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Department for Work & Pensions debt letter


proudy
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I received a letter from Dept Management (SF) on behalf of the DWP claiming I owe them £226. After waiting on hold for 13 minutes I eventually spoke to someone who literally seemed clueless. He asked how I wanted to pay & asked him if a stranger demanded money from him in the street would he pay. Obviously not he said. I repiled so why in the bloody hell would I offer to pay you when I don't know why you expect money from me. He mentioned the social fund & I told him I hadn't a clue what he was referring to. I asked when this alleged debt was from October 2000! I again told him I have no recollection of any debt & advised me to ring the social fund. The letter mentions getting a debt recovery agency involved or a Direct Earnings Attachment to dock my wages. How in the hell can they threaten when they don't offer any proof? Any advice appreciated, thanks in advance

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Aye, there seems to be a lot of this sort of thing about at the moment. We're seeing quite a few people get these letters regarding old debts.

 

So, first off, since you can't remember actually owing this money at all, I'd say you should send a SAR to the DWP requesting all information they hold relating to the alleged debt. The DWP does not charge the permitted fee for this. The DWP does have new powers to collect debt via deductions from earnings, and they can do this without a court order, so the first stage is definitely to find out what they think you owe them and why. It would also be worth calling the Social Fund as suggested to see if they can shed any light on the matter, but send the SAR anyway.

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