Ms B was unaware of a credit default listing in error for a previous property (March 2016)

Debt collection and credit default listings
Case Number 2016/1311
Outcome Conciliation

The Issue

Ms B was dissatisfied with her energy retailer about a default listing that she did not know about. She had moved out of her previous address several years ago and had provided a forwarding mailing address. In early 2016, she discovered that there was a default on her credit file – which she paid immediately – even though it was lodged by the energy retailer in early 2012. Ms B said she did not receive any notifications about an outstanding debt for her previous address or that a default would be placed on her credit file if the debt remained unpaid. 

Ms B’s representative, Ms L, contacted EWOV on 19 January 2016 as she was dissatisfied about the credit default listing and an Assisted Referral was raised. However, the energy retailer did not contact Ms L so the case was escalated to EWOV’s Real Time Resolution process on 29 January 2016. After EWOV’s preliminary review of the case, we established that a more detailed investigation was required so the complaint was moved to an Investigation on the same day.

The Investigation

EWOV asked the energy retailer to provide copies of bills, reminder notices and the credit default letters. We also requested the retailer to demonstrate how it complied with all of the requirements when listing the credit default, including timeframes. Initially, the energy retailer said that it had listed the default on Ms B’s credit file correctly. However, there appeared to be a lack of documentation to adequately demonstrate that the default was listed correctly. We therefore asked for additional substantiation that the default had been listed for the correct debt and that notices had been sent to Ms B’s forwarding mailing address.

The energy retailer was unable to demonstrate that it had followed all of the requirements when listing the default. Specifically it had not taken into account a part payment made by Ms B and therefore had listed the debt incorrectly on Ms B’s credit file. Additionally, it had not sent all of the required notices to Ms B’s new address and the letters sent by the energy retailer’s mercantile agent did not explicitly state that a default could be placed on Ms B’s credit file if the debt was not paid.

The Outcome

The energy retailer accepted the result of EWOV’s investigation that the default had been listed incorrectly. The energy retailer apologised for the inconvenience caused and agreed to remove the erroneous default listing from Ms B’s credit file. It also confirmed that the debt had been paid and there were no amounts outstanding. Ms B was satisfied with the outcome and the case was closed.

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