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Debt Collector repeatedly chasing the wrong person

Thursday, February 13, 2014 - Posted by Philip Harvey

The office of the information commissioner in the UK (similar to the privacy commissioner in Australia) has found debt collection company, Capquest, one of the UK's larger debt collection companies, failed to verify the identity of a person they were calling in attempting to collection outstanding debts and likely breach the Data Protection Act (UK)


A grandmother and husband had recently moved address and shortly after started to receive calls from Capquest pertaining to the debt collection of debts that were not in her name. The debts were for 3 other women. On each occasion the grandmother advised it was not her and supplied her credentials to Capquest in an attempt to stop the phone calls.


Capquest advised that they believe the grandmother to be the victim of identification theft. They had obtained the address and phone number from  credit bureaus in the UK, and after verifying they had the wrong person, would remove the address from the record. It occurred on  a number of occasions because in each instance the new address was supplied to a different debts account.


A claim for compensation against Capquest has been resolved.


It is interesting to put this in an Australian context and how creditors could possibly avoid this situation in the pursuit of debt collection. One possible method discussed in LCollect is a database check of addresses and flag address matches where names do not match or agree. However this is not without its difficulties and you also need to be very mindful of compliance obligations in keeping accounts separate where you have one debtor with multiple debts to different creditors.

This article was sourced at

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