Double default surprise

Myself and my wife are preparing to apply for a mortgage, and even though both our credit scores on clearscore show as 1,000 we were advised by our broker to use checkmyfile to see a full report from all 3 credit agencies. To my dismay, my wife's report shows 2 defaulted payments, one to EE and one to a company called Lowell. It turns out this is the same debt that has been sold on. 

The problem is, this is the first we've heard of it. I've just got off the phone to EE, they claim to have sent out 2 letters last year, and also a text message. We've not received either. The last message we have from them is asking us to come back (because we switched to vodafone) prior to the date of the debt, that was presumably applied after cancelling a direct debit after a presumed final bill. 

I've had plenty of money in the bank the whole time, and as my clearscore will testify an otherwise impeccable credit report. How can it be that we're now going to have 2 defaulted payments on our account for the next 6 years (it got renewed about a month ago when passed to lowell by the looks of it) when this is the first we've heard of it? And in fact if I'd not used checkmyfile I'd be oblivious to it completely. 

Is there anything we can do? Is there no protection for things like this? EE confirmed even if Lowell removed their default and received payment, EE would not remove theirs. They say they sent letters and texts but nothing turned up. They say they can prove the letters were sent whilst confirming they were sent with no tracking. They confirmed they did not try to call us once. Just automated system stuff. 

In between EE and Lowell there was another debt collection agency that EE claims they tried to reach us also. We didn't receive any letters from them either, despite not having any mail issues from other companies - but my wife did get texts from them. The problem is, we never heard of them, weren't aware there was an EE debt, so when a random company texts to say "you owe money, click here to settle the debt" it is surly quite normal and smart to ignore this as 99% of the time it's spam. 

2 defaults for the same debt too - is that fair?


  • la531983
    la531983 Posts: 1,630
    First Post Name Dropper
    And this is why the three digit (in this case, four) score is utterly meaningless.
  • sourcrates
    sourcrates Posts: 28,493
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    Nothing you can do unfortunately, defaults are not removed until they expire after 6 years, even if you pay them.

    There is just the one default, the EE entry will show the date of default and a zero balance, the Lowell entry is a status update to show their new ownership, it should have the same date of default and the outstanding balance.

    Use a good broker, a mortgage should not be out of the question over one default.
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Debt free wannabe, Credit file and ratings, and Bankruptcy and living with it boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing [email protected]. All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.For free non-judgemental debt advice, contact either Stepchange, National Debtline, or CitizensAdviceBureaux.Link to SOA Calculator- The "provit letter" is here-
  • adamp87
    adamp87 Posts: 849
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    One default in the grand scheme of things isn’t going to hurt, and a good broker will get you a deal regardless.

    Arguably there’s nothing amiss here, you’ve missed a payment for whatever reason, it’s 50:50 saying you didn’t receive a letter and they said they sent one. The fault isn’t them really it’s you not checking the account sadly, defaults or default notices aren’t sent by tracking mail there’s no requirement.

    What you could do, is if you feel strongly is lodge a formal complaint, being polite state your case the mistake and how you are looking for a mortgage and worried this could scupper your chances and your prior history with them was spotless. 

    But given they’ve sold the debt on now they’ve no need to remove it in an incentive to get paid from you as they’ve already lost out financially and they’ll say it’s an accurate reflection.

    But you never know, some people get lucky. 

    It would be a bit different if you were set up on direct debit and they didn’t take the payment or something which put you into a default I suppose but it just appears you overlooked a payment. It happens. 
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