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Posts posted by purple_rain

  1. I can afford to pay £50, but they've asked to assess my income. I'm concerned they will ask me to pay more.


    The DCA is no longer in the picture and they don't have my parents' address or my new number, so I don't think I will be hearing from them.


    I'm hoping that by complaining they may take away some of the debt, because they kept screwing up. How could I get them to reassess?


    Does anyone have any advice as to how I can maintain my repayment schedule of £50 per month?



  2. Hello,


    I have a bit of an update on the situation.


    Following a heated discussion on the phone, the person I spoke to emailed me the following:


    I am contacting you in regards to our earlier conversation. I have liaised with both my Senior officer and my colleague who sent you the letter on the 12th of April 2017. Firstly I would like to apologise for any distress and upset the letter may have lead to. After discussing the issue with my senior we have both come to the conclusion that the two debts were not combined as you was informed they would be on 29th of June 2016, consequently this meant one invoice was not receiving any payments therefore recovery continued; This is why you were sent the Letter before action on the 12th of April 2017.


    I can confirm you have not received any recovery costs and the balance on the account is due to the two debts finally being combined. However I have still raised the issue with my senior and informed him you have made a complaint via the Newham website regarding the handling of your case, this will be dealt with separately.


    The payment arrangement you had on your previous case was up to date –


    I have now reset the invoice and your first payment is due on by 30th of May 2017 for £85.91 (May I suggest that you make this payment in two instalment for example one instalment at the end of April for £35.91 and another by the 30th of May 2017 for £50).

    Subsequent payments of £50 from 30th of June 2017 should be made on the last day of every calendar month, you will receive a revised invoice confirming this. As I explained when we combine debts it generates a new invoice number I have also attached a new standing order from please hand this into your bank so they can alter the payment details they currently have.


    I have attached an income and expenditure form, please could you complete and return it so we can ensure the payment arrangement you currently have is suitable.


    Once again I apologise for how your case was handled we have noted all the issues you have raised, my manger and senior officer will deal with them accordingly.


    If you have any further questions or queries please contact me on the below number or via email.


    I am a bit concerned about showing my earnings- not that I earn a lot because I'm a carer for my mum and I only work part time, but I don't want to put every penny of what I earn towards paying them back. I don't want to pay a larger amount than I do already, which is £50 per month.


    Technically, I don't pay rent, but I need to have that money there every month in case my mum's ex husband asks for it or if he refuses to give my mum money for food.


    Any further advice would be much appreciated.

  3. DCA stopped contacting me, as I've moved back to my parents and they don't have my address.

    I ignored them and told them I would be dealing with the council, as per advice on here, which was why I emailed the council.


    The complaint was done via their website, but I have recorded the reference number.


    The first JC I moved from told me a mistruth but the second one (the one I moved to),

    my advisor checked on the system and told me specifically that I was receiving HB as I should be and everything looked fine on the system.

    Unfortunately, she's not from the borough that is now chasing me up for the overpayment.


    I honestly doubt they would write off the whole thing. What do you think?

    I know I was very naive, but I felt very cornered at the time.

    I assume any phone calls I made to them would most likely be recorded,

    but I don't know whether they would still have records of the phone calls.

  4. Hello,


    Appreciate the reply. I was hoping I'd hear back before bed.

    This is seriously stressful to come home to after a relaxing holiday.


    The overpayment arose after I moved boroughs whilst on JSA and HB.


    I was told at the JC that when I transfer JSA claim,

    everything would be taken care of automatically.


    Of course, the council didn't take that on at all.

    They said it was my fault for not changing things over.


    I was told by people in the original JC and the one after everything was fine and that I was receiving HB as I should be and it all looked ok on their system.

    The council said that it's still not their fault and it's my fault.

    Although, one time when they spoke to me on the phone they admitted that although it was "a human error" (their words not mine) that I would still have to repay because it's the public's money.


    I was suffering with really bad depression mainly because of this.

    They had worn me down so much, I didn't even know what to do.

    They just kept saying I owe them huge amounts of money and I was worried my benefits would get cut off etc.


    We are roughly talking about just under £5k according to them.


    I received an email back from them saying that the first amount was being paid for but their system didn't consolidate the two amounts together which was why they passed it onto a DCA.


    I think a few hundred pounds have been added on for charges but they've not itemised the bills.


    I've sent them a formal complaint online and reached out to my local MP for help.

    I'm no longer living anywhere near London.

    It's been really hard dealing with this borough in particular.

    They just don't listen or accept any responsibility.

    It's so frustrating.


    Thank you again for the reply.

  5. Hello everyone,


    I hope I'm posting this in the right place.


    I've asked about this before in a separate thread.


    I am having issues with a London Borough who claim they overpaid my benefits.

    I tried to appeal but they decided against it and insisted I pay back the money.


    About 3/4 years ago I set up a direct debit to pay them back £50 every month, which isn't very much.

    And then last year I started getting letters from debt collection agencies asking me to pay thousands of pounds back but they wouldn't tell me why or how.


    I emailed the council and 8 months later,

    they emailed back saying that I owe two amounts and normally they would combine the debts,

    but they haven't on this occasion and they would like to.


    I was getting harassed by the collection agency and it's been very stressful and I'm pretty sure they've added other charges on top.

    They asked me to fill in some forms for income expenditure,

    which I left and eventually forgot to do (my fault).


    It was a rather hectic time and I wasn't working and my income was even less than before and I thought since I'm already paying,

    there's no big deal.


    I've just come back home after several days away to find a letter stating that they will ask for a CCJ to be issued against me.


    I know I didn't fill in the forms,

    but I don't understand why on their end they're so disorganised to the point that they didn't even know to combine the debts in the first place and they sent people calling me day and night and sending me letters multiple times in a week.


    Please advise me on what to do.


    I will call them tomorrow morning when they are open but please advise me on anything else you feel is appropriate.



  6. 107 hours overpayment is a lot of time, that is nearly 3 weeks full time. I can see where they may get the figure of £500 from if they are claiming back the net amount so not a NMW issue. This does not alter what you should do though and that is ask for an exact breakdown of this alleged debt so ask for detaisl of the hours worked intotal, dates and where they think the overpayment comes from. You may then compare this with what information you can look at in your own pay records/diary and if they differ you may challenge them as to the veracity of their claim. If they have got things wrong in one place they wont be keen on going down the legal route to recover the money as they would risk having the entire claim chucked out for a relatively small accounting error. This places you in a position of being able to say that you agree they overpaid you of Y hours and that you can repay this overpayment by standing order at £x per month.

    If their figures are entirelyfanciful then you tell them that. Sometimes people's records get confused.


    I will definitely be doing this. I'm just so confused as to where the figures are coming from. I'm worried they have the hours right but not the amount and I would actually end up owing even more!

  7. Nothing is stacked on the employers side for either of you. If you were overpaid, then you owe the money back. If you weren't, then you don't. Nothing stacked at all. Personal circumstances really don't mitigate whether you owe the money. The employer must show the reason why you owe the money - but if correct, then you need to come to some arrangement to repay it.


    Thank you for your input.


    You seem to think that the employer should have no responsibility in making sure they've done things correctly. Even now, as they write to me, they may or may not have their figures correct, as it doesn't match my hourly rate. As a consumer, if I made that many mistakes paying money in someone, I for sure would lose out.

  8. I'm in a similar situation. 3 months later, ex-employer claiming I've been overpaid & they still haven't sent me my final payslip despite written requests. Temporarily looking after mother full-time whilst I find a job closer to her. Like you I have some money (from sale of house, intended for deposit on house locally & to keep me going until I do find work - as I resigned I think I'm not entitled to state benefits?). I've written to them today (and the debt collection agency they immediately washed their hands to) explaining I need more evidence of the overpayment (especially as they failed to make my final payment on time in the first place due to another "payroll error". Good luck with this - everything seems to be stacked on the employer's side nowadays.


    I left on bad terms, but I'm really disgusted by the management of this company.

  9. The figures given don't add up. £500 for 107 hours of work equates to an hourly rate of just £4.67. This is well below the national minimum wage as set out in law. Even when the NMW was introduced back in 2010, it was £5.93 if over 21 (£4.92 if between 18 & 20). See https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates for the historical rates.


    If you have been paid less than the NMW during this period of employment, then you should be the one making demands. Check your pay slips if you had any.


    Hi Mr P,


    The hourly rate on the pay slip is right, but going off from the letter, that's the number of hours I've been overpaid and that is the amount I owe. Obviously, I'm not sure how they've come up with these numbers.

  10. Send a letter to your previous employer and ask for an explanation on how the alleged overpayment occurred.


    In that same letter say if an overpayment is confirmed request if you can set up a repayment plan being currently unemployed and being the offical carer for your mother


    The key is a paper trail to show you are being reasonable


    Thank you for replying.


    If it is that they made an error in overpaying me. Do I have to repay them? They could have contacted me a while ago whilst this was still fresh and now they're plucking dates out of thin air, dating back to June.

  11. Hi everyone,


    I was overpaid by an ex employer (apparently). They've just sent me a letter 3 months after I've left the company stating I was overpaid some 107 hours and that I owe £500. I only worked part time for them when I was caring for my mother and when my mother's condition deteriorated, I went on leave. I left at the end of September and haven't worked since. I am looking for new work, but haven't listed them as a former employer, because I didn't leave under the best of terms anyway.


    My aunt gave me a loan recently for another reason, so I have the money at the moment, but since I'm not working and still caring for my mother. I would like to keep this money because I have no other income. I also have no recollection of the exact dates they mention and the number of hours I have worked, because I transferred branches mid way through working there and my payslips were sent to the old store.


    Does anyone have any advice on this matter?

  12. Thanks for the replies. I will continue as normal and if and when I receive a letter from Newlyn I shall ignore it.


    It's not set in stone that I will be going abroad,

    so I guess I will cross that bridge when I come to it


    - I just don't have the money to pay them back and I know they won't budge.


    I'm stuck repaying HB I was entitled to because I was given incorrect information when I moved boroughs.


    Even though I was told by one of the staff it was an error on their part,

    I had to repay the money because it belonged to the public.

    I just don't want to be stuck repaying more HB that I was supposed to be getting.

  13. Hi everyone,


    I posted a thread on here a while back ( I don't know where it's gone)

    about Newlyn hounding me to pay housing benefit back,

    but they won't tell me why I owe the money and the council haven't responded to my email.


    I was advised to not answer their calls or respond to their letters, which is exactly what I did.

    However, I have since moved homes and changed my number.


    I'm assuming I don't have to let them or the council know and it's down to them to find me?


    I'm living with my mum who is not very well at the moment and I would rather she didn't find out about this.

    I was just wondering how they would find me?


    Would they be able to find me as soon as I get a job or can they only find me through registered bills?


    I should add that my bank accounts have always been registered to my mum's address

    and I recently set up a direct debit with the gym.


    Will this cause problems?

    I'm quite anxious about this.


    Thank you in advance for your help and Merry Christmas guys!

  14. None at all really, he just takes all meter readings on day you vacate and either:-

    1.lets TW pursue the account holder, for any outstanding balance, based on that reading. TW will LL of any outstanding debt, as they prob have note he is the LL resp for any payments during voids. Knowing the amount, LL could deduct amount from your deposit. or he/TW has 6yrs to pursue you for financial debt. Can you fly beneath the public records/Internet radar for 6 yrs?

    2.Court action is initiated against you, using last known address, and CCJ recordedd, which stays on your credit ref file for 6 yrs.



    Unless LL knew of toilet problem in advance, it only took him less than a day to identify problem & fix it. Why was it not spotted by a tenant.

    Did water consumption decrease after toilet fixed\/

    Does the overflow run to exterior or in to the pan?


    I will settle the bill with TW before I leave for sure because I want my name off that account. I just think as a landlord he should be partly responsible for the bill.


    Like I said I don't know whether he knew of the toilet problem beforehand, as there are ongoing issues in the house. He's left an unstable bathroom floor upstairs unfixed for over a year, as he doesn't live here, he is never really in a hurry. He's refused to get a professional to fix the mold in the bathroom that's built up really heavily despite us telling him numerous times. I know it seems like I'm being unreasonable but when we spot something wrong we will tell him, if we don't know then we can't tell him. I don't know where the overflow ran to, but there was never excess water on the floor. Water consumption did fall after he got the toilet fixed.

  15. So how did the LL know to fix it?

    Does the overflow run to exterior or in to the panr

    Any change in flatmates just before the 'spike'?

    Someone left cold tap dribbling, more baths, increased use of washing machine?

    Water bill is resp of account holder (you) and yes the LL can take action for debt recovery against you.

    Learn how to read the meter and take monthly readings, (or weekly if you suspect a leak).


    The landlord came to the house for an unrelated problem. There's quite a few things in the house he needs to fix and he usually leaves them for ages every time. When he came over, he just did a quick look around and fixed the toilet that day. I don't know if he knew before that point, as he has keys to the house and if we're not here, he lets himself in (which I have no problem with).

    There was no change in flatmates just before the spike. No one takes baths, we all take showers. No particular increase in use of water at all.

    What information of mine does he need to start debt recovery action against me?

  16. I've spoken to the landlord again. He refuses to take responsibility for the water bill and so I have to pay it all. He says that we have a spare room and we should have rented it out for extra money so that we have surplus money at the end to cover extra for bills. I know I shouldn't withhold rent, but I feel like I'm running out of options, because I need to leave this property. My landlord doesn't have any of my information other than my bank details (a/c number and sort code) and phone number. Is he still able to take action against me?

  17. Hello everyone,


    You might have seen my other thread in regards to the extremely high water bill- http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?456334-Thames-Water-Overcharging. I thought I'd start a second thread now that I've spoken to the water company and my landlord again.


    The water company has done all the investigations they can do and they have found that they are not at fault, given that there are no leaks coming from outside and the meter number they have on our bill is correct. The landlord has told me he fixed a faulty toilet which was overrunning some time in the summer. I didn't know this at the time. The water company said if there is a leak in our house, they have something called a leak allowance but because the toilet was fixed a while back, we won't be eligible for the leak allowance now, as it has to be signed off by a plumber.


    My question is, is the landlord liable/responsible for this huge bill or at least a large chunk of it? If he refuses to pay, can I take money from our rent to pay for it? I really would love to get this sorted and would appreciate it any help.




  18. Hi everyone,


    Thank you for the replies so far.


    (I don't know if it should be posted in a separate area but it's related to this water bill situation.) I spoke to my landlord today and he said he fixed our toilet in the summer as it had been running non stop, but I didn't know. He's a live- out landlord and we're an HMO. He seems to think that the toilet problem wouldn't have caused the water bill to triple. In this situation, is he liable for at least part of the water bill? Our rent is a few days late and I still have the money in my account. If I took it directly from our rent to pay for this bill, could I get into legal trouble?


    Thanks for the help again.

  19. How long did they check the meter for? Anything less than an hour defiantly wouldn't show up. Try it over several hours.


    Leave all your taps turned off, and dont flush the toilet. Take a picture of the meter reading, and wait as many hours as you can. take another picture later and compare. If you have any leaks then the readings will be different.


    The engineer checked for less than 5 minutes.

  20. Thanks for your reply.


    Yes, someone came out to investigate. They basically told us to switch off any appliances that use water in the house whilst they looked at the meter. They said the meter didn't move during the investigation, therefore nothing was wrong.


    Yes, we have a back garden and a small front garden, but we don't use the hose or a sprinkler system.


    I moved into this house in May 2012 and the water bill has typically been around £250- £300 every 6 months until February this year.


    There has been no change in the pattern of behaviour or usage at all. They don't take baths etc.


    Our toilets seem fine and they're not over running either.


    We haven't had one of those letters at all. I'm so baffled and stressed out about this.


    Thanks again

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