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DWP overpayments from 1993


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I have received a letter this morning from DWP saying I owe them £1939.17 and advising me that they will proceed with either debt collectors or Attachment of Earnings order to recover this unless I agree a repayment plan. I rang them to ask what the debt is for and they told me it was for overpayment of child tax credits from Sept 1993-Dec 1993 and for Oct 1995-Nov 1995. They have agreed to send me the relevant paperwork but said they will still proceed with collection while I am waiting for the papers. I have recently requested a pension forecast and am presuming this is how it has all come to light. Am I still liable after all this time? This is the first time I have heard about this `debt`.

Thanks for any help

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Unless you entered in to an IVA or were made bankrupt before 2012 and this debt was included in any proceedings, the monies are still repayable. This assumes that the DWP figures are correct and take in to account any repayments made in the past either directly of via deductions from benefits.


Being over six years old, the DWP can not take legal action through the courts and any debt collector can be told where to go (providing a map if need be). That said, the DWP can recover the money by way of an AoE order or make deductions from any future benefits (including state pension).


The best course of action is to find out how this overpayment came about, request a mandatory reconsideration if you think the figures are wrong, and appeal if there is grounds for "official error". "Official error" would be for example, you had informed the DWP of a change in circumstances (in writing) and they failed to act on the information provided. Once the reconsideration process is concluded, you can negotiate with the DWP to repay the 'debt' at a rate that you can afford - Note: Negotiate with the DWP, not any DCA that comes knocking with hollow threats.


Once you have the paperwork in your hands from the DWP, we can advise further.





No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.

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