Debt collection and credit default listings

Issue

Debt collection and credit default listings

If you have a debt that you don't pay, your energy or water company might list a default on your credit file. It can also sell your debt to a debt collector.

Credit default listings

Once a debt is 60 days overdue, the company can report it to a credit reporting body like Veda, Dun & Bradstreet or Experian. The credit reporting body puts information about the default on your credit file. If you apply for credit later on, your application might be rejected.

There are steps your company must follow when it reports a default, like warning you in writing beforehand.

Debt collectors

Energy and water companies sometimes sell debts to a debt collector. Often, this happens after a customer has moved out of a property and their account has been closed.

Debt collectors are allowed to collect debt, but they have to obey the law. They can only contact you at certain times, and they must not:

  • use physical force or coercion
  • harass you
  • mislead or deceive you
  • take unfair advantage of any vulnerability (such as a disability).

What to do about a default listing or debt collection activity

If you think there has been a mistake, call your company and explain the issue. They must discuss what has happened, even if they’ve already sold or default listed the debt. You can also contact the credit reporting body to get a free copy of your credit report, which can have useful information on it.

If you can’t sort the problem out with your company, contact EWOV. We will investigate what happened and check if any credit default was listed correctly. If there was a mistake, we will ask the company to fix or remove the listing.

Read, download and print: simple fact sheets about debt collection and credit default listings

Fact Sheet 29

Credit default listings and debt collection

Trouble paying a bill, Debt collection and credit default listings
Information about energy and water credit default listings, the default listing process and debt collection activity

How we've helped others: case studies about debt collection and credit default listings

Hot topic articles about debt collection and credit default listings

Hot topic

Credit reporting (December 2015)

Debt collection and credit default listings
Being pursued for debt is incredibly unsettling, but it's vitally important that you do not ignore attempts to contact you by debt collectors — even if you believe there has been a mistake — as ignoring this can result in a credit default being placed against your name.
Hot topic

Energy and Water Credit Collection (March 2015)

Debt collection and credit default listings
Unpaid energy and water accounts can be sent to collections – either internally within the energy or water company or to an external credit collection agent. Importantly, there are rules that energy and water companies, and their agents, must follow for any collection action, especially for customers experiencing financial hardship.