actually on the credit report (and actually didn't really confirm that was what the problem was). This doesn't really surprise me.

    Does anyone know what the best way is of solving this relatively quickly, as I do want to get out the car loan but I would end up paying over £1000 in additional interest at the higher rate.
    Says James, in my opinion, there's nothing in this world
    Beats a '52 Vincent and a red headed girl
Page 1
    • Candyapple
    • By Candyapple 27th Nov 17, 1:14 PM
    • 2,495 Posts
    • 1,863 Thanks
    Candyapple
    • #2
    • 27th Nov 17, 1:14 PM
    • #2
    • 27th Nov 17, 1:14 PM
    Follow the advice in post #11 in this thread:
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5650944&highlight=cifas

    Regarding your loan there's nothing you can do now. Sainsburys have offered you a loan, you either accept it or you don't. You will have to wait until the default has been removed from all 3 of your files then apply again elsewhere if you want to try for a lower rate loan.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Credit Cards, Loans, Credit Files & Ratings boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com
    • magyar
    • By magyar 27th Nov 17, 1:41 PM
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    magyar
    • #3
    • 27th Nov 17, 1:41 PM
    • #3
    • 27th Nov 17, 1:41 PM
    Thanks for the advice. Interestingly, the default is only showing on the Equifax report, not the other two. This implies to me it's a data error with Equifax? Is this common?
    Says James, in my opinion, there's nothing in this world
    Beats a '52 Vincent and a red headed girl
    • zx81
    • By zx81 27th Nov 17, 1:43 PM
    • 14,400 Posts
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    zx81
    • #4
    • 27th Nov 17, 1:43 PM
    • #4
    • 27th Nov 17, 1:43 PM
    No. It's much more likely that they only report to Equifax.
    • magyar
    • By magyar 27th Nov 17, 1:45 PM
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    magyar
    • #5
    • 27th Nov 17, 1:45 PM
    • #5
    • 27th Nov 17, 1:45 PM
    Ah OK, thank you - didn't realise they reported differently, I assumed all the credit agencies basically gave the same result. I've been using the free MSE service, which checks Experian and have never seen anything untoward on there - thus my surprise when I was told there was an issue by Sainsbury's.
    Says James, in my opinion, there's nothing in this world
    Beats a '52 Vincent and a red headed girl
    • magyar
    • By magyar 1st Dec 17, 2:56 PM
    • 18,376 Posts
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    magyar
    • #6
    • 1st Dec 17, 2:56 PM
    • #6
    • 1st Dec 17, 2:56 PM
    Well this turns out to be somewhat harder than I expected!

    Equifax say they can do nothing without being instructed by Lowell. In turn, Lowell just kept telling me "if you didn't live at this address then this is 'not you' and so we won't remove it, you need to contact whoever made the 'link' and ask them to contact Equifax".

    I managed to get out of Lowell that this relates to an O2 account which was taken out in my name but at an incorrect address, however they specifically said it 'passed a credit check'. O2 were actually relatively helpful and have passed to their fraud team to investigate.

    I have registered with Action Fraud and got a crime number, which I've passed to all three and hopefully this will encourage them to take it more seriously...

    But quite ridiculous that as the completely innocent party in all this, I have to do all the running around!
    Says James, in my opinion, there's nothing in this world
    Beats a '52 Vincent and a red headed girl
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 2nd Dec 17, 12:03 PM
    • 12,705 Posts
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    sourcrates
    • #7
    • 2nd Dec 17, 12:03 PM
    • #7
    • 2nd Dec 17, 12:03 PM
    You should make a complaint to the ICO (Information commissionaires office) if this remains unresolved.

    They deal with all data protection complaints.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
    • magyar
    • By magyar 2nd Dec 17, 3:23 PM
    • 18,376 Posts
    • 30,437 Thanks
    magyar
    • #8
    • 2nd Dec 17, 3:23 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Dec 17, 3:23 PM
    Thanks, having read up on it, does appear to be the best port of call.
    Says James, in my opinion, there's nothing in this world
    Beats a '52 Vincent and a red headed girl
    • nic_c
    • By nic_c 3rd Dec 17, 12:19 PM
    • 1,125 Posts
    • 640 Thanks
    nic_c
    • #9
    • 3rd Dec 17, 12:19 PM
    • #9
    • 3rd Dec 17, 12:19 PM
    Equifax say they can do nothing without being instructed by Lowell. In turn, Lowell just kept telling me "if you didn't live at this address then this is 'not you' and so we won't remove it, you need to contact whoever made the 'link' and ask them to contact Equifax".
    Originally posted by magyar
    True the CRA's just report what they are told. Lowell's "its not you" sounds like a fob.

    I managed to get out of Lowell that this relates to an O2 account which was taken out in my name but at an incorrect address, however they specifically said it 'passed a credit check'. O2 were actually relatively helpful and have passed to their fraud team to investigate.

    I have registered with Action Fraud and got a crime number, which I've passed to all three and hopefully this will encourage them to take it more seriously...

    But quite ridiculous that as the completely innocent party in all this, I have to do all the running around!
    Originally posted by magyar
    It could be that O2 placed the default and lowell simply updated it, but what seems worrying if you have never lived at the address, then why is it fraud? Surely fraud is when someone takes something out using your details without your knowledge? If somebody takes something out at an address that you have never lived at, then its not necessarily fraud, it's just they've connected it to the wrong person. So it could have passed a credit check, doesn't mean it was your credit file that was checked!

    For it to be on your credit file it needs liking to an address you have been at, so I am assuming as this was taken out at an address you never lived at then at some point it has been connected to one you were. Was this by O2 or by Lowell? Also you do know CRN are just a number entry on a database, I'm not sure it will be taken more seriously - it's just companies may not investigate further without one (to stop people wrongly claiming fraud to get out of debt rather genuinely not being their debt).
    • magyar
    • By magyar 3rd Dec 17, 12:30 PM
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    magyar
    Thanks for the note. The reason I think itís more likely to be fraud than a simple error is that I have very uncommon name, I can find no evidence of anyone else in the country with the same name, let alone with the same date of birth.

    O2 have confirmed that their database shows me as being the person linked to this debt and since I have no other relationship to O2 this record can only have been set up by the person who took out the account.
    Says James, in my opinion, there's nothing in this world
    Beats a '52 Vincent and a red headed girl
    • magyar
    • By magyar 5th Dec 17, 9:40 PM
    • 18,376 Posts
    • 30,437 Thanks
    magyar
    True the CRA's just report what they are told. Lowell's "its not you" sounds like a fob.

    It could be that O2 placed the default and lowell simply updated it, but what seems worrying if you have never lived at the address, then why is it fraud? Surely fraud is when someone takes something out using your details without your knowledge? If somebody takes something out at an address that you have never lived at, then its not necessarily fraud, it's just they've connected it to the wrong person. So it could have passed a credit check, doesn't mean it was your credit file that was checked!

    For it to be on your credit file it needs liking to an address you have been at, so I am assuming as this was taken out at an address you never lived at then at some point it has been connected to one you were. Was this by O2 or by Lowell? Also you do know CRN are just a number entry on a database, I'm not sure it will be taken more seriously - it's just companies may not investigate further without one (to stop people wrongly claiming fraud to get out of debt rather genuinely not being their debt).
    Originally posted by nic_c
    The incompetence is astounding.
    - Lowells flatly refuse to remove or amend the record in any way. In order to 'investigate it' they wanted my current address and postcode, i.e. a company that I don't trust already with my data has asked me for more of it. My favourite bit was that they sent me their 'customer complaints procedure', Since I'm not a customer, I am merely someone they illegally hold data on, I didn't see the relevance.
    - Equifax claim that O2 made the 'link' to the incorrect address. They agreed to contact O2 and arrange for it to be removed.
    - O2 claim that they've got no record of my real address, so couldn't have made the link.
    - Equifax keep closing the complaint every time they write to me.
    - None of them seem in the slightest bit concerned about resolving the issue, nor that I've contacted the ICO.

    It's got to the point where I've noted down all the various costs (time and money) that this is taking up: £20 for a CIFAS registration and several hours of calls.
    Says James, in my opinion, there's nothing in this world
    Beats a '52 Vincent and a red headed girl
    • magyar
    • By magyar 7th Dec 17, 5:01 PM
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    magyar
    It looks close to being sorted - O2 have agreed that this is a fraudulent account and nothing to do with me. They don't seem to know why the link was made but have agreed they'll tell Equifax to remove it.

    A question I'd appreciate views on - I've asked them to delete my name and DOB from their records, but they have refused (as have Lowells) on the basis that "we need to keep that information for our records". Since the Data Protection Act says it's illegal to hold incorrect information on someone, surely they have to remove it?

    Not exactly a point worth losing sleep over, but I don't like the idea of a company linking my name and DOB to an address I've never lived at.
    Says James, in my opinion, there's nothing in this world
    Beats a '52 Vincent and a red headed girl
    • tenchy
    • By tenchy 7th Dec 17, 6:08 PM
    • 164 Posts
    • 31 Thanks
    tenchy
    It looks close to being sorted - O2 have agreed that this is a fraudulent account and nothing to do with me. They don't seem to know why the link was made but have agreed they'll tell Equifax to remove it.

    A question I'd appreciate views on - I've asked them to delete my name and DOB from their records, but they have refused (as have Lowells) on the basis that "we need to keep that information for our records". Since the Data Protection Act says it's illegal to hold incorrect information on someone, surely they have to remove it?

    Not exactly a point worth losing sleep over, but I don't like the idea of a company linking my name and DOB to an address I've never lived at.
    Originally posted by magyar

    Well, you do not have, nor have you had, a relationship with either of these organisations, so why do they need to keep data about you? DP principles state data must be kept no longer than necessary and for specified purposes. Ask them precisely why they need this data about you, and how they propose to use it. Also, take it up with the ICO if you get unsatisfactory answers from them. I'd be particularly concerned about a rogue company like Lowells having this sort of information.
    • magyar
    • By magyar 7th Dec 17, 6:13 PM
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    magyar
    Thanks, that’s also my view. I would have some sympathy with O2 wanting to keep a record of the name someone used to defraud them. And I would trust them a little more than Lowells, who I’ve already reported to the ICO.
    Says James, in my opinion, there's nothing in this world
    Beats a '52 Vincent and a red headed girl
    • cjmillsnun
    • By cjmillsnun 8th Dec 17, 4:50 PM
    • 354 Posts
    • 225 Thanks
    cjmillsnun
    No. It's much more likely that they only report to Equifax.
    Originally posted by zx81
    Lowell report to all three CRAs
    • PaulW922
    • By PaulW922 8th Dec 17, 6:34 PM
    • 785 Posts
    • 302 Thanks
    PaulW922
    Lowells and/or O2 may consider it necessary to keep some information given this may have been fraudulent. For example, if they are later required to account for their actions, or to assist in an investigation, how would they do so if they had deleted all the data?You do not need to actually be a customer for a business to have reasonable grounds to keep data about you.
    • mpet
    • By mpet 10th Dec 17, 4:33 PM
    • 389 Posts
    • 213 Thanks
    mpet
    Sorry to hijack this thread, but it mirrors what I cam currently going through with Lowell.
    My credit report from Noddle shows a defaulted debt listed against Lowell but the debt actually originated from Jacamo. My name and dob are correct, but the address is one I have never lived at. Lowell have stated they wont pursue me for the debt (big of them), but wont update my credit file. I have written to Jacamo asking them to correct this and am waiting for a response.

    If I need to contact the ICO should I be complaining about Jacamo or Lowell?
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 10th Dec 17, 4:55 PM
    • 12,705 Posts
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    sourcrates
    Sorry to hijack this thread, but it mirrors what I cam currently going through with Lowell.
    My credit report from Noddle shows a defaulted debt listed against Lowell but the debt actually originated from Jacamo. My name and dob are correct, but the address is one I have never lived at. Lowell have stated they wont pursue me for the debt (big of them), but wont update my credit file. I have written to Jacamo asking them to correct this and am waiting for a response.

    If I need to contact the ICO should I be complaining about Jacamo or Lowell?
    Originally posted by mpet
    You would CC both companies into the complaint so both of them are aware of the dispute.

    Send a written complaint, give them 8 weeks to respond..
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
    • mpet
    • By mpet 10th Dec 17, 5:09 PM
    • 389 Posts
    • 213 Thanks
    mpet
    You would CC both companies into the complaint so both of them are aware of the dispute.

    Send a written complaint, give them 8 weeks to respond..
    Originally posted by sourcrates
    Thank you - I have had a response from Lowell and am now waiting for a response from Jacamo. If I need to complain to the ICO, the form only allow for one organisation so I wasn't sure who ultimately would be responsible for removing the incorrect information from my credit file.
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 10th Dec 17, 5:27 PM
    • 12,705 Posts
    • 12,042 Thanks
    sourcrates
    Thank you - I have had a response from Lowell and am now waiting for a response from Jacamo. If I need to complain to the ICO, the form only allow for one organisation so I wasn't sure who ultimately would be responsible for removing the incorrect information from my credit file.
    Originally posted by mpet
    Whoever issued the original default is the one to complain to (for ICO purposes).
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
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