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  1. Hi, I am reaching out to you as I'm absolutely exhausted with the WCA saga and I would be grateful for any help, advice, guidance, support. I'll try and keep this short... Main medical conditions: - Postural Tachycardia Syndrome - its a rare conditions, but an accurate description of symptoms is listed here: potsuk dot org/symptoms (please note: to diagnose POTS the heart rate has to increase by 30bpm after 10 minutes of standing, upon test mine increased from 65 to 140, so its obviously a more aggressive form of POTS). - Ehlers-Danlos syndrome & Hypermobility (symptoms: ehlers-danlos dot com/what-is-eds/) - Previously had spinal fusion for scoliosis, in recent years the titanium rods in my spine broke; had a two-stage anterior and posterior corrective spinal fusion operation to take out the broken metals and extend the fusion, - Major abdominal complications post spinal fusion op (just uploaded video here: youtube dot com/watch?v=P4GraSbCCy4 - eating food is not fun for me) - Divarication of recti of at least 8cm. - Depression - Other less significant conditions The WCA saga (main points only): I had returned the ESA questionnaire and a bundle of medical records in total weighing quarter of a kilo by recorded and signed for delivery. The Health Assessment Advisory Service and DWP claimed they didn't receive the bundle in time, even though they signed for it, and my benefits were stopped (including housing). I tried to dispute this, 3 separate advisers at HAAS and DWP intimidated me accusing me for not accounting for their internal delays despite having submitted my form in line for the deadline - it was as though they've been taught intimidation techniques from the same script. Anyways, after a battle that got restored. I feel sorry for those who did not send their forms recorded and signed for... Due to various issues I registered formal complaints. In a complaint response HAAS wrote that medical records prior the year 2015 might not be considered, claiming its a DWP requirement for the documents to be 'recent'. This meant my medical records might not be accepted due to a 'bad' date and I did not have enough time to get my conditions to be re-diagnosed. (Note: this is contrary to their own WCA handbook gov dot uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/535065/wca-handbook-july-2016.pdf providing that medical history should be considered). Anyway, the WCA went ahead. As expected by this point, the outcome was work activity group with compulsory JobCentre appointments under the threat of benefit sanctions etc. My GP wrote a sicknote, only to find out that DWP does not accept sick notes from sick people and their is no way to formally register sickness, so you have to go to Jobcentre or loose benefits. I attempted to go to the JobCentre, my heart rate became unbearable and I ended up in the A&E on the drip. This happened twice. DWP told me I could submit for mandatory reconsideration, but would not grant me an extension for the deadline, nor would they allow me to access my medical report before the deadline to submit for the reconsideration. Effectively I was forced to submit a blind and a very week mandatory reconsideration request simply because I had no idea what I am disputing or asking them to reconsider. Naturally, I don't expect a positive outcome from that. After eventually receiving and reading my medical report it became clear to me that the WCA was purposely conducted in a manner that would lead to a certain (unfavourable) outcome; I conclude so due to the excessively biased nature of the medical report. I find the assessor covered up my physical medical conditions and struggles, with some very significant medical history either left out or very subtly hidden at the back in the notes. The assessor went as far as to deny the symptoms of my conditions, making serious allegations and negligent recommendations. The effects/symptoms of my condition are not being recognised by the assessor (who apparently is a doctor). The assessor effectively denies all the symptoms and even alleges that I don't have any such symptoms (in relation to POTS) and that I only have an increased heart rate. It is even recommended in the assessor's report that I can "remain at a workstation standing unassisted by another person...for more than an hour before needing to move away in order to avoid significant discomfort or exhaustion", which to me as a POTS sufferer (I faint from such activities) is just unthinkable. The assessor forgets to mention the broken metals in my spine altogether. Frankly I think the report is an outrage. I believe aggressive practices are in place to disallow positive WCA outcomes. I also feel discriminated. After getting my share of bullying from the DWP and their party of association I am starting to think it's not possible to get ESA anymore, unless you have a solicitor or the law behind you. I'm just really tired now... Any help is much appreciated.
  2. On Friday I was extremely concerned about a thread on one of the ‘Beat the Bailiffs’ facebook sites that eventually led to the debtor being removed from his car and with many police in attendance. Background: The debtor (Tony) did not seek advice on the site. Instead, his brother Paul sought advice from the Social Media Site on his behalf. It would seem that ‘Tony’ had not paid a penalty charge notice and accordingly, a warrant of control was issued and passed to Marston Group to enforce. The bailiff attended the property early last Friday and after a short period of time, clamped his car. In ‘Paul’s’ initial post he called for ‘Boots on the Ground’ to attend the address (in Oldham, Lancashire). As is usual with the site, the full address and postcode were provided. One poster (John) spoke with Tony a number of times and reported back that he had advised him that: The warrant was not a legal document as it was not signed. Tony should stay in the car as his vehicle could not be removed while he is inside. and that: He should tell the bailiffs and police that "Wesley is just getting ready with a crew". (Wesley posted himself to confirm that he would be attending). Further alarming posts were made that indicated that the bailiffs would be attacked (for example: “law doesn’t matter, lets all go out and lynch the fxxxing bailiffs”). The situation esclated very quickly indeed and from reading the posts the indication was that many people were on their way to the address (in Oldham) with Wesley himself posting that ‘we have a Mexican standoff’. Further posts reported that about six police officer had arrived together with more bailiffs. In all, almost 400 posts were made on the site and yet....not one person bothered to ask any background information such as: Did he receive all the notices from the local authority? Did he appeal the penalty charge notice? Did he receive the Notice of Enforcement from Marston Group? Did he respond to outline a payment proposal? Instead, as is always the case with these sites, the suggestion made was to ....submit an Out of Time statutory declaration to the Traffic Enforcement Centre. One person exhibited a copy of the warrant of control and it was plain to see that the warrant was a legal document. Naturally, it did not require a court seal or a 'wet ink signature'. Telephone calls were made to the bailiff by an admin member of the Social Media Site (a lady with supposedly 30 years of legal experience) asking that the vehicle remain clamped until the Out of Time statutory declaration had been processed. Naturally, with the expectation of many more ‘supporters’ shortly arriving, the enforcement agent took the decision to remove the vehicle (by this time it had been clamped for over two hours). A tow truck was in attendance. The debtor was removed from the vehicle. Fortunately, for the bailiffs, the police and the debtor the 'Boots on the Ground' stunt was a complete failure.
  3. Hi, This is actually about my mum. Last year we realised that my mum had alzeimhers and she has now moved into assisted living where she is doing really well. One of the things she did before we realised she was ill was keep buying things in catalogues and hoarding them. I contacted them all when she moved and we cleared off the debt. I look after my mum as my dad has died. Now she got a letter at her new housing from Sigma Red saying there was an outstanding balance from JD Williams (I didnt realise there was multiple debts to this firm as they have different brand names). They were horrible saying she had to pay it off immediately or still be taken to court. I took over and became a named person on the account. I said we would agree a repayment plan and that it what we did, of 3 monthly payments of £100 then one last of 30. Sorted. Or so I thought. I gave my bank details as all my mums money goes towards her upkeep. I just wanted her not to worry about it. They rang her the same day demanding payment. I ring up again very upset, as we had agreed a repayment plan and they were bullying an ill woman. They took all the other contact numbers of their system and rang her to apologise. So the first repayment was due on the 26th via DirectDebit and I wanted to be able to show my mum the payment as it had been upsetting her. No payment was taken. I rang up my bank who said the dd was active but no money had been requested. I rang them and they said terribly sorry there has been a problem with our system, its showing the payment wasn't honoured. I said look I'll pay you the £100 now if you cancel the inaccurate dd and i'll ring to pay each month because this is clearly not working. Did so and had the operators assurance everything had been cancelled and even got a lecture that I had to remember to pay. Great. Showed mum, no more worries Then three days later they take £100 out of my account via the dd. This puts me overdrawn and I only notice over the weekend when my card declines in the supermarket. I finally got through on Monday and they said they would issue a refund of £100 plus charges but no sign of this. I am loathe to ring AGAIN as it takes forever to get through. Just wondering if anyone else has dealt with them and are they just incompentent? Thanks
  4. Yet again, this awful documentary is in the headlines...this time because one of the 'stars' of the show has been spared jail after he scrawled abusive graffiti on a cancer victim's home...falsely brandishing him a paedophile. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2580985/Boxer-Repo-Man-spared-jail-abusive-graffiti.html
  5. Hello, I am hoping that someone will be able to offer some advice. The basic scenario is this: I own a two bedroom leasehold flat. In May I received a ‘Letter Before Action’ from the Freeholder. This document stated that the ground rent was in arrears, this was payable within 14 days and a ‘Letter before action’ fee of £120 was added to my account “as per the enclosed summary”. Now, prior to this letter, I had received no invoices for Ground Rent from this company that complies with legislation. I immediately contacted the Freeholder. The Freeholder in question had purchased the Freehold approximately 14 months previously. Prior to this, all Ground Rent was paid to the original builder of the new build property. I offered to pay the ground rent arrears immediately, however refused to pay a £120 Letter before action / admin fee as I deemed unreasonable. I explained that I had received no invoices and the only previous correspondence had been over a year previously when they introduced themselves as the new freeholder. I pointed out that the “enclosed summary” was incorrect, as one of two periods shown had been paid to the predecessor. The matter has been going back and forth for the past 6 weeks. In this time, I have established and pointed out the following facts: 1.) The correspondence address that the freeholder holds for me is inaccurate. It contains Flat Number, Block of Flats Name, Road Name, Postcode. However, it neglects to include the Number of the road if that makes sense. For example, correspondence has been addressed Mr Joe, Flat 1, ABC House, ABC Road, AB1 2CD, instead of Mr Joe, Flat 1, ABC House, 46 ABC Road, AB1 2CD. I attempted to explain that the address that they have allegedly sent post to was not exact as that on my lease and this could explain as to why invoices had not been received. There are also a number of other blocks on this road that also incorporate the name ‘house’ in their title. 2.) Other residents have failed to receive recent documentation allegedly sent by the freeholder. In communication with the freeholder, they have stated that they have sent ‘similarly addressed’ letters. I point out that I have no ‘similar’ address, only an actual address. I point out that I received their incorrectly addressed letter by chance, as I cannot rely on the postman to get it right as its not correctly addressed. I have raised numerous points with the freeholder yet they have failed to return emails. I have asked simple questions such as asking for the Freeholder to confirm the clause in the lease that allows them to charge admin fees yet having asked this question 6 times, I have received no answer. I have threatened with taking the matter to LVT to allow for determination as to reasonableness, however I get no response. £120 for a letter sent from an office with no Solicitor involvement is absurd. I have asked for details of the complaints dept, Director etc, but they have failed to provide these. The email chain has continued this week. At one point, the individual with who I have been dealing, accidently sent an email to myself that should have been sent to a colleague within their organisation, asking “Are you going to reply to Average Joe, or are you ignoring him?” I have repeatedly refused to pay the £120. This week they have offered to reduce the fee to £60 if I paid within 7 days. Again, I refused, then it was changed to £60 by Fri 28th. I am so frustrated, by the aggressive tactics that this freeholder is using. In your experience, where do I stand and what should I do? Thanks
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