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    • 12+2 working days.   a dca can't hurt you credit file any more anyway.   only the original creditor can issue and register a default, on or before the sale of the debt.   what the dca put in the calendar section is immaterial as only you and them can see it it does not extend the 6yrs period whereby the debt shows on your file and after which the 6th defaulted date's birthday causes the whole file to removed regardless to paid or not, paying or not......makes no odds. it still goes, but might still be owed mind, depending upon the contents of the CCA return.   dx  
    • Hello   I agree with dx100uk.   Send them a CCA request which is a request for them to produce the original agreement that gives rise to the debt.  They have a limited amount of time (I think around fifteen days) to send you the document.   Here are the possible follow-ons from that:   1. They don't respond within 15 days and so you are legally entitled to stop paying until they do send a response. 2. They send a letter saying they have gone back to the original creditor to ask for the document and they need more time.  You (legally) stop paying after fifteen days and don't pay them again until they send proof. (This is the most likely first response as they wont have any of your documentation as they bought your debt as part of 1000 others on a spreadsheet on a CD ROM or USB stick). 3. They send you something that looks like a contract or which might be something else that they want you to think is the contract within the time frame.   After either of the above  whatever they send you should be referred back here for an assessment as they will often send you unsigned documents or made up bits of nonsense.  Even if the contract turns out to be the genuine one it still might not be enforceable due to errors made by the creditor at the time of signing.   The only potential downside to the above is that they could try to damage your credit record but probably it is as much damaged as it can be by this debt already so nothing else they can do will make it worse.   Following on from the above you can continue to not pay them.  I would setup an on-line savings account and pay yourself the money instead which has the advantage of creating a resource in case you need to resume payments in the future.   They may send you further letters either inducing you to resume payments by threat or by offering you a deal.  If the document is not valid then the only deal you need to take is the one you unilaterally entered into at T plus 15 days when you agreed with yourself not to pay them another penny.   It is not impossible that they will send you a letter saying the debt is unenforceable (miraculously I have actually seen one!) and asking you to pay anyway which you will of course ignore as you should not be giving any member of this low life industry any encouragement.  
    • I agree and I've no doubt that will happen in the future, but if a court claim is issued and a ccj successfully registered against the debtor then it will never be sb anyway, so are we more likely to see more court claims in the future ?      Can it not work both way though, if the sb date is ultimately aligned to the date of the default notice, essentially giving the creditor 6 years to collect or issue a court claim then regardless of when the debt was last acknowledged / payment made, a debtor could just tell the creditor to eff off after the 6 years is up, figuratively speaking     
    • Received acknowledgement of defence submission from court. VCS now have the option of continuing their claim or not. Watch this space !!!!
    • Yes it doesn't work HB  In Wales someone needed a test on a Sunday, the testing station at Llandudno Hospital was closed, so they could either go to Manchester, 75 miles, or Cardiff 200 miles and a 10 hour round trip.   But as Manchester is England no guarantee on getting test results.
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mumto5

Problems with my council and rent

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After housing benefit took months to sort out my claim and refused to pay etc 5 months elapsed and I was suddenly in arrears ( long story). Council took me to court and I have to pay £3.25 per week - that's fine. But now I am in need of a larger house and they refuse to even let me go onto the waiting list for a larger property because of the rent arrears is there anything I can do to win my argument of why I need a larger property?

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Can I add I was self employed and jobcentre assured me I would be entitled to full housing benefit but benefits took into account my child care element as income not deducting it as I had to pay childcare so said I earned too much - The minute I stopped working and went back onto full benefit housing benefit was paid. Was the only way to stop anymore arrears piling up !!!!!

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Yeah, this is a tricky one. The Council will 99% of the time refuse to allow you to move if you have arrears. It is also one of the few valid reasons they have to prevent you from doing an exchange (assignment). So, unless the house burns down, or some other great event, then no you won't be moving anytime soon. But keep paying those payments, because this is not cut and dried by any means, and if they can see a year down the line that you have stuck to the agreement, they might view things more favourably.

 

However, sometimes social circumstances can mean that a family HAS to move, despite rent arrears. Are you able to tell us why you need to move? What property are you in now and what property do you need and why? Because, there is always in the LA Housing Sector, a social panel or something of that kind. This is comprised of professionals who will hear extraordinary cases of needing to move and decide whether that can happen despite rent arrears. It has to be something very serious really. If you care to post up what the problem is, I'll tell you exactly what the social panel would say! here's an exagerated example for you - no legs, 10th floor, no lift - yes, priority. 10 children, 1 bed flat, yes priority. OAP alone in 4 bed house - yes priority. However, 10 children, 2, 3 or 4 bed house, no priority - too many people in same situation. Depressed by accommodation? No chance! In fear of your life? possible priority if the police say so. So you get the idea!

 

Also, your LA should allow you onto the transfer list, and if they still use points then you should get your points, its just that if a property comes up for you, you can't have it! But it won't always be like that, so you need to be on that list for a time when you are rent arrears free and can be made an offer. If its the new bidding system, then you should still be able to bid, but they will just keep refusing you, but you should still get on the list, because the length of time you are waiting all counts towards getting somewhere in the end, whether points or bidding.

 

Post back if you need anymore help, and good luck.

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This is the email I sent to the housing officer -

 

Denise ,

I have received the housing application form but am a little unsure on where I stand as I have an outstanding amount of rent arrears , not threw my own doing can I add but a mix up with housing benefit, I am paying weekly to reduce these.

At the moment I am living with my partner and 5 children in a 3 bed roomed property.

I am aware that there are not many 4 bed roomed properties which is why I am asking for my application despite the arrears that I be accepted onto the housing waiting list as I know it could take a long time for a property to become available.

I am not sure about the private sector as we are both on benefits we are no way in a position to be able to afford a private rental. We could not even find the funds for a bond or months rent so that would not be advisable for us.

We are suffering with greatly with the lack of space .

 

My partner has recently been assessed under the mental health crisis team and as a result is on medication and seeing a counsellor as he is in a very bad mental state , this also affects his physical health as he is type 1 diabetic. His depression and anxiety has been brought on by the lack of contact he is allowed to have with his 3 children from his previous relationship. We have contacted a solicitor to act on his behalf to try to resolve this situation but we have been informed that a CWO Court Welfare Officer will visit us at home to make sure we are suitable to have the children come stay with us.

Unfortunately this will go against us for the following reasons -

 

I have 3 children from my previous relationship - Girl aged 10 years - Girl aged 7 years and Boy aged 6 years

Matt & I also have 2 children together Girl aged 13 months and Boy aged 2 months All 5 children live with us.

But Matt has 1 daughter aged 13 years from one relationship and 2 children girl aged 10 years and boy aged 6 years from another relationship. His 3 children have never met each other nor have ever met my children , so to expect them all to share a bedroom would cause great distress to all concerned.

 

We are hoping to have them each weekend and school holidays and as often as we can but at the moment have no extra space for them to stay , this will of course be noted and go against my partner's fight to access.

His mental state is really being affected by this and he is desperate to have his children become part of our family , he was stopped from seeing them due to him moving here with me and having children with me/He moved from s****horpe where his eldest daughter lives and his other 2 children now live in Scotland so we are not in a position to be able to have them just for the day , they would need to stay over.

 

We have enough problems with the house being overcrowded without adding the extra 3 children on.

My eldest daughter is struggling with school work due to lack of sleep as her 13 month old sister wakes her 2-3 times per night , this coupled with sharing also with her 7 year old sister gives her no free space to be able to complete her homework in peace and her school work is suffering greatly. She has no privacy and has become argumentative almost resenting her siblings. My daughter is emotionally distressed and the school has informed me she is extremely upset and showing signs of depressive episodes , she has also spoken of suicide , asking if she died could she come back as a different person.She also asks to live with my family and friends , just to have her own space.

 

My 7 year old daughter has become very aggressive to her elder sister and younger brother 6 years ( who sometimes she shares a bed with so her eldest sister can have a friend stay over at weekends).

 

My son aged 6 has become extremely aggressive at home due to lack of sleep when we have to switch bedrooms and sleeping patterns to adjust to everyone getting some form of sleep or a bed for the night and this has now become a problem at school.

I have had to have a school educational psychologist assess him in the classroom and the results are sickening. He is well behind with his school work and the teachers are very much concerned , I am at this moment waiting for an appointment to discuss whether counselling for the children with be a benefit to them.

 

I come from a sever domestic violence ex relationship that lasted throughout the children's lives , they were subjected to this daily for all their lives , this has made them extremely sensitive and past issues are destroying their confidence and ability to move forward. The children have since had to move home to where we are now from a large 4 bed roomed house where they each had a room and plenty of space to let off steam and had to change schools and move into a much smaller house , added with the fact that a new man is now part of their lives and they now have 2 added siblings , then 3 others yet to meet.

It has become a living nightmare.

The 2 girls especially have asked to go and live with their father in the hope they can have their own bedroom , this I can not allow to happen due to his past violence with them , he has supervised access at the moment. An injunction was in place for 12 months this has now run out but I want you to be aware of the seriousness. Also social services advised me if this was allowed to happen they would strongly be involved. But I have to take into account the need my children have.

 

My partner due to his health does not sleep very well and he is up and down all night pacing the floors , this results in myself getting no sleep coupled with him waking our 8 week old baby or 13 month old baby and them then waking and crying which then wakes the older children. We have had to put our 13 month old daughter in with the 2 other girls due to lack of space to fit a cot and the baby waking every 3 hrs for a feed from waking her each time. We spend most of our time swapping and changing rooms around to try and fit everyone in. I am not able to rely on my partner for support as he is mentally unstable and he can not deal with stress at the moment and I am finding it all rather hard. Lack of sleep is proving the biggest issue.

I am not able to sleep downstairs very well as I am scared that Matt (my partner) may hypo during the night and need sugar as his diabetes is well out of control due to the mental health issues i.e. - he not eating while he has to inject insulin 3 times per day with food. He talked 4-9 hypos per day and these happen during the night also and if he needs sugar I have to make sure he takes it. If I am downstairs I fear I would not hear him.

I also have kidney problems as my right kidney has stopped functioning, which proves extremely painful and trying to get comftable on a sofa is not ideal. This is being investigated and hopefully can be rectified with surgery.

 

I am at my wits end and I know the arrears are going to prove a problem but I can assure you I am trying my hardest to pay them back. I only can advise you of our situation and hope we can be accepted to go onto the housing list.

 

I am not sure how much longer I can go on like this . I am struggling to cope with it all and desperately need to find a larger property so we can all have some breathing space. I myself had a nervous breakdown 2.5 years ago and I am terrified the stress will bring back my own health problems , which as you can see I can not afford to let happen.

 

Can you advise on anything else I can do to enable us to be at least accepted onto the waiting list.

 

Much Thanks

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Ok, if you google Housing Act 1985 Section 325 and Section 326 you will get the rules which determine if you are statutorily overcrowded or not. I just tried to cut and paste but it makes the laptop crash.

 

If you are in a standard three bedroom 1 reception house then yes, currently you are overcrowded under S.325 the room standard. But only by 0.5 of a point. Let me explain, 3 beds, and 1 lounge = 4 points. You and partner get 1 point each. (2) 10 year old gets 1 point (3) 5 and 6 year old 0.5 points each (4) 13 month old 0.5 points (4.5) baby no points until 12 months. Therefore you are .5 of a point short of adequate living space. So, yes, you are statutorily overcrowded. (If you have 2 GF rooms, you are not overcrowded as you are in a 5 point property).

 

You can also use the Space Standard which is S326 and I'll leave you to run round with the tape measure, its all quite beyond me! I'm both numerically challenged and metrically challenged!

 

This applies to the permanent members of the family, and bears no relation to those children who you would like to live with you, unless a court orders/or there is an arrangement that your home is to be their permanent residence. If say, it was absolutely imperative that these extra children came to live with you, then that would change things. But this isn't the case just now so you cannot include those children. At least not under the Housing Act.

 

This is the situation as far as the Housing Law goes, and has been so since about 1935, it hasn't changed. Neither does it mean that you will get quickly rehoused - because put simply, if there is not a 4 bed house available you can't have it - no-one can. I know how difficult it can be to understand that, especially when you are low as you are with all your problems, but I'll do you no favour by telling you any different. Its going to be a long old wait unless you are very lucky.

 

So what to do next? Well, you are not well, and you need your GP tp provide written evidence of this for you. Your partner is clearly very poorly right now, medically and mentally, so a letter from both the GP AND the crisis team is needed. Your children are being affected at school, so letters from them as well are needed. All of these letters should have a slant about them of getting you rehoused - ie., this is the only way to ensure the emotional welfare of your children., and the future health of you and your partner. You can get Social services involved with regard to the other children, and also CAFCASS through the Court. When they visit, be open and honest about the overcrowding. If they think that the children would be better off with you, they will write to the Housing Dept to tell them so and the Council have to take heed of this.

 

Once you have collected all of these, copy them, and then write to your Housing Officer again and ask her to get you referred to the Social Panel. This may be called something else where you are, but it does exist. There will always be families who cannot be placed within the usual bidding/pointing system, there will always be unforseen emergencies involving housing, therefore they have these panels. Most of the professionals who will write to support you probably sit on the panel themselves and vote. I do regularly and in this case I would vote to give you priority.

 

I can only advise you as your HO probably will, if there is not a 4 bed house available, nothing and nobody can help you and that is it. Also that there will be other families in equally dire situations, all waiting for that elusive 4 bed property. Its a hard fact of life, there is not enough social housing to go around. So, however difficult it is for all of you, this is what you have to live with currently and all that you can do until that property does become available some time in the future is try and make the most of it. Sometimes, however much your HO wants to help you, they can't. The best she can do is present a very good case for you at a social panel and get you priority.

 

Anyway, I hope this all works out for you, you have a good case, but sadly there is a severe shortage of housing everywhere.

 

Post back if you need anymore help.

  • Haha 1

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Thank you for your kind words , my wishes to the HO is far from me stamping my feet demanding a bigger house ( the choice to have a large family was mine) it's just two 4 bedroomed houses have come up in the last 6 weeks and they were allocated to a couple with 3 kids and a single mum with 3 kids - just a little unfair to me I mean I know I have arrears but does it matter which house I live in the arrears are still being paid.

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You may think this a waste of time, but it is worth a try!! Write to your MP. Ask for the two house allocations you mention to be checked - and send him/her a copy of your email. It made me cry!

 

MPs cannot ignore inquiries from their constituents. They may not be able to do anything, but they do have to look into it.

 

Many years ago I was evicted from a tied farm cottage when my marriage ended and was living in a 14ft holiday caravan with my 2 children. My mother wrote to her MP, who passed the letter to the MP for the constituency where I was living - and he came to see me in my caravan! In fact, the council had already offered me a house, which I had accepted but I was always impressed that he gave up a Sunday to come and see me! They are not all expenses grabbing .... well, you know!!


Kentish Lass

Information given is based on my knowledge and experience and is not to be considered as legal advice

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Go one better, write to Gordon Brown as well - I did over my mum's HB as I was furious at the Council, I got a reply back, an enquiry was made, and the problem magically disappeared! Ok, I know he only passed it to a minion in a very low office, but hey, it did the trick! You could also google the TSA (Tenant Services Authority) and give them a nudge, and never forget Shelter, they are very good. But you know, your HO might be very good too, so only use these things if she doesnt come up with the goods.

 

I'll bet you a pound to a dollar that those last two allocations both have medical reasons for the 4th bedroom, because otherwise they'd have got three's only. I expect one or other of the children in each family have something like ADHD which means they have to have their own room for time out/destruction purposes.

 

I once had an elderly lodger who just wasnt getting anywhere for a permanent council place. He kept ringing up the Council and abusing them. I suggested that he just backed off and waited - low and behold, without any further aggravation from him, he received an offer for a lovely flat, right where he wanted to be. I did tell him at the time that good things come to he who waits and its true.

 

Not suggesting that you have pushed and belly ached at all, but don't feel bad because you missed out this time, its only because there's something better for you out there, and it will come.

 

Fingers crossed, get on to those people who can support your cause, and push for a social panel hearing. Keep posting back as and when.

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