Credit Reference Agency: Put Your CRA on Notice

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Put your Credit Reference Agencies on Notice

Dear Sir/Madam

Notice that you hold data about me which is inaccurate and in dispute

My credit file shows that you are holding personal data about me which is inaccurate and which is in dispute.

The entries have been lodged by XXXBankXXX and refer to purported debts which are in fact comprised of bank penalty charges. A s you are aware, the entire issue of bank charges has been in dispute generally between the banks and their customers for well over 2 years. In July 2007 the OFT announced that in response to a request by 8 UK banks they would be bringing a test case on the issue of whether bank delinquency charges were subject to the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations 1999.

It is clear that at least by that date, if not before that the UK banks admitted that there was a serious question mark over the status of their charges.

In May 2008 the High Court ruled that the bank’s charges were indeed subject to UTCCR.

I am sure that you are well aware that the Oft has publicly expressed its view that the charges are subject to UTCCR and also that they are unfairly high.

Although the banks are appealing against the High Court decision, there is frankly little chance that they will succeed and there is every chance that the OFT will set a cap for charges which is very much less than the present level of £30 and more in many cases.

Once it is fully confirmed that UTCCR is the governing law and that its terms have been breached by the banks high level of charges, all charges which have been levied to date plus any associated interest will be unlawfully unfair. There is no provision in the UTCCR to allow the difference between unfair charge and capped rate to be invalidated. The whole charge becomes invalid per se.

Additionally, I am putting you on notice that I informed the bank that I disputed their charges on XXXDATEXX. despite this they proceeded to make entries onto my credit file in breach of the Banking Code of Practice, in breach of their contractual obligations and in breach of the Information Commissioner's own guidance.

I am putting you on notice that I intend to complain to the Information Commissioner’s office that you are holding inaccurate data about me. The negative entries on my credit file are damaging to me and the Data Protection Act allows me to seek compensation from both you and the organisation which communicated the data to you through the County Courts and this is also an option which I am considering. I am sure that you are also aware that inaccurate entries about me are defamatory and that it is a new act of defamation each time you publish those entries to any enquirer. I would further suggest that even if an inaccurate data entry carries a dispute marker, it does not prevent the inaccurate data from having a damaging effect and it does not protect you from liability.

I notice that the Defaults Guidance notes issued to Credit Reference Agencies by the Information Commissioner in August 2007 make all of this very clear to you so that there is no doubt that you are aware of your responsibilities.

I expect also that you are aware that being an “innocent disseminator” is no defence either to claims under the Data Protection Act or in defamation.

I understand your procedures well enough to know that you will not immediately remove negative entries from my data file. Nevertheless I require you to do so and your failure to ignore this reasoned and polite warning will be brought to the notice of the Information Commissioner and the courts in due course.

I understand that you may make some enquiries from my bank before taking action but in the meantime I fully expect that you will place an entry on my file that the entry is disputed.

I would be very grateful if you will let me have your full response

Yours faithfully

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