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HomerRamone

DWP applying a DEA for a 20 year old debt

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I got a letter from the DWP a month or so back asking me for £201 they say I owe them.

I replied asking them for what since ive not been unemployed for many years and they say is for some debt from 1995 or something - I might have the exact year wrong here but its from a loooong time ago.

 

I write back and said under the limitation action 1980 Section 5 “an action founded on simple contract shall not be brought after the expiration of six years from the date on which the cause of action accrued.”.

 

They have essentially ignored this and then sent another letter telling me they are writing to my employer and slapping a DEA on me.

 

They cant do that can they ?

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Although the Statute of Limitations prevents the DWP from pursuing action through the courts, they can use other means to recover a debt. This can include making deductions from current or future benefits, including the state pension.

 

If you have doubts about the validity of this debt, you need to write to the DWP and ask (demand ?) proof of when this debt was incurred, what payments have been made to date, and the current balance.


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Well I did that. I wrote and said 'this is a 20 year old debt, too old' etc and they appear to have totally ignore the letter.

I was going to send another, enclose a copy of the first and send recorded.

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HomerRamone, you are partially right in that your debt has become "Statute Barred" but in realtion to DWP debts, this only means that it bars them from taking court action to recover the overpayment.

 

However, they can still ask for it back (nicely) and deduct it from any benefits that you might now receive, but they can't take you to court for it.

 

If you agree that it was a debt that you still owe perhaps a letter to DWP explaining that you cannot afford £201 but you are willing to pay up the debt in small installments that you can afford, could possibly be a solution.

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