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    Exclamation Desperately seeking help - Lowell disagreement

    Hi all.

    First time posting here after reading some success stories on your forum and being in total awe of the knowledge in some of the responses here.

    I'm hoping someone can help me with this, as I seem to have hit a brick wall. Instead of typing out the entire back story, I'll copy and paste my original e-mail to O2 sent a few weeks ago when the fight first started, after some initial details:

    Lender: Lowell (originally sold on by O2)
    Account Type: Telecommunications Supplier
    Account Opened: 11 May 2011
    Last Updated: 7th December 2015
    Opening Balance: £288
    Current Balance: £0 (Closed, 24th November 2015)
    Default Balance: £288
    Default Date: 28th February 2015
    Reported Until: February 2021

    Recent e-mail to O2 customer support:

    Good morning.

    I have been referred to your back office team by a very helpful member of your customer services team named Zoe, and Iím hoping you can help with my issue.

    I would like to discuss a default that has been placed on my credit file by O2, which is causing us great issues in obtaining a mortgage with my partner this month.

    As discussed with Zoe, I have attached a copy of my credit file relating to the O2 account Iím having issues with.

    My name is *NAME*, Current Address is Ė *ADDRESS* and Date of Birth is **/**/****

    Essentially, my issue is I took out 2 phone contracts on 2011, one for me and one on behalf of my brother. At the time, the accounts were opened in my name, however it was agreed that payments for my brotherís phone would come out of his account. The 2 year duration of the contract went by, and I have upgraded 2-3 times over the last 5 years (loyal O2 customer and proud!). However, I believe that after my brotherís initial 2 year contract was up, he was under the impression (wrongly, of course) that he could just cancel the direct debit and switch providers without making myself or yourself aware. What must have happened, is a debt then began due to the month to month rolling contract not being paid. Letters were likely sent to my old address (as Iíd moved since taking out the contract, updated my details on my account but not this one as I thought I was no longer responsible for it any more).

    I first discovered the debt/default when checking my credit file and immediately called to pay the debt off in full and apologised for any inconvenience I had caused O2.

    I understand that I took out the credit in my name, and that my brother should have contacted you (or even me, so I could have told you) about having the contract cancelled and again apologise if this caused any inconvenience.

    I would be extremely grateful if someone could discuss this with me and would review my case with a view to help get this removed. The debt was quite a small amount and was paid off as soon as it was brought to my attention, but is causing us a whole world of issues in trying to obtain the mortgage we need for our first home.

    Any assistance/guidance on this matter would be very much appreciated.

    I can be contacted on either this e-mail address (work) or my personal e-mail Ė *EMAIL* (which is registered to my current phone contract account with O2). Or on my O2 number of *MOBILE NUMBER*

    Have a great day and thank you for your time today.

    Best Regards.

    Response from O2:

    Hello *NAME*,

    Thank you for your email.

    I have searched our systems and cannot find the defaulted account at either postcode. However, I can see the debt has been sold to Lowell so they will have the account number. Once Lowell buy a debt we have no further dealings with it and they update your credit file upon receiving full payment. There is no reason we can recall the debt as it is correct.

    Regards

    E-mail to Lowell:

    Good morning.

    As per the e-mail chain with O2 below, could I please ask that someone look into this matter for me?

    I do understand that defaults are recorded in order to give a true representation of a personís ability to handle credit, however I do feel that in this circumstance you may be able to offer me some empathy and hopefully help me resolve this default?

    Please let me know if you need any further information than what is already in the e-mail chain.

    Best Regards.

    Response from Lowell:

    Dear *NAME*,

    Thank you for your email regarding the following account:

    Lowell Reference *REF*Ė O2 Ltd

    O2 Ltd originally defaulted your account on 28th February 2015. When the account was sold to Lowell Portfolio I Ltd, we took over the responsibility for reporting the default to the credit reference agencies. Defaults are reported to the credit reference agencies for six years. This is so companies can make informed decisions about lending.

    Due to the above, we wouldnít look to remove the default. I apologise for any inconvenience caused.

    Kind Regards,

    My response to Lowell:

    Hi *NAME*, thank you for getting back to me.

    Is there no way at all a one-off exception can be made, given the circumstances? The default was for a very small amount and was paid in full to Lowell as soon as I was made aware of it. I donít feel that I am now giving lenders a genuine picture of my finances as I have nothing but clean accounts for the last 5 years up until this one, and it is going to prevent me from obtaining a first mortgage and starting a family for another 4-5 year.

    Please, if thereís anything you can do I would really appreciate it.

    Regards.

    Response (today) from Lowell:

    Good Afternoon,

    Thank you for your email. I am responding on behalf of Emily.

    I can appreciate your comments with regards to this but unfortunately we are under a legal obligation to report accurately for any potential creditors and as a result of this we would not be able to remove this default from your file.

    Again please accept my apologies for any inconvenience. I can appreciate that this is not the response that you are looking for but if you do require any further assistance then please do not hesitate to come back to me and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

    Kind Regards,

    It would appear empathy and compassion are lost on DCA's and I'm clearly getting no where. Would greatly appreciate any advice or assistance anyone can offer!

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Desperately seeking help - Lowell disagreement

    tagging @nemesis45 xx
    Debt is like any other trap, easy enough to get into, but hard enough to get out of.

    It doesn't matter where your journey begins, so long as you begin it...

    recte agens confido

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    Default Re: Desperately seeking help - Lowell disagreement

    Thank you, Kati!

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    Default Re: Desperately seeking help - Lowell disagreement

    Good afternoon @Phoenix1792,

    The rules for reporting accounts to credit reference agencies are laid down by the Information Commissioners Office and as has been said there is an obligation on creditors and debt purchasers to report accurate and up to date information on the conduct of the account.

    If a defaulted account is paid off then a credit file entry will be marked " satisfied" and lenders should take appropriate regard to the fact that the default has been satisfied.

    Since the ICO issued further technical guidance a couple of years ago there is little chance of correctly placed defaults being removed for credit file.

    As you have now it seems received what could be a "final response" letter from Lowell you could attempt an appeal to the ICO perhaps along the fact that this was a telephone service contract not a regulated credit agreement and was for only a small amount.

    nem
    The Advice I Give and Draft Letters Provided Are Drawn From Personal Experience and Career Training And Are Given Freely And Without Liability.
    Please make your own decisions with care and if necessary seek qualified legal advice.
    I will not advise by Private Message. If Specific Advice is Needed please Tag me in your post by typing @Nemesis45 . If you receive messages from anyone offering advice for a fee please report it to the site team. Animo et Fide.





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    Default Re: Desperately seeking help - Lowell disagreement

    Thank you for your quick response @nemesis45 . As you can probably tell, I'm not the most savvy in this area. I've done a quick research and appears that a complaint to the ICO generally involves a member of the public complaining that an authority has failed to respond correctly to a request for information. Would that mean I would need to probe Lowell for information first, before submitting a claim to the ICO? Are there any templates or guidelines on this site (or others, for that matter) that you know of before I take this route?

    Thanks again, I do really appreciate the assistance.

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    Default Re: Desperately seeking help - Lowell disagreement

    Just wanted to see what you guys think of this information too, is it legitimate?

    A SAR might flag up where these payments were coming from, if you can show that they were in fact NOT coming from an account held by you then clearly they were coming from someone else, and therefore eligibility for this should be questioned.

    It is true that I took out the original credit agreement for the phone contract, but after a few months the payments were NOT coming from my bank, and the name on the account was changed (I think) to reflect my brother's details.

    Is it worth firing off a SAR to O2 as they were the original creditor? Or would I have to send it off to Lowell as they are the only ones showing on my credit file?
    Last edited by Phoenix1792; 4th April 2017 at 15:24:PM. Reason: Wanted* replaced "what"

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Desperately seeking help - Lowell disagreement

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix1792 View Post
    Just wanted to see what you guys think of this information too, is it legitimate?

    A SAR might flag up where these payments were coming from, if you can show that they were in fact NOT coming from an account held by you then clearly they were coming from someone else, and therefore eligibility for this should be questioned.

    It is true that I took out the original credit agreement for the phone contract, but after a few months the payments were NOT coming from my bank, and the name on the account was changed (I think) to reflect my brother's details.

    Is it worth firing off a SAR to O2 as they were the original creditor? Or would I have to send it off to Lowell as they are the only ones showing on my credit file?
    Yes SAR O2. Template in green box at the top of the court claim forum. Lowell have the absolute minimum of data. BUT once ( if it was changed) the account was changed to your brothers details you will not be provided with said data. (you cannot request A 3rd partied data.

    Mobile Phone agreements are " service contracts " unregulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (as amended) so unless you purchased the phone rather than having it provided within the contract there is no " credit " agreement.

    The SAR may/should show this up.
    nem
    The Advice I Give and Draft Letters Provided Are Drawn From Personal Experience and Career Training And Are Given Freely And Without Liability.
    Please make your own decisions with care and if necessary seek qualified legal advice.
    I will not advise by Private Message. If Specific Advice is Needed please Tag me in your post by typing @Nemesis45 . If you receive messages from anyone offering advice for a fee please report it to the site team. Animo et Fide.





  8. #8
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    Default Re: Desperately seeking help - Lowell disagreement

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix1792 View Post
    Thank you for your quick response @nemesis45 . As you can probably tell, I'm not the most savvy in this area. I've done a quick research and appears that a complaint to the ICO generally involves a member of the public complaining that an authority has failed to respond correctly to a request for information. Would that mean I would need to probe Lowell for information first, before submitting a claim to the ICO? Are there any templates or guidelines on this site (or others, for that matter) that you know of before I take this route?
    Sorry missed this post.

    The ICO Controls/Regulates and takes complaint from the public on matters of data control i.e. in this case inaccurate, misleading or inappropriate/unfair data being displayed on credit files.

    The ICO has taken view at time that a small non regulated agreement default is unfair and should not prevent an individual from obtaining major secured finance e.g. a mortgage.

    I've been successful in putting this matter to the test in the past.
    Always happy to help.
    nem
    Last edited by Kati; 4th April 2017 at 16:07:PM.
    The Advice I Give and Draft Letters Provided Are Drawn From Personal Experience and Career Training And Are Given Freely And Without Liability.
    Please make your own decisions with care and if necessary seek qualified legal advice.
    I will not advise by Private Message. If Specific Advice is Needed please Tag me in your post by typing @Nemesis45 . If you receive messages from anyone offering advice for a fee please report it to the site team. Animo et Fide.





  9. #9
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    Default Re: Desperately seeking help - Lowell disagreement

    Thanks again @nemesis45

    I think the ICO route may be my last option left after the recent responses from Lowell, they definitely aren't budging.

    Could you advise how I would go about bringing this to ICOs attention in the correct and concise manner?

    Appreciate you sharing your knowledge and experience.

    Regards.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Desperately seeking help - Lowell disagreement

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix1792 View Post
    Thanks again @nemesis45

    I think the ICO route may be my last option left after the recent responses from Lowell, they definitely aren't budging.

    Could you advise how I would go about bringing this to ICOs attention in the correct and concise manner?

    Appreciate you sharing your knowledge and experience.

    Regards.
    It's really just a question of collating the events from the start of the problem i.e. from when the accounts defaulted and why and the appeals to Lowell for " a gesture of good will" on a small paid off debt that arose from a misunderstanding and putting your case for the " unfair " default being removed to enable you to apply for a mortgage etc.

    nem
    The Advice I Give and Draft Letters Provided Are Drawn From Personal Experience and Career Training And Are Given Freely And Without Liability.
    Please make your own decisions with care and if necessary seek qualified legal advice.
    I will not advise by Private Message. If Specific Advice is Needed please Tag me in your post by typing @Nemesis45 . If you receive messages from anyone offering advice for a fee please report it to the site team. Animo et Fide.





  11. #11
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    Default Re: Desperately seeking help - Lowell disagreement

    I find this explanation of when you can and when you can't get a default marker removed from your CRA file very helpful. It's written in Plain English too

    So read this by @Debt Camel https://debtcamel.co.uk/get-rid-of-a-default/

    If you can't get the default removed (and I don't see a way having glanced at your thread) then paying the sum due of £288 should at least get the account marked as 'satisfied' which can help with credit scoring. Even if you believe the sum has already been paid, it may be worth the extra expense simply to tidy up your credit file.

    If you feel very strongly you can add a Notice of Correction to your CRA file explaining why it was a mistake (if it was). Experian tells you how to do that here >

    https://help.creditexpert.co.uk/help..._of_correction

    Di
    I am a Litigation Executive at Joanna Connolly Solicitors a firm which specializes in consumer credit.

    This forumís site rules donít allow me to give advice by PM but if you need to contact me please email di@joannaconnollysolicitors.co.uk . Our initial advice is always free.

    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. If you are unsure please seek formal legal guidance or contact your local citizens advice bureau at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

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    Default Re: Desperately seeking help - Lowell disagreement

    Thanks Di.

    Sorry, I'm not sure if I already mentioned but I did pay off the full amount as soon as the debt was brought to my attention by a CRA.

    I know that probably does help my case, but I'm still not crazy about having to wait another 4 years to get a mortgage!

    Thanks again for the info, I'll give that a read through now and assess my options.

    Regards.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks again Nem, I'll compile everything I can and present it to the ICO soon.

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    Default Re: Desperately seeking help - Lowell disagreement

    As the entry says balance 0 and was last updated I can think of little you can do.

    I am assuming you did default so the record record is spot on. Harsh I know as you paid it as soon as you knew there really is little they can do.

    From my quick read read of your thread it seems

    The account t was in your name therefore it was legally if not morally your responsibility

    I use the term you to mean you, your brother, the account

    You did default
    You did pay
    The record shows a default
    The record shows it was repaid.

    All seems kosher to me

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    Default Re: Desperately seeking help - Lowell disagreement

    You're right, of course. I'm not debating it's not cut and dry, but obviously left me feeling hard done by, as if I'd have known the account was even 1 payment late I would've cleared it. I'm not the type who gets notices and bins them and then wonders how they're in debt. So therefore I understandably don't want to be portrayed in a negative light when applying for credit.

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    Default Re: Desperately seeking help - Lowell disagreement

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix1792 View Post
    You're right, of course. I'm not debating it's not cut and dry, but obviously left me feeling hard done by, as if I'd have known the account was even 1 payment late I would've cleared it. I'm not the type who gets notices and bins them and then wonders how they're in debt. So therefore I understandably don't want to be portrayed in a negative light when applying for credit.
    Despite the gloom and doom statement it's well worth trying to get the default removed it's is unfair that a default for a small amount on a phone agreement should blight ones life and prevent you getting credit as normal rates or prevent you getting a mortgage for years, try the gesture of good will approach.

    nem
    The Advice I Give and Draft Letters Provided Are Drawn From Personal Experience and Career Training And Are Given Freely And Without Liability.
    Please make your own decisions with care and if necessary seek qualified legal advice.
    I will not advise by Private Message. If Specific Advice is Needed please Tag me in your post by typing @Nemesis45 . If you receive messages from anyone offering advice for a fee please report it to the site team. Animo et Fide.





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    Default Re: Desperately seeking help - Lowell disagreement

    I am sorry if I sounded doom and gloom and yes I do think it's harsh that one relatively small payment can hurt you.

    There is no harm trying the goodwill route but it's about managing your expectations.

    If lowell or the I o do play ball so much the better, if not , there is little you can do.



    Quote Originally Posted by nemesis45 View Post
    Despite the gloom and doom statement it's well worth trying to get the default removed it's is unfair that a default for a small amount on a phone agreement should blight ones life and prevent you getting credit as normal rates or prevent you getting a mortgage for years, try the gesture of good will approach.

    nem

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    Default Re: Desperately seeking help - Lowell disagreement

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix1792 View Post
    I'm still not crazy about having to wait another 4 years to get a mortgage!
    I can't see any good grounds for the default to be removed. You can try the goodwill appeal but I would be surprised if it works.

    BUT you don't have to wait until the default disappears to get a mortgage. Anecdotally you can get a mortgage at a reasonable rate from some high street lenders if a default is
    a) over 3 years old and
    b) has been repaid fro more than a year.

    So that would be this time next year Go through a broker, don't apply direct to a lender as you may choose one who is picky about old defaults.

    If you have an unusually large deposit and very good income for what you want to borrow, it could be worth talking to a broker now.

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    Default Re: Desperately seeking help - Lowell disagreement

    Ah that's amazing to know, thanks DebtCamel.

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