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    • do it yourself its easy and free and might even get some wiped out!   who says the debts are even enforceable?? have you checked? - stepchange nor any DMP provider  don't  either bother to check they are even legally enforceable, they just blindly recommend you paying their mates at the banks and the debt collection agencies. as they get back handers from them.   could you poss list her debts please and we'll help you do it yourself.
    • I have found the original judgement. Claimant was HFC and payments were to Wightmans.   I did think of making a manual payment to weighman's to see if that got returned too, after all the judgement does state to pay them.    If it did go back to court, do you think I would have a chance of having the judgement cancelled and wipe the debt after such a long time? After all, I do believe that a lot of trickery has gone on with this case.   Yes, I am sure that I was scammed but at that time I had no knowledge as I do now. I should have defended it not admitted it.   A year later, after getting educated on the situation, I had a similar case with Barclaycard which was total fiction other than around £1000. I did fight that and had the whole debt written off including the amount I did owe. Hindsight is fantastic but expensive thing.    Getting back to Wightmans, they did at one time write stating that there was a charge on my property and that they would enforce it if I didn't contact them to arrange a new payment schedule. The charge did not exist and still does not (I checked) because the court refused it. Pure trickery. I simply ignored their letter and continued paying £10 a month as instructed by the judgement and nothing happened.   But it would be nice if I could have the judgement cancelled after all their trickery and the stress they have caused me over the past 14/15 years. They have had a real lot of money out of me especially with the huge interest and charges they added that I should never have been liable for.   Otherwise, I am happy to just pay them £10 a month until I die so long as I don't get forced back into court to pay a higher, not affordable amount.    Thanks to all of you giving me advice.       court order.pdf
    • Really sorry to hear about you suffering from COVID.   Don't worry, there is time before 4pm Monday.   The reason we recommend a short defence is so as to not play all your cards too early.  Later on down the line the defence can be fleshed out with the Witness Statement.  For example, "no contract was formed" in the defence can then in the WS become why a contract wasn't formed - rubbish signage, the keeper wasn't the driver, no locus standi, the fleecers had no Planning Permission, bye-laws, etc.  Less is more.   Simple Simon (the owner of VCS) has an appalling record of losing airport bye-law cases, even when the driver didn't break down - let alone in your case!   If you feel up to it, look up VCS or Excel airport cases in our PPC Successes thread (start from the last page and move back) for a suitable defence.  If you don't feel up to it, I'm sure one of us will find time before 4pm on Monday.    Just one thing - have you got proof of the breakdown, such as evidence of payment that you got the alternator replaced?
    • My partner recently joined Step Change and is in the process of setting up a debt management plan. She is concerned about one of the questions she answered though i.e. Have you been on debt management plan previously?   She did 'no' but in fact was on one with CCCS about 20 years ago. She told me that at that time she was told by CCCS that they couldn't help her if she had been on one previously. She settled all the debts with the creditors back then.   Why do StepChange ask that question and would it prevent someone getting on a DMP today?   Surely if the debts were that old i.e. more than 6 years old, and she paid them off under the DMP, there would be no record of the DMP in any case?
    • did you ever goto the ICO PW?   you say you have evidence of termination in B/W then with the rules of that time the A/C should have been defaulted within 3-6mts.   dx  
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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

Social Services, fostering and Data Protection


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Not sure if this is the right forum for this question but I can't find any other suitable for this issue. I'm looking for some advice regarding the data protection act and a bit of a long story but I will try to be as brief as possible. I am a foster carer of a 15 year old boy (B) who has autism, ADHD, and social emotional behavioural problems. I have been his foster carer for over 3 years and it has not been easy, he has temper tantrums like a 2 year old, has trashed my house on several occasions and trashed his room on a regular basis. He has been placed with me on a permanent basis. There has been a lady ® involved via social services who has been brought in to give specialist interventions for some particular problems he has and she has visited regularly with B's social worker. Myself and my adult son and girlfriend who live with us have been very open and honest with her about the difficulties hoping that he will get the help he needs to resolve some of his issues. I have another child in placement who will be leaving soon to return home and there has been suggestions that B, because of his difficulties then becomes a lone placement and that they will pay me for 2 placements so that i don't need another placement and can manage financially.

 

In October the social worker and R visited and while they were here looked at his bedroom. I will admit that the bedroom was awful, he won't keep it clean and tidy and won't let me do it, he has damaged the walls, broken things and collects junk etc. When the social worker suggested to him that she would come round to help him sort it out he totally lost his rag over it, and with me too when I suggested helping him to get it sorted and said no-one is touching his room and if I do anything to his room he will trash mine! He has since been making a bit of an effort to get it tidied up and sorted out a bit under the threat of someone else doing it for him.

 

A couple of weeks ago my supervisor told me the social worker and R were coming round to discuss how we can help B sort his room out. When they arrived R immediately said she had been asked to do a placement report and had brought it to share (absolutely nothing to do with what I thought they were coming for). I was totally shocked and unprepared for this and I had around 45 interrupted minutes (kids coming home from school) to go through a report containing at least 30 pages and tell her all the bits I disagreed with. The report was full of inaccuracies, assumptions, comments taken out of context and inferences. It was very derogatory regarding my family and home and made me out to be a dotty old lady who only cares about the garden, cats and chickens. I am actually a very intelligent, knowledgeable, and experienced carer. Yes my home is a bit tatty and everything is old but it's clean (apart from his bedroom) and it wasn't nearly so tatty before B came and trashed everything, broke furniture etc.

 

I was very aggrieved that I was unprepared and did not have time to go through the report properly and point out all the inaccuracies and unjustified comments, She even got my son's age wrong and his university degree. She said of my garden that the veggies were all in straight rows with no weeds! Well she obviously hadn't looked because my veggies are not in rows and there are plenty of weeds. It said nothing about how B has settled, progressed and developed since coming here and how his temper tantrums have reduced significantly and how he will now talk about things upsetting him rather than throwing things. I felt like giving notice on B there and then but I won't do that to him, as this is the first place he has settled since coming into care - he went through about 6 placements in 2 years due to his behaviour - prior to coming here.

 

Following this meeting I emailed R and told her I was not happy with the report and the fact that I did not have enough time to read it properly and challenge everything that was inaccurate or that I didn't agree with. I also said I was grossly insulted by the fact that she came into my home under the guise of providing specialist interventions for B and then used the information given freely for that purpose to write a report which was derogatory towards my home and family. I asked to revisit the report with her so I could have time to read it properly and give a considered response. That was over two weeks ago and I haven't had a response from her. The social worker, who I copied in did tell me her manager was going to call me but this hasn't happened either.

 

If anyone can advise me I would like to know if I have a case under the Data Protection Act, due to the inaccuracy of the information and also the fact that it was gathered for a different purpose to which it has been put and what I should do about it. This information they now have could be very damaging to my good reputation as a very competent foster carer and could affect me getting other placements in the future. I have looked at the ICO website but it's quite complicated and there seem to be different rules regarding social services. It's also difficult to be very specific about what is wrong with the report as I do not have a copy and am relying on memory and I do not know what has happened since the meeting, whether anything has been corrected (the things I did manage to challenge).

 

Sorry this is a bit long but if anyone has time to ready it I would be grateful for any advice.

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This might be something you need to speak to the Information Commissioner about. Is this report being passed on to others or is it purely an internal document ?

 

Do you have a copy of it ?

 

I am sure others with more knowledge will be able to advise.. I will ask them to look in on you.

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Thank you for your reply. I don't have a copy of it - after the meeting R took it away to make some corrections but there are a lot of things wrong with it that I didn't have time to challenge. If they don't let me see it again and have more time to read it properly and challenge inaccuracies etc I am concerned that it will become final and put on record where anyone in the social services might be able to see it, even if they are not involved with this case. It could affect my currently good reputation as a foster carer and affect my chance of getting future placements. I am a lone and full time foster carer. My family and home have already undergone an intensive 6 month assessment in order for me to become a foster carer and have been deemed a suitable and safe environment to foster children. This report seems to throw a lot of doubt on that.

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Is there a specialist forum for foster carers where you might get some more informed advice?

 

My inclination would be to contact R and the social worker again, in writing, pointint out that you are still waiting for a response and giving them 7 days to provide it before you take your complaint higher - though I'm not sure who that would be too - perhaps the head of social services?

RMW

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Do you know what the purpose of the report is?

 

If the report contains 'personal data', and it sounds like it does, the Data Protection Act 1998 says that the council should be keeping that data accurate and up-to-date. In reality, proving that the report is inaccurate might be difficult. The best thing you can do might be to make sure that you have it in writing (for example, an email record) to the council stating that the report is seriously inaccurate and asking for a proper opportunity to point out areas where it is wrong. If they try to rely on the report later for any reason you can then point to the email trail. You can also engage the council's complaints process.

 

The fact that the council told you the visit was conducted for a different purposes than the real purpose is bad practice, but I don't think that by itself is a breach of law.

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