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  1. Hi all. Today I received a letter detailing my arrears on my mortgage. Now Kensington have recently took over my mortgage from GE Money. GE sent a final letter to us a short while ago showing arrears of around £8000 (bad I know) but now Kensington have sent me a letter (received today) showing : Payment Arrears : £8946 Other : 0 Insurance Related Charges : 0 Fees and Security Related Charges : £4496 Total arrears : £13442 Does anyone know what the hell FEES AND SECURITY RELATED CHARGES are and can they add that much to an already heavy debt/burden? I dont know what this fee is for and they do not explain anywhere as to what is it for? As for as Im concerned, my arrears are £8946 and no more! We are paying are regular monthly payments as normal but trying to add a little extra each month to get the arrears down. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
  2. Hi there first time posting so please be gentle! I’ve worked for my current company for 10 years now and have a really good non sickness record and have never been in any disciplinary trouble. However on 27th April my employer stated and investigation into me and the team I was leading, after 2 investigation hearings I was suspended on 8th May. The company suspension policy recommends 5 working days suspension however I was suspended a lot longer, finally on the 17 working day The stress got to much for me and contacted HR and asked them for an update, 2 days later I got an invite to a disciplinary. The day before my disciplinary I finally cracked and called the sick line with work related stress and got into my doctors a few days later who signed me off for 2 weeks. My employer emailed me to ask if they could contact me yesterday and that call never came despite me looking at my phone all night however they have called tonight. My emplyer asked how I was but then quickly started to put pressure on me by wanting to know when I would be fit to attend the disciplinary, I stated I have the doctors tomorrow and I would keep him updated as per the absence policy which I have followed to the T but stated I didn’t feel mentally ready at the moment to even look at the evidence against me and I felt I needed to be in a better state of mind to fight this accusation (Gross misconduct charge). I want to fight this and don’t want it dragging on any longer than need be but I have only been off sick less than 2 weeks surely they can’t be pressuring me like this without even getting a occupational health report on me? Sorry for going on but my questions are. 1) Can I be dismissed while off with GP’s note through work related stress? 2) Has my employer acted reasonable in all of this, given the amount of stress it has put on me? Many thanks Bob
  3. Hope this is the right spot for this .. . my first visit - first time I've been threatened with a court action, too - scary! In June of this year I cancelled my gym membership - no valid medical reason - we just weren't going. I had been a member for a couple of years but - and guys no laughing! Swimming three times a week was wrecking my hair.. .. okay you're allowed to laugh a little but just quietly please I went to my bank (Barclays) and instructed them to cancel my direct debit. They did. At least - they told me it was cancelled. They helpfully advised me to let the gym know. Soon as I got home I phoned the gym (Virgin Active at the time) and explained I was cancelling - life too busy etc etc... and they asked me to let them know in writing and said an email would be fine. I emailed them that same day - expaining I was cancelling my membership and had stopped the direct debit. Job jobbed. I thought. Didn't hear back from them so I presumed it was fine. Meanwhile - and this may/may not be significant? Virgin Active sells out to David Lloyd Clubs) Didn't look at my bank satement very carefully until a couple of months later - (I know, I know shocking... what can I say??? ) and it was then I noticed that the gym payments were still going out. Puzzled and miffed I went to the bank. They checked. yes, the direct debit was cancelled but the company that took over Virgin active - namely David Lloyd - had started up the direct debit again. I had no idea they could do that! So - nice bank lady said not to worry - they would sort it out - the money would go back into my account, they would block David Lloyd from taking money out of my account (sheesh that's still a scary thing to type) - but she says - if I ever want to go back to the gym I would have to unblock David Lloyd in order for them to take money for a direct debit - as if that is likely to happen after the way they conduct business! The story continues. Few weeks later I get a phone call from a company called Arc Europe accusing me of being two months behind in my gym membership payments. Argh. I take a deep breath and explain that I have cancelled my membership with Virgin Active. .. explained bank/phone call to gym/ email notification to gym, thank you please don't contact me again. Phhht no good - phone calls text messages, threatening letter - pay up or else you'll go to court and your credit rating will be affected. ... blah blah blah oh and by the way we have added some admin fees.... ! And then this morning an even scarier letter from Major Law solicitors - wanting even more money and how it will be easier and cheaper if I pay now..... lawd..... What do I do? I'm rubbish at paperwork... no idea where my original conract is with Virgin Active... . and I have deleted the email I sent to them confirming I was cancelling my gym membership. Sorry this turned into a ramble. Any one got any advice? Going to see someone at the bank today - maybe a letter from them confirming when I actually cancelled the direct debit will help? Cheers
  4. I have been on work related ESA for about a year or so, my adviser has been pusihing me to volunteer at a charity shop and I have. But it isn't my anxiety that's effecting me. I have trapped wind(very painful and makes me sick) so had a blood test and was diagnosed with a failing thyriod, no medication given yet. When I first went onto ESA before the interview to determine where I go, I wrote down trapped wind. But was not allowed to put that down on my sick note. With my thyriod problem it has casued me to suffer from on/off depression, I have anxiety which makes me sick. I am due for another blood test for diabetes as my blood sugar was high last week. I didn't know that my thyriod was the reason why I am always tired and sometimes depressed. Can I add these to my ESA claim? My adviser thinks anxiety is curable and I should get over it. Not in that way, but she thinks I'm ready to work. I have never worked and I never pass an interview.
  5. Friend built up congestion charge debt as (stupidly) he didn't change the address for his van when he split from his wife - she just threw any correspondence for him in the bin. Bailiffs called to enforce debt. Only real asset was work van that had finance outstanding. Bailiffs said that they were taking control of van, finance company were called and said they could not. He kept the van. Problem is the van will be paid off in a couple of months and he is worried that the Bailiffs will then return to take control. What is the situation around this. Don't have any paperwork to hand as friend works away during the week so will not be able to see anything until the weekend.
  6. hi does anyone know much about this, how does it work re switching. apparently some suppliers may or may not accommodate? have read that such (econ 7) meters wld be treated as one and the same re invoicing even though there are 2 meters with different MPAN's. ie one supply charge (not one for each meter), and one rate, for both as if one meter. but, one supplier says that each meter will attract its own supply/standing charge? anyone any info. thanks.
  7. Morning, This morning, some one has called to my house and attempted to get in. I was letting the dogs out, and there was a knock on the door. So, trying to sort them out and get them back in takes a while, they are big bouncy dogs. Anyway as I am trying to get them in, there is a man with a photo id around his neck and some sort of ipad in his hands, after the first knock he was shouting 'hello is there anyone in there, pretty loud and constantly, also looking through the kitchen window. I could see him from the garden. As I got into the house I could see the handle on my front door going up and down, so he was on the other side trying to let himself in it seems. Because of this I did not answer the door and stayed in the hallway. He was there for about 20 minutes knocking and shouting hello, is anyone there. Now there is a debt I paying to Lowell monthly via standing order, it has just started but the payment has gone through to them on 1st Dec. I do have another debt which is outstanding with them but I am not in a position to sort that out for at least a couple of months so I am ignoring that for now until I can pay it off - silly I know, but I will sort it out (no threats of CCJ though from anyone currently) I just wondered, is this a debt company? It cannot be a bailiff because I have not been taken to county court by anyone, or could it be the DWP? I cannot understand the person trying to gain access to my house. If my door was not locked he would have been in here and that scares me a lot. No card was put through the door so I have no idea what this is and I am a little worried. I am in receipt of ESA and HB so do wonder if DWP, but still, would they just try to open my front door and walk in?
  8. What happened was I have aspergers and my support worker to claim a SMI ( severe mental impairment) for council tax exemption. I took it to the doctor and she stamped the letter but she reworded it moderate instead of severe, but . My local council tax office said something about because of severe disability premium, ESA support group and h rate care l rate mobility means I still qualify , then I phoned the city council tax call Center they disagreed, my local one says they not specialists and she asked her council tax practitioner she agreed again that I still qualify. But nobody will tell me there details of how you get a severe mental impairment council tax exemption if it's only moderate
  9. My job as a roadside tech ( recovery driver ) is a Monday to Friday 10am till 8pm once a week I cover a night shift from end of my day shift 8pm till 8am the following day then start my day shift again at 10am Long hours I know and the night shift or being on call out as its known is unpaid unless im actually called out to a job then im paid by the hour at overtime rate from job start to job finish usually 1 or 2 hours. The call outs are sent via a night controller who sends me the jobs by SMS to my mobile phone, the night controller is as expected paid to take the jobs and relate them to me and answer calls from customers, my issue is my boss as mentioned he is considering diverting the phones direct to my mobile and therefore not having to pay someone else to control the night shift as I myself would be taking calls from customers and accepting jobs as do other members of staff when its their turn to cover the nights but as like them I am expected to do this without pay myself. I did actually ask my boss how much he is paying me if I was to do this his reply was nothing its part of the job, now I may be stupid at times but I'm guessing that if I'm answering the works phone calls from customers after my day shift as ended then I'm actually working overtime during that phone call and therefore would i be correct in assuming i should be paid to do this ? cheers to all replies M
  10. I have been bullied at work by a colleague and raised a grievance. The meeting is next week which is making me very anxious and panicky. I signed off for anxiety and stress at work, informing my line manager that I will stay out of work until the meeting, because the stress is affecting my mental health. The absence will be less than five days. My manager's manager insists that I have to call in every day. I checked the Sick Leave Policy and there is only mention of keeping in touch, nothing about a sick employee calling the office every day. Is this allowed?
  11. I think i've found the answer (as usual jobcentre didn't follow proper protocol) but to help others i'll post some links. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/473426/admu4.pdf Page 4 seems to say that i am exempt from any work related requirements due to being a carer. On page 9 claimants who must attend WFI but are not subject to WRA are dealt with separately. From https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/advice-for-decision-making-staff-guide https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/224561/response/568813/attach/html/9/07%20Post%20Work%20Programme%20Support.pdf.html The above details what happens after completing the work programme (NJWFI is the appointment you will likely have had after first being awarded ESA, linked at bottom). Take away is that voluntary claimants (those exempt from WFI and WRA) don't need to attend the completer appointment that follows the work programme (may be another request to attend within 26 weeks). Participation is PWPS remains voluntary in any case. 30. For purposes of Post Work Programme Support voluntary claimants are:  Support Group  Credits Only  Full Time Carers  Lone Parents with a youngest child under one  Claimants at or over the age at which they are eligible to receive Pension Credit  Claimants awaiting their initial WCA outcome  Claimants appealing a WCA decision that they have no LCW i.e. disallowed ESA  IB claimants NJWFI link: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/224561/response/568813/attach/html/6/04%20Conducting%20the%20NJWFI.pdf.html
  12. I have heard mixed details about this matter. The Student Finance information seems to indicate that as the loan is only for fees, and paid to the college, it is not counted as income but my friend has been told otherwise. Can anyone point me to specific information showing definitive answer please.
  13. Hi Everyone. I would really appreciate your input on this issue. I just received a Default Costs Certificate from Chester County Court. The letter was redirected from our old address in Wales (we have now lived in the South East of England for the last 3 years). The letter states: "As you have not raised any points of dispute on the claimant's bill of costs, the costs of the claim have been allowed and the total sum of £604.85 is now payable. You must pay this amount to the claimant within 14 days from the date of this order (1 June 2015)." Now, this is the first time I hear of any claim in my name, and I have not received any bills of costs before (we were renting house in Wales, and current tenants do not forward any letters to us, so it was the first one in 3 years). I have no idea what the original claim was about, and I can only guess that it was related to a small traffic accident I was in in 2011. In 2011, I ran into another car at small speed at a roundabout, and both parties reported this to our insurers. I lost 2 years of my no claim due to that, and I thought it was finished then, and that any possible (minor bodywork) repair costs would be absorbed by the insurer. The payee on the Costs Certificate is Oracle Cost Consultants in St Helens, who I guess a "no win, no fee" company. Perhaps, the other party has applied for the personal injury claim without my knowledge. My questions: 1. If I did not receive the claimant's bill of costs, is this costs certificate legal? What are the consequences for not paying it? 2. What do I do to find out what exactly the claim was about: call Chester County Court, or call Oracle Cost Consultants, or even my car insurer? 3. If it is indeed that accident related, why may I be liable rather than my insurance company? 3. What do you suggest I do going forward to resolve the issue? The date on the costs certificate is 1 June 2015, however I only received it on my current address today - 24th June. As the payment was due within 14 days, it is now overdue. I am confused and puzzled as to what this is and what I do with it. In case this is not the right sub-forum for my question, please do let me know too. Many thanks, Sasha
  14. My friend received two letters on Saturday. He has been in the support group for a while, and was awaiting the outcome of an ATOS assesment. Letter 1 told him he had been moved and has lost the support elemen of his money and Letter 2 tells him that he has a Mandatory Work Interview this Thursday, at the local jobcentre. I am not going to try and deal with an appeal myself, (too much has changed and too much is at stake for people if I cock up as a non-professional). I am going to refer him to a local disability charity that helps with these things. Quite well apparently, for a small fee. Anyway, whilst I get on with doing that could anyone tell me this, if we write immediately stating we wish to appeal this decision, does he still have to attend this appointment on Thursday? I would hand deliver a letter to the person he is supposed to see enclosing proof of his appeal (Mandatory Reconsideration). And also whilst he is being reconsidered/appealing, will they still dock the support element of his money? He is not well enough to attend the JC. He has just registered with a new GP who specialises with his problem , but has yet to see him. I am also a bit concerned that by appealing he might lose his money entirely and be forced onto JSA,in which case that will be the end of him as he cannot function like we do. Any comments on this especially welcome. I am told that this is rare, but can happen. Many thanks for reading.
  15. THE CO-OPERATIVE BANK PLC ran an "Identification: Generic Check" on Experian. Do they do this for all transferred Britannia accounts or should I be concerned? I have not applied for any products from them. The only Co-op product I have is an old Britannia Building Society savings account with a very small balance that was transferred to them during the merger and I haven't even updated the passbook for a couple of years as it's only a few pence interest.
  16. I had a visit last week from a compliance officer, I'm worried because, although I've done nothing wrong, I don't understand the full process. Could anyone offer any advice on this as I need to be sure about whats going on before my next fact finding visit. Thanks in advance
  17. I have been in the same job at the same place for 10 years. In 2011 I was diagnosed with work related stress/depression and was signed off for several months. I did return to work on a phased return but did experience some harassment from my boss and after a year or so the problems flared back up and I was signed off for about a month with work related stress/anxiety/depression. Again I came back on a phased return and I insisted on completing an individual stress risk assessment where I listed some of the factors that contribute to the problems. I had one meeting to discuss tge assessment with my line manager this was 18 months ago. Since then there has been no follow ups at all. However i have made it plain that I have been struggling with issues (that were stated as stressors in the IRSA) yet nothing has been done even though it could have easily been. In fact i went to see the senior manager and expressed that I was having problems but was told that anyone not coping in this way would be failing the standards expected and could face a capability proceeding. Since then things gave come to a head and last week I was removed from one of my duties without consultation due to believed failings that are I believe due to problems stated as stressor in the risk assessment that have not been addressed or revisited in the past 18 months. On Monday I was informed informally by my line manager (the union regional rep) that I was likely to be fired. I became seriously stressed having oanic attacks etc by this and texted a colleague at 3am that I felt like topping myself. They told senior managers and they contacted me to tell me to not come in and see my GP whicb I am about to do. I am at the end of my tether and do not know what to do I feel completely unsupported. What was the point of the risk assessment if it is to be ignored like this.? This is a public sector post BTW
  18. So this is an unsual one on behalf of my sisters boyfriend. Recently, he left his job because he found better employment elsewhere. The job he was in required a months notice. He advised his employers on the Thursday that he would be leaving on the Friday-not 4 weeks notice, but his new job started the following Monday, and quite frankly, its a fact of life that sometimes your new job means you cant work your notice. Unfortunate, but sometimes unavoidable. He told the secretary, who advised that the boss would not be happy, and indeed he was not. He told the person in question to "f**k off and leave now). So basically, he was instructed to leave the premesis by the boss, who had taken offence. I think my sisters boyfriend was quite expecting them to refuse to pay him, because he hadnt worked his notice. I also think he was prepared to accept that as the price of getting out of a job he didnt like, as he would be getting paid from his new job and wouldnt be any worse off for that month. However it hasnt worked out like that. The previous employer, who has never been the mostpleasant of employers, has sent him a letter demanding around £1000 for a previous incident. A response was written politely declining to pay this money, and since then a letter has been sent by the companies solicitor giving the person in question 7 days to pay, or else face court action. The issue is however, that the £2000 he is requesting, is related to an incident that happened during his employment that bares some detailed description. Prior to Christmas last year, my sisters boyfriend was using a piece of machinery that caused damage to company property. The company said to their employee that he should pay £600 (30% of the repair costs), and they would pay the rest, rather than going through the companies public liability insurance. The alternative was that the company would claim, and they would charge their employee the £2000 excess fee. Naively perhaps, he agreed to this, because it was just before Christmas and didnt want to rock the boat and possibly lose his job. He undoubtedly felt pressured into this and agreed arguably under duress. However, this strikes me as extremely dubious practice by the employer? Surely they have public liability insurance for precisely these kind of accidents, and surely they cannot justifiably demand their employees pay the excesses of their own insurance claims? Regardless, this is what they did, and the full £2000 is apparently what the former employer is rather vindictively demanding back, seemingly out of nothing but spiteful annoyance that he didnt work his notice. If this was to end up in a small claims court, would it stand up? Would my sisters boyfriend have a reasonable case to counter-claim against the company for pressuring him into paying even the £600 when they should have gone through their public liability insurance? How do you suggest he responds to this? Thanks
  19. Hi CAG, Wondering if I could get a little bit of advice here on what I should do and where to start. I've been claiming income related ESA since the 8th of April 2014 and on the 26th September 2014 I had my ATOS assessment. This week the DWP/ESA have decided and placed me in the Work Related Activity group (Yay - I think?). Well they have put me in the group from the 26th September 2014 and told me that I will be back paid from the 26th September not the 14th week of my ESA claim like it says on there website None of my circumstances have changed between the 8th of April and today so I see no reason why I should be penalised for the long wait time for my assessment. Thanks CAG...
  20. Hi, I just wondered whether anybody can help me with this. I am in the Support Group of ESA and I am also in receipt of both the care component and mobility component of PIP. I received a letter today from my local job centre saying I have to attend a work-focused interview with a view to helping me back into employment. I telephoned them to ask what it was for and why I was being called in for a work-focused interview whilst in the Support Group and they said it is because there is a new advisor at the job centre and she is calling people in “for a chat, just to get to know them”. As far as I’m aware the DWP don’t call you in for a chat, just to get to know you. I’m really worried now that they’re going to try to force me into work or sanction me because I’m not capable of working. They said on the phone I had to attend or it will affect my benefits. Anybody any ideas why this might have happened and what I can do about it?
  21. I am a 62 year old man,who has osteoarthritis in my cervical spine and most other joints.After a recent ATOS medical,I seemed to be cured of my incureable illness with a stroke of a pen and was placed on W.R.A.G. I then attended an interview in my local Job centre and was told to appeal as i was to Old and unreliable to get a job.I have appealed and they sent me another form to fill in since then nothing. Surely they should put an age limit on these ATOS medicals. I for one would dearly like to get back to work however i am a realist. If the Government want people of my age and condition to work then at least support us until we get work.
  22. Hi All Does anyone have a list or can point me to a website that can advise on what things are classed as work related activity please? My adviser is not being very helpful and just wants me to sign up to the work program which I don't feel I'm able for. I got a breather for a few weeks there as I was going through CBT but she keeps booking WFI's for me every 2 weeks...She knows the jobcentre freaks me out and she's like "well if you don't sign up for the WP you'll just have to keep coming here" ... Next week will be my 5th one in 3 months. So I'm trying to find stuff on my own to do that will help my mental health and won't hurt me physically to "satisfy the rules" of receiving my benefit. I feel this was the threat of a sanction when she said this. I'm still on the waiting list for CMHT and CPN etc...I don't think she realises the extent of my illnesses. Thanks
  23. i need a list of legal documents related to debt recovery legislations that i can read to defend myself in court. both for non statute barred debts and statute barred debts. only post on the thread if you are not going to patronize and address the question directly.
  24. Hi, I'm after some advice, as I'm really confused about my ESA. I received a letter a couple of weeks ago telling me of the benefit changes that will be happening in April, and at the end of the letter was a breakdown of how my money is worked out. They've referred to it as income related, but then at the end there is a top up of a couple of pounds, so that I'm not worse off than I was before, which is described as contribution based. I don't understand how I can get contribution based, because I've never paid any NI contributions because I've been ill and on sickness benefits since I turned 16. Does anyone know where I stand with being able to get free prescriptions etc? Because for as long as I can remember I've been getting low income certificates each year in order to get help with health costs, and I'm just filling out the form to apply for a new one, and it says on the front that if you're on income based esa, you don't need to apply. Then obviously I got the letter about the change in benefits, and it's just confused me loads. Since the majority of my esa is income based, do I just put that? Thanks in advance.
  25. http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2013/12/27/loss-of-benefits-killed-my-partially-sighted-brother/
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