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worried about brothers money problems(4 Posts)
My brother used to live with me and my dh. He moved out over 18 months ago but some of his credit card bills, bank statements etc still come here to our house because he was staying with a friend, then moved in with another friend etc. It seemed simpler to just keep these bills coming here rather than having to change his address all the time.
But I'm a bit worried as he keeps getting letters from one company, who I think he has a loan with or it might be a credit card I'm not sure. anyway there are a few letters sitting here which he still hasn't picked up they've been here a few weeks now. We also keep getting phone calls asking for him.
We just say that he isn't it and since they phone when he's a at work anyway even if he lived here he wouldn't be in at the time they called. WE let him know everytime they call and he told me the other day that he had phoned them and spoken to them.
But what I'm worried about is, if he is in major debt to this company, and he wouldn't tell me if he was, although I have a sneaking suspicion that he may be behind on payments, is there anyway this can come back on me? Because the bills come to my house if they were to come knocking on my door demanding to repossess his stuff or something what would happen seeing as he doesn't live here? Would I legally have to tell them where he now lives, although to be honest I don't actually know his address.
Does anyone have any idea? I'm starting to get slightly worried as someone phones nearly every day asking for him. My brother just keeps saying that he's spoken to them. they may just be calling for innocent reasons like to offer him more money or another card etc but since they won't actually tell me that over the phone I don't know.
If you've managed to get to the end of this thank you and if you have any advice I appreciate it.
This could affect you but only if you and your brother use the same surname. Hopefully you have changed your surname as you are married!!
When you try to get credit, the company will carry out a credit check on your address and surname. Provided none of the debts match the surname then you are ok, you may still find things get delayed whilst they double check the debts. I have this prob with previous tenants having large debts on property i now own, but once surname is noted as different its ok. You can request a credit check for a small fee, there are three main agencies that do this equifax i think was the name of one.
Regard to bailiffs, none have yet turned up on my doorstep, despite living here for a year and received regular threatening letters. I always hope that i'll be able to prove i'm not who they are after and they'll be on their way. If you keep it that way that you don't know your brothers address then you won't have to lie will you .
If i were you, when they ring i would tell them he no longer lives there and you don't know where he is. If they are cagey about who they are then most probably debt collectors ( i get those too!).
It shouldn't affect you as debts are specific to a person, not an address. However, as Fran1 says there may be an informal link between you and your brother if you are using the same surname at the same address. If this is the case, you can file a notice of dissociation with the credit agencies, basically saying "this person is nothing to do with me".
You can order your credit reports from Experian , and Equifax and Call Credit . They cost £2 each.
If you genuinely don't know where he lives, I would tell them that when they call, rather than saying he isn't in. However, if the bailiffs come a-calling, as far as I am aware, they are not entitled (a) to come in or (b) take anything which belongs to you. Have a look at this guy's website and (I hope you can read this) his post on The Motley Fool called "What Can They Do To Me?"
If he is in major debt, you could be getting some increasingly difficult phone calls. I think if I were you I would tell your brother to get it sorted out so that your address is no longer involved. It might also be worth giving National Debtline a call (freephone number).
Hope some of this helps.
Thanks for your replies. I do have a different surname from my brother now that I'm married, although for the first few years we lived in this house I had the same surname as him.
anyway I spoke to him tonight and he's assured me that he's paid all his bills and that he only has one debt left to pay which is his loan.
He doesn't know who all the phone calls are from although some are from this one company others might not be. He thinks that they are probably banks/credit card companies phoning to offer him more money/cards.
I asked if we could say that he doesn't live here the next time someone calls and he said yes so that's what we'll do.
Thanks for your advice.
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