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Checking credit rating - update

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stoo_pid | 16:34 Wed 14th Sep 2005 | Business & Finance
4 Answers

Further to my question regarding credit checks (here) - it turns out there was no association with the dodgy lodger. (Thanks to everyone for their helpful advice BTW). The problem was actually the dispute with the bank - my mate's credit report showed that he had never paid it even though he had.  Luckily he can prove it but the bank are saying its nothing to do with them as they had passed his details to a credit collection agency.  The agency, in turn, are also denying responsibility. 

The good news is he has managed to secure a mortgage with a different lender (albeit at a worse rate).  He has also written to Experian explaining the bill was paid in full some time ago & included copies of documentary evidence.  Meanwhile though, does anyone know

  • who should have been responsible in this case for ensuring the correct information reached Experian?
  • how long this sort of thing should take to get sorted? 
  • what the regulations are regarding ensuring the accuracy of credit reports?

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The bank is ultimately responsible for giving the information to Experian. Experian have no control over anything - they just report the 'facts' provided.

He really needs to speak to the right department - it is not easy though. Maybe someone else (Stevie21?) can give you the name of the department you need.

How long to get sorted - how long is a piece of string. It could be a couple of weeks, but personally would guestimate it to be 6-8 weeks.

Not sure about the regulations - you could try the informaiton commssioner. Think they are ultimately responsible.

 

Glad to see it is (getting) sorted now though

I wasn't going to post anything but seeing as I've been named and shamed I feel compelled!!

What was the bank charges dispute? Did the mate incur them, not feel that they were justified and then when they debited they took him overdrawn or over his OD limit? Is it that unauthorised balance that is being held against him or the fact that he incurred the charges in the first place? This seems to be the crux of your entire credit reference dispute but you've not explained what the cause of that problem is.

Also, if he has been refused credit then he should always receive a letter explaining (even in very vague terms) explaining why and notifying him of how to "appeal" against this decision so that a human can look at his case and take into account his lack of blame in the charges fiasco. If he's genuinely not to blame then those minus points (see Oneeyedvic's "- 100 per ccj" info on the other post) will vanish.

Actually, either way, as vic has said, if the bank have given inaccurate info to Experian then phone them and ask for the address of their complaints department and write to them insisting that they correct their records (and, if they've not already done so provide evidence that there is no debt).
Banks send info to Experian and also receive info from them so this wil ensure that this wonky info isn't sent again, just to be safe.
Question Author
Thanks guys - much appreciated.

stevie21 - as I understand it the charges were 3 separate charges for unpaid DD's due to insufficent amounts.  This came about because of the failure of another bank to transfer money into the affected account.  The bank that missed the original transfer deadline apparently pointed out there was never a guarantee the funds transfer would take place on any specific date.  The other bank (the one that introduced the charges) were apparently even more unhelpful and pointed out that as they had done nothing wrong they were not obliged to waive any charges.

My mate felt that he had been poorly treated by both banks & repeatedly kept trying to get either bank to accept responsibility for the problem and of course, the charges remained outstanding for the period of the (long-running) dispute .  From what he's told me it would appear that while both banks could certainly work on their customer care, neither bank actually did anything wrong.

He did eventually give up and paid the charges in full.  As far as I'm aware the problem with his rating seems to be that his credit report says the charge is still fully outstanding (nearly 2 years after the event!).

Incidentally, the credit collection company turned out to be very helpful & have provided him with a letter backing up his payment of the charges and documentation showing when they informed his bank of this.  Hopefully it should all be sorted out soon but it was a bit of a surprise to him that, a) one relatively small amount could make such a difference to his previously unblemished credit rating and b) that it ever happened in the first place.  After his carry-on with them in the first place I suspect a stiff letter will be on its way to their complaints dept!
I could go on at great length about the charges but I would tend to focus on the 6 words you've type:
"neither bank actually did anything wrong." It all boils down to that and your mate should have paid them earlier. Not that it matters NOW that we apportion blame.

Anyway, if this account was written off as a bad debt and sold to a debt collection agency then the bank will potentially have very little involvement at all with it. As far as they're concerned they got their money when they sold the debt. This leaves the helpful debt collectors and Experian. If one tells the other that the debt is satisfied then everyone's happy BUT it may still be on his credit file that it got to the stage of his bank account being in arrears for months before eventually being written off.
This, your mate will just have to put down to experience : before too long it will no longer show on credit searches or be a problem as long as he has 12 months of good behaviour.

To answer your bullet points in this question:
1. The debt collection agency.
2. Credit files give 12 months of info on active accounts and also list older debts (so as long as his last 12 months is OK and he has no other bad debts, he'll be fine)
3. Who knows/cares. Your mate was at fault here. I retract my earlier advice about writing to the bank to complain.

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