Credit Check Information
In England and Wales (Scotland has its own legal system), County Court Judgments (CCJs) are legal decisions handed down by County Courts. Judgments for monetary sums are entered on the Register of County Court Judgments, which is checked by credit reference agencies to assess the credit-worthiness of individuals.
If the debtor continues to default on a CCJ, the creditor may apply for a charging order, which would secure the debt on a property. Creditors can also apply for an attachment of earnings which would oblige the debtor's employer to deduct monies from their salary and send them to the court. A Third Party Debt order would oblige a third party who holds money belonging to the debtor (for example a bank) to pay the debt. It is also possible to have the court appoint a County Court Bailiff to collect the debt. A Bailiff is an official of court and has the power to seize goods and sell them at auction to settle a debt.
If a county court has ordered you to pay an amount of money, (called 'having judgment entered against you'), details of the judgment will usually be entered on the Register of county court judgments (called 'registration').
If the debt is paid within one month of the judgment the registration can be cancelled. If the debt is paid after one month, it is possible to apply for the entry in the Register to be marked as ‘satisfied'. Applications to cancel registration or have the entry marked as satisfied must be made to the county court and must be accompanied by proof and payment of a small fee.
Most entries stay on the Register for six full years.
Organisations such as banks, building societies and credit companies use the information on the Register when someone applies for credit such as a loan or overdraft. It helps them decide whether or not that person would be able to pay off the credit.
Bankruptcy is a legally declared inability or impairment of ability of an individual or organization to pay its creditors. Creditors may file a bankruptcy petition against a debtor ("involuntary bankruptcy") in an effort to recoup a portion of what they are owed or initiate a restructuring. In the majority of cases, however, bankruptcy is initiated by the debtor (a "voluntary bankruptcy" that is filed by the insolvent individual or organization).
A company which is insolvent may be put into liquidation (sometimes referred to as winding-up). The directors and shareholders can instigate the liquidation process without court involvement by a shareholder resolution and the appointment of a licensed Insolvency Practitioner as liquidator. However, the liquidation will not be effective legally without the convening of a meeting of creditors who have the opportunity to appoint a liquidator of their own choice. This process is known as creditors voluntary liquidation (CVL), as opposed to members voluntary liquidation (MVL) which is for solvent companies. Alternatively, a creditor can petition the court for a winding-up order which, if granted, will place the company into what is called compulsory liquidation or winding up by the court. The liquidator realises the assets of the company and distributes funds realised to creditors according to their priorities, after the deduction of costs.
It can be a civil and even a criminal offence for directors to allow a company to continue to trade whilst insolvent. However, two new insolvency procedures were introduced by the Insolvency Act 1986 which aims to provide time for the rescue of a company or, at least, its business. These are Administration and Company Voluntary Arrangement:
- Administration is a procedure to protect a company from its creditors in order for it to be able to make significant operational changes or restructuring so that it could continue as a going concern, or at least in order to achieve a better outcome for creditors than via liquidation. In contrast to Chapter 11 in the US where the directors remain in control throughout that restructuring process, in the UK an Administrator is appointed who must be a licensed Insolvency Practitioner to manage the company's affairs to protect the creditors of the insolvent company and balance their respective interests. Unless the company itself is saved by this process, the company is subsequently put into liquidation to distribute the remaining funds.
- A CompA Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) is a legal agreement between the company and its creditors, based on paying a fixed amount lower than the outstanding actual debt. These are normally based on a monthly payment, and at the end of the agreed term the remaining debt is written-off. The CVA is managed by a Supervisor who must be a licensed Insolvency Practitioner. If the CVA fails, the company is usually put into liquidation.
One particular type of Administration that is becoming more common is called pre pack administration (more information under administration (law)). In this process, immediately after appointment the administrator completes a pre-arranged sale of the company's business, often to its directors or owners. The process can be seen as controversial because the creditors do not have the opportunity to vote against the sale. The rationale behind the device is that the swift sale of the business may be necessary or of benefit to enable a best price to be achieved. If the sale was delayed, creditors would ultimately lose out because the price obtainable for the assets would be reduced.
In addition to the above-mentioned corporate insolvency procedures, a creditor holding security over an asset of the company may have the power to appoint an insolvency practitioner as administrative receiver or, in Scotland, receiver. The process, latterly known as administrative receivership or, in Scotland, receivership, has existed for many years and has often resulted in a successful rescue of a company's business via a sale, but not of the company itself. Since the introduction of the collective insolvency procedure of Administration in 1986, the legislators have decided to set a shelf life on the administrative receivership or, in Scotland, receivership procedure and it is no longer possible to appoint an administrative receiver or, in Scotland, receiver under security created after 15 September 2003.
In individual cases the bankruptcy estate is dealt by an official receiver, appointed by the court. In some cases the file is transferred to RTLU (OR Regional Trustee Liquidator Unit) that will assess your assets and income to see if you can contribute towards paying costs of bankruptcy or even discharge part of your debts.
Electoral Role Search
In the United Kingdom, the right and obligation to register for voting extends to all British, Republic of Ireland, Commonwealth and European Union citizens. British citizens living overseas may register for up to 15 years after they were last registered at an address in the UK. It is possible for someone to register before their 18th birthday as long as they will reach that age before the next revision of the register.
The register is compiled for each polling district, and held by the electoral registration office. In England and Wales this office is located at the local council (district, borough, or unitary level). In Scotland, the offices are sometimes located with councils, but may also be separate. Northern Ireland has a central Electoral Office run by the government.
At present, the register is compiled by sending an annual canvass form to every house (a process introduced by Representation of the People Act 1918). A fine of up to £1,000 (level 3 on the Standard scale) can be imposed for failing to complete the form or giving false information. Up to 2001, the revised register was published on 15 February each year, based on a qualifying date of 10 October, and a draft register published on 28 November the previous year. From 2001 as a result of the Political Parties,Elections and Referendums Act 2000, the annual 'revised' register is published on 1 December, although it is possible to update the register with new names each month between January and September.
The register has two formats. The full version of the register is available for supervised inspection by anyone, by legal right. It is this register that is used for voting and its supply and use is limited by law. Copies of this register are available to certain groups and individuals, such as credit reference agencies and political parties.
An 'edited' version of the register, which omits those people who have chosen to 'opt-out', can be purchased by anyone for any purpose.
The full register contains the following information:
- voter number (two letters indicating the polling district, followed by a number)
- voter's name and address
- date of birth (if 18th birthday falls within a year of the register is published)
- if the voter has requested a postal vote
- after an election, an indication of whether or not that voter cast their vote
An identity document (also called a piece of identification or ID) is any document which may be used to verify aspects of a person's personal identity. If issued in the form of a small, mostly standard-sized card, it is usually called an identity card (IC). In some countries the possession of a government-produced identity card is compulsory while in others it may be voluntary. In countries which do not have formal identity documents, informal ones may in some circumstances be required.
In the absence of a formal identity document, some countries accept driving licences as the most effective method of proof of identity. Most countries accept passports as a form of identification.
Undeclared addresses by definition are current or previous addresses that an applicant has failed to declare on an application for credit. This omission is generally an attempt by the applicant to conceal poor financial performance. Our searches reveal all linked, previous and undeclared addresses.
Linked addresses by definition are current or previous addresses that are linked to the applicant. The omission of a linked address is not generally an attempt to avoid detection of poor financial performance; however this information allows us to cross check previous undeclared addresses and possibly uncover a undeclared delinquent previous tenancy.
Previous Alias Search
In certain situations our reports will uncover a previous alias, (name change) these changes in most cases are due to an individual’s marriage. However in some cases, individuals will change their name to hide poor financial performance.
Home Ownership Check
The home ownership check is carried out to establish that the applicant is in fact the owner of the property and not trying to conceal a poor tenancy. In some cases the applicant may state they are the owner of the property to bypass the letting agent or landlord part of our enquiries. If the applicant states that they are a homeowner, we request proof in the form of the following documentation, current mortgage statement, solicitor’s completion statement or a land registry title extract. We also carry out a detailed cross check of the electoral role against any un-declared or linked addresses to confirm ownership and residency.
Ifaqs Database Search
Ifaqs is a unique system which is updated daily with tenant performance reports. The data within the system is collected at the tenancy application stage and is stored within the database. Should a tenant underperform, become delinquent or cause dilapidations to a property, the agent or landlord can revisit the tenant file in question and apply for a delinquency record against it. This delinquency record will appear in the Uktenantdata full tenant profile report when an agent or landlord wishes to establish past performance of a new applicant.
Our Agent & Landlord Reciprocity Scheme has been developed in order that letting agents and landlords can share data on underperforming tenants. This system is administered by Uktenantdata, who in turn will update a delinquent file at the request of the letting Agent or Landlord. Our database bridges the gap should a tenant become delinquent and not be registered on the County Court System. This happens for many reasons, the main ones being outlined below:
- The tenant has absconded with no contact address
- A court trace being expensive and the likelihood of payment remote
- The landlord is just pleased to obtain possession without the need of a court order
- The landlord does The landlord does not have the available funds to pursue the debt
Trying to achieve possession of a property is stressful, expensive and can be liable to expensive tenant counterclaims. These counterclaims in most cases are funded through the Legal Aid Scheme, and are the result of a tenant trying to protract their stay at the property and receive compensation as a result of a failed landlord claim. So in short there is some rational in the thinking of a landlord, who may not take the court route, mainly financial damage limitation and the removal of stress.
There is a migration of tenants between letting agencies and private landlords, some of these tenant are very good performers and some the complete opposite. In most cases a tenant who has left any letting agency on bad terms will probably migrate to the private landlord and provide false or very economical information at best. In the case of a tenant approaching an agent for the purpose of a tenancy, the tenant again can falsify their previous address to conceal poor performance if a credit search reveals they are not on the electoral role at that address.
The scheme is a crucial key in tenant referencing in order to establish the future performance of a prospective tenant.
Employment & Salary Verification
When a prospective tenant applies for a tenancy through UKtenantdata, we look closely at their ability to service the monthly rent. We establish that they are employed by making contact with their employer or HR department; we confirm their submitted salary and bonuses are true and not greatly exaggerated. Finally we make enquiries as to whether there are likely to be any future changes i.e. redundancy or pending dismissal.
Current Accommodation Check
Should an applicant have previously rented through either a private landlord or a letting agency, we will gather information as to their performance during the course of this tenancy. This information will include whether rental payment have been made on time and that there are no arrears on the rent account. General performance indicators including the condition of the rented property and whether any deductions have been made of likely to be made from the tenant’s deposit will also be requested.
Accountants Income Report
In the event that the applicant is self employed or a company director, we will make contact with their appointed accountant and request financial confirmation of the information supplied by the applicant. This information will include confirmation of net profit and drawings, plus any dividend payments in the event that the applicant is a company director. We will also confirm the number of years trading in business; this will provide a good indication of their future performance.