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Found 100 results

  1. I like many others objected to Erudio's new terms and conditions that I had to accept if I wanted to defer my student loan. So before the deadline I used the template letter and sent in my proof of earnings, but they just ignored me. So I sent it in again with another letter, and a note to say I didn't like being ignored. They just ignored me. Then they sent a default notice, giving me X number of days to contact them, the start date of these days was about a week before they posted it. I wrote them another letter disputing the default and objecting to their inability to post letters on time. Now they have terminated the loan and demand full payment in 7 days, yet again sent late. Any ideas of how to deal with what appears to be a best slack, at worst criminal company?
  2. Government introduces tough new measure to prevent acid attacks READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-introduces-tough-new-measure-to-prevent-acid-attacks
  3. Fascinatingly complex scenario when you make an effort. After being made unemployed in July I have been trying to do bits and bobs with casual work for three employers whilst I look after my ill mum and look for a more permanent position. I get a nice tax rebate with a pay packet of just one weeks work for one of the employers and therefore do not get any Universal Credit for October because the pay plus the rebate takes me over the threshold of income for that month because the DWP takes tax rebates as pay. Fair enough but they then go and tell my council that my Universal Credit claim has been cancelled so I have to go through all the rigmarole of sending pay slips, hours worked, bank balances and the like to the council re council tax benefit and the council interestingly "do not" class tax rebates as income or pay! Regardless having more than one employer on a casual basis is a nightmare with the council who don't seem to know how to handle it and I may well have full whack council tax one month and then have to reapply monthly depending on wage which is always low anyway! So I have now had to email UC to see if I need to reclaim because I might not earn anything from the three employers this month although another nice little confusion arrived in the form of a small pay check from one employer with yet another healthy tax rebate,,,, two in one month from different employers?!?!?! Transpires that rebate earlier this month may be an error but I won't find out until the end of the tax year when I might, or might not have to pay it back!!! Either work full time or not at all seems to be the easiest way to avoid mega confusion on all counts as three mini employers is a logistical nightmare!!
  4. Hi there - hope somebody may be able to help? It is in relation to the Local Government Ombudsmen - Decision Review? Following a complaint to my local authority, which dragged on for approx 16 months at Stage 1 and they refused to allow me to access my rights to progress to Stage 2 of the Statutory Complaints Procedure, I referred the matter to the LGO. Long story short, I was not happy with the LGO decision in finding no fault in the Council's actions. I then used the 'LGO DECISION REVIEW PROCESS' to voice the fact I was not happy with this decision and that it was unfair and there had been bias used against me etc. This did not result in any change of decision, the original LGO decision stood and I am told I have no further rights to challenge the LGO decision/ you only have one shot at requesting a review of the decision? I am trying to find out if this is the end of the road for challenging their decision, or is there any other route I can take for this decision to be properly investigated and the merits of their decision scrutinised? This seems so unfair as my complaint still unresolved and I now have no faith in a 'flawed statutory complaints procedure' if it does not live up to what it claims to do? Any advice would be greatly appreciated............many thanks
  5. Government signals commitment to improving bus access for wheelchair users READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-signals-commitment-to-improving-bus-access-for-wheelchair-users
  6. Government publishes key licensing changes to further protect tenants READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-publishes-key-licensing-changes-to-further-protect-tenants
  7. Government action to end letting fees - England Only READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-action-to-end-letting-fees
  8. Government announces Tech Fund to support disabled people and their employers READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-tech-fund-to-support-disabled-people-and-their-employers
  9. Government announces Tech Fund to support disabled people and their employers READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-tech-fund-to-support-disabled-people-and-their-employers
  10. Government to professionalise the estate agent market READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-to-professionalise-the-estate-agent-market
  11. This very recent Local Government Ombudsman's decision (released 10 days ago) is another one of importance. In this particular case, a motorist had incurred a penalty charge notice from London Borough of Haringey for wrongful parking. As the contravention was for parking as opposed to a CCTV contravention, she received a Penalty Charge Notice on her car advising that the charge was £130 but if she made payment within 14 days, she would be entitled to a 50% discount bringing the penalty down to £65. She told the council that she could not pay and offered to clear the debt over a 15 month period at £5 per month; the Council refused but offered here a further 14 days to pay at the reduced rate. She refused to pay. A warrant of control has been issued and passed to bailiffs to enforce and the debt has risen from £65 to £513 (to include bailiff fees of £310). PS: Please see the next post for a copy of the decision.
  12. Government moves towards a shake-up of broken housing complaints system READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-moves-towards-a-shake-up-of-broken-housing-complaints-system
  13. Government outlines next steps to make the UK the safest place to be online READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-outlines-next-steps-to-make-the-uk-the-safest-place-to-be-online
  14. Interesting article, but will it really make any difference: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42849443 https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?484535-Rogue-parking-companies-face-government-crackdown
  15. After the news in today's budget and the back tracking on certain UC policies it seems that if it CAN be done then WHY WASN'T IT IN THE FIRST PLACE? Originally, if you transfer from another benefit or a new claimant - NOT A PENNY FOR 6 WEEKS apart from an advance of 50% when claim approved Now: - No 7 day waiting period on new claims - Advance now full amount (not 50%) paid back over 12 months instead of 6 - Previous HB claimants now get 2 weeks grace on HB from their LA when claiming UC So all in all no waiting period and a 2 week HB grace and a cut in time for your first UC payment. Although still not great it is certainly better than before. So the question needs to be asked, and someone in power needs to ask it, WHY WAS THE INITIAL POLICY IN PLACE ALLOWED TO BE PASSED? I am certainly (as a new UC claimant from 2 weeks ago) going to contact my LA and ask the question whether I am entitled to this 2 weeks HB as what is classed as a 'new' claimant given todays budget news? Does it mean from today? last week? a month ago? define 'NEW' I am still £95.41pm worse off under UC than ESA and HB but I would not have been so ill or stressed knowing I had less of a wait and some HB to tide me over plus a full advance. Yes, UC has made claimants ill - I am one of them!
  16. The following is a copy of a very recent decision from the Local Government Ombudsman. This particular decision is a vitally important one as it refers to the correct procedure that should be followed if an individual has had his goods taken to settle another person's debt. In almost all cases, the goods in question would be a motor vehicle. PS: As the decision is very lengthly, I have split it into two separate posts. London Borough of Ealing (15 016 609) Summary: The Council’s enforcement agents were not at fault when they seized Mr X’s car to recover an outstanding penalty charge. But they failed to advise Mr X of his right to make a claim under the Civil Procedure Rules. The Council has agreed to take the steps recommended to remedy the injustice caused. The complaint The complainant, whom I shall call Mr X, complains that enforcement agents acting for the Council removed and eventually sold his car to pay for a debt which related to the previous owner. Mr X says he provided the Council and enforcement agents with proof he had bought the car in good faith but they did not accept it. Mr X would like the cost of the car refunded. He would also like the Council to reimburse him for the cost of possessions he lost when the enforcement agents seized the car and the hire car costs he has since incurred. The History The car referred to in this complaint was formerly owned by Mr Z – who previously lived at the same address as Mr X. The Council issued a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) to Mr Z. When Mr Z did not respond to the PCN, the Council obtained a court order which allowed its enforcement agents to recover the money owed. On 10 September 2016 the enforcement agents issued Mr Z with a Notice of Enforcement (NOE). This told him that enforcement action had started and gave him 14 days to settle the balance or agree a payment plan. Schedule 12 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (“the Act”) says that once enforcement agents issues an NOE, the goods of a debtor are “bound”. This means the debtor cannot sell them or give them away. But Schedule 12 of the Act says that if a person buys goods from a debtor which were bound, they can keep them if they can show they obtained the goods: in good faith;for valuable consideration (normally money but can be something else of value); andwithout knowing the belongings were bound. Mr Z did not respond to the NOE and on 28 September 2016 enforcement agents visited his home address. The car was parked outside his home address and the enforcement agents took control of the car. When enforcement agents take control of goods they are deciding which goods they can sell to meet the person’s debt. Once an enforcement agent takes control of goods they are known as “controlled goods”. Enforcement agents will not always remove controlled goods straight away. The enforcement agents posted an inventory to Mr Z’s home which said the car was now controlled goods. They also affixed a notice to the car. To stop the enforcement agents removing the car Mr Z needed to pay the outstanding debt. Mr Z did not respond and the enforcement agents returned to his home on 03 November 2015. They clamped the car and posted a letter to Mr Z asking him to make contact and settle the debt or they would remove the car. On 03 November 2015 Mr X emailed the enforcement agent. Mr X said he bought the car on 20 September 2015. Mr X provided a copy of a handwritten receipt for £3000 and a copy of the “New keeper’s details” section from the car’s V5C (its registration document). When someone buys a car they keep this section and the seller sends the rest of the V5C to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). The DVLA then issues a new V5C. Mr X also supplied an email confirmation from the DVLA which showed they had been notified using its online service that he was the registered keeper of the vehicle. The DVLA’s online service is relatively new. On 05 November 2015 the enforcement agents visited Mr Z’s home address and removed the car. The enforcement agents had not heard from Mr Z and they did not consider Mr X to have provided sufficient evidence he had bought the car. Mr X emailed the enforcement agents on the same day. He explained he had paid £3000 for the car on 20 September and had already spent £1100 on maintenance. Mr X gave them two days notice and said he would then be seeking legal advice. On 09 November 2016 the enforcement agents emailed Mr X. They set out the events to date and said that “The evidence you have provided to date is a handwritten receipt on a page out of a diary and the new keeper supplement for the logbook. Neither of these documents prove ownership of the vehicle.” The enforcement agents did not make reference to the email from the DVLA Mr X supplied. The enforcement agents also said “We notice the vehicle has remaining [sic] untaxed since 20/09/05, it is illegal to keep an untaxed car on a public highway.” The enforcement agents concluded by saying “we are satisfied that all you have done is changed the registered keeper with the DVLA to avoid seizure of the vehicle...As you live at the same address as Mr Z we strongly suggest you decide between you who will be setting the balance as the vehicle will be released to auction on 19 November 2015.” Mr X replied on the same day and said he had “instructed [his] solicitors to take this matter further.” On 19 November 2015 the enforcement agents emailed Mr X and explained they would sell the car at auction unless they received payment. They did not receive payment and the car was sold. In January 2016 Mr X complained to the Ombudsman. Because the Council had not considered Mr X’s concerns through its formal complaints process the Ombudsman asked it to do this. The Council provided formal responses to Mr X as follows: The Council was therefore satisfied the car was transferred while a warrant was held against it. If the car had been transferred at the beginning of September then the DVLA would have issued a V5C earlier than the beginning of December. If Mr X remained unhappy he could complain to the Ombudsman. Was there fault causing injustice? The Ombudsman is not an appeal body and does not retake decisions which were properly made by a Council (or parties acting on its behalf). The Ombudsman’s role is limited to checking if there was any fault in the way a council made a decision. If there was no fault or flaw, the Ombudsman may not, by law, intervene in the judgment reached by a Council. This is the case even where the Ombudsman may have given different weight to a piece of evidence or reached a different decision on the same facts. I do not consider the Council’s enforcement agents were at fault when they seized the car Mr X says he bought from Mr Z. This is because of the following: Mr X says he bought the car on 20 September 2015. This was after the enforcement agents issued the NOE and when the car became “bound”. The enforcement agents took control of the car on 28 September 2015 but Mr X did not contact them until 03 November 2015 when they clamped the car. Mr X showed the enforcement agents an undated handwritten receipt and an undated “change of keeper” section from the V5C. Mr X says he bought the car in good faith, for valuable consideration, and without knowing it was bound goods. Mr X also sent the enforcement agents an email from the DVLA showing he had told them he was now the registered keeper. I note the enforcement agents did not directly refer to this in their email dated 09 November 2015 – they simply mentioned the undated documents. But they did also say “we are satisfied that all you have done is changed the registered keeper with the DVLA to avoid seizure of the vehicle.” They also noted the vehicle was not taxed from 20 September 2015. A vehicle’s tax is automatically cancelled when the DVLA’s online system is used to register a change of keeper. I am therefore satisfied the enforcement agents did take into account all of the information provided by Mr X. But they did not consider Mr X to have provided enough supporting evidence that his purchase of the car was genuine. This was a decision they were entitled to take and meant they were entitled to seize the car. I also note that: Mr X did not provide the enforcement agents with any proof of insurance from 20 September 2015. Arranging insurance is normally the first thing a person does when they buy a new car. I asked Mr X about this and he said his insurance company needed a copy of the V5C before they could insure it. This is not normal practice. Mr X did not provide the enforcement agents with any evidence he had withdrawn money from the bank to pay for the car. As part of my investigation I asked Mr X about this. He said he borrowed the money from his brother and repaid it instalments. In response to my enquiries Mr X told me he sent the Council a revised V5C in late October / early November. The Council did not return it and so Mr X had to apply for a duplicate – this is why the V5C he has was issued in December. Mr X cannot provide proof he sent the V5C in late October / early November and the Council says it has no record of receiving the document. It is not possible for the Ombudsman to establish exactly what happened. Mr Z did not provide any evidence in support of Mr X’s case. Mr X sent me bank statements for October, November and December 2015. These show payments to the DVLA each month with a reference number which matches the car’s registration number. Mr X says these payments were for the car’s vehicle tax. But there is no evidence Mr X showed this evidence to the enforcement agents. For the reasons set out above I cannot uphold this part of Mr X’s complaint. This decision should not be seen as setting any precedent about what constitutes evidence of ownership. Each case should be considered based on the evidence provided and the particular circumstances of the case.
  17. People with problem debt could be given a six-week breathing space, the government has confirmed. It follows pressure from rebels in the House of Lords, who had threatened to vote down the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill later on Tuesday. They wanted the bill amended to include the breathing space idea. But the Treasury has now confirmed that help for those in debt will now be the subject of a consultation, and will become law by 2019. The concept had been promised in the Conservative party manifesto, and was mentioned in the Queen's Speech. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41732854
  18. Hurricane Irma: government response and advice READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/hurricane-irma-advice-for-british-nationals
  19. Hurricane Irma: government response and advice READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/hurricane-irma-advice-for-british-nationals
  20. In the main area of the forum a few days ago, a debate took place regarding a question from a member of the public regarding a letter that he has received from a firm of bailiffs in relation to a Liability Order granted 6 years earlier. The OP wanted to know whether the Liability Order was statute barred (which it is not). Another poster advised that a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman should be considered and that the LGO may likely make a finding of 'maladministration'. The following two LGO decisions would indicate that a complaint to the LGO would not amount to 'maladministration'. and furthermore that a Liability Order is not covered by the Limitations Act.
  21. Over the last few weeks, months I keep reading articles here and there about this. Glances really not looked at things in depth. Fish dying,mutated things like that. Radioactivity has spread to the coast of America things like that. Some say this is or should be massive news.Maybe it is but I have missed it. Anyone want to say anything, have articles a view, looked at this problem much more than I have. An article. Fukushima: Japanese Government Guilty Of Destroying Pacific Ocean. When you read things but do not know that much about something like this, it plays on your mind.You worry, wonder what the hell is happening. And if such a massive problem is out there how are they going to solve it. A few sentences out of the article. Link. http://countercurrentnews.com/2017/05/fukushima-japanese-government-guilty-of-destroying-pacific-ocean/
  22. A new trade analysis reveals the scale of Britain’s role in the international ivory trade Britain was the world’s largest exporter of legal ivory between 2010 and 2015, a breakdown of records held by the Convention on international trade in endangered species (Cites) has revealed. Not only did the UK export more ivory than anyone else to Hong Kong and China – which are considered smuggling hubs for “blood ivory” - it also sold on 370% more ivory than the next highest exporter, the USA. The new trade analysis, which is being released ahead of World Elephant Day on Saturday, will embarrass the government https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/10/uk-named-as-worlds-largest-legal-ivory-exporter Tories quietly ditch manifesto promise to ban bloodthirsty ivory trade that kills thousands of elephants a year Prince William has backed calls for a ban on ivory sales, saying he is “not prepared to be part of a generation that lets these iconic species disappear from the wild”. https://davidshepherd.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Letter-to-the-Telegraph.pdf committed to ‘press for a total ban on ivory sales’. But while we wait for them to act on it, since 2010 up to 200,000 elephants have lost their lives to the brutal ivory trade across Africa alone . The UK is trailing behind China, the USA and even war-torn South Sudan in taking domestic action to follow through on the manifesto pledges. China is honouring its pledge to end their domestic ivory trade in 2017. https://davidshepherd.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Letter-to-the-Telegraph.pdf Elevents - World Elephant Day Elephants have a special place in our hearts at Myakka and feature on a wide range of our designs, ... Date: World Elephant Day, Saturday, August 12, 2017 http://worldelephantday.org/events
  23. Why take any dispute to the Ombudsman , is it worth the trouble? For the 3 time of trying to post this reply but worth reading:- Rights of Entry (Gas and Electricity Boards) Act 1954, The Gas Safety (Rights of Entry) Regulations 1996 In a genuine dispute there are no rights of entry(i.e magistrates warrant issued), however I would also caution health and safety matters if its a gas leak. if electricity meter dispute The Electricity Act 1989, The Utilities Act 2000 Note schedule 7 of 1989 act and schedule 5 of 2000 Act, an electric meter cannot be removed until a dispute is resolved. I did provide links to laws but the post is not going through. Hope this helps you and others. Mike
  24. The following LGO decision (which was only released this week) is a vitally important one as it deals with a number of misconceptions and inaccurate advice regarding bailiff enforcement. For instance, this decision addresses the following misconceptions:
  25. This is another recent decision from the Local Government Ombudsman. This particular case addresses the common subject of single parents and whether or not they may be considered 'vulnerable' for the purposes of bailiff enforcement. There have been a couple of Ombudsman's decisions regarding 'vulnerability' and as in this particular case, the LGO confirm that it is for the debtor to provide evidence as to how their 'vulnerability' affects their ability to pay or deal with the debt. LGO Decision: North Hertfordshire District Council Miss X complains the Council has used bailiffs to try and collect a disputed council tax debt, even though she is vulnerable. The Ombudsman will not investigate the complaint as she has not seen any evidence of fault in the Council’s actions. The complaint 1 The complainant, who I shall call Miss X, complains via her MP that the Council has used bailiffs to try and recover a disputed council tax debt, despite her telling the bailiffs she is a vulnerable person. Back to top How I considered this complaint 4 I have considered Miss X’s complaint to us, the information her MP sent and the Council’s to Miss X’s complaint to it. Miss X has had the opportunity to comment, via her MP, on an earlier version of my final view. What I found 5 In 2010 the Magistrates’ Court granted the Council a liability order for a council tax debt it said Miss X owed. The Council passed the debt to its bailiffs in the same year. 6 Miss X disputed the debt, saying she should have received council tax benefit. The Council said she had made claim for backdated council tax benefit, but this was refused as it was outside the time limit for backdating benefit. 7 I note the points above as background, but I am not looking at why Miss X owes the debt as any complaint about her liability is be late, and the Ombudsman has previously considered a complaint about Miss X’s benefits. 8 In spring Miss X sent the bailiffs a ‘‘cease and desist’ notice saying as a single parent with a seven year old daughter she was a vulnerable person and the bailiffs should not be taking action to recover the debt. 9 The bailiffs wrote to Miss X asking for further information so they could assess her situation and decide how it affected her ability to pay. As Miss X did not send the information the bailiffs visited her twice later in the year. Miss X then complained to the Council about this. 10 In 2014 the Government issued National Guidance for Enforcement Agents. Paragraph 77 says - “Some groups who might be vulnerable are listed below. However, this list is not exhaustive. Care should be taken to assess each situation on a case by case basis.” 11 One of the groups listed who might be vulnerable are single parent families. 12 The Guidance is clear that if a debtor falls into the list the bailiffs must assess the individual case to see if they should take extra care in recovering the debt. Just because a debtor is a single parent does not, of itself, mean they are vulnerable. 13 The bailiff’s asked Miss X for more details of why she was vulnerable; she did not provide any information. So I cannot say the bailiffs were wrong to continue their recovery action. 14 I will not investigate Miss X’s complaint about the Council using bailiffs to recover a debt from a vulnerable person. Miss X did not send any other information to support her claim and the Council and bailiffs were not at fault to continue recovery action. http://www.lgo.org.uk/decisions/benefits-and-tax/other/16-010-888
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