BW Legal pursues a debt I don’t have at an address where I never lived | Money

I am being sued by a debt collection company, BW Legal, for an unpaid energy bill from E.ON although I have never been a customer and have no connection with the property in question. BW Legal asked me to prove that I had left the address, which was impossible because I never lived there. I sent in an energy bill for my current address and a screenshot of my voting address history, but got no response.
AD, Brighton

You wrote in response to a Observer report on the same subject. BW Legal represents PRAC Financial, which purchased trade receivables on behalf of “The Occupier” from E.ON. He suggested that malice might be behind my follow-up investigation and said he appreciated my interest in the matter, but saw no basis for my investigations. Although he only removed you from his records after my intervention, he justified tying you to the address by pointing out that the evidence you provided showed that you lived in the same place – albeit in a part different with different postal code.

He says he issued further payment requests after you disputed it, then praised the handling of your case, saying closing the account within two weeks shows “how quickly problems have been resolved – simply by communicating”. In fact, you received confirmation that your name had been disassociated four days after my “communication” and 34 days after you first told BW Legal that they contacted you in error.

Collection agents do not have the right to require an individual to prove they are not responsible for an unpaid bill, according to attorney Gary Rycroft of Joseph A Jones & Co LLP. “The burden of proof is on the debt company,” he says.

The Information Commissioner’s Office and the Solicitors Regulation Authority said they were investigating complaints about BW Legal. The Financial Ombudsman Service at www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk can investigate unresolved complaints about debt collection agencies.

Email your.problems@observer.co.uk. Include an address and phone number. Submission and publication are subject to our terms and conditions

About Charles D. Goolsby

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