Questions Of Cash: Co-op Bank slashed credit limit after I was fraud victim
Saturday 11 February 2012
Q. Someone used my old address to obtain a T-Mobile phone account. I found out because the postman for my old address tipped me off, so I contacted T-Mobile and stopped the account. Then I got a letter from a debt collection agency demanding £400 for cancelling the account.
I again phoned T-Mobile, which cancelled the bill and the debt collection action. It also apologised. But then I had a letter from the Co-operative Bank, reducing my credit card limit from £7,700 to £1,200. I asked why and was told there was an adverse credit reference, relating to the £400 debt.
The Co-operative Bank then agreed to reinstate my credit limit, subject to me contacting the credit reference agency to have the adverse reference deleted. Yet T-Mobile says it has removed this already. For 20 years, I have always paid my credit card bill on time. I don't see why I have to correct the errors of other people when I have been the victim of fraud. CW, London.
A. T-Mobile insists that it closed the fraudulent account and removed the adverse entry on your credit reference as soon as you made it aware of the fraud.
A spokeswoman says: "For people who believe they have had an account set up fraudulently in their name, we have a dedicated team who will investigate and close it quickly if it is found to be fraudulent. They will also prevent any further billing within a matter of days."
Despite this, some weeks later the adverse entry was still showing on your credit reference file, according to the Co-operative Bank. It confirms that the reduction to your permitted credit limit was the result of the adverse entry lodged by T-Mobile.
The bank adds: "As the default marker was placed on to [the reader's] credit file by T-Mobile there is a chance that the next time we, or any other of [the reader's] financial account providers, make an assessment, that his credit limits may be affected as the marker is still active ... we do not have the authority to remove the marker from his file held with [credit reference agency] Experian as it was not put there by us. Only T-Mobile can remove the marker." Where this is not done properly, the bank advises consumers to complain to the Information Commissioner.
The three UK credit reference agencies have established a shared process to support victims with credit reference problems relating to frauds. This can be accessed through the agencies – in the case of Experian, by emailing email@example.com. Experian insists that the responsibility for the accuracy of data provided to it lies with the company supplying it– in your case T-Mobile.
None of this explains why the Co-operative Bank told us that when it checked your credit reference in7 January the adverse marker was still showing, yet T-Mobile told us on5 January that it had removed this when notified of the fraud in December. We are assured that the adverse entry has now been removed.
Q. When I retire I will move from our family home in Kent to Norfolk. If I let my son and his wife live in the home without charging them rent, but on the basis that they pay the mortgage, does this create a formal landlord and tenant relationship? I am concerned about the implications for home insurance and my tax liabilities. JM, Kent.
A. Fiona Duff, solicitor advocate with the Butcher Andrews law firm in Norfolk, says: "Provided no rent is paid, that your son and his wife pay the monthly mortgage interest charges direct to your mortgagor and it's not intended that the payments towards the mortgage charges are in exchange for your son and daughter-in-law living at the property (which could be construed as rent), a landlord and tenant relationship would not arise. The arrangement would be construed as a licence.
"Payments towards a mortgage may result in having the unintended consequence of your son and daughter-in-law creating for themselves a beneficial interest in your property in Kent – although this argument isn't terribly strong if the payments only clear the monthly interest on the mortgage, as opposed to reducing capital.
"There are, however, practical issues to consider. What happens in the following scenarios: The mortgage interest payments can no longer be paid; You need to go back to live at the house in Kent; You need to go into care?
"It would be better to formalise the relationship by visiting a solicitor and providing formal instructions so that a written licence may be created setting out clear outcomes should certain events occur and to negate the possibility of any potential future disagreements between you all concerning whether or not your son and daughter-in-law were tenants, licensees or had a beneficial interest in your house.
"Another reason to formalise the relationship would be to clearly document the payments and their purpose so as not to run the risk of the Inland Revenue construing them as income payments for tax purposes and to [provide] evidence to your mortgage company that you are not letting out your property.
"There are other issues, such as notifying your insurance and mortgage companies that you will no longer be at the property and instead your son and daughter-in-law will be residing there, to avoid falling foul of your insurance terms or the conditions of the mortgage. You should also check with your accountant whether there are any other tax implications."
Questions of Cash cannot give individual advice. But if you have a financial dilemma, we'll do our best to help. Please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Compare with the Independent: See how much you could save by switching credit cards. Compare now
- 1 KFC 'sorry' after lesbian couple are kicked out of Bath restaurant for 'heavy petting'
- 2 West Ham confirm 20-year-old striker Dylan Tombides has died after battle with cancer
- 3 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 4 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 5 PFA Player of the Year: Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard all nominated as Liverpool dominate award shortlist
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
iJobs Money & Business
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£221.25 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a well established Inter...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Client Relationship Manager - SQL...
£35000 - £50000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Take your chance to join the...
Day In a Page
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony
A charming four-bedroom Oxfordshire cottage with oak floors and chunky-beamed ceilings, £465,000
A beautiful one-bed flat in a sought-after portered block, with access to Norland Square communal gardens
A one-bedroom flat within a Sixties school conversion with high-spec design and open-plan kitchen, close to Lambeth North Tube, £435,000
A 17th century four-bedroom house, with open fireplaces, cellar and pool, £600,000
A three-bedroom, coach house with luxury open-plan living space and contemporary breakfast bar
A newly refurbished one-bedroom flat in the heart of Mayfair, close to Grosvenor Square
A charming four-bedroom house overlooking Burleigh Square Park, close to Thorpe Bay
A three-bedroom farmhouse with a large inglenook fireplace and exposed beams
A boutique mews house, set around a central courtyard, with three bedrooms and a private roof terrace
A four-bedroom farm-conversion with three bathrooms and two reception rooms
A two-bedroom detached house with ensuite bathrooms and a sun-drenched decked terrace, £750,000
A modern and spacious two-bedroom, penthouse flat with two bathrooms in a prestigious development
A beautifully renovated five-bedroom terrace with three reception rooms and a courtyard garden, £700,000
A four-bedroom period house which has been extended to provide almost 2,500sq ft of living space, £675,000
A pretty three-bedroom Georgian home with a 22ft drawing room and a master suite with a balcony, £525,000
A substanstial family home with five bedrooms and landscaped gardens in the much sought-after Branksome Park area
A well-presented three-bedroom house with front and rear gardens, close to White City station, £475,000
A handsome five-bedroom house in a sought-after location close to the city centre
A five-bedroom country home with valley views, equestrian stables and 27 acres of land, £725,000
A six-bedroom farm house with separate, detached cottages and 371 acres of land
A two-bedroom cottage with parquet floors, chunky beams and an open fireplace
A three-bedrrom flat with 2,733sq feet of living space, a beautiful private garden and 15 acres of communal grounds