Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder scooterist007 Novitiate

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    Default DWP claiming I owe money from 1996

    Hi, this morning I received a letter from the DWP claiming I owe 693.10! I am confused as they state despite previous letters they still havnt received the money! well this is the first letter I have got from them!
    I phoned them up and they say its for a budgeting loan and a crisis loan taken out in feb and apr 1996! now I cant remember what I got 14 years ago and asked her why it has taken 14 years to ask for the money back, to which she replied that they didnt know where I live!! well they know my national insurance number and I have been working for a long time paying tax and national insurance so I cant see how they cannot know where I live, she said I have got to pay it back, and I told her that it wasnt me because at the date and address she said, I was living with my first wife and they said it was only in my name, now if I had a loan at that time it would of had to of been a joint claim, also I asked her that if I had these loans then I would of had to sign for it and she said yes, so i then asked her for proof that I had signed, she said that they cant give me proof, also one of the address they said I lived at, I never heard of that address!
    Now I cant believe that they can still chase a supposed debt after 14 years!

    Claim Woolwich
    Data protection act letter sent 29/09/06
    List of charges received 04/10/06
    Claiming 2931.66 inc 8%
    PreliminaryLetter sent 05/10/06
    31/10/06 Offer of 1000!
    LBA sent 07/11/06

    Claim More Than credit card (Lloyds TSB)
    Data protection act letter sent 29/09/06
    Another Data protection act letter sent 03/11/06

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: DWP claiming I owe money from 1996

    They can only recover this by taking it from benefit you receive now or in the future. They cannot enforce it via the court system.

    My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

    Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.
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  3. #3
    Basic Account Holder scooterist007 Novitiate

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    Default Re: DWP claiming I owe money from 1996

    Thanks for that, I did receive benefits about 3 months ago for about 3 months but they never took anything out then, but can they still enforce it as its 14 years ago? I was under the impression that a debt was clear after 10 years if say I owed it to a finance company?
    Problem is that im sure I never took out this loan with them as they say it was only took out by me and the at that time I was with my first wife and living with her at the address they state at that time.

    Claim Woolwich
    Data protection act letter sent 29/09/06
    List of charges received 04/10/06
    Claiming 2931.66 inc 8%
    PreliminaryLetter sent 05/10/06
    31/10/06 Offer of 1000!
    LBA sent 07/11/06

    Claim More Than credit card (Lloyds TSB)
    Data protection act letter sent 29/09/06
    Another Data protection act letter sent 03/11/06

    Claim Captital One credit card
    Data protection act letter sent 07/11/06
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  4. #4
    Basic Account Holder scooterist007 Novitiate

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    Default Re: DWP claiming I owe money from 1996

    Also I am now about to claim working tax credits, can they take it out of that?

    Claim Woolwich
    Data protection act letter sent 29/09/06
    List of charges received 04/10/06
    Claiming 2931.66 inc 8%
    PreliminaryLetter sent 05/10/06
    31/10/06 Offer of 1000!
    LBA sent 07/11/06

    Claim More Than credit card (Lloyds TSB)
    Data protection act letter sent 29/09/06
    Another Data protection act letter sent 03/11/06

    Claim Captital One credit card
    Data protection act letter sent 07/11/06
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: DWP claiming I owe money from 1996

    Statue barring is six years from finance companies (five in scotland) and the DWP have six years to enforce recovery via the courts however they can recover from benefit no matter how much time has passed; there is no time limit for recovery from benefit. They don't take it from Tax Credit.

    If at any point they did try to take it from benefit you should dispute it and involve your MP if necessary. The benefits system can trace payments, i.e what bank account a payment went into, or what post office a giro was cashed at and they have all of this on the computer system, so should be able to trace where the payment was cashed at the time. There should also be paper records held in remote storage as claim files in relation to loans don't get destroyed until 6 months after the loan has been repaid at the minimum, though some are held for longer. A claim file will consist of the original application form and the offer letter which is signed in agreement to the loan along with any prints from your computer record in relation to the claims. They should be able to produce something in support of their claim that you owe this debt; if they cannot provide proof your MP should be able to intervene on your behalf to cease the arrestment of your benefit and refund any payments taken up until that point.

    My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

    Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.
    (exceptions for prior authorisation)


    If my advice has been helpful, please show your gratitude by taking a moment to click on the star icon on the bottom strip of my post






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  6. #6
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    Default Re: DWP claiming I owe money from 1996

    I did ask them about how the payment was made and she said it was a giro and gave me the name of the post office it was cashed at, I also asked her that if I had a loan then I would of had to of filled out a form and signed it and she said yes, but when I asked if I could see it she said that they cannot give it to me as they dont have it anymore, I also said to her that my ex wife had also had some debts and one was from council tax and I had to pay it as it was taken out of my wages ordered from the court, even though I had left her and had never lived at the address they said the money was owed and was only in her name, but the dwp kept stating that it was a loan taken out in my name only, which I find confusing as any benefit was a joint claim with my ex wife!
    The dwp stated that I should phone up the job centre thats dealing with it which is southampton, but at the time I was living in nottingham! I did try ringing them today but they was closed.

    Claim Woolwich
    Data protection act letter sent 29/09/06
    List of charges received 04/10/06
    Claiming 2931.66 inc 8%
    PreliminaryLetter sent 05/10/06
    31/10/06 Offer of 1000!
    LBA sent 07/11/06

    Claim More Than credit card (Lloyds TSB)
    Data protection act letter sent 29/09/06
    Another Data protection act letter sent 03/11/06

    Claim Captital One credit card
    Data protection act letter sent 07/11/06
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: DWP claiming I owe money from 1996

    Council Tax and Benefits are dealt with by two seperate bodies, so the DWP cannot become involved in that (and will not show any interesticon in it, trust me) - but I can't understand how the council would get a liability order without proof that you were liable for council tax for that address. I would suggest you start a thread in the relevant forum about the council tax.

    In joint claims to benefit there is only one person who is the "claimant", the other is the "partner". With joint claims only the main claimant of the qualifying benefit can apply for and sign the acceptance to receive the loan; the partner cannot claim in their own right.

    They won't have the paperwork on site, as it will be stored in remote storage. The office who are dealing with it should be able to place a request for the file to be returned to them from remote storage.

    The way benefits are delivered have changed drastically from 14 years ago. Social Fund (for budgeting and crisis loans) are no longer dealt with by your local office or by the office which dealt with your claim at the time as they have all been centralised to benefit delivery centres. It won't be a jobcentre that is dealing with it; jobcentres don't deal with Social Fund.

    However if you are in employment at the moment it's likely your case will be transferred to the debt managementicon centre.

    The place that is currently dealing with the recovery will be on the top of the letters about it, and they should deal with any queries you have, not refer you elsewhere. My advise is to get your MP involved; they'll move sharpish then. If they can't produce the paperwork to prove you owe money they can't collect on it.

    My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

    Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.
    (exceptions for prior authorisation)


    If my advice has been helpful, please show your gratitude by taking a moment to click on the star icon on the bottom strip of my post






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  8. #8
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    Default Re: DWP claiming I owe money from 1996

    I will be amazed if they can produce a social fund application from 14 years ago. If I were you I would write to them and keep everything in writing as opposed to telephone conversations. I would be asking them to prove the debt was yours and produce the proof, as Erika says, no proof no paying up!

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    Default Re: DWP claiming I owe money from 1996

    hecky t heck dont pay them a penny,its obviosly not ur debt do not respond to the idiots they havent got a clue wot ther doin,it wud of been someone bored stiff one day typing letters up to evry tom dick n harry,i wish they wud pull there finger out and notice my ex sister in law was a benefit theif and has been for years...


  10. #10
    Basic Account Holder kinkyklee Novitiate

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    Default Re: DWP claiming I owe money from 1996

    sorry is a benefit theif


  11. #11
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    Default Re: DWP claiming I owe money from 1996

    well an update! havent heard anything from them all this time, and tonight come home from work and a letter from them saying i owe money blah blah blah, so rung them up and told them i am not paying as you cant prove i owe it, and the guy said that the case is being put to the courts, would the courts do anything about this after 16 years? I asked the guy to prove i had a debt and he said yes cos it was on his screen!!!! he also said that they have been pursuing debts from the 80's from people, I want to know how i stand about this cos going by what he said i think i will either get a letter from the courts or be getting a visit from a debt collectoricon.

    Claim Woolwich
    Data protection act letter sent 29/09/06
    List of charges received 04/10/06
    Claiming 2931.66 inc 8%
    PreliminaryLetter sent 05/10/06
    31/10/06 Offer of 1000!
    LBA sent 07/11/06

    Claim More Than credit card (Lloyds TSB)
    Data protection act letter sent 29/09/06
    Another Data protection act letter sent 03/11/06

    Claim Captital One credit card
    Data protection act letter sent 07/11/06
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: DWP claiming I owe money from 1996

    You should be able to get a subject access review. (SARicon)


  13. #13
    Basic Account Holder scooterist007 Novitiate

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    Default Re: DWP claiming I owe money from 1996

    I asked him if the address to send the SARicon to was the same address thats on the letter i got and he said theres no point as he could tell me all the info which was nothing really!

    Claim Woolwich
    Data protection act letter sent 29/09/06
    List of charges received 04/10/06
    Claiming 2931.66 inc 8%
    PreliminaryLetter sent 05/10/06
    31/10/06 Offer of 1000!
    LBA sent 07/11/06

    Claim More Than credit card (Lloyds TSB)
    Data protection act letter sent 29/09/06
    Another Data protection act letter sent 03/11/06

    Claim Captital One credit card
    Data protection act letter sent 07/11/06
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  14. #14
    Basic Account Holder lucksic Novitiate

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    Default Re: DWP claiming I owe money from 1996

    Quote Originally Posted by scooterist007 View Post
    I asked him if the address to send the SARicon to was the same address thats on the letter i got and he said theres no point as he could tell me all the info which was nothing really!
    Send your SARicon request to the local DWP office for the attention of the DATA protection Officer.
    On the SAR form it give you space to name the offices which dealt with you claim and check that you want both clerical and computerised records in regards to Debts, and Loans and anything else you require. (Get the debt info as it will have the diary entries of contact with you since 1996.) You can fill it in on PC and print it off. However it does take 40 days plus the days it takes to land on DPO's desk so you still need to deal with the matters in hand.

    I got my pdf copy of SAR from from a post by Erika on this forum.
    Posted here again I think...

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: DWP claiming I owe money from 1996

    Does anyone else find that odd, or just me?


  16. #16
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    Default Re: DWP claiming I owe money from 1996

    thanks for that lucksid

    what do you find odd nystagmite?

    Claim Woolwich
    Data protection act letter sent 29/09/06
    List of charges received 04/10/06
    Claiming 2931.66 inc 8%
    PreliminaryLetter sent 05/10/06
    31/10/06 Offer of 1000!
    LBA sent 07/11/06

    Claim More Than credit card (Lloyds TSB)
    Data protection act letter sent 29/09/06
    Another Data protection act letter sent 03/11/06

    Claim Captital One credit card
    Data protection act letter sent 07/11/06
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  17. #17
    Basic Account Holder lucksic Novitiate

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    Default Re: DWP claiming I owe money from 1996

    Odd if its DWP saying pointless getting SARicon
    OP is it debt managementicon in or a third party collection agency who you are talking to?
    DWP DM are based in Gloucestershire.


  18. #18
    Basic Account Holder lucksic Novitiate

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    Default Re: DWP claiming I owe money from 1996

    You can request a written statement of reason. (WSOR) address this to the DM team at the Gloucestershire address, remember to put your NI no on your letter of request. Then you should get at least a copy of a screen print and an explanation of how the alleged debt was incurred. Post everything signed for service and keep copies of everything you send or ask for.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: DWP claiming I owe money from 1996

    I find it odd that he's refused the SARicon, yet, claims that you still owe the money which he can see on screen.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: DWP claiming I owe money from 1996

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon7685 View Post
    I will be amazed if they can produce a social fund application from 14 years ago. If I were you I would write to them and keep everything in writing as opposed to telephone conversations. I would be asking them to prove the debt was yours and produce the proof, as Erika says, no proof no paying up!
    Back then it would have been the old DHSS offices and mostly still ran on paper work !

    There most be some huge warehouses somewhere stocked up with huge mountains of DHSS paper work,with someone going over with a fine-tooth comb.

    and costing a fortune to administer...


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