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£850 housing benefit swallowed by overdrawn account

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Hi everyone,


In a nutshell, my local council paid £850 housing benefit into my bank account which was £800 overdrawn through a few Direct Debits. RBS used the payment to clear the unauthorised overdraft, then closed the account advised me to seek alternative banking. The closing of the account isn't the issue here, I could have ran it far better than I did so cannot really complain. Problem is, I'm now £750 in debt to my landlord after withdrawing the remaining £50 for him.


Prior to this, I was receiving housing benefit payments by cheque because of the overdrawn account (I requested this). I then requested payments to be made direct to my landlord. The HB claim was then suspended whilst the council decided they would not pay it direct to my landlord. The council then paid the rent for the suspended period (£850) direct to my overdrawn account.


When starting the claim I provided my bank details, then changed the payment method to cheque because of the overdrawn account. At no time have I ever changed the payment method back onto bank payments, so shouldn't they have continued with cheque payments once it was determined they could not pay my landlord direct? It seemed to default back to bank payments.


This was a year ago and my landlord has been understanding, giving me ample time to try and sort it out.


What are the chances of getting this payment back from the bank this late after the event? My landlord's an OK guy and he deserves the money, even if it is a year later.


I hope someone can help :)


Thanks everyone

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Look up something called 'First Right of Appropriation '



But I don't know where you would stand on this timescale.



Thanks Ash, I have done and that would be useful in the future but not for this. I was thinking more along the lines of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 which apparently prohibits banks from using housing benefit payments to settle debts such as this?


Thanks for your reply.

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