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  1. Hi I have an old debt from a previous address - I'm not really querying the debt but there are some interesting and challenging and frustrating issues around it. I contacted my LA in the summer to clear off all my outstanding council tax debts. I had come into some money and wanted to end the saga. I asked them to give me a figure for all the outstanding debts. They gave me one amount which I paid. Subsequently my wife - same address - received a set of letters asking for payment of another amount. Now, I was amiss to not challenge this at the time but I genuinely thought it was an oversight as I had asked for all amounts to be included when I paid in the summer. Turns out my wife's is a separate amount that they would not have included at the time of the large payment because of the Data Protection act. This amount has now gone to Bristow and Sutor. I called the LA and asked them to repatriate the debt internally in order to avoid BS costs and they refused to do so. I complained that as I had acted in good faith towards them in the summer by clearing all outstanding debts it would be reasonable for them to do the same for me now. It fell on deaf ears. More to the point Bristow and Sutor were demanding £54 weekly to clear their debt (now compounded to £650 from the original £570 owed to the LA). I told them I can't afford that amount and they eventually reduced the weekly amount to £36. I can't really afford this either but the BS rep told me I had no right to a minimum payment as the debt was legally enforceable. Is there anything I can do? Mike. Thanks
  2. Hi, I’m giraffes and you may remember me from a post I made back in 2011, when my GPs wrongly took me off their patient list. I got nowhere, but spent over £600 in disbursements. Despite that, here I go again… This time my problem is similar to that of davey1309 (28th July 2014) whose brother hijacked his inheritance. My mother became mentally incapable due to dementia about 1998. My eldest brother (“EB”) obtained power of attorney to conduct Mam’s affairs. I have another older brother, “OB”. Mum died in January 2014, leaving no will. EB assumed responsibility for making her funeral arrangements, and did a bit of “tidying up” of her affairs. He did not apply for letters of administration because the value of the estate was (apparently) comparatively small. I told EB Mum did not want to be put in the same grave as her husband; our father (“Pop”), despite which, EB interred Mum’s remains there anyway. When EB sought the consent of OB and me to place a tombstone for Mum, I made my consent conditional upon his inscribing it additionally to mark Pop’s burial in the same place. EB abandoned the placing of any tombstone and later wrote me that I had withheld my consent to a tombstone for Mum. In addition, although OB and I had consented to his obtaining a transfer of a relatively small sum of money that he had said he would share out, he never mentioned it again and left it where it was. By August 2014, there was still no marker on the grave, so I wrote to the Probate Registry to ask if I could be granted letters of administration over the right to erect a tombstone and the aforesaid small sum to finance the project. The Probate Office’s arm’s length reply was very sniffy, so I took it to be a refusal, and applied for and was granted the administration of the whole of Mum’s estate. That obviously comes with responsibilities, which included answering to the Department for Work and Pensions (“DWP”) in the matter of the amounts, in life-changing proportions, that EB had already distributed to OB, me and himself. The DWP wanted to know where all that money came from. EB had merely told me it was “the residue of Mum’s unused pension”. The DWP told me that if I did not disclose where the money had been kept, they would treat it as if it had been fraudulently secreted, instead of being declared, whenever Mum had applied for means tested benefits. They would deem the estate in debt to them on that basis. They have since decided that is the case. In the meantime, I have written several times to EB but he has been extremely reluctant to cooperate in the supply of relevant information. In the course of that correspondence, EB has disclosed a number of assets, which, however, he had not mentioned in the preceding months. He had kept back a “contingency fund for unexpected debts”, but had written me he was sure nothing was left owing after he had “tidied up”. He had also retained a fund “for the tombstone”, but still had access to the small sum he had promised to distribute but had abandoned. He has now offered to transfer those funds - again of considerable proportions - into the administrator account I opened, but describes them as “the residue of Mum’s pension” - a description he is using for the second time. The accounting he cobbled together for this money is nonsensical, and bereft of a single original supporting document. While claiming it is a transfer of all the money left in the account, he refuses to turn over the pass book to me. At the very least, it is plain that when EB sent me money and stated it was “1/3 of Mum’s unused pension”, his subsequent words show that was not true. Finally, he has also revealed the existence of a life insurance policy, but he is keeping the policy documents. I have also made enquiries of third parties. My mother’s pension had been paid into a high end credit card account in EB’s name. EB was fairly frugal in his spending on Mum’s needs (she was “locked in” by her dementia), so over the past 16 years, he was in a position to invest and re-invest the balance remaining from the payment of her State Pension and Pension Credit. When I tried to obtain my mother’s credit report, I was asked questions for security purposes that centred on the identity of certain financial transactions including a newly taken-out mortgage. Naturally, I could not answer the questions so I could not obtain the report, but I am suspicious that these transactions have been made in her name. Can anybody please tell me, what are my powers as the estate administrator, can I take my brother to court on the basis of a suspicion that he is withholding estate assets from me and OB, what is the class of the action, and what is the law that applies?
  3. http://www.oft.gov.uk/news-and-updates/press/2013/07-13#.UPkjP2eVCtM
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