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Basically this may be nonsense - depends on the purpose of the letter.

If they are negotiating a repayment agreement with the Council then it is quite right that they disclose such info. and it will of course be done with the consent of the debtor - and the risk that someone will know the debtor is unavoidable.

That does not excuse putting the info routinely on communications of this nature as it clearly goes beyond the minimum necessary. The info is not relevant if they are simply sending a cheque with a letter which says "here is £100 to be credited to Mrs Jones' account." 

At the same time there may be an internal issue as to whether the posting clerk needed to see the letter, if it was also seeking agreement and that was not her function - may depend on how the letter was addressed

 

----- Original Message -----

From: Brenda Scourfield

Sent: 09/17/12 02:49 PM

To: [log in to unmask]

Subject: [data-protection] Debt Management Guidance


 
A member of staff responsible for entering payments received from a debt management company raised this issue with me. 

All that they needed was the reference number of the acount and the amount of the cheque - ok, and maybe the name as a further check that it was being posted to the correct account. However, on the back of the letter was detailed all the person's income, outgoings, their total debt, fees etc etc. She was concerned that she had personally known one of the people (it happens in rural Pembrokeshire) she had been entering a payment for, and was uncomfortable that she had the option to see these financial details. 

I queried this with the company who appeared to have no idea who their DPO was, but a 'consultant' got back to me. They said that they had to disclose this information to comply with the Debt Managment Guidance and to show to us why the person needed to borrow money off them in the first place. Now, 'guidance' suggests to me that it is just that and not 'Law' that they need to disclose. 

After all, if I have a million pounds in the bank surely there is no law to say I cannot go and borrow £1000 at a high interest rate from a debt company and pay it off my council tax arrears if I wish ? Why is it of any interest to the council whether I need to borrow this money or not ? 

Maybe I've totally missed the plot - if so, can someone explain it to me please 

Thanks 

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