Page last updated at 10:52 GMT, Friday, 16 October 2009 11:52 UK

Identity clash woman changes name


Susan Brown had the same name as another woman

Repeated demands to settle unpaid bills have forced the Berkshire victim of an identity clash to change her name by deed poll.

For two-and-a-half years Susan Brown was pursued by bailiffs, banks and debt collectors trying to recover money owed by another woman of the same name.

Last month the mother-two from Newbury changed her surname to Griffith-Brown.

She said her problems intensified when credit firms Experian and Equifax put the other woman's debts on her file.

Mrs Griffith-Brown was called Susan Margaret Brown and her date of birth was the same month in 1962.

She was being confused with another woman who was born on the same day.

I spoke to a solicitor who was trying to recover money for someone and when I explained he just laughed
Susan Griffith-Brown

Mrs Griffith-Brown's problems began in 2007 when she received a demand to settle a Dorothy Perkins storecard debt of £500.

She said: "I thought I could make a phone call to explain that I am Susan Margaret Brown and that would be that.

"But it just got worse and I've lost count of the number of times that I've photocopied my birth certificate, driving licence or passport to explain that I'm not the woman they're looking for."

From the mail and demands landing at her door, Mrs Griffith-Brown estimates that her previous namesake has wracked up debts of more than £37,000 on loans, credit cards, storecards and driving fines.

Entries deleted

The confusion meant she was refused credit, including a mortgage extension by the bank she has had an account with for 30 years.

Mrs Griffith-Brown, who has now incorporated her maiden name, said: "It's been unbelievable. At one point I spoke to a solicitor who was trying to recover money for someone and when I explained he just laughed. It's not very funny from where I am."

A spokesman for Experian said: "The offending data was showing up on Mrs Brown's report because it was not registered with full name details."

Experian had now spoken to the organisations concerned and removed "the offending entries" from her credit report, he said.

Equifax is now in the process of deleting its entries relating to the wrong woman.

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