Experian and Equifax - the whole story?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Repossession : One Thread

After Citibank messed us around in too many tedious and expensive ways to mention here, they finally sold our house for 37.5k in 1995. The last communication we received from them was in late June of that year, asking us to send them a cheque for some spurious figure of, from memory, about 42k (bear in mind we only ever borrowed 50k and paid them back 29k in repayments, and they made another 37.5 from the sale...that's the joy of endowment mortgages!)Anyway.... you will have noticed, gentle reader, that this means we fully expect to be contacted by them soon as the 6 year rule will apply (Citibank are a member of the CML). Looking at our credit files from Experian and Equifax, however, we discover they don't mention any mortgage repossession debt at all. Zilch. Has a miracle occurred, or should we still be steeling ourselves for the onslaught? Any advice welcome.....

-- A Student (mbc109@york.ac.uk), March 14, 2001


The majority of people that I know that have checked for this entry have found it does not mention repossession debt. However, I would argue that any credit reference agency or any lender that logs an *unproven* repossession shortfall debt is setting themselves up for a defamation claim from the customer. (One should make such claims as a counterclaim to the lender's own shortfall recovery claim against you if one is going to take a defamation claim to court).

However, there may be a notice of the repossession itself but with no shortfall amount included. The majority of repossessees that have checked find no mention of this but I kow of two who have.

Everyone - without exceptions - should serve a £10 DPA Subject Access Rights Notice on Experian, Equifax, MCLS and possibly CIFAS. This is *not* the same as asking to see your credit information they hold on you. This is asking to see *all* the electronic data they hold that is identifiably linked to you.

At the time of writing - mid-March 2001 - we are still seeing signs that Equifax staff do not understand that you have SARN rights. They write back asking you to send it £2 for a credit reference file check instead. If you receive such a letter from Equifax, please, please send a copy of it with a request for an assessment to the Information Commissioner (formerly Data Protection Commissioner).

The more that the IC sees that Equifax is playing funny over SARNs the quicker this company will invest in adequate legal training for its staff.


-- Lee (repossession@bigfoot.com), March 14, 2001.

When serving a Data Protection Act SARN on a credit reference agency you must state the following;

You are hereby formally served with a Data Protection Act Subject Access Rights Notice (SARN) request in respect of xxxxxx.

You will supply full details & copies of all data, correspondence, files, etc..


As a, “Credit Reference Agency”, I hereby formally state that you are required to supply full details of ALL data held by you, and on behalf of others, against xxxxxxx. The provisions of the Data Protection Act 7:9(3) whereby credit reference agencies are only required to provide details of financial standing, do not apply to this Data Protection Act SARN request. You are required to provide full details of all databases and all files that contain any references to xxxxxxxx. Together with an explanation of the processing and processing logic that has been used.

-- anon (i.hate.abbey.national@another.com), March 14, 2001.

Up to a couple of years ago our credit file with experian/equifax (can't remember which one) had an entry for the mortgage repo marked "balance satisfied". It didn't show the shortfall amount but the overall figure for mortgage interest (endowment mortgage, although they actually deny that it was an endowment mortgage) before any payments were made.

This was before they started chasing us for a shortfall. When the chase started, we sent for our files again and this entry was no longer there.

When we saw this entry we assumed they had got their money from the mig and that was why they hadn't been after us for the money. I wonder if serving a sarn on these agencies will shead any light on this?

good luck

Stephen Pooley

-- (stephen.pooley@ntlworld.com), March 14, 2001.

I think that serving SARNs on Experian and Equifax is a very good idea.

Their addresses are:


Dept IE

PO Box 3001

Glasgow G81 2DT


Talbot House

Talbot Street

Nottingham NG1 5HF

Address the letters to the Data Protection Act Compliance Officer, follow the advice in the posts above so that you know what to ask for, and enclose a ten pound postal order per SARN. It's also best to send a SARN by Recorded Delivery so that you have an independent record of when the 40 day compliance period starts.

Good luck.

-- Eleanor Scott (eleanor.scott@btinternet.com), March 18, 2001.

Thanks for all this everyone, impatience got the better of me so I SARNed the 3 agencies (using wording etc as advised above) by ordinary mail, before the advice about registered post was posted, so to speak. Anyway, the 40 day deadline is marked in red in my diary...I'll be back in touch when the lenders make their 5 years 11 and a half months contact with me (June), by which time I should have had time to trawl through some of the paperwork. What joy. At least it will be less traumatic to deal with after reading through this site. 6 years ago I was regularly reduced to tears by the thugs making comments like "I really don't know how people like you can sleep at night" etc etc. Just let them try it!! Thanks again

-- A Student (mbc109@york.ac.uk), March 19, 2001.

I have just SARNed Experian and Equifax myself. Let's compare notes next month!

all best

-- Eleanor Scott (eleanor.scott@btinternet.com), March 21, 2001.

Experian charge a £10 fee for dealing with a SARN, by the way.

Mine is being dealt with by a member of staff titled: 'Consumer Compliance Executive, Consumer Help Service'.

-- Eleanor Scott (eleanor.scott@btinternet.com), March 31, 2001.

Any data held at Experian and Equifax has a six year life - then it drops off.

As your repo and sale was in 1995 the records should cease to appear on the Agencies in 2001.

-- xxxxx (xxxx@freeserve.co.uk), June 29, 2001.

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