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  • FIRST POST
    • shireknight
    • By shireknight 17th May 19, 9:25 AM
    • 181Posts
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    shireknight
    Company adding money I don't owe onto my credit record -advice please
    • #1
    • 17th May 19, 9:25 AM
    Company adding money I don't owe onto my credit record -advice please 17th May 19 at 9:25 AM
    Is it legal for a company (Anglian Water in this case) to put a debt that you dispute onto your credit record without taking you to court first? Isn't this the same as defaming me?


    I have been in a dispute with Anglian Water since 2004 which ultimately resulted in me deducting money (76) from my water bills, at first they sent letters from a couple of debt collectors but when I explained what had happened and that I didn't owe the money the companies would write back saying the matter was dropped.


    I have always said that I am perfectly happy for the matter to go to court and if the judge side's with Anglian Water I would pay the amount in full however I noticed a few years ago that Anglian Water has now chosen a very clever tactic and put the disputed amount onto my credit report instead (presumably to influence me to pay rather than risk a court case that they would almost certainly lose)


    Thanks to them I now have a perfectly clean credit record apart from this one messy entry which they can't even keep the figures straight on because it's always been 76 since they added it.






    I have tried to counter it by adding a notice of correction to their entry.





    But as a test a few days ago I applied for an Amazon credit card where they do a brief credit check before you apply just to give you an idea if you would be accepted or not and I was instantly declined, which can only be down to this as I already have two credit cards both of which are paid off in full every month and have been for at east five years.


    What should I do? Is there a legal way to fight this and force a court case or do I have to just accept that the little guy can never win fights against the big companies and pay up even though they wronged me and not the other way around?
    Last edited by shireknight; 17-05-2019 at 9:35 AM.
Page 1
    • Willing2Learn
    • By Willing2Learn 17th May 19, 9:28 AM
    • 2,960 Posts
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    Willing2Learn
    • #2
    • 17th May 19, 9:28 AM
    • #2
    • 17th May 19, 9:28 AM
    Is it legal for a company (Anglian Water in this case) to put a debt that you dispute onto your credit record without taking you to court first?...

    I have been in a dispute with Anglian Water since 2004 which ultimately resulted in me deducting money from my water bills, at first they sent letters from a couple of debt collectors but when I explained what had happened and that I didn't owe the money the companies would write back saying the matter was dropped...
    Originally posted by shireknight
    Do you still have copies of the letters "saying the matter was dropped"?
    I work within the voluntary sector, supporting vulnerable people to rebuild their lives.

    I love my job

    • zx81
    • By zx81 17th May 19, 9:33 AM
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    zx81
    • #3
    • 17th May 19, 9:33 AM
    • #3
    • 17th May 19, 9:33 AM
    If their terms allow them to report, yes. Very few debts end up in court.

    If you dispute the debt and cannot resolve it, go to FOS.
    • shireknight
    • By shireknight 17th May 19, 9:40 AM
    • 181 Posts
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    shireknight
    • #4
    • 17th May 19, 9:40 AM
    • #4
    • 17th May 19, 9:40 AM
    Do you still have copies of the letters "saying the matter was dropped"?
    Originally posted by Willing2Learn

    Ah no sorry that's poor wording from me, what they would actually say was that they (the debt collector) would be discontinuing the action and referring it back to Anglian Water, it's not letters stating that the matter has been dropped.
    • shireknight
    • By shireknight 17th May 19, 9:42 AM
    • 181 Posts
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    shireknight
    • #5
    • 17th May 19, 9:42 AM
    • #5
    • 17th May 19, 9:42 AM
    If their terms allow them to report, yes. Very few debts end up in court.

    If you dispute the debt and cannot resolve it, go to FOS.
    Originally posted by zx81

    If the FOS would deal with an amount this small then I might well do that -thanks.
    • zx81
    • By zx81 17th May 19, 9:56 AM
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    zx81
    • #6
    • 17th May 19, 9:56 AM
    • #6
    • 17th May 19, 9:56 AM
    They'll deal with any amount.
    • Paul_DNAP
    • By Paul_DNAP 17th May 19, 10:11 AM
    • 505 Posts
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    Paul_DNAP
    • #7
    • 17th May 19, 10:11 AM
    • #7
    • 17th May 19, 10:11 AM
    Ah no sorry that's poor wording from me, what they would actually say was that they (the debt collector) would be discontinuing the action and referring it back to Anglian Water, it's not letters stating that the matter has been dropped.
    Originally posted by shireknight

    That is a long way from "dropping the matter" - it is only that the particular collection agency has decided it's not worth their time pushing you for payment. It does not pay the debt, not does it delete the debt, and so it is correct for the debt to still show on your files.
    (Although I could be wrong, I often am.)
    • Gary_Dexter
    • By Gary_Dexter 17th May 19, 10:13 AM
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    Gary_Dexter
    • #8
    • 17th May 19, 10:13 AM
    • #8
    • 17th May 19, 10:13 AM
    Of course they can add it to your report - why would it have to go to court first?

    Also you didn't "legally" deduct an amount from your bill as you saw fit to - that's for them to decide and do
    Last edited by Gary_Dexter; 17-05-2019 at 10:19 AM.
    • BoGoF
    • By BoGoF 17th May 19, 10:21 AM
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    BoGoF
    • #9
    • 17th May 19, 10:21 AM
    • #9
    • 17th May 19, 10:21 AM
    Quite frankly witholding money then putting a notice of correction on your credit file was not the best idea in the world.

    Some battles are worth fighting.....this wasn't. You had other escalation routes.
    • Candyapple
    • By Candyapple 17th May 19, 10:25 AM
    • 3,075 Posts
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    Candyapple
    From the screenshots it looks like they are reporting your account as you making payments 3, 4, 5 and 6 months late. This will leave a terrible impact on your credit files as it looks like you are continually making late payments.

    Also, adding a notice of correction to your file was the wrong thing to do. Take that off immediately and don't apply for anything in the meantime until this matter is resolved.
    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
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 17th May 19, 12:39 PM
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    Tarambor
    You didn't pay the bills therefore they were perfectly entitled to put the defaults on your credit record. A creditor doesn't have to go to court to put a default on your credit record. If they did then the entire county court system would grind to even more of a halt.

    As has been said the debt collector discontinuing their action does not mean they've dropped the matter nor that they've written off the debt. I would expect if this doesn't get sorted for a CCJ to be in your future at some point.
    • Paul_DNAP
    • By Paul_DNAP 17th May 19, 12:55 PM
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    Paul_DNAP
    Quite frankly witholding money then putting a notice of correction on your credit file was not the best idea in the world.

    Some battles are worth fighting.....this wasn't. You had other escalation routes.
    Originally posted by BoGoF

    I agree with you there, that notice of correction basically states "if you are unfortunate enough to engage me as a customer then I alone will decide what arbitrary payment you obtain with no regard to the contracted cost of your services"


    OP - separate the two issues (1) pay your debt and correct your credit history properly and (2) take the company to court or ombudsman over whatever issue you think you have that's worth 76 a month to you, and obtain the "refund" properly.
    (Although I could be wrong, I often am.)
    • johnsmith1890
    • By johnsmith1890 17th May 19, 1:11 PM
    • 313 Posts
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    johnsmith1890
    If their terms allow them to report, yes. Very few debts end up in court.

    If you dispute the debt and cannot resolve it, go to FOS.
    Originally posted by zx81

    There are no terms (or conditions). They just do it without the customer's permission. The unprofessional ICO let them do this.
    • Gary_Dexter
    • By Gary_Dexter 17th May 19, 1:28 PM
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    Gary_Dexter
    There are no terms (or conditions). They just do it without the customer's permission. The unprofessional ICO let them do this.
    Originally posted by johnsmith1890
    Seems quite clear to me:
    https://www.anglianwater.co.uk/about-us/legal/data-sharing/
    • Ben8282
    • By Ben8282 17th May 19, 2:20 PM
    • 2,975 Posts
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    Ben8282
    Can't see how to scroll across so can't properly read the OP or the notice of correction. Not sure what the exact dispute is/was. Can't read all of what happened with the credit card application but are you aware that the presence of the notice of correction on your credit files will automatically result in the application being referred so somebody can read the notice of correction?
    • johnsmith1890
    • By johnsmith1890 17th May 19, 3:35 PM
    • 313 Posts
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    johnsmith1890
    Originally posted by Gary_Dexter

    Yes, clear to everyone. Are you making an additional point over and above what I stated?
    • johnsmith1890
    • By johnsmith1890 17th May 19, 3:41 PM
    • 313 Posts
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    johnsmith1890
    OP, can you clarify the dates? It's possible that your dispute with the water company, and the consequent black marks against you, date from a time before the water companies were given carte blanche to access customer credit files without permission. This happened in 2013. If this is the case, it may be that the ICO would take a dim view of it.
    • shireknight
    • By shireknight 21st May 19, 9:03 AM
    • 181 Posts
    • 95 Thanks
    shireknight
    Thank you all for your thoughts, I also found it very helpful to come back a few days later and re-read my own post with a new perspective (after reading your thoughts) and seeing how silly my stand is over such a small amount.


    I've now paid the 76 and I'll get the notice of correction removed because as you point out the only person being hurt by my stand is me lol and I'll probably open a complaint with the FOS instead.
    • shireknight
    • By shireknight 21st May 19, 9:11 AM
    • 181 Posts
    • 95 Thanks
    shireknight
    OP, can you clarify the dates? It's possible that your dispute with the water company, and the consequent black marks against you, date from a time before the water companies were given carte blanche to access customer credit files without permission. This happened in 2013. If this is the case, it may be that the ICO would take a dim view of it.
    Originally posted by johnsmith1890

    Oh they are much too smart for that John, the dispute basically ran from 2004 to 2009 at which point it was resolved and I went back to paying my water bills in full every quarter (after removing the 76 I had deducted previously due to unacceptable service of course)


    If the ICO asked me where the debt lies I would tell them it lies in the period 2006 to 2009 but if they asked Anglian Water they would argue that the debt lies with the last bill they sent out because that would clear them to use whichever laws apply today rather than the laws that applied in 2009.
    • Gary_Dexter
    • By Gary_Dexter 21st May 19, 9:32 AM
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    Gary_Dexter
    The ICO and FOS won't side with you since, as you've admitted here, the "mistake" lies solely on your lap.
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