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    • I'm trying to understand if you want some help with this or not. So far you haven't told us anything about your story – dates, prices, who you have complaint to et cetera. You have simply told us about how unethical it all is and asked how do they get away with it et cetera. Maybe one of the reasons why they get away with it so often is because people don't tell their story but simply complain about ethics. We can help you if you want. In order to do this you will have to give us information about your story – and we would prefer in a bullet pointed chronology without too much narrative. You say that you have obtained an independent report. There is a good move. Please could you post it here in PDF format so that we can have a look.
    • Good morning.   Ahh good  old Tax Credit overpayments, the gift that keeps on giving. It's almost guaranteed that if you claimed Tax Credits at some point in your life a charming little letter will pop through your door with a random national lottery size amount of money that you owe them, and it's always from many years ago. It's so thoughtful of them to send out huge demands during the most severe economic crisis of the last 100 years.   Nothing is going to happen quickly here, your SAR , when it arrives is going to be a huge box full of screen shots, call transcripts, what they assume your earnings were at the time.  It's very common for them to make mistakes, for example on mine within 5 minutes I noticed that they had my salary down as far higher than it was, which immediately took what I owed them down by £1200.   Boring summary as to why this happens,  The system is so complicated, that somebody always makes a mistake, either them or the Claimant, most people don't notice because the money is clawed back from their actual tax credit payments as  a tiny percentage that's barely noticeable. This works great until you suddenly start earning too much money and Tax Credits stop, then boom You owe us X thousand!  Unfortunately, being HMRC, and being utter rubbish sometimes that 'boom takes 15 years to arrive on your doorstep.   Ultimately, you may owe them something, in the end, they will talk like they are going to send the heavy mob in to repossess everything, reality is there are people all over the country paying them £20 per month or at some point in the future if you claim Universal Credit they might take a few quid a month off that. If you are really lucky they will just give it to a powerless DCA.   Once you have analysed your SAR, you may have grounds to appeal,  its also worth Googling Tax Credits COP 26 and reading carefully several times, perhaps some of the rules in there apply to you and may also be grounds for appeal. There are lots of mitigating factors that could even get the whole thing written off. Rest assured you can come back to this thread and ask anything,  I'll always respond and am very knowledgeable about this subject,   Keep us posted        
    • Any news on the wants of execution which have been issued so far?
    • It's only 2 days, re forward the email today as I suggested. They are your elcected councillor, they can't /won't ignore you, this is their job.
    • 'Freeports are not a magic bullet' by the academics at Britain in  Changing Europe.   https://ukandeu.ac.uk/freeports-are-not-a-magic-bullet-new-academic-report-finds/
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    • I sent in the bailiffs to the BBC. They collected £350. It made me smile.
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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!
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    • 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
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Housing Benefit and student daughter

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Can someone point me in the right direction.


We live in County Durham with our 3 daughters aged 16, 13 and 11.


Can someone tell me what happens if my eldest who is currently at college goes on to university. Although it's over a year away I was wondering what happens if she goes off to uni but comes home during the holiday holidays. Am I allowed to still keep her bedroom and still receive housing benefit for a 3 bed house.


I have tried on the Durham council website but it mentions nothing of keeping a room for s student to come home to.


Many thanks

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My understanding is that provided your daughter doesn't get housing benefit at her student address (most unlikely to happen) and provided you don't sublet her room, and provided she does return home regularly she will be counted as if still living there.


Best option is probably to speak to your council - if they say no, you'll have time to contest it and in any case it's better than potentially having an overpayment.


"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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