Credit File: Cleaning Up Your Credit File
Would you like to clean up your credit file?
You should challenge your credit file if:-
- You were defaulted for bank charges since July 2007
- You were defaulted after you began your bank charges complaint
Firstly you should understand that there is no magic bullet which will force/persuade anyone to clean up your credit file.
This forum started a bank charges revolution which caused about £750,000,000 to be returned so far - but believe me, this was a pushover compared to getting charges-related debt removed from credit files.
The banks etc would rather cut off their own legs than remove their negative entries from credit files.
I am only aware of maybe a dozen or so occasions when it has been successfuly managed.
However it should be possible if the bank has broken the terms of its agreement with you in relation to the sharing of your data with third parties.
The BBA, of course say that the Banking Code is a voluntary code. So do the banks.
Despite this is it very much part of their sales pitch. Potential customers are meant to notice it and frankly it would be scandalous if they didn’t conduct the banking contract mainly along the lines set out in the code.
We think that the appropriate argument is to say that the voluntary nature of the code is that the banks can subscribe to it or not – as they wish. However once they have subscribed to it, then it becomes binding upon them in relation to their customers.
Furthermore it is likely that subscribing to a code of conduct and then not abiding by its terms – or by not notifying customers that some terms of the Code won’t apply would be an unfair commercial practice under the new CPUT regs
As you all know, charges claims are generally stayed. However the banks are allowed to continue charging. What is more disturbing is that although their customers can’t doing anything to halt the charging; the banks are still free to enter negative entries on their customer’s credit files, to default them etc. The banks are still continuing to pursue recovery of charges by charging orders and repossessions. It is really quite merciless and very inequitable.
The current account contract says that the customer agrees to the sharing of information with third parties
Para.13.6 of the Banking Code states very clearly the conditions which must exist before personal data will be passed to the CRAs under the contractual permission to share data with third parties:-
It appears to create 3 conditions but actually it creates 4.
1. You must be behind with your payments
2. The debt must not be in dispute
3. The bank must have given you a formal demand with reasonable time to respond
4. Your response must be unacceptable to the bank
If any of these conditions is not met then it seems to us that the communicating of negative information to the CRAs is unlawful as it is not carried out under the terms of the account contract.
The two most likely conditions to be broken are no.s 2 and 3.
We hear about these all of the time. An enormous number of people tell us that they receive no notification, default notice, or final demand. They simply discover by accident that their names have been placed upon the credit register.
No.3 might be tricky to prove as we expect that the banks don't carry copies on their files - although they should contain a file note that the demand has been sent out.
We also hear from an even larger number of our users that the banks go ahead and mark their credit files even though the sum has become subject of a charges claim – even though it has been stayed.
Of course, this is very easy to prove where the claimant has begun a complaint or a claim. It also helps a great deal that it is clear that all charges issues since July last year are the subject of dispute as the banks themselves have acknowledged this by asking the OFT for a test case.
Would you like to try challenging your negative credit file entries on one or both of these grounds? We think that there is a basis to challenge a credit file entry when the sum was the subject of a charges claim as being breach of the Code and therefore breach of contract - or merely a breach of the code in its own right.
It might even be possible to argue that as there is a general dispute as to charges, the banks are prevented by the Code from making any negative credit file entries in relation to charges-related debt during the period of the dispute with the OFT
If you feel that this applies to you and you would like to try and challenge your bank's behaviour, post - here
Also, put your Credit Reference Agencies on notice
If you feel that your circumstances fit the bill the post in this forum and we will see if we can help you to clean up your credit file.