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AIBU to panic about rubbish notice from DCA?

(20 Posts)
Nicebucket Sat 23-Jan-16 01:12:24

I moved to England from Scotland in August last year. Before moving I cleared ALL my pending bills in my old flat and ensured nothing was outstanding.

However, I have now suddenly been served with a notice from pastduecredit which is some sort of debt collection agency that I owe £200 to SSE Scottish hydro.

This is such nonsense because of two reasons-

1. My final bill from Scottish hydro was £91 not £200, and
2. I have the exact date and time I paid it

I also logged into the SSE website to see my account and I've just taken a screenshot of where it says "clear, £0 pending"

Is it possible there's been a mistake somewhere? Why would they serve me a notice for an amount I don't recognise when they confirmed my existing account was clear?!

I work for a Bank so a balance going to a DCA is a default on the credit file and I'm worried this could cost me my job!!

I'm panicking, please help

VimFuego101 Sat 23-Jan-16 01:16:25

Have you googled the company to see if they're legit? Sounds like a scam.

AntiHop Sat 23-Jan-16 01:19:31

Sometimes debt collection companies send out letters about debt to lots of people with the same name hoping to track down the correct person. Perhaps it's one of those.

Nicebucket Sat 23-Jan-16 01:20:39

It's a legitimate company based in glasgow.

I'm worried it's perhaps the new tenant there or the landlord etc pinning the debt on me?

I've been given only until Monday to pay it as well

Nicebucket Sat 23-Jan-16 01:23:16

My name is extremely unique. I wouldn't be surprised if I'm the only one in the Uk with this name.

So they definitely can't be mixing names up.

Unless the ex LL or the tenant have given them my reference to chase me.

I'm not even sure where they got my new address from?! I never gave it to Scottish hydro nor did I give it to my previous landlord.

I've checked my credit reports and they're clear. But I'm worried that they might slap on a default

Naoko Sat 23-Jan-16 01:23:51

If you don't owe it, it's a mistake and it will get fixed. Call Scottish Hydro when their customer service is next open, see what they say and take it from there. I always pay everything on time and I've had debt collection letters twice. The first time I changed internet providers and suddenly got notices in big angry letters nine months later - 'we're collecting on this debt because you haven't paid your bill in nine months' Yeah, funny that, seeing as you're no longer my supplier. The second time BT sent debt collectors after me for allegedly not paying them £11. I'd moved house, and they fucked up the calculations somewhere in the switchover. By the time all was said and done it turned out they actually owed me thirty quid.

Nicebucket Sat 23-Jan-16 01:25:11

But does anyone know how the defaults work? I'm worried about my credit reports and background checks.

Would they have already slapped on a default? Or do they wait to see if the person has paid first

Nicebucket Sat 23-Jan-16 02:09:14

Oh dear lord.

This is not all.

I once had a payment that didn't clear direct debit because I was out of town for three months on a family emergency and couldn't check my bank balances.

It was for £100 and it went to Lowell's the DCA. I settled it immediately and I've just realised it's been on my call credit report all this while ( I was only checking Equifax and Experian)

It's there as a normal account and just gives the balance as "default" balance and then the amount £100.

Is this bad? I passed the credit checks for my current job despite this default. Shall I still declare to HR?

rosewithoutthorns Sat 23-Jan-16 02:29:16

I think you're "overthinking" somewhat here.

Email them.

Topsy34 Sat 23-Jan-16 02:49:29

I think you are panicing a tad too much. Call the debt company and explain what you said here, that you cleared what you owed.

Is the money you cleared up to and including the day you left?, so as you left you took a reading? Its possible there was a small amount owing, but with charges etc its leapt up.

Nicebucket Sat 23-Jan-16 02:58:54

Topsy- it included upto the last second I was there. I have a final bill for £91 that says "Final closing statement bill" and a payment reference number for processing and settling the payment well before due date.

Gartenzwerg Sat 23-Jan-16 03:50:24

I would call Scottish Hydro first to establish whether there was actually an aoutstanding debt on your account that they sold to the DCA. Maybe there was an amount that came to light after you closed your account, eg when they read the meter. If there is no money outstanding then robustly inform them to call off the DCA.

The DCA themselves won't have the background on how the amount was owing, they just chase the money on behalf of their client. IME they are unlikely to be helpful and will just demand that you pay them.

sportinguista Sat 23-Jan-16 05:39:07

Could be the new tenant. It happened to us. 8 years after we had moved! Apparently some items of junk mail came to old address with my name and details on. Tenant there thought it would be a good idea to pin huge electricity and gas bill they hadn't paid on me. Cue debt collection agency tracing new address as we are on electoral roll etc.

Massively backfired on them though as I spoke to DCA, sent our mortgage docs and council tax bill to prove residence at new address. Even better I was good friends with old landlord so just sent a Facebook message to him and they were in even more hot water as he started eviction proceedings due to level of debt to utilities.

Check that this might be the case as people do try to pull a fast one and it's easier for agencies to trace you than you think. An unusual name probably just narrows it down for them!

Nicebucket Sat 23-Jan-16 09:56:33

SSE are bloody useless. Their debt liaisons team doesn't work on Saturdays but they gave me some rubbish story about the account.

1. The account number I've been served a notice for was never under my name.

2. I already have a closed and settled account with SSE for electricity at that property. How can I now have ANOTHER account for electricity at exactly the same property with the same provider?

3. The dates SSE gave me for the default, were paid in full under my actual account number. I'm guessing they've issued a dupe bill for the same address for the previous tenant's/agency's account for the same period. Obviously it wouldn't have been addressed to me, so I wouldn't even have known about it let alone paid it.

4. The bloody bastard letting agency that rented me my flat told SSE to transfer the account to my name and chase me for payment. angry

BUT then I spoke to the debt collection agency. They gave me exact dates that the bill was for and guess what? I wasn't even in Scotland yet at those dates, let alone at that property.

Nicebucket Sat 23-Jan-16 12:36:16

I've sent them emails with copies of tenancy agreement.

I hope to resolve this asap.

Everyone's given me different information- someone said the account was valid for x dates, someone said y. I have no idea what's happened but I do think they've billed me for dates I wasn't even there

Nicebucket Sun 24-Jan-16 11:43:15

It appears the letting agency has put down an account and debt under their own name as my responsibility.

It's shocking the electric company didn't ask for proper evidence before doing this.

The other possibility is forged documents being submitted by letting agency. Do I need legal advice?

OurBlanche Sun 24-Jan-16 12:05:28

Send the LA a stern email, with a scan of your tenancy agreement, and get them to correct their error.

Give them a clear deadline, 7 days. Copy in the collection agency.

Meanwhile look and see if the LA are members of any associations and prepare a formal complaint.

Go get them!

Nicebucket Mon 25-Jan-16 07:32:53

Emails have already been sent! With all evidence intact.

Now it need to call them again this morning and see how soon they can resolve it

Curiocat Mon 25-Jan-16 09:34:20

I had something simile with Npower (if you google you will see all the crap about their 'new IT systems failing and mucking up billings).

I'd moved a year ago and settled, then the new owner queried the bill and they essentially tried to dump the amount owed on to me. When spoke I customer service they said I should speak to the new owner as someone need to pay. Ended up providing proof of the Meter readings (thank god I'd submitted them!) and the error was obviously theirs, but they wouldn't relent and insisted I owed them X amount until I went on a social media attack. All sorted then in a matter of days with a compo payment for hurt feelings grin - they will try t with you, make sure you check your old usage against what they are saying you owe and when in doubt Twitter / Facebook campaign. They usually deal much quicker than the helplines! Good luck X

Nicebucket Mon 25-Jan-16 13:27:27

They've admitted on the phone that they've made a massive mistake. So that's a start!

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