If you have been receiving letters and calls from creditors of a debt that isn’t even yours, the whole process can get quite frustrating.
However, you’re not liable for someone else’s debt. Especially if the only factor posing confusion is your address.
So, of course, there are ways to deal with this situation the right way and I am here to exactly walk you through those.
Can I be Liable for Someone Else’s Debt?
You cannot legally be liable for debt that someone else owes.
There are certain circumstances in which the loan is either taken through a joint bank account, a joint credit card, or there is a personal guarantee given in your name while getting the loan approved.
These are the few rare situations when you’re liable for a debt that someone else took.
But if no such factor was involved during the period of loan approval, then you cannot be held responsible for the owed amount later.
If you’re being held liable by the creditor, you need to clear out the situation and talk to the creditor regarding the false information they have.
Dealing with Debts Not in Your Name
It is really necessary that you deal with all the debts that might be wrongfully putting you responsible for loans that you did not take.
A timely response is very essential in this case because if you don’t dispute a debt within 30 days of the letter, or call, the creditor will assume that you’re liable for the debt and will continue to make efforts to get the money from you.
For your convenience, below I have listed ways you can deal with a debt that isn’t yours:
Debt Letters Addressed to a Previous Resident
It is somewhat common for the creditors to send a debt letter to your home, which actually needs to be sent to the previous resident of your address.
In such cases, just simply return the letter to the sender and inform that the actual debtor has shifted.
Such issues happen because debtors fail to inform their creditors of their new address, or the creditors don’t update the debtor’s address information on time.
Phone Calls & Texts From an Unknown Creditor
If you receive any phone calls from a creditor regarding a debt that isn’t yours, just inform them that it’s the wrong contact and the loan was not taken in your name, so they don’t call you again.
If they still continue to do so, just write a complaint or block their number.
If you receive a message from a collector for debt collection however, know that it’s rare and has a greater chance of being illegitimate.
Therefore, don’t respond and just block the number.
Debt Collectors or Agencies Want to Visit Me Over Another Person’s Debt
If a debt collector from an agency comes over to your residence and asks to come inside, don’t let them in if the owed money was not taken on your name.
Ask them to leave, or communicate to them at a safe distance from your house.
If you’re not the person they are looking for, they cannot legally take anything from inside your residence.
To deal with bailiffs at your doorstep, show them your council tax, which will be a solid proof that the place you’re in is yours and they are not looking for you.
Being Contacted for a Family Member’s or Relative’s Debt
Even if you’re being contacted for debts of your family member, you’re not liable for any of the owed money.
The most you can do is inform your relative about the constant letters you receive and ask them to pay the debt off.
Whether you choose to help them with it because of their finances or not is completely up to you.
Getting Letters for a Joint Debt You’re Not Responsible For
If it is a joint debt, then you are responsible for it. There is no other way around it.
I understand that sometimes you just agree to take a joint loan with someone on your name as well for their ease, but it is recommended that you don’t do so.
Because if the actual debtor stops paying the amount, the creditor will come after you and rightfully so.
Getting Letters for a Deceased Person with Unpaid Debts
If you’re being contacted by creditors that want to collect debt from you on behalf of a deceased person, know that you’re in no way liable for the debt.
The deceased person’s debts are supposed to be paid back through their estates, properties, etc. if that isn’t enough, then the collector will have to write off the remaining debt but they can hold you accountable for that debt.
The only exception is if you had taken a joint loan, or had given a personal guarantee for the loan taken, in these cases, you’re liable for the debt.
How to Clear a Debt That’s Not Yours
If you don’t recognise a debt you’re being held accountable for, you should get out of it by opening a dispute.
The action of disputing should be taken timely so that the creditor is very well informed that you’re not the person they are looking for.
But before you can do so, it’s necessary that you confirm that you really are not responsible for the debt, and also that the creditor is legitimate.
Ask the creditors to send you both a validation notice, as well as provide more information about their company etc.
A validation notice will help you figure out if you really don’t owe them the money and who really is the actual debtor.
Whereas the additional information will serve as a proof that the collector isn’t scamming you.
Note that no matter what, never give out your personal information to just any people claiming to be from debt collection agencies.
Your bad debt has no link to your address, address is just an extra piece of personal information to confirm your identity and has nothing to do with credit checks.
This implies that if two of one people have had a bad debt, the other person would not be affected by it just because they share the same address.
How do I stop a person from using my address?
If someone has used your address to submit to their creditors, you’ll not be responsible for the debt even if you are receiving letters.
But of course, you would want to stop receiving the letters.
For that to happen, send back all and any letters you receive back to the sender, and specify that it’s the wrong address.
Can my partner’s debt affect my credit report?
Your partner’s debt cannot affect your credit rating.
However, if the debt has been taken through a joint account or card, then you’ll be just as responsible for it as your partner, and hence it will affect your credit report equally.
Can my address affect my credit report?
Your address is just a piece of extra personal information linked to your credit report to confirm your identity.
Therefore, your address does not affect your credit report, or vice versa.
Is it illegal to check someone’s credit report in the UK?
No one is allowed to have access to your credit report unless they have a legitimate purpose.
These purposes could include a check by business entities, or companies that are approving your loans, etc.
Other than that, if someone tries to have access to your credit report, it is strictly illegal.
Where to seek debt help?
You can look up a number of places online that provide these free services and pick whichever you think is best for you.
Can bailiffs enter my home for someone else’s debt?
No, a bailiff or enforcement agent cannot enter your residence for another person’s owed amount.
Communicate to them at a safe distance from your house and just show them your council tax as a proof that you’re not the person they are looking for.
Wrapping it Up
Conclusively, it is fair to say that no one is liable for another person’s debt no matter what the consequences are.
If you’re wrongfully being held accountable for debt that isn’t yours, you should open a dispute and ask the creditor to stop contacting you.
I hope you got the answers to everything you wanted to inquire. Please feel free to contact me for more information.