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General Chat Thread, Help please - previous occupant debt in General; Me and my SO recently brought our first house. We have been getting loads of letters for the previous occupant ...
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    gibbo_ap's Avatar
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    Help please - previous occupant debt

    Me and my SO recently brought our first house. We have been getting loads of letters for the previous occupant and I assume her ex. I have been handing these into the estate agent as requested. But recently I've gotten sick of the amount of letters and opened them. They are all debt collectors!!! I immediately contacted the debt collectors to inform that they no longer lived here some simply removed the address the one today stated it was a recent loan ie last month!!!

    How can I stop him getting loans at this address? Sorry I'm new to this house business and I knew you lots could help!

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    1. unless addressed to "The Occupier" it's illegal to open mail not addressed directly to you at the property.
    2. Think nothing of it - just write (or get a stamp if there's too much) "NOT AT THIS ADDRESS, RETURN TO SENDER" and re-post every letter. Within a couple of months it should die out.
    3. If it is addressed to The Occupier, then you're well within your rights to contact the companies responsible - do so in writing only, stating that you will take legal action for harassment if they do not cease.

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    gibbo_ap (8th November 2011)

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    witch's Avatar
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    That may not be enough as you could find that credit is hard to get as they have someone at that address as a bad risk. You need to write to the main credit check people, Experion, I think, and inform them that you now live there and are not responsible for any debts. I think there is another agency, too, you'd have to Google it

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    gibbo_ap (8th November 2011)

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    markcuk's Avatar
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    Equifax - Free Credit Report, Credit Check and Identity Protection Services

    Good luck bad debt can stay on the address. My parents went bankrupt when I was younger and I had to write a letter to the credit agencies so they would seprate my file from my parents on the address. I had to build my credit up over time with rubbish £200 limit credit cards

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    I think there is another agency
    National Hunter (the secret credit agency)?

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    witch's Avatar
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    It's Experian and Equifax.
    This is the info you need:
    Credit Rating: How it works and how to improve it ...

    There is a lot of info on moneysavingexpert.com that you could look at.
    You can't afford to let this slide, you need to address the issue as soon as possible

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    MK-2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    2. Think nothing of it - just write (or get a stamp if there's too much) "NOT AT THIS ADDRESS, RETURN TO SENDER" and re-post every letter. Within a couple of months it should die out.
    not always as easy in practice. my dad received the same letter for about 6 months and kept returning saying not at this address. finally he opened a letter, which was debt collection threatening bailiffs. he rang and said not at this address and even then on the phone got told "yeah right, how do we know its not you, we might just send round a bailiff anyway"
    his reply of "feel free if he'd like a f***ing baseball bat around his head" was well received i think (well i see it as don't threaten a man in his 70s with intimidation techniques like that.)
    he got the landlord he was with at the time to write a letter stating he was not the person they wanted, and to stop harassing his tenant or he would take legal action.

    some companies pass on debt collection to not very reputable collection companies who will try to do anything they can to get payment...they wont take a "not at this address" lightly.

    not saying it will happen to everyone but just a warning

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Very good points above on contacting Experian etc - that is a must and I completely forgot about that! (I should know, really )
    There are ruthless debt collection agencies around but there are laws they must abide to and I wouldn't let the above post worry you too much - I've had one really harrass me (and yes I was the debtor!) and as a result of their antics I got their licence revoked and the debt written off (I owed thousands to a number of companies yet this one was a matter of a couple of hundred pounds!) Plenty of warnings to them such as contacting the regulators involved will make them at least act like adults.

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    I hope you have more luck than me, I'm being 'chased' by a debt collection agency (HFO Services - google them to see how popular they are) for a debt that someone in another county took out because we have the same name and DOB, currently in the middle of complaining to the Financial Ombudsmen.

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    This happens at Univeristy addresses all the time, we use to just send them back "Return to Sender", we had one bailiff even turn up one day, we just proved we weren't the people they were looking for and they were actually very polite about it and apologised for taking our time. Not every debt collector or bailiff will be polite im sure but the one we dealt with was.

    The problem is they just assume the person hasn't moved, and it is assumed guilt until they knwo otherwise. Like the TV licensing, you are assumed to have a TV and watch it and if you don't they get in contact with you (you dont even have to do anything to get nasty letters from them!)

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    Heebeejeebee's Avatar
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    This happened to me. I moved into a house and for years (about 6 or 7) the previous occupant, who had left with loads of debts, carried on taking loans out under my address but her name. When the letters arrived I just wrote 'No longer at this address' and posted them back to sender. I even had debt collectors turn up at the door but they were very good and as soon as I could prove that I was a different person (utility bill, drivers licence etc.) they went away. After this I went to the police because I was worried about what would happen if I wasn't there to give them this info. I was worried that they might break in and just take my goods. The police said that it would be illegal for them to do so.

    All I really did was send the letters back and eventually they stopped. I assumed she'd been round all of the lenders and they got wise to her. Either that or she found a new address to forge.

    Don't do anything rash and remember you're not supposed to open mail that's not addressed to you.

    Cheers

    HBJB

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    X-13's Avatar
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    I had/have the same problem.

    The old tennants ran up a lot of debt, then dissappeared off to Spain. Some of the companies remove the address, some say they will but then don't.

    As for not opening letters... I would do it anyway. There's nothing worse than getting home from work to find your door kicked in and your stuff missing because of bailiffs. Yes, I know they're not allowed to do it. Doesn't always stop them though. They just claim it was open. [This happened to a friend of mine.]

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    Firstly any black marks with the credit agencies are registered in the persons name first and not against the address they are living at ... the address will appear on the default or CCJ but its secondary to the name. If its the same name .. for example a family member than you can do a statement of dissassociation to one of the agencies and they will then pass it to all of the others. (It happened to me!!). As stated before dont open any letters to persons unknown .. just send them back with Not at this address on them. If there is no return address then stick them in a pile somewhere. You will probably get a visit at some time and all you have to do is point the person at the voters roll and or show your passport and they will go away and that should be the end of that ... This also happened to me ... the letters were for a person 6 doors away but a typo got my number into the system...

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    1. unless addressed to "The Occupier" it's illegal to open mail not addressed directly to you at the property.
    Not so. It's only an offence to interfere with mail in transit. Technically, it's Her Majesty's property until it hits your doormat.

    Bailiffs can't just turn up; they have to have a court order. Debt collectors are another matter, but they have no powers of entry.

    I had something similar, I spoke to the debt owners (debts are bought by companies) and heard no more. You don't have to, but it's probably better to speak to the debt chasers rather than just sending the letters back.
    Last edited by jinnantonnixx; 9th November 2011 at 10:02 AM.

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    Things would be a lot better if people/countries could only spend what they have...



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