26 Feb 2015

A question about : Getting post for someone never lived at address

Not sure if this is the most appropriate forum, if not staff please feel free to move.

For the last few weeks been getting post for someone who's never lived here. We're the 2nd owners of the house.

The mail has a return address of PO Box 189, Huddersfield HD8 1DY which a google search today flags as a debt collector firm chasing MBNA debts. One of this links showed the PO Box as being owned by

The name on the letters doesnt appear on the electorial register, so assume its either an admin error, or someone's changed their address to ours?

All mail has been returned as not known at address, but as fast as they're sent back then more arrive.

Does any one have any advice?

Best answers:

  • Open a letter (it's not illegal to do so), call them, tell them to stop sending them or you're report them for harrassment.
  • Looking at that link, its open to interpretation. Who has the detriment to you opening a seemingly correctly addressed piece of mail? I'd say a letter coming to your house about debt that is not yours is grounds for a 'reasonable excuse'; indeed its how I found out about identity fraud using my name. Certainly the person the mail is for knows it is not coming to their own address, are they going to complain? I'd open any mail to my address that looked suss especially re debt. I just bin things with the previous owners name which looks like insurance offers etc as I've been here 6 years so know its junk. 128.Subsection (3) makes it an offence for a person, intending to act to a person’s detriment and without reasonable excuse, to open a postal packet which he knows or suspects has been incorrectly delivered to him.
  • We had this situation and spoke to the local police who advised us to return items to sender. We opened mail and spoke to each institution. Some, like debt collectors, will ask you to confirm in writing. We were also advised to notify credit agencies which is easier said than done.
  • So far just the one institution. I might contact Fairfax via phone tomorrow about this. How do you go about telling the credit agencies and how many are there?
  • We contacted experian and equifax by phone.
  • Just call MBNA on 0800 062062 and ask them to block mail as he doesn't live there, any forwarding address will be appreciated. The 'blacklist' is done by name not address, so shouldn't impact you. They will 'trace' him through other means and can stop mail in the mean time
  • I have had such letters in the past. Phoning these type of 'debt collection agencies' and 'solicitors' is a waste of time. They buy debts about to be written off for a tiny amount and send out automated letters. If someone pays up, most of it is profit for them. As they were not in my name, I stopped wasting my time and binned subsequent letters. Haven't heard anything now for many years.
  • If you are customer of the CHESS TELECOM LTD. chesstelecom[DOT]com YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS WILL BE GIVEN TO THE DEBT COLLECTING COMPANY’S !!! like this. Be aware of the CHESS TELECOM LTD.
  • Got a couple of these today from Arrow Global, they had stopped for a while but as the posts above suggest just send them out over and over. I think what causes this is that one company does a search for someone at a specific address, that is considered "activity" and equifax etc sends an alert to their clients who have signed up for alerts. So a debt is sold or assigned by Arrow for 3 months, the assignee does a search that makes the address "active" this triggers an alert to Arrow but because they assigned it for 3 months they do not act. The assignee gets nowhere, the debt goes back to Arrow who now see the address as active and send out further letters. So it goes on and on and on. We such return such letters to sender, if they send more we tell them that we are invoicing them a "Handling & Storage" charge if any more are sent, we make a photocopy and then include that with an invoice if they send another. I add interest to the invoice and say they can deduct it if prompt payment is received. These companies make the rules up as they go along, I used to open the letters and it was hilarious what they wrote, they start off with threats, then they offer a "substantial" discount when really they just want to find you so they can intimidate you. I have seen it all, letters made to look as if they are from Lawyers and a while back there was one that looked like a summons, but was a fake "preparation" document.
  • Another thing you could try is to pop the letters in another envelope, perhaps with a covering note, and post it to them , but without a stamp. They will then have to pay the postage if they want to receive the letter. It just may stop them.
  • We've started getting letters like this for the previous owner of our house - we've lived here since end of June 2013 but get mail for them most days still. Had a couple of letters this week from a debt collection age cy saying bai.iffs would be round to reclaim etc and another one from County Court Business Centre saying previous owner owes thousands to Barclaycard! More worrying, it says the account number was assigned to him in Nov 2013 which is when we'd already been living here 5 months - apologies for sounding stupid but does anyone know if that means the barclaycard account number? If so i believe thats fraud considering he'd sold the property months previously?! Frustratingly we have no forwarding address, i was told by the estate agent at the time they now lived in Spain.... Any advice?