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NHS using debt collection agency for alleged salary overpayment from 2008

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Hello CAG

 

I would be very grateful for any advice regarding my situation.

 

I was employed by the NHS for around 11 years - My last working day was late November 2009 at which time I left London and travelled to New Zealand to live. I gave a friends address in London for any mail that was still coming in, as well as my address in NZ. My employer had all of these details.

 

Since leaving the UK I've had correspondence in the UK and NZ from HMRC, NHS Pensions, my old employer and so on with no mention of any problem.

 

Around March this year my friend in London received a letter from a debt collection agency stating that in December 2008 I had been mistakingly overpaid and I should now repay this money immediately or face further action. The debt collection agency said it was working for my previous employer and I should not contact them (the NHS) and only to correspond directly with the debt collection agency.

 

Of course I thought this was a hoax, or a mistake. I checked this agency (CCI legal) and they seemed legit, so I contacted them to see what this was all about. They claimed that I had been overpaid around 2800 GBP and that I must repay this immediately.

 

At first I was utterly shocked especially because I had worked for the same NHS Trust a whole year after this alleged overpayment and even when the final salary etc was done nothing had come up.

 

It is now well over 4 years since this 'happened' and over 3 years since I left the UK. My circumstances have dramatically changed, the money is most certainly spent, and I am not currently employed, nor am I living in NZ. At the moment I don't have any of my old work diaries, statements, payslips etc to check the data for sure.

 

The NHS Trust has admitted this is completely their error in a letter they have provided CCI legal. When I asked them to provide clear evidence it turns out that perhaps I only owe 1500 GBP now. I can't quite work it all out as NHS payslips are notoriously complicated with codes etc and added to that I worked alot of overtime/out of hours so no payslip was ever the same (that's why I didn't notice if there was an error in the first place). On top of that quite a good chunk of the pay was correctly paid.

 

Since the Debt people first contacted me I have politely requested all information about this 'overpayment'. This has proved to have errors in it by their admission. I can't be sure if the figure is even now correct. However, the next problem is that I am not currently employed and do not have the means to even enter into a repayment plan if I wanted. And I am reluctant to enter into anything if I am not sure if I even owe them this money!

 

Around the start of July I sent a letter stating that I had no way to pay off this alleged overpayment (not employed, no assets, no savings) and I would like them to write this 'debt' off.

 

The response from them was that they had reason to believe that I was in NZ and that I should provide my contact details there so that they could pursue me through the local legal system.

 

I have written to them today stating that I no longer reside in NZ, have no means to pay this 'debt' and that I would like them to close this case. (Well the letter was a bit longer, but simple, pleasant and honest). I am currently working as a seasonal harvester in return for food and lodging - I'm serious - I don't earn any money!

 

The question is: Can they really chase me for this old mistake that they have entirely accepted as their own - which is over 4 years old?!! And if I don't have any means to repay them, even if they are right, can this be written off? I had no idea that a possible overpayment had been made, my pay slip was different every month and I never actually checked it at the time. They never mentioned it while I continued to work for them (and at that time it would've been ok to try and repay some of it). But now I really can't.

 

What are my rights? Shall I provide them with my new contact details? Can they really take this to court wherever I am living? I have noticed that they do have an agent in the country I am in now. I am happy to correspond with them by email, but it is pointless trying to send me something by post these days. And more to the point, any legal action will result in trying to get water from a stone.

 

Any advice heartily accepted!

 

Many thanks

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Hi Welcome to CAG, yes they can pursue the alleged overpayment but the onus of proof that you do owe it falls entirely on your ex employer not you.

Keep to e-mail and just demand unequivocal proof of the OP you don't have to prove anything.

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Thank you for your advice.

 

The NHS have provided something of an explanation, but it's not entirely clear what the correct figures are. I think that I probably do owe something.

 

The problem is that if they overpaid me, then I have overpaid NI, tax and pension contributions (and therefore I am owed money as well!).

 

If it truly will cause hardship to repay anything I might actually owe, can they still chase me legally? And do I need to provide them with my current details?

 

I am awaiting their reply from my letter today, but I'm worried that they will just ask for my address and threaten me with action in a foreign country! A bit scary . . .

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Could send them a prove it letter. Also, you are under no obligation to talk to the dca.

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Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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Unless the 'claimed' debt is owned by the dca and you have been notified of that fact, then personally I wouldn't have anything to do with them.

 

As the Brigadier says, get the NHS to prove it. You can write asking them for unequivocal proof worded in plain understandable English and also ask them if this takes into account the miscalculation they must also have made in the tax and NI deducted, and will they be claiming back the overpayment of tax and ni on your behalf and sending it to you.

 

I think I would use words to that effect so as to make their job of responding to your letter as complicated as possible. That way they might just bin it. But I would definitely not pay anything until I was shown in black and white that what they claim is correct.

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I have moved your thread into the General Debt Issues section.

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Thank you for the help so far.

 

So, the DCA talks about the NHS being 'their client'. I don't understand who I should be talking to. The DCA or the NHS. I have no idea if the DCA has bought the debt.

 

Are you sure that I don't need to talk to the DCA? If so, I will happily send them another 'prove it' letter and/or ask them again to stop contacting me.

 

I did try to contact the person at the NHS who wrote the letter taking full responsibility for their mistake but my message was 'bounced' back to me. Should I send a registered letter (rather than an email) to the NHS and ignore the DCA?

 

If the evidence they have provided still doesn't make sense to me how long can I keep asking for the full breakdown of the error they claim to have made?

 

The main thing is that I do not want this to reach the point that a court summons is sent. How can I avoid this?

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Dear CAG

 

A follow up to the above situation. . .

 

Last year after I asked the DCA to 'prove it' and such like, I didn't hear back from them until recently (that was a 15 month break from the threats).

 

The most recent message is clear: they want me to enter a repayment plan and they will 'chase me' to the country that I am now living. I have responded to say that my position remains the same, and that they need to provide unequivocal evidence that this alleged overpayment actually happened.

 

My question is: Is there a time frame after which they cannot chase this case (due to the statute of limitations?) and do I need to enter into any further correspondence with them whilst I'm waiting for them to 'prove it'.

 

In the past year or so since they first contacted me I still doubt that I actually was overpaid, and I definitely cannot be sure that this is not just another error. I would also like to see all my payslips that followed this 'alleged overpayment' as I am wondering if perhaps any error that might have occurred hasn't already been levelled.

 

Any advice greatly appreciated, and thanks for your time to answer!

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Limitation is 6 years or from a time that you admitted the debt (if any).

 

I would of ignored anything from adebt collector, dont waste your time and money replying to them, proving that you were overpaid could be quite complex, involving various tax/ni calculations, the fact you are in NZ or wherever makes it very unlikley anyone would pursue legal action.

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They cant do anything. Ignore them. Who is the DCA? My advice would be to report them to the regulator.

 

Edit: just saw it was CCI legal. Definitley ignore. They are right at the bottom of the barrel.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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Thank you for your advice. I have not admitted that I owe any debt, I have only asked them to prove it, which they have not been able to do. So if the incident allegedly happened in December 2008 will it be statute barred this December 2014?

 

If I hear from them again shall I just ignore them? I am worried that if I don't get my name cleared they will take the case to court and I will have some sort of problem in the future due to some sort of 'black mark' against my name.

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Good to know CCI are at the bottom of the barrel! They have threatened to take me to court via a local agent ... can I really ignore this?

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Ignore them. If you are in a different country, they cant do ANYTHING apart from issue silly threats hoping you will cave in and pay.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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Good to know CCI are at the bottom of the barrel! They have threatened to take me to court via a local agent ... can I really ignore this?

 

 

 

 

Hi, I am in the same predicament than you, can you update us with your case?

 

 

 

 

 

regards

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thread is +5yrs old

you wont get seen here

 

please start a new thread

 

dx


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

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