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Why am I being linked to an unrelated debtor?


Hi James,


I recently received a gas bill for a property in Hertfordshire which I have never owned or rented. The bill was addressed to Mr A **** (I am Mrs A ****). I ‘returned to sender’ on a number of occasions. Then I opened the latest letter in error to find I was going to be sued! I emailed them and explained who I was and they have sent me a letter explaining that they got my address from Experian. Can you explain how this would have happened please? I am extremely annoyed.



Avril, Chatham


Dear Avril,

I understand your concerns but you shouldn’t need to worry. Credit checks take place on people and not addresses, so anything registered at your address in the name of Mr A **** should not affect your credit rating in anyway. In relation to this particular debt, it is possible that we gave your address to the gas company to help them find their customer – let me explain. Lenders and collectors are allowed to use credit reference agency data to help them locate customers they have lost touch with who owe them money. What usually happens is that they run a trace through one or more credit reference agency databases using the last known details for their customer. This may then reveal possible new addresses that might relate to their customer. Importantly, and under strict industry guidelines, they must then take steps to verify any possible new address, certainly before transferring credit report data and/or commencing recovery action. Mistakes are occasionally made, which appears to be the situation in your case. The best thing for you to do is to keep returning any post you receive for this person to the sender or senders, clearly marked ‘wrong address’. The message should eventually get through. If it doesn’t, make a formal complaint to the energy company and escalate it if you fail to get a satisfactory response.

James Sign

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