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    • I am hoping for some help. I noticed some readers state they have successfully challenged leaseholder charges. I am now being charged in excess of £2000 leasholder service charges on a garage in Kent. It is a simple garage. As it is a  non-residential the normal tribunal routes to appeal  the garage charges are unavailable. I requested an explanation of the charges. All the service company have provided is a list of charges nothing to say how these charges relate to my garage which has never been visited or maintained. I am charged management fees, account preparation fees, audit fees. The leaseholder forwarded my account to SLC solicitors three years ago. Three years ago I sent SLC a cheque to avoid legal action. SLC did not bank the cheque as they agreed that the charges are unreasonable. However the management company continued to issue charges on the garage. SLC have issued legal action again. I would love to hear from readers who have successfully challenged unreasonable leasehold service charges.
    • i can't find a lost scottish court claim for a speculative invoice... likewise i haven't seen any gauge of an increase in PPC's issuing court claims in scotland since the much trumpeted POFA changes in Scotland - if they even happened or changed anything   it pers concerns mea bit  more as you say you've read up....focussing on POFA.. that you still appear not to have understood the very 1st basic principle of PPC things ..they are not FINES.   if they did get sheriff officers to issue a claim, and again there is no data to indicate any increase at all in them doing so, bar a handful of cases you can count on one hand in the years before, there would be plenty of chances to fold .
    • Hi This is the email i sent in December.     Hi  I do apologise but I must say going by your list of varying case studies upon your website i think you are wrong. There are various examples there of let us say loans that have have recently completed, whereby resolutions have been found, they were not deemed out of time just because the policy was entered into at the start of the loan, some +10yrs earlier. What concerned me more was the DMP and thus the CMP & CML membership were only recently concluded.. The comment you have made that PayPlan sold me the two plans I've complained about in October 2007 is somewhat mute as policies were still live within the last 6yrs with regard to payments toward them , even within the last 3yrs , if fact. I would also like to mention. "letters in 2015 from Payplan should have alerted me there was an issue," is again pretty mute as I was not aware then I could complain of mis-selling, there is no evidence I can find before 2017 anywhere that CMP & CML were even reclaimable.! I would also like to point out there is a diff between CMP & CML, they state they are both membership schemes, they are NOT. I also believe the above further answers his exceptional circumstance question...there are none as I believe I don't need any as I am NOT out of time! For the reasons above I don't agree with your decision and would like to have this looked at by an ombudsman as stated in your previous email. Kind Regards.     I will post the attachment shortly.   
    • Ah I see, I did kind of give them a notice to pay up in 7 days before taking things further but they refused and instead asked for the next instalments through a solicitor letter. I was thinking whether it would be better and more cost saving if I instead take this to a small claims court as oppose to the big courts, I know that is what you suggested at the begining. I was just not sure if I had a case since I unfortunately signed the new variation agreement.   
    • Yes, I expect that the mutual agreement was based on "we'll give you this amount of money but part of the deal is that you agree not to talk about what happened during this mediation". I suppose that either party can insert any demands they want in the mediation process and it's up to the other party to accept it or to walk away and then to go on to court
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    • Hi @BankFodder
      Sorry for only updating you now, but after your guidance with submitting the claim it was pretty straight forward and I didn't want to unnecessarily waste your time. Especially with this guide you wrote here, so many thanks for that
      So I issued the claim on day 15 and they requested more time to respond.
      They took until the last day to respond and denied the claim, unsurprisingly saying my contract was with Packlink and not with them.
       
      I opted for mediation, and it played out very similarly to other people's experiences.
       
      In the first call I outlined my case, and I referred to the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 as the reason to why I do in fact have a contract with them. 
       
      In the second call the mediator came back with an offer of the full amount of the phone and postage £146.93, but not the court costs. I said I was not willing to accept this and the mediator came across as a bit irritated that I would not accept this and said I should be flexible. I insisted that the law was on my side and I was willing to take them to court. The mediator went back to Hermes with what I said.
       
      In the third call the mediator said that they would offer the full amount. However, he said that Hermes still thought that I should have taken the case against Packlink instead, and that they would try to recover the court costs themselves from Packlink.
       
      To be fair to them, if Packlink wasn't based in Spain I would've made the claim against them instead. But since they are overseas and the law lets me take action against Hermes directly, it's the best way of trying to recover the money.
       
      So this is a great win. Thank you so much for your help and all of the resources available on this site. It has helped me so much especially as someone who does not know anything about making money claims.
       
      Many thanks, stay safe and have a good Christmas!
       
       
        • Thanks
    • Hermes and mediation hints. https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/428981-hermes-and-mediation-hints/&do=findComment&comment=5080003
      • 1 reply
    • Natwest Bank Transfer Fraud Call HMRC Please help. https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/428951-natwest-bank-transfer-fraud-call-hmrc-please-help/&do=findComment&comment=5079786
      • 31 replies
    • Hermes lost parcel.. Read more at https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/422615-hermes-lost-parcel/
      • 49 replies

Tax Credit Letter, scared please help!


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thanks again, letter i had asked for bank statements, mortgage, utility bills, which i can provide, the other company says that for £950 they can mitigate for me...After spending the day on here, I think I can mitigate it too...i just tell the truth and offer to repay them...thank you again for replying, you are the first person i have shared this with, and as you can imagine I am terrified they will class this as deliberate fraud and prosecute me...but having read on here that they dont seem to prosecute unless enormous fraud, I will draft a letter this evening and send it tomorrow...whatever happens then cannot be as bad as i am imagining...I hope.

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It will be fine - well, as fine as it can be in the circumstances! I was terrified about being prosecuted as I couldn't prove where my ex had been before he moved back in so I was worried that they would want previous years repaid aswell but all they were interested in was the years on their initial investigation letter.

Unfortunately, our position seems to be a 'no win' situation - you can admit to being wrong & you have to repay or they dismiss your claim of being single & you still have to repay.

I am repaying my 'debt' over 10 years which they were happy with (also have a penalty fine to pay but had lost the will to fight when I received that letter!) - good luck, let me know how you get on.

Re prosecution - the only 2 cases I could find on the internet where people with 'single claims' had been prosecuted were when it involved an employee of the TCO & a Benefits Agency employee who dealt with TCO on a regular basis.

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thanks what should i do? I actually slept last night for the first time in weeks...I have put a letter together and fingers crossed...will update when i hear anything...

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Ely look at these examples from the TCO own guidance :

For couples who are legally separated consideration must still be made to decide whether they are LTAHAW or LTACP. LTAHW- living together as husband and wife and LTACP - civil partners

 

 

Example - married couple, separated

 

A married couple whose relationship has broken down continue to live in the same house as they are currently unable to sell it and neither can afford to rent or buy other accommodation. In the meantime they live separate lives, no longer socialise together and their friends do not consider them to be a couple. They continue to jointly pay some household bills but pay for their own food and other personal items. They haven’t yet started divorce proceedings but do not intend to resume living together as husband and wife. Despite living in the same house, they should no longer claim jointly from when they became separated in circumstances likely to be permanent.

Example - living together, separated

 

A couple who are LTACP decide to separate, but one cannot afford to move out and the other refuses to because she owns the property. They no longer socialise together, cook/clean or undertake chores for each other, although occasionally one may do the others’ laundry with hers to save costs. Each has her own bedroom/living room and stores toiletries/food separately but they share bathroom/kitchen facilities. The property owner continues to pay the mortgage and gets monies towards this and other household bills from her ex partner. Although they still share the same address, they should stop claiming jointly from the date they were no longer LTACP.

 

See if your situation fits in anywhere x

scotgal 

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Scotgal68,

 

Thank you for that, we definitely fit in the first catagory, I will use some of the above on my letter to the TCO, I have informed the agent that i cannot find the £950 they needed to do this letter etc with the TCO on my behalf...and they informed me that if I was to go it alone, then I am telling the TCO that I am guilty, and they will look into previous years and I will be facing a prison sentence...after reading all the posts i can find on the TCO checks etc on this forum, I am sure this agency is just trying to make money out of me....i really wish i had thought of looking on here 6 weeks ago.

 

Thank you again

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Elly, HMRC rarely prosecute, they're all about recovery. That place is just trying to put the frighteners up you. I wish you would've came here first too, but no point in looking back. Lets look forward. I have advised lots of worried people in situations similar to your own. You can read over the posts and look at the advice I and others have given. Once you've got yourself up to date with what's already in these forums, think about your letter, they've only asked you about a

particular period? Then that is all you need to tell them about. I will help you when you're ready to put pen to paper x

scotgal 

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Thank you again, i feel like i have made a few friends to talk to on here, greatly appreciated, as i said earlier I actually slept for the first time in 6 weeks last night...I have sent all the information the TCO asked for to the agency in london, so will have to ask them to return it, but the TCO letter only asked for bank statements from april 2012 - July 2012, and then Feb 13 - April 13...which seemed strange as they didnt seem to want to know about August thro January? I have started a letter but will put in more from your previous post, should have it ready for sunday....can i pm it to you or post on here? There have been lots of very personal things that have gone on that I can tell the TCO as mitigating circumstances as to why I didnt inform them he was back living here, but obviously dont want to put too much on here...thanks again x

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The fact that they have discovered financial links with your partner via the CRA, it's not in itself proof that you are LTAHW, it only gives them a business case to investigate further. They have to prove you're part of a couple, not you to disprove. I'm not sure what the rules are about advice via Pm, but don't put personal stuff on the open forum that can identify you. Just wait for your stuff to come back and we can formulate something - when have you reply by? And are you still getting paid TCs just now? X

scotgal 

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letter arrived around 12th June and i had to reply by 24th June, like i said i panicked and did a search and found the agency I emailed them and they said that for £195 they could deal with it and i signed a form allowing them to be my representative for TC, borrowing the money to pay them from a family member. I sent them all the info the TCO had asked for, and then waited and waited, eventually I emailed and was told that they hadnt been able to talk to the TCO but would be doing so by 19th July...I queried the delay and the deadline the TCO had given me and was told that it wasnt a problem..on Weds I got an email to say that the case was more complicated and for them to deal with it would be another £950...I asked if they had sent my paperwork to the TCO and was told No it would be used in mitigation if i paid the extra money. I have pasted part of the letter/email for you to see

 

" We have now spoken to the Review Team at the HMRC who is dealing with your case regarding Tax Credits and an overpayment to yourself. There is currently an investigation into your benefit claim going back to 6 April 2012, however I was told that they are considering going back as far as the start of your claim.

 

The reason they are investigating you is because they believe that you have been living with xxxxxxxxxxxxxx as husband and wife, and that he has been supporting you financially. We are informed that they have forms and financial documents to prove this. The fraud investigators have wide powers of investigation; surveillance/access to bank statements and other records.

 

As they are possibly going back to the start of your claim we could be talking about a substantial overpayment. This makes it very serious, and we have to deal with the threat of prison. The tariff laid down by the Court of Appeal is £2,000 for a prosecution and £5,000 for an immediate custodial prison sentence on conviction. "

 

It then goes on to say that as a courtesy to them the TCO will accept a mitigation package from them but they cannot guarantee that the TCO will not prosecute. To be honest now I have read nearly all posts on here and am not as frightened as I was, it seems like they are trying to scare me with the custodial threat as a way to get more money to do this on my behalf.

 

when i write my letter to the TCO I will have to say that I no longer wish .........agency to be my agent which could complicate things even more. The agency have the only copy of a letter from my solicitor dated 2010 that shows that Mr X had moved out and that i was starting divorce proceedings....due to family problems and my having a severe illness I did not go through with the divorce deciding to wait until i was well enough to deal with it....as debts were really bad we agreed between us that he would live here again as he had been in the spare room just paying the mortgage, loan and his debts and the arrears on loan and mortgage...his main wage was paid into the joint account, but he has not had any access to that account for 10 years (i am sure bank could provide letter saying he hasnt had a debit card on this account for 10 years), i paid the utilities and food etc out of my personal account. I was claiming TC due to being self employed but over the past two years with the family problems and my own health I have not had much work in at all so the TC was almost my main income. When I did my tax returns I showed that TC was what I was living on... when i signed the renewal in june last year, i should have put about any changes, but i remember that it had sat on my desk for months, and it was only after seeing an advert on the tv that I remembered i had it, signed it and posted it off. Yes they are still paying me weekly, but I know that I will not be entitled to this years as my son has finished college and is working, another thing i didnt think to let them know about...

 

thanks again

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Elly, tbh I doubt they will have actually spoken to TCO, unless you had previously written to or you hsd cleared security and verbally told TCO that you gave your permission for them to act on your behalf. My advice now, is to forget you ever contacted them and proceed like you would've done had you not got them involved. The information they have given you, whilst containing some elements of truth, is rubbish. Their sole objective is to get money out of you. From what you've told me( although its a wee bit more complicated in some bits) you can still fight your corner. That solicitors letter is your golden ticket. It demonstrates that you were serious about the split and that it was permanent. You have to impress upon them that although you didn't continue with the proceedings, that the split was and still is permanent. Don't panic, write your letter, firstly give them an overview of your situation. Refer to that guidance I posted, then get any any other evidence you have, although you're financially linked, you keep a seperate household x

scotgal 

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Scotgal, thanks again....when i paid the agency in June they sent me a an old HMRC form(dated 2005, which i have to admit made me wonder, but i was in a panic from their emails telling me how serious and how long i could go to prison for, if I tried to do it myself) that i signed and sent back to them, so i have in fact given them permission to talk to the TCO on my behalf...I will just put in my letter that I wish to proceed with this personally and not through an agency...I wish TCO could see how my day to day life is...but I have tried to put this down on paper, explaining how we live and why..I have read through most of the posts on this site, and as you said it looks like even for people who have deliberately/mistakenly given the TCO false information are just paying back what they owe, with a penalty..

I cannot send everything the TCO want until it comes back from the agency..(if they send it back).but will send what I can with my explanation and see what else they come back for...apart from being in debt, i have never done anything wrong in all my years, and would like to put this in my letter, plus if they dont believe me..should I put it that I will repay all they deem I owe them?

 

Wish you were next door and could share a coffee whilst we talk about this...thanks, x

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It would be so much easier being next door ;)

Don't offer anything just now. Send them only the information they've asked for and only for the dates they asked for.when your write your letter, make specific reference to the stuff they've asked you for. ie explain any anomalies that look like you're living together. Be honest but don't mention any periods other than the time you split, the time he returned to live in HIS home and the times the TCO have asked you about x

scotgal 

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scotgal,

 

thanks again, think i have everything on the letter now, cant send them the solicitors letter as the agency have it, but have a few emails i could print off, do you think these would suffice...fingers crossed for me please I will be sending it recorded tomorrow, i found a piece of information on the hmrc website that may be usefull to others in this situation CCM15070 - Undisclosed Partners - Living in the same household..."the customer may admit they live in the same household as the suspected partner but that does not automatically mean they are LTAHAW...it is a guidance for TCO ...i definitely qualify under these guidelines as not having broken any rules.

 

i will update on what is happening, and will try as much as possible to help others on here, if there is anything that I can help with.....will miss our daily talks :wink:

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What do the emails say? Will they add weight to your letter? Make sure that company send your stuff ASAP, and remember don't offer any payment, you're writing to them to refute their allegations, not to admit you're in the wrong, so why would you then offer to repay monies you were entitled to?

 

Good luck Elly x

Ps I'd let them know your son has left college too x

scotgal 

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emails are from solicitor saying she will be happy to do my divorce, and arranging a time to visit her, which i did, then another email from me stating what he was paying as maintenance and that he was paying the mortgage and loan plus the arrears. there is another one where she queried the fact that he was paying the maintenance and mortgage/loan payments into my personal account, and saying that this would look like income and i wouldnt be able to get legal aid, my reply says that if I couldnt get legal aid then my mother was prepared to pay for the divorce, and asked the solicitor to start the court process. I was taken ill a few weeks after this and then with other family crisis's I never got back to the solicitor...the emails are dated 2010/2011.

 

Yes I have admitted that he left college, and also that i am giving up self employment, so i am not entitled to claim TC's anyway. For the first time in my working life I am going to have to go and sign on...but that again brings the living together bit up...I will have to tell the job centre how we live....I applied for 3 jobs last week, so hopefully may not have to sign on...x

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The emails are good evidence but I'd still send a copy of the solicitors letter off, then that company returns it.

 

If you're going to sign on then you must explain your situation to them and get them to a accept your living arrangements, because the DWP do tend to prosecute for LTAHAW cases x

I think your evidence is good x

scotgal 

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thank you, i hope they take the evidence...if not then I will have to fight a bit harder...i cant thank you enough for just being here, am posting off to TCO in the next few minutes...

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hi,sorry not been on for awhile but would like to update you all,i told you id sent a letter to hmrc admitting I should have made a joint claim not a single and that I was worried out of my mind,esp as I didn't hear from them for about 6 weeks after the deadline they had given me,but please everyone out there who is in the same state I was,do not worry,i got a letter from them telling me how much I owed ( which was about £9500!! ) and they would be in touch with me to sort out repayments,so then I was in a state wondering how much I would have to pay monthly,once the letter came asking me to ring,i spoke to a lovely gentleman who went through my monthly expenses and agreed to me paying £10 a month,never have I been so relieved,he couldn't have been nicer.so to everyone in the same boat,just admit it straightaway as they will find out in the end and its better for you to admit it,all they want is repayment,i didn't believe this either in the beginning,I was convinced I would be goin to prison,they really couldn't have been nicer to me,i am so glad its all over and I can now sleep and relax,try not to worry,the worst bit is admitting it,hope this helps anyone in same boat xx

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debthelp,

 

thank you for letting people know how it went for you, I have sent my letter and evidence off to them, and hope that they believe me, if not I will be paying back...I am glad you let us know a rough time scale that it took them to reply, and that they were good about paying it back over time. I have found that this site is brilliant for advice and helping to put my fears into perspective...and to see that I am not the only person who is in a similar situation with Tax Credits...x

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hi elly,no problem,I was getting really worried cos it took ages,kept ringing them and they said they were dealing with it,but the wait was killing me but it was all fine,like I said the gentleman I spoke to was so nice,didnt make me feel bad at all,said if my circumstances worsened to let them know and they could even freeze repayments til I was back on my feet,ur so rite,this site is fantastic,i was so frightened wen I first got my letter,even wen id read things from people on here saying all they wanted was repayment and I wouldn't go to prison,i was still frightened but people reassure you,im so glad its over and I can have my life back,please do not worry,they literally have thousands and thousands of cases like this,they do genuinely just want the money back and are prepared to do it over a long period of time if you cant afford it.i also forgot to say before I didn't even have a penalty fine to pay xx

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hello, I have a massive smile on my face...just opened the letter from TCO and am happy to report that they have accepted my evidence and agreed that I was right to claim as a single person, and they do not want any money back...I am so relieved and just goes to show that what everyone on here advised is true....tell the truth and try to stop worrying...my thanks to all who helped me on here, and I hope that over time I will be able to help other people...and for those who are thinking of using an online agent to help them...dont...the agent I first used tried to tell me that I was facing a prison sentence and that the only way to avoid it was to use their services costing almost £1000. Following advice on here I didnt use an agent.

 

elly

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Awww, so pleased for you. Just proves the point if you stand up for yourself and don't give up then it can work out.

 

My update, i wrote to them over 6 weeks ago with my income/expenditure and as yet not had a response with how much i need to pay back each month, if i am honest i'm not in a rush to chase them, i am sure they will be in touch in due course.

 

These forums are ace and it's great that we can help each other and give advice that is helpful to others in a similar situation.

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  • 1 month later...
Hi, just wanted to let you know that i have rang them today, i said having taken advice it would seem that i should have been claiming as a couple instead of single, she didn't ask many questions, i just said a couple of times that we are not together as a couple and that he does his own thing the majority of the time.

 

She asked did he pay me maintenance, for which i announced he wasn't my son's father and the main reason we are still living in the same house is down to the fact we cannot afford to sell as there is no equity in the house and by selling wouldn't actually clear the mortage.

 

I said that i saw myself as single and supporting my son who is currently at college. I made it clear he didn't even know i was claiming and that having taken advice even if i wanted to claim as a couple (which i won't be doing) i wouldn't qualify due to joint income.

 

She said she had closed my claim from today and i would hear from the overpayments team, they will write to me and the overpayment will be from 6th April 2012, so i am thankful that it is only from that date, well i am hoping that is what she meant, if that is the case i reckon i will owe about £2800.

 

I was probably fortunate i got someone who was ok on the phone with me, i just remained calm and polite and said i was sorry and that i had been naive, i just made it clear i hadn't actually set out to be dishonest, i was shaking like mad and my stomach was doing somersaults, but i am glad i phoned them as it's one less hurdle to overcome.

 

I feel for everyone out there as that sick to your stomach feeling is horrendous, but i do feel like a huge weight has been lifted. I will keep in touch and let you all know the outcome once i hear back, she said she couldn't give me a time scale for a response.

 

Thanks to all of you who have replied or commented, it means alot!! X

Hi Nicki19 just trying to clarify after you made your phone call did you still have to send in all the paperwork they asked for in the original letter, my partner is in similar position and is going to have to phone soon and is terrified that about the consequences of being unable to show a single utility bill in her name pls help

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Hi Taxibhoy,

 

No i didn't send any paperwork, i think the fact that i said i wanted to close the claim sort of put an end to it so to speak.

 

I still haven't heard anything from them, i received a letter saying i owed about £3500 and that i should contact them to arrange payment, i've tried to ring them about 6 six times and always end up hanging up after sitting for around 20 minutes in a queue, i am sure they'll soon be touch about repaying it.

 

Just stay calm and don't admit to anything, act daft if necessary i think they're more interested in stopping the claim and then getting it repaid, it's highly unlikely they'll take it any further than that.

 

It's a big weight off when you've made the call, i feel loads better just need to work out how to pay it back, let me know how you get on.

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