URGENT: AIBU to panic?

(61 Posts)
PeaceAndHope Thu 29-Aug-13 23:13:38

Right.

I never knew that a mobile phone contract could make me so anxious.

I had a sim only contract with o2. Last year I went on holiday for about 4 months and I didn't cancel the contract because direct debit payments had been set and I was happy to pay even if I wasn't using the phone just to keep my contract going.

It seems that there was an issue with my account and I was they were unable to take the payment.

When I returned and tried to re-activate my account, they refused and said that my details were with a "third party" and since they had already disconnected my number, they didn't want the payment.

Fair enough! I was busy with other things and I simply switched to a new provider and never thought about it again.

Today I checked back into my o2 online account (because I wanted to see what my old number used to be) and I saw that I still have a payment outstanding. confused

I am not comfortable with this because it just looks really bad.

My DH has now terrified me by telling me the third party was likely a debt collection agency and this stuff is now on my credit report.

My question is, if it was a debt collection agency, why haven't they contacted me in all these months?? Why haven't o2 contacted me??

And is this really serious or am I worrying over nothing?

MollyBerry Fri 30-Aug-13 13:31:01

Can you not use any of these?
Equifax's Credit Report
Experian's Credit Expert
Callcredit's Noddle

Have a read of this too as it's useful explaining about the credit rating
www.moneysavingexpert.com/loans/credit-rating-credit-score

Also, as a quote from that page
What banks (or in this case it'll be your employer when they check your file) don't know about you...

"Whether you've checked your file. While this info is held, and appears when you check your file, it isn't passed on to lenders and doesn't play any role in any assessment of you."

PeaceAndHope Fri 30-Aug-13 13:42:24

Actually, for complicated reasons, I can't access my credit reports yet.

I am currently wondering whether or not to access the online court records.

SarahBumBarer Fri 30-Aug-13 13:54:34

It is extremely UNLIKELY that this will have affected your credit reference/rating certainly the extent of a CCJ being recorded against you. DCAs spout a lot of NONSENSE about CCJ's and credit ratings because they know that people are terrified of them and many DCAs breach OFT guidlines as to what they are allowed to say about CCJs. A lot of DCA phone staff also do not understand the difference in rules and laws regarding credit and non-credit agreements.

Mobile phone contracts are not usually credit agreements. A default on paying a credit agreement (eg a credit card or store card) has an immediate effect on your file in that it shows as a default. This is not the case with a non credit contract such as (most kinds of ) a mobile phone contracts or gym membership etc. The only way in which a default on a mobile phone would affect your credit rating usually is if a CCJ has been issued against you AND you have failed to pay the judgment within a certain period. A judgment of itself does not affect your credit rating (otherwise no-one would ever dare go to court) it is the action of failing to pay it which affects you (since this is effecticely contempt of court).

DCA's are highly unlikely to have gone to court so quickly with a mobile phone debt. They generally will not look to go to court until they are up against the 6 year limitation period. They are very likely to spend a reasonable degree of time attempting to contact you/trace you first and sending letters to randomes with the same surname as you. Unless you have made specific effort to be untracable (not transferred debts/bank accounts to your new address/not registered on the electroal roll/not left forwarding addresses) they are unlikely to have found it too difficult to do this and so you would almost certainly have heard from them in the event that they were trying to get in touch with you. The Courts would not react terribly well to DCA's who rushed to court without being able to demonstrate that they had made a reasonable level of effort to contact the debtor. Certainly if there is sufficient information to add a CCJ to your credit file after such a short period there should be sufficient information to contact you and make you aware of proceedings against you.

A credit check on your OWN account does not count against you. Nor does checks by people like insurance companies etc etc who are checking for identity purposes and non-credit related reasons. Checks which are for credit purposes are recorded differently on your account and the effect on your credit search differs depending upon whether credit is then offered or not (in which case the assumption is that it has been declined).

I personally would not have paid the DCA a penny in the way in which you did. If at all possible I would write to them now (DO NOT sign the letter - DO NOT give these guys a copy of your signature) asking for them to acknowledge receipt and that it is in full and final settlement all claims against you. Do you know wether the amount you paid included interest/penalties/tracing fees? If not ask for them to itemise the receipt.

SarahBumBarer Fri 30-Aug-13 14:04:12

There is no reason not to check the register of judgements. You can check anyone on this register not just yourself. If it affected your credit rating there would be nothing to stop people maliciously doing check after check on someone they did not like.

PeaceAndHope Fri 30-Aug-13 14:10:06

SarahBumBarer

Thanks so much! Your posts are so very reassuring!

I have sent you a message with some details that i do not want to post here.

PeaceAndHope Fri 30-Aug-13 15:38:22

OK. Now I want to be really sure of whatever I do.

I had signed up for a gadget insurance plan a month back and I have just received the contract.

There is threatening stuff in the contract about possible ccjs if I don't pay on time.

I don't want to risk monthly payments again, at least not on something like insurance. So I have opted to pay the full amount up-front.

The question is- can signing up for a new credit agreement so soon after paying off one debt somehow land me in trouble?

Praceandhope, you sound way too wound up in relation to this. It is a minor thing, it really is. Every credit agreement you sign will threaten ccjsif not paid. Every time. The phone contract your just signed up to will be the same. Mortgage, car finance, credit cards, store cards, car insurance if you pay monthly.

Paying it off in one lump sum will not go against you, but neither will paying it every month.

As for your job, most companies do credit checks now. Not everyone they employ will have a clean report.

Please please calm down about this, it really isn't helpful.

Peaceandhope
I had an old credit card debt on my record that had gone to a DCA, I'd moved thinking I'd cleared the CC and had chopped it up as it had a crap interest rate so didn't bother updating my address. There was one more payment that had been slow going through so there was a further bill that I didn't get.
I sorted it out eventually with a DCA and it didn't stop me getting a very large mortgage agreed about 4 months later.

Please stop worrying a reletively small satisfied debt does not destroy your credit history.

If you have an outstanding unpaid debt then in theory it could eventually end up at the county court but that is expensive and time consuming so its a last resort,

PeaceAndHope Fri 30-Aug-13 16:04:49

I think I am suffering from a bad case of too much googling. Some of the stories out there are just horrifying! It doesn't help that I am so uneducated on this subject.

Sallyingforth Fri 30-Aug-13 17:47:13

No harm to check yourself. You can do it as often as you wish.
The phone company must tell you who they gave your details to. Mention the Data Protection Act.

PeaceAndHope Fri 30-Aug-13 19:13:52

Thanks very much everyone!

I feel better now that I have paid it off, and hopefully it can be updated on my credit report soon.

If anyone thinks of any new advice or suggestions, then please let me know,

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