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DCA asking for repayment of overpaid salary

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My partner left her previous employer around 6 months ago and she received a letter a couple of weeks ago from a Debt Collections Agency.


It states that the overpayment of £178 was a "mistake" but the letter includes no details as to how this calculation has been made. It also said her previous employer had tried to contact her to resolve, but been unsuccessful, however she had received no previous correspondence from them.


We wrote the DCA an email stating that we require confirmation of how the overpayment was calculated and that we were not willing to deal with them because it's a dispute between ex-employer and ex-employee.


They have since sent a threatening legal action, but still have not provided any details about the overpayment.


They have also added a £15 administration charge!!


We would be very grateful for any advice you may be able to provide about what our rights are.


1) Do you have to deal with a debt collections agency when this is a dispute between an ex-employer and an ex-employee? What are our rights?


2) No details of how this overpayment was calculated have been provided by your previous employer or by the debt collections agency, so how do we know this is legitimate


3) Why should we have to pay an admin charge to a debt collections agency that we didn't want to deal with?! It's not like we asked them for their service, surely any moneys for their services should be paid by the employer??




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This is nothing more than an irritation, don't allow it to worry you.


Who is this DCA?


Is the ex employer a big company? Or a sole trader?

How long ago did they part?


Oh and as for some unenforceable "admin" charge added by this clown outfit, er, no they can't add it, well I correct myself, they can add as much fees and charges onto this alleged over payment they want, but as their is NO contract between them and your OH, it will never ever be payable, they are simply willy waving trying to make themselves appear like they know what they are doing.



Firstly who is this ex employer?

What correspondence, if any, has your OH had from them?

How long ago was all this?

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!



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Thanks a lot for your response.


It's just concerning as she can't really afford to pay it and had no idea it was coming.


The DCA is Capitol Commercial Collections Ltd.


The employer was La Senza. I wasn't sure if I was allowed to say who it was!


She has had two letters (one threatening further action) and an email reply after she wrote to them asking for how the amount was calculated and that she wasn't prepared to deal with them as it is a dispute between her and La Senza. They just replied saying that she would have to deal with them, and they provided no further info!


I think it's absolutely disgusting

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BB has highlighted relevant issues here.


So we know that the employment finished about 6 months ago and all of a sudden some pond life DCA comes out and say you owe them "xyz" and have chosen not to give you details.


First thing is to ignore the DCA and their fees.....absolute drivel.


If you want to get to the bottom of this you would write to La Senza and ask them for a full analysis of how this alledged debt is calculated and you want a detailed breakdown (not a summary) of the figures involved and how they came about.


You can also tell them that you will not be corresponding at all with any third party they have chosen to employ and certainly will not be paying any third party fees.


Do this all in writing and say that you want their reply within 14 days.




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This is beginning to make a bit more sense.....seems they have gone to the wall?




As for CCC ltd, I can't find their CCL, although they are registered with the CSA?


CCC Ltd are simply the gophers, they do nothing as they are a no win no fee outfit.

They do not take any legal action on behalf of their clients, they simply refer back to their clients that they have failed to intimidate and bully you into paying.


IMO, this is all CCC ltd ever need be sent, and if they respond with some more irrelavent nonsense then send it again.

Keep a diary of events, DO NOT talk to anyone on the phone regarding this, keep EVERYTHING in writing.



Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!



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Thank you for all your help it is much appreciated.


The letter you've linked to appears to be for when a DCA has referred to another DCA is that correct? If so, I don't think it's appropriate for us...


Having looked up CCC (the "our methods" page) I understand your comments - i.e. they clearly do not implement any legal or personal debt collection (i.e. "door knocking") which puts my mind at rest a little. So I guess the letter you've linked to would be appropriate if it gets referred to another DCA who do use these methods, am I right?


Is there anything we should do in the meantime, i.e. any letter template that we can send to CCC? We have already requested a breakdown of costs via the email we sent to CCC and they've simply ignored this, so as far as I'm concerned we've done our bit by requesting the necessary info. Would you suggest we back this up with a letter requesting the info again or simply ignore their threats?

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An overpayment via payroll is repayable as long as it's claimed by the employer within 6 years of the date of payment.


However, you need to have a look at the pay advice (payslip) that accompanied the payment. There is a defence that a salary/wages overpayment was accepted "in good faith" - in other words, the employee looked at the amount paid and presumed it to be correct - whether that was because of an expectation of severance pay, overtime owed, tax adjustment/refund etc.


If the overpayment was spent on essentials - utilities, food, bills, etc. (and you can prove it) then the chances are that it may be simply written off. If it was spent on a new stereo or other luxury goods for example, and treated as a "windfall" then there may be grounds for the employer to reclaim.


As Boo said, the £15 charge/fee is spurious and irrelevant. You are perfectly entitled to request a breakdown of how the final salary/wages payment was calculated and they are obliged to furnish you with those details before taking the matter further.


The calculations they send should show everything.


That must include:


Basic salary/wages rate

Tax code

Cumulative tax and NI figures

Employee's NI conts Code

Pension deductions and NI code (SERPS usually code "A" Contracted out usually code "D")

Any/all sick pay (SSP) or maternity pay (SMP)


Trades Union or other voluntary deductions

Additional voluntary pension contributions



They need to show how the overpayment was made. In other words - how did this mistake happen?


Have you got any kind of bank statements for the period in question that maybe show that the overpaid amount was not withdrawn from the bank in a lump sum? That goes towards proving that the money was not treated as a "windfall".


I'd be happy to draft a letter for you to respond to the employer's representatives or, as the employer seems to have gone under, their administrators if you wish.


Best of luck,


H. x



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Thanks very much Halibutt.


I'm sure we would be able to get hold of bank statements if necessary. She simply had no idea that an overpayment had been made, so there would have been no frivolous purchases/withdrawals.


If you would be so kind as to template us a letter we'd really appreciate it.


We had no idea who to turn to for advice on this (tried Citizens Advice, Money Advice Service, Community Legal Advice with little to no success!) and the information and insight that people have provided here has not only been very useful but has also put our minds at rest, so I can't thank you enough!

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No problem Keith.


Was your partner suffering hardship after leaving her job? For instance, unemployment, sickness, etc? That can have a bearing.


In the first instance, I'd respond to the claimant (not the DCA) with the following:


By Royal Mail Recorded Delivery




Dear Sir/Madam,


Your Ref: 1234567890


RE: Payroll Number: 1234567890


I write with reference to your letter of xx/xx/xx regarding your claim that in my last salary/wages payment (dated xx/xx/xx on my pay advice) I was overpaid the amount of £178.00.


In the first instance, I would be obliged if you would furnish me with a detailed breakdown of how my final salary payment was calculated, including the calculations for all statutory deductions, as I wish to take further advice in this matter and would thereby be in a better position to respond appropriately.


Could you also please explain to which aspect of the salary the claimed overpayment relates?


I would also be grateful if you could explain the reason why it has taken up to six months since my last salary payment for you to inform me that you believe that an overpayment of salary/wages was made.


I received the payment in good faith, believing that your payroll agents would have correctly calculated any amount(s) owed. My final payment was not treated as a "windfall" but was used to cover my essential expenses (list them here) and I trusted that any calculation had been correctly made. As I was unaware of any error on your part, I had no reason to check all amounts on my pay advice.


As I did not realise that the overpayment was a mistake, the element of good faith is relevant in this case.


I have kept copies of my pay advices and all bank statements for the period covered, should I need to refer to them regarding your claim.


I look forward to your written response and thank you for your kind cooperation in this matter.


Yours faithfully,


If hardship was suffered, I'd add the following:


"As you may appreciate, after leaving employment, I was in a position of financial hardship (state what kind) and the payment accepted in good faith, was used to cover essential living expenses."


Try to keep all correspondence polite, amicable and stick to the facts. Don't be tempted to make anything up.


It's not often that a payroll company gives in, so don't expect miracles - however, even if a repayment is demanded, you can easily negotiate repayment terms - sometimes for as little as £1 a month, depending on circumstances. Out of interest, what was the reason for leaving employment? Sickness or redundancy can have a bearing. Also, it's easier to claim receipt in good faith if monthly paid rather than weekly - simply because an amount of £178 would be easier to miss/accept as part of a monthly payment rather than weekly.


Let us know how you get on.


Good luck!


H. x

Edited by Halibutt



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Just for info


0461454 Licence Status:Current

Current Applicant / Licensee:


Business NameCompany Registration Number Capitol Commercial Collections Limited3625539




Debt collecting Provision of credit information services, excluding credit repair


Right To Canvass Off Trade Premises:No



Trading Name(s) (Current):


A1 Certificated Bailiffs Capitol Commercial Collections paymentsbycard.com The Collection Service The Corporate Consortium


Issued Date: 02-Apr-1999

Date Maintenance Payment Due: 01-May-2014



Legal Formation:


Body Corporate (incorporated inside UK)


Current Individuals that run the organisation:


NamePosition Darryl Barbra Morris David Max Morris Elaine Dagul Michael Phillips


Historic Individuals that run the organisation:


NamePosition David Max MorrisOFFICER


Nature of Business:


Debt Collection Other


Current Address(es):


Address TypeAddress Principal Place Of BusinessCapitol House, 72a, St Mary's Road, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD18 0RR Registered OfficeCapitol House, 72a, St. Marys Road, WATFORD, WD18 0RR, United Kingdom


Historic Address(es):


Address TypeAddress Principal Place Of BusinessBrentmead House, Britannia Road, London, N12 9RU Principal Place Of BusinessCapitol House, St Mary's Road, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD18 0RR Registered OfficeBrentmead House, Britannia Road, London, N12 9RU Registered OfficeCapitol House, St Mary's Road, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD18 0RR




They are also registered with the ICO: Z6182455

If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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