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Everything posted by jjbe

  1. Thanks Jason, did they also attend the IUC with you? If you don't mind me asking what was your overpayment and sentence? Thank you
  2. Hi again, Does anybody know how much roughly it will cost for a solicitor to attend an IUC? Then the magistrates court if it goes that far? Just a rough estimate as I can't find any answers online x
  3. Hi everyone, Thanks for the advice, it greatly appreciated. We haven't heard anything yet, and I must admit I'm not doing to well at putting it to the back of my mind. Every time the post drops on the floor I think 'is this it?' I'm googling galore and terrified of it being in the papers!! Our relationship has been put under so much stress too. This has all be compounded by the fact that I have just found out I am pregnant with our 4th child (totally unplanned!) this pregnancy is going to be very stressful! I keep hoping the council will not pass the case to the DWP and accept our explanation but I don't think that's likely x
  4. Thank you My mind is still going ten to the dozen, I can't sleep, eat or function very well. With 3 young children I'm finding that very hard. My OH is telling me to snap out of. He thinks they won't prosecute him as it was a genuine mistake and they won't want him to lose his job as we would then be on lots of benefits as we have three children. I can't believe he's not worried, his name is on the claim! I don't think they will care about him losing his job and us going back onto benefits?? Also someone else mentioned a change of name... If it came to court could OH change his name by deed poll and update everyone (court, council, hmrc , banks etc) but keep using his normal name with other people (just so work don't find out) also could he use a different address for the court things, so our address won't appear in the local paper? We would lose our rented house if that was the case. Thanks again x
  5. Also realistic how long do you think we will need to wait for the Iuc letter to come through? Baring in mind that the overpayment has already been calculated? Thanks x
  6. Thanks. Another few questions, sorry.. Have you known any cases of just a penalty/caution being given in our situation? Have you dealt with any similar cases to ours and what was the outcome of them? Thanks again x
  7. Thanks shoelover, with regards to the overpayment being from a different council in a different county, do you think it might be likely that they will have the hearing where we used to live as the council may be involved? Can I post another thread to see if anyone else has been in my situation? Thanks again x
  8. Hi again shoelover, So would a £5500 overpayment not usually be classed as a high overpayment for the local papers? Our overpayment occurred in a different county and from a different council to where we are living now so do you think this could also make it less likely to appear in the local paper where we live now? Are you sure that as the overpayment was in a different area that the court case won't be held there? Our local paper always has a double spread of 'around the courts' action and it usually includes drink driving offences/speeding which I would not class as really interesting. I do not condone drink driving though! Also, what are the other circumstances that would make our case unsuitable for prosecution? Thanks x
  9. Thanks for your help guys. If you could paste that link for the partner issue MM I would be very grateful. Also, shoelover, you mentioned in a previous post about other circumstances which may make our case unsuitable for prosecution? What are those? Also, when you talk about cases that go into the local paper, what would be circumstances that make a case seem more interesting for the paper? MM, in your experience, and being honest, what do you think will happen in our case? Thank you, your help is so much appreciated x
  10. MM, I am not mad at all! I'm very grateful for you taking the time to help and advise me. I would much rather people are honest, this is why I have come into this forum for help x
  11. Yes, I would rather get honest replies of course. I'm going to just tell the truth about the situation.. I'm in charge of the finances and I thought the information would have been given to them by tax credits/paye automatically and that it came as a complete shock that we've been overpaid. I'm not going to say I knew what I was doing and admit fault in this way as this is certainly not the case x
  12. I would rather have all the information I can possibly have now. Along with people's experience and thoughts on what will happen to us. Thanks for adding the thread it will be a useful read.
  13. Hi mikeymack, do you mean if my partner changes his name by deed poll so another name appears in the paper? Sorry I'm a bit confused! Do you mean other claims such as tax credits? Or previous housing benefit claims that may be wrong? So I, as the partner, can still be prosecuted if I take the blame? Thanks
  14. If they can use this RTI, surely it should be used all the time to check information? From what I can see universal credit will use RTI to work out correct payments every month. I hope this is the case as this will avoid people being in the same situation as me in the future. Have you come across many others in situations like mine on this this forum? I find it hard to think that this doesn't happen all the time? I think I'm a relatively intelligent woman (some may say not reading this) but the benefit system is just a minefield and when you're a busy family, life just take precedence and things get overlooked. I know people that are dishonest on purpose, like doing cash in hand work whilst claiming benefits... I always thought badly of them and now look at the situation we're in now!!! I have drafted the letter to the council. It's not really an appeal, more an explanation of the circumstances and my thought processes (or lack of). I don't really want to appeal as I don't want them to think I am trying to get out of paying them, it's more I want to give our side of the story. Hopefully that can be then passed onto the fraud department too. Have you seen many cases like mine on here? And what are the other factors which may make it unsuitable as you mentioned above? Thanks again x
  15. Also, do the fraud investigation teams work out the overpayment? I'm struggling to understand whether our claim was checked by fraud, who who then worked out the overpayment. Or if it was a random data matching thing with the council that threw up some discrepancies and then they worked out our overpayment? Thanks again x
  16. Hi again I thought the lady was probably being nice. She did say that it happens quite often by mistake, do you think this is correct? I can see how it does happen though obviously! I can't find any information on the number of housing benefit overpayments and how many of these are prosecuted. In your honest opinion in your experience looking at what I have told you, what would you expect the outcome to be here? Do you think writing to the council at this point will help? x
  17. I really appreciate your advice shoelover, thank you so much. You don't even know me and you're helping me for something that I could have done dishonestly.
  18. Yes you're right, I need to do the right thing about the past. it's scary though! I spoke to another lovely lady at the council this afternoon (god they must be fed up with me!!) and she said to write a letter of appeal about the overpayment and explain the circumstances (Ie we weren't aware that hmrc only shared a limited amount of information). She said it was unlikely to be successful, but at least then I could get our story across and how remorseful we are. She said she sees this quite often, people assuming information is shared (PAYE/tax credits) which result in overpayments. She told me not to worry about a fraud investigation, and that it hadn't been passed over yet. It probably will due to it being over £2000 but she said the investigators would only want to find out if there was intent to defraud there and if not, then don't worry. I don't know if she was saying this just to be nice as I was in such a state on the phone...? This seems to be a different outcome to what I have read online? If what the lady from overpayments was saying was true (that overpayments happen all the time) surely they can't prosecute everyone as mistakes do happen? Sorry shoelover for going on and on and thanks for your support x
  19. Sorry, I'm not trying to sound like I want to just 'get off' with the mistakes I've made, but they were purely just mistakes. I now know we need to accept our punishment but I am terrified of it being in the local papers! I know you say that it's unlikely, but we live in a rural community and sometimes benefit fraud is put in the papers. It's not like we're in a huge city. How many cases of benefit fraud do you think go through a magistrates court in an average week? Compared to the amount that are in the papers? It's so scary what will happen if the papers get hold of this. Thanks again x
  20. Thanks again for your reply. I know, I'm just terrible at switching off and always imagine the worst case scenario! So the time it takes to be invited for an ICU is just due to it being in a queue so to speak not because they are investigating us for months? As I've said in an above post, there was 2 months previous were my partner had a part time job, which now I know we should have reported. Will this be dragged up too by the DWP? Or is this up to the council to investigate and then pass on the overpayment details to the DWP? Thanks again x
  21. Thank you so much for taking the time out to help me. Our relationship is difficult at the best of times to be honest and this is just making things horrendous as he is solely blaming me for the mistake. In his defence I do deal with the finances and he knows nothing about benefits. Why could it take a couple of months before an ICU if the overpayment investigation has already been completed? Surely it's just a case of talking to us straight away? What else do they need to prepare? How do they prove benefit fraud when it isn't and is just an oversight? It's not like we did it on purpose to live the high life.. We have 3 children and life is hard, we are really in debt too. The horrible irony in all of this is that my partner has finally got his career back on track and is in a good job again and if this is made public knowledge he will lose it and we will be on benefits again!! So so so stupid, I've made a lot of mistakes in my life but this takes the biscuit. Thank you, I don't have anybody else to talk to about this x
  22. Thank you shoelover. Are the chances of it not even going to an ICU very slim then? Obviously as we've not had to say anything yet as to why the overpayment occurred and give are side of the story, presumably they just assume it's fraud?? As I've said before, I handle the finances, so it's really my mistake. If my partner says this and essentially blames me for the mistake, could I take the blame instead of him?? What will they do in their investigation? Surely that's already done, as they have identified we didn't inform them of a change in circumstances due to my ignorance. They know how much we earnt in that overpayment period so is that all they need? You help is very much appreciated x
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