What to do if you think a debt isn’t yours
Sometimes you may be contacted by a creditor or debt collection agency about a debt you don’t recognise.
Before you contact the creditor about this, think about the following:
Is it an old debt you’ve forgotten about?
Sometimes there can be long gaps in contact from creditors, especially if you’ve moved house and not given them your new address. If you’re not sure, contact them to check when the debt was taken out and what address it was first registered at. In rare cases, if a debt is very old it could be statute barred and the creditor may be out of time to collect it.
Is it a debt you know about which has been transferred to another company?
If you don’t recognise the company, it could be a debt collection agency which has bought a debt from one of your creditors. Check the letter to see if it shows a creditor name or account number that matches a debt you have, or if the balance owing is the same. If not, contact the collection agency to check.
If you’re sure the debt is nothing to do with you, contact the creditor and tell them. If they insist you do owe the debt, ask them to provide proof, for example a copy of the original agreement.
If the creditor continues to contact you about the debt after you’ve explained it isn’t yours, the next step is to make a complaint. If you’re not happy with the creditor’s final response to your complaint, or if they don’t reply within eight weeks, you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service. They can investigate the issue and decide if you’ve been treated fairly. However, The FOS won't decide who's liable for the debt - they'll only decided if the creditor has acted fairly in continuing to contact you.
What if I have a CCJ on my credit file that isn't mine?
If this happens, you may be able to apply to have the CCJ set aside. We provide detailed information on how to do this.