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We had only been out in it three times at this point due to work and family commitments.   Seller and finance company stated I had to pay for another independent inspection to go in depth with the findings at another cost of £75. I done this and provided both of them the report which shown even more damp than first anticipated to different areas of the van over 90%.   Finance company agreed to then send out there independent inspector who found exactly the same faults and drew up a report to send back. Finance company then offered seller chance to repair. Seller received caravan back from us and only took blame for the front part of the van and stated they could not find anything wrong with the rest. Finance company stated for them to fix the areas they take responsibility for.   Caravan was fixed and returned to us but I was still not happy as they didn't fix all areas, Finance company  agreed to send out another inspector to look.   Inspector stated the fix was not sufficient and not waterproof and basically a bodge job which I was fully aware of and stated the caravan now needs to be rejected due to the seller having a chance to repair and it not being sufficient. I thought ok great finally, Im winning. Caravan was collected last week and I then sent an email to the finance company thanking them for the rejection and that I would look forward to receiving my payments made over the last year towards the caravan, repair costs, compensation for lost holidays etc   They have replied that I am not entitled to anything and the £5000 in payments they have had from me will go towards the usage of the van, Research I had done up until this point all stated I would receive money back due to van not being fit for purpose? So i am very shocked and annoyed I have paid all that money and I am not entitled to anything back. I have tried to be basic here in what has went on so forgive me if It does not make sense. Any help or advice greatly receievd on next steps    I have told the finance company I am not happy to have lost all that money here is there responses Thank you for sending over the information regarding the caravan being collected and taken back to Newark Auctions.  We will now start the process of removing you from the existing credit agreement and will notify the relevant credit agencies to remove our entry from your file. This therefore removes any responsibility you have regarding this agreement. In terms of any refunds owed to you we have reviewed the account and there are no payments that need to be refunded. There were no payments made whilst the complaint was open and the payments made prior to the complaint being raised will be retained for usage. 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Your inspector stated the damp was there at point of sale meaning it was not fit for purpose so how can you say I happily used it   They have just then replied with this Thank you for your email, However we must advise that based on the information provided we will consider the matter closed as soon as the caravan is confirmed on site at Newark Auction. A final response will be posted to you that will contain all the details of where the complaint can be referred to if you disagree. Kind Regards        
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Housing Benefit Fraud allegation - IUC, where to go from here?


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Hi, im a first time poster on here and hope i can get some advice!

 

Six months ago, i notified the benefits agencies, via letter,that i was moving in with my partner and therefore no longer wished to claim HB, CTC,IS and all the other things that were on my list as a single mum and informed them of my change of address. The same letter was sent to all agencies and i called all agencies except Housing Benefit as their literature said this was not enough, and a letter was required.

 

The payments all stopped and some overpayments were recovered as expected as these things often take time to process. Housing Benefit, however, continued to be paid. Every month i re-sent the original letter, until after 4 months, i was very worried and wrote them a frantic letter with the original attatched. I had not sent any of the letters recorded delivery, much to my current regret. They responded to this, and a repayment schedule followed, the first installement of which i paid immediately.

 

Imagine my suprise when a day later i was invited for an interview under caution! I went throught the usual rigmoral so often outlined on this site of calling them, not knowing what it was about, searching for advice online, and decided to attend as a gesture of good faith with a statement prepared should i panic. Sure enough i panciked and read the statement, which basically said all thats written here, and that i guessed the allegation was i hadnt written the letters which i had, and that at no time had i attempted to defraud the benefits agencies. I then ended the interview and told them id like time to get legal advice.

 

 

I was then asked by the investigators "where do you want to go from here?"!!!

 

Im baffled and am seeking a lawyer (which i cant afford as we are just over the legal aid limit), has anyone else faced this and can offer advice?

No charge has formally been made but they seem to want to push on with the allegation which is scaring and confusing me no end. Is it possibly becasue the money overpaid was over a certain amount?

Surely there is a very clear case for human error rather than fraud - they could have lost the letters / they may not have been processed by the council offices correctly / i may not have labelled them clearly enough etc?

Why is benefit legislation so different from criminal law proceedings - im interviewed under caution and given absolutely no idea what im being interviewed about-?

Anyone know a good lawyer in Bristol?

Anyone won a case like this?

What happens next?

And (finally!!) does anyone get a whiff of the government reclaiming all the admin fees they spend each year reclaiming benefits that they overpaid in the first place through their error, clearly outlined in the disclaimer all new benefit claimants have to sign? Im finding the whole thing pretty shocking and dispicable, and upsettingly more people instantly assume im guilty in the current climate.:(

 

 

Sorry for all the questions!

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Unfortunately we are unable to recommend a solicitor for you (the site rules forbid these types of recommendations). You can find legal advice specialising in Welfare by searching here. Once you have found some names, type their name into google followed by the word "review" to read other people's experiences with them.

 

In regard to the overpayment being over a certain amount, yes they do have to refer for prosecution where the overpayment is in excess of £2000. But only where the overpayment was a result of fraud, and that is clearly not the case here.

 

The officers who perform the IUC will not be the same officers who make the decision on whether or not the claim had become fraudulent. Was the interview completed when you left? Are you expected to return for another interview at a later date? Have they advised of when you will next hear from them, or what they plan to do next?

My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

 

 

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

(exceptions for prior authorisation)

 

 

 

 

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After a quick call to Community Legal Services, i have found a solicitor who handles these cases and am due to meet with them tomorrow.

 

I ended the interview before it was completed as i was getting no clear information form thema s to what the allegation actually was, and was worried that what i was saying may not have helped...i just felt uncomfortable.

I have recieved another letter requesting i attend another interview, and told them id contact them once i found a lawyer, which took some time! Im also having to pay for all the legal advice so i have had to source a means of payment/ find the cheapest lawyer possible.

So overall, no formal allegation has been made, so ill have to see what the lawyer says and keep you posted.

 

Thank you so much!

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Your legal advisor should be able to get disclosure immediately prior to the second IUC which will shed a little more light on matters - hopefully.

 

Best wishes

Erika.

My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

 

 

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

(exceptions for prior authorisation)

 

 

 

 

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