Credit agreements - getting information

 August 2014

Fact sheet no. 29

What kind of information should they send me?

You will get different information back, depending on which sample letter you use.

Consumer Credit Act request under sections 77, 78 and 79

You should be sent a ‘true copy’ of your agreement that is easy to read and a statement of your account signed by your creditor.  The ‘true copy’  must contain all the terms and conditions from your original agreement, information about any changes made to the agreement and your name and address at the time that you took out the agreement.  But it does not have to include a signature box, signature or the date of signature from your original agreement.

The statement of account should be signed by the creditor and tell you:

  • how much you have paid (if you borrowed a fixed amount);
  • how much you still owe; and
  • what you still have to pay and when.

Data Protection Act request

You should get the information that you have asked for.   Make sure that you are clear about the information that you want.  If you are not clear, the creditor may send you too much information, which you may find unhelpful.  If the information is difficult to understand, the creditor should send you a guide to help you make sense of it.  If you asked for details of any decision that the creditor made about you, you should be sent an explanation of how they made that decision.

What can I do if I do not get the information I have asked for?

You have rights to the information that you ask for under these acts and there can be  consequences for the creditor, or organisation, if they do not reply properly.

The creditor does not reply to your Consumer Credit Act request under sections 77, 78 and 79

If the creditor does not send you a copy of your agreement and a statement of account within 12 working days, then they are not allowed to take further action against you to enforce the agreement in the court until they do so. 

Information:

was there a written agreement?

If there never was any written agreement, the creditor cannot send you a copy. If this is the case, the creditor should tell you. But, if the creditor has simply lost your agreement, they must provide a ‘true copy’ with the same details.

In the meantime, the creditor cannot:

  • make you pay off your debt before you’re supposed to;
  • get a court decree against you; or
  • take back anything you've hired or bought on credit, or take anything you used as security (like your house) when you took out the agreement. 

However, they can still:

  • ask you to pay what you owe;
  • send you a letter called a ‘default notice’ if you miss any payments;
  • pass your information on to a credit reference agency (which might affect your credit record);
  • pass your information on to a debt collector;
  • sell your debt to someone else; or
  • take your case to court, although they won’t be able to get a court decree against you unless they give you the information you’re entitled to.

If the creditor has not done what they should have following your request, your debt still exists. If you don’t arrange to pay, the creditor may add interest and other charges, if the terms of the agreement allow them to.

Extra advice:

stopping court action

You can make sure that the creditor does not go any further with the court decree by asking  the court to stop the action.  You should ask for the case to be ‘sisted’ (this means halted) until they have met the Consumer Credit Act requirements. Contact us for advice.

Warning:

court action

If the creditor sends you a copy of your agreement and statement of account at any time after you have requested them, then the creditor can start or carry on with the court action against you to recover the debt.