Identity theft, defamation and negligent mis-statement

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Identity theft, defamation and negligent mis-statement

Postby echo » Fri Aug 11, 2006 5:11 pm

Suppose Smith applies to Lender for a loan of money using Brown's identity. Lender puts the application through and Brown gets demand for repayment of the loan and later finds that his name has been passed on by Lender to Credit Agency with result that Brown can no longer borrow money.

(1) Lender has published a statement about Brown to third party (Credit Agency).
(2) Statement is defamatory in nature (e.g., Read v Hudson, 1700)

Therefore, Brown has prima facie case of defamation against Lender (and also, by same reasoning, against Credit Agency)

I'm thinking that Credit Agency could successfully defend by way of privilege, but could Lender? Has anyone investigated this?

Alternatively, since Lender has failed to adequately check the identity in question, how about Brown seeking damages from Lender on the basis of negligent mis-statement (e.g., Lawton v BOC Transhield, 1987)?
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RE: Identity theft, defamation and negligent mis-statement

Postby Rhakios » Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:49 pm

I don't suppose you listened to "Inside Money" on Radio Four last Saturday did you? It seems lenders and credit reference agencies do pretty much whatever they like and all blame one another for the shortcomings. For one of the fraudulent loans dealt with in the programme an incorrect date of birth was used, which you would have thought might have rung some alarm bells, but then other cases were mentioned where Narnia had been accepted as place of birth and Aslan as mother's maiden name. :roll:

By the way, how are the bunnymen these days? :)
Bye, Rhakios
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RE: Identity theft, defamation and negligent mis-statement

Postby echo » Sat Aug 12, 2006 11:33 am

Hi Rhakios

Ah the bunnymen, I try to put them out of my mind now ...

Yes, I did listen to the R4 program and it was that that set my mind athinkin.
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RE: Identity theft, defamation and negligent mis-statement

Postby nordle » Sat Aug 12, 2006 2:21 pm

Could be the bunnymen or could be Mr. Echo
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RE: Identity theft, defamation and negligent mis-statement

Postby Rhakios » Sat Aug 12, 2006 4:00 pm

I expect it would be costly to bring a test case with no certainty of winning. The loan company might well argue that the borrower had been negligent in allowing his details be become available to a third party for use in the fraud. Then again, it will depend on the details of the case, I would have thought the Narnia/Aslan example could well have grounds for suggesting the lender was negligent in verifying the identity of the borrower.

So, do you have the money to fight a test case?
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Re: RE: Identity theft, defamation and negligent mis-stateme

Postby echo » Sat Aug 12, 2006 5:31 pm

Rhakios wrote:I expect it would be costly to bring a test case with no certainty of winning. The loan company might well argue that the borrower had been negligent in allowing his details be become available to a third party for use in the fraud. Then again, it will depend on the details of the case, I would have thought the Narnia/Aslan example could well have grounds for suggesting the lender was negligent in verifying the identity of the borrower.

So, do you have the money to fight a test case?


Thankfully, I'm not a victim (touch wood).

I think I read somewhere that law firms are now offering no-win-no-fee offers for defamation actions.

Or perhaps the victims could borrow money off Lender :-)
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