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    • pop up on the MCOL website detailed on the claimform. [if mcol is not working return after the w/end or the next day if week time] .  register as an individual  note the long gateway number given  then log in .  select respond to a claim and select the start AOS box. .  then using the details required from the claimform .  defend all  leave jurisdiction unticked  you DO NOT file a defence at this time  click thru to the end  confirm and exit MCOL. . .  get a CCA Request running to the claimant https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/332502-cca-request-consumer-credit-act-1974-updated-january-2015/  leave the £1PO blank and uncrossed . .  get a CPR 31:14 request running to the solicitors [if one is not listed send to the claimant] . . https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/332546-legal-cpr-3114-request-request-for-information-when-a-claim-has-been-issued/ . . type your name ONLY no need to sign anything . you DO NOT await the return of paperwork. you MUST file a defence regardless by day 33 from the date on the claimform [1 in the count]  
    • Hello   Thank you for your response, I think I have done this right. My responses are in bold    Name of the Claimant ?  Merligen Investments LTD    Date of issue –   12/11/2019        Particulars of Claim     What is the claim for –  1. The defendant owes the claimant £209.79 under the a regulated agreement with Studio Retails T/A Ace dated 16/10/2015 and which was assigned to the claimant on 19/07/2017 (debt)   2. Despite formal demand for payment of the debt the defendant has failed to pay   and the claimant claims £209.79 and further claims interest thereon pursuant to section 69 of the county courtact 1984 Limited to one year to the date hereof at the rate ot 8.00% per annum amounting to £16.78    What is the total value of the claim? £301.57     Have you received prior notice of a claim being issued pursuant to paragraph 3 of the PAPDC ( Pre Action Protocol) ? No    Have you changed your address since the time at which the debt referred to in the claim was allegedly incurred? No    Did you inform the claimant of your change of address? no    Is the claim for - a Bank Account (Overdraft) or credit card or loan or catalogue or mobile phone account? cat debt    When did you enter into the original agreement before or after April 2007 ? no   Do you recall how you entered into the agreement...On line /In branch/By post ? Online     Is the debt showing on your credit reference files (Experian/ Equifax /Etc...) ? No    Has the claim been issued by the original creditor or was the account assigned and it is the Debt purchaser who has issued the claim.  Debt purchaser    Were you aware the account had been assigned – did you receive a Notice of Assignment? No not received any correspondence apart from a couple of recent Text messages and in all honesty I thought it was a [problem]    Did you receive a Default Notice from the original creditor? No     Have you been receiving statutory notices headed “Notice of Sums in Arrears”  or " Notice of Arrears "– at least once a year ? No Nothing     Why did you cease payments?  About 3 years ago     What was the date of your last payment? Can’t remember     Was there a dispute with the original creditor that remains unresolved? No dispute     Did you communicate any financial problems to the original creditor and make any attempt to enter into a debt management plan?  no          
    • stick to letters.   look in the debt collection section of our library there is a pro rata letter   send that to everyone.   if they don't agree then we'll deal as and when those that do or do not reply. pay what you say when you said it to show good faith. use BACS transfer via online internerweb portal of your bank ...not DD>   dx  
    • Well I received a reply to my email and I have to say that I'm quite surprised. Maybe Halfords have been taken over by PC World/Currys.     Can we confirm that I understand that you put in all the correct details onto their website and they made the recommendation of a particular set of tyres which you were later told were not suitable for your vehicle?   Can we confirm that you have gone back to the website and you have put in the same details and has come up with the same tyres   What make is your car?
    • Hi @BankFodder and Dx100 thanks for your replies. Well nothing has defaulted yet as I had been able to make payments up until this month for everything. This/next month is when this going to start hitting the fan and I want to  The livelend loan is about a year old.  Bamboo is like a month and I've made one payment Likely a couple of months and I've made two payments.   Aqua credit card I've had for a few years and it started with a smallish limit and they kept increasing it. Say it went to up to 1600 at some point and I used it and paid it back and didn't use it and they increased it a couple of times.   I had always paid it off and had it sitting there doing nothing so they were quite happy I guess. Interestingly they actually cut the limit by 300 to just under 4000 and I got a letter saying after a review they were doing that (I don't know what triggered them to do this). It was only in June that they increased it significantly from approx 2.5k or 3000 to 4100.    Capital One credit card I think they increased it once and again I only used it once and cleared it and then they increased it slightly and I've utilised it all now. I have probably had it a year or so. Paypal credit they just offered me 2.5k limit and I used it for buying things. It was probably opened 18 months ago. I missed payment last month but paid it since. Barclays I've been with for years and am actually premier (lol) and have had loads of money going through my account but never sitting in there for long and I actually don't have to pay anything for my overdraft.   Santander I have had the account for a few years but never really used it too much, it was more of a backup current account and I used it for work once where I needed to keep some things separate. They only recently let me have an overdraft and I it up the wall this month.   @dx100uk Thinking about it I didn't have any real credit for a fairly long time aside from payday loans which I got into a trap with but paid off.    The only thing that was a major negative on my credit file was the closed Halifax account with a balance of between -£3.7k or -£5.2k depending on when they looked at it.   So what I'm saying is I don't think it was shot (though it certainly wasn't good enough to get many "normal" low-interest products.   Bamboo and likely loans are, I imagine, high risk lenders in that they will give them to people with not great credit but with that comes high interest. I think one is 60% and the other 70%! These were used to try and gamble my way out . Nobody sane would take out such loans but as I've admitted I'm deluded. Livelend they were more reasonable around 13%   I feel like I could have a chance with bamboo and likely about irresponsible lending and it doesn't hurt to ask. With everyone else (the credit cards) I think I should just write and offer them £1 a month and say I will review in 6 months (or is it 3? I forget the standard practice).   I didn't realise that considering DRO or BR was "stupid"; The amount I owe feels insurmountable and hence this is why I was considering those options...    Is it better to approach them now or wait for things to default? I don't mind if they pass them off to DCAs but I would prefer to get them to agree to freeze interest so the number owed doesn't rack up.   As I've read countless times DCAs are powerless and have to work with what I offer (which, currently, is basically nothing). I still want to bury my head in the sand but I think for my mental health it would be better to get ahead of things. I guess I shouldn't care about my credit rating now. There's no reason I need to get in this position again. I know that I need to do things in writing and refuse to talk over the phone. Are emails suitable in this day and age or do I need to stick to physical letters? I think that recorded delivery isn't necessary just proof of postage?   Sorry for the long post and I hope I have got my thoughts across.  Thanks again      
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pottyprincess

Benefit Fraud - Under Investigation

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Hi All,

I am a new member and so pleased to have found this site, to be able to ask my questions.

 

I will try and keep it brief,

 

 

my h received a letter inviting him to attend an interview under caution,

this has not taken place yet, but it is imminent.

 

 

He does have a medical condition and has proof of it,

he was claiming ESA and the lower rate of PIP,

this is only a relative new claim,

 

 

always told them that I was working full time, no council tax benefit or housing benefit claimed for.

 

 

He was on the benefit for 5 months,

he started to feel a little better and wanted to go back to work,

luckily he did find a job,

tried to phone the benefit agency many times before starting this work to inform them of a change in circumstances,

could never get through,

so he decided to put it in writing to them,

then started work.

 

The job lasted four months,

had to give it up because the medical condition reared it's ugly head again,

but during the time he worked, the benefit kept getting paid,

he had given all his correct details to his employer and had paid tax and NI.

 

 

After a few months, he decided yet again to try and get back to work, this time the job lasted 7 weeks,

during which his employer had said that he had to register as self employed, did this all correctly.

 

 

Now he is not working and has to go and have the interview, we have got all copies the paperwork, thankfully.

 

He has got a solicitor to go with him,

but I am afraid that they are going to try and make out that it is his fault,

if he was trying to do anything deceitful,

then why would he give his employers the Nat Ins number,

 

 

he is not thick, he knows that this would show up and he hoped that at the end of the tax year,

they would realise their mistake and stop the payments,

by the way the money has not been spent, but saved.

 

 

We have always worked all of our lives and paid taxes etc,

never been in trouble before,

 

 

oh I do not know the amount of overpayment they are saying yet,

but it is their fault in our eye's that it even happened,

but I am scared of the DWP,

having heard awful stories about them.

 

Any advice would be much appreciated, thank you.

Edited by pottyprincess

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Can't see why this should be a problem... just offer them the money back. It's not like he was trying to cheat the system. TB

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Hi PP,

 

Welcome to CAG!

 

 

Did you keep a copy of the letter that was sent to the DWP regarding change of circumstances, I.E new job & wanting to end the claim?

 

If yes, make sure you keep it safe & give it to your solicitor & keep a copy for yourselves.

 

Otherwise just be honest & state what you have here about what happened.

 

Hopefully this will be sorted out quite easily.

 

Good luck!


I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every single minute of it!!

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Hi and thank you so much for your replies, luckily I did keep a copy of the letter, I also have kept copies of everything to do with the claim in the first place.

 

I am worrying myself sick over this because I have been reading horror stories, I am thinking that they will try and make out that it is my h's fault in some way, it has been going on a long time, a year in total I think, but you can never get through on the phone, holding on for over an hour then still nothing or get cut off, very frustrating!!!

 

I will come back and let you know how the interview went after it has taken place, towards the end of the week.

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Hi again PP,

That's good to hear that you've kept copies of all the letters, do make a few copies so your Solicitor & the DWP can have them as needed.

 

I know you are worried & being under investigation is very daunting indeed, but please do not fill your head up with the horror stories.

 

Everyone has their own experiences, some good, some bad & others an entire different level, that doesn't mean your case is going to be like them horror stories.

 

I can imagine how frustrating it all is, esp living with it for a year. Your nearly at the end off it now, just make sure all your paperwork is prepared & in order for your interview & do speak to the Solicitor, he is there to help you both.

 

Hopefully this will soon be over.

 

Good luck!!


I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every single minute of it!!

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Hi again,

 

 

Thank you for replying rainbow tears, I have been trying not to worry, I mean when you have not done anything wrong there is nothing to worry about, but, my h does not do well at any interview, even interviews for jobs, he is like a scared rabbit, so I do not know how he is going to be when questioned, from what I understand they make you feel guilty even when you are not, trying to get you to admit to wrong doing on the tape. What questions will they ask him? and how long will the interview last? can he read out a statement in his own words before the questioning starts, in the hope that it covers all the questions, or most of them.

 

 

I cannot wait for it to be over, again I understand that he will not find out at the interview about what is going to happen, but maybe have to wait weeks or even months.

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Did his ESA stop after he sent the letter?

 

If he's being interviewed under caution then they are looking at it as a "criminal" investigation. I'm not saying that he will go to court but it's not as simple as just paying the money back and it will go away.

 

Can I ask how many hours he was working and what his weekly pay was?


Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

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Hi Shoelover,

 

 

No the ESA payments kept getting paid into the bank, we thought that as they take an age to sort anything out that was the reason why. We have got letters from them saying that his benefit would stop in Nov as he would have reached the 365 days, then another letter to say they will stop in Dec, but they never did. We then thought that at some stage they would realise their mistake and take the money back, like I said it has never been spent and is there in the bank to pay it back.

He worked 37 hours a week and the weekly pay was around £230 take home pay, this was the first round of employment and lasted 4 months, then he was out of work for 2 months, claiming nothing as he was looking for work, but the payments were still being paid, then he got another job in Jan that lasted 7 weeks, this job he had to register as self employed, which he did, then when he left after 7 weeks, he didn't work again until may, when that job lasted 2 weeks.

So in all of this on off employment, he has always given his Nat Ins number and P45's in, surely they would see that if he was trying to cheat, he would not really give them the correct info, all the jobs were full time, the last one being paid the min wage.

So I could see how this could look, but like I said, we have a copy of the letter that he had written to them telling them of a change in circumstances, as I have copies of all the correspondence from them, how will they treat this?

I feel sick with worry, cannot sleep, or eat, most of the time it has been me on the phone to them as he cannot speak well on the phone, but he has always given them permission to speak to me.

Forgot to say it was contribution based ESA in the support group, don't know if that makes any difference to anything.

Edited by pottyprincess

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Ok. Bottom line. What is it that you are most worried about and see if I can allay your fears there?


Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

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Well my fears are that they could prosecute, your life is in their hands at the end of the day. I said to h that he just tells them exactly what happened and that's all he can do, they may say that he/we did not do enough to stop them paying the benefit, but you would think that a letter would be enough wouldn't you, we have not used the benefit system before so we don't know of the timescales involved as to how things work, naïve probably, yes.

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Hello and my sympathies.

 

I had a similar situation not so long ago but I was not as peaceful as you about it.

 

I went to my MP and got him to support me and I then went to the DSW and complained loudly, first at the front desk, then to the 'manager' they offered to talk to me. I recorded the conversation and then went directly to our local newspaper and gave them the tape machine.

 

The newspaper contacted the DSW saying they were thinking of writing an article but it was dropped. Instantly.

 

I told the newspaper my MP was involved and he was. Whether he'd actually do anything I don't kn ow.

 

This shows they knew they were wrong and wanted to hide like quickly.

 

You have done everything in an honest and forthright manner and the government must be made to act correctly and admit fault when wrong. They are supposed to serve us not pressure from above to get convictions, willy nilly. Never forget most of the employees are without good education and almost no worthwhile training.

 

Any help wanted from you, by me = welcome.

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Hi Zanderland, thank you so much for your reply, it helps to know that somebody else has been in the same or similar situation.

 

 

Did you get accused of not telling them your circumstances had changed, even when you had sent them a letter.

 

 

How long did all this take you to sort out and did they ask you to an interview under caution.

 

 

What were the figures involved? we do not know anything yet.

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Wow... "Without good education". Rather sweeping. What's the DSW? Anyway, moving on...

 

Yes they should have acted upon your letter. However your husband is simply being asked to come and give an explanation of what has lead to the overpayment.

 

You are welcome to write to your MP, but I suspect the reply will be that you have just been asked to come in and give an explanation. It would appear that they did not get your letter, so until they ask the question how do they know that you sent it?

 

Have you any idea of the amount of your overpayment?


Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

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Hi Shoelover, I am sorry I do not know the overpayment yet, like I mentioned before, the money is in the bank, never been touched, I work and always have, they know this too.

Believe it or not, I have said to my h, look at it from their point of view, you have been paying tax, giving in your P45, they want to know what has been happening, I can understand that, just go in and give an account of your actions.

I have read these awful stories where they will blame the claimant, and I am freaking out if it goes to court, I don't see why it should, but you never know, and how long after the interview will it take to be told anything? thanks for you insight, much appreciated.

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The money being untouched is an important point.. That in my opinion shows that you didn't intend to keep it. Yes, you should have been more proactive in sorting it but what you have said so far makes it sound to me as if you were not "dishonest". Have you got evidence that it's in the bank? Take it to the interview.

 

It can take a few weeks after interview to get a decision about how much the overpayment is, which will have a bearing on what actin they take. Then a couple more weeks for the manager to make a decision as to what action. Most investigators if you ask them will give you a ring and tell you as soon as they have their managers decision.

 

I can't tell you that it won't go to court because it can't be ruled out. If it does, as a first offence and as it appears there isn't any real intent then a court is likely to not be especially harsh. The cases you read in the news tend to be the more interesting ones with bigger overpayments- I know people worry about being in the press,

 

You are doing your best to put this right. They may well not prosecute your DH.


Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

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Thank you Shoelover, you have put my mind at a little more ease, I did not think to take the bank statement with us, how would they calculate the over payment, would they take it from the day he started work till the day he finished, as in 4 months, then he was out of work again for 4 months, then back for 7 weeks, then again another out of work period, until he got his latest job which only lasted 9 days. If they take it from the day he started work as stated in the letter he wrote, then we are looking at a year approx.

I think he has tried so hard to work, but with his medical condition and I do have a letter from one of his consultants to say that he has very high anxiety and depression levels to cope with too, it has all been a big nightmare.

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it will usually be the times that he worked only.

 

His mental health is an important factor - take any evidence you have.


Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

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Hi Shoelover,

 

 

I cannot thank you enough, for your replies, they are making me get a grip to be honest, I think if it was only the times he worked then it might be a little over £2000, obviously if it was from the date of the letter asking them to stop any benefit he gets, then it would be a year of overpayment.

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I have been reading and it seems the rule of thumb is anything over £2000 and they will prosecute, doesn't matter how I do the figures it comes to over that amount, so he is maybe looking at going to court, panicking again!!!! maybe I should just stop doing all this reading and just wait and see.

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I think not reading any more is a good idea. :) You can drive yourself mad with too much information.

 

What are you planning to do now, please?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Well now I am just getting together the medical notes, showing that a consultant said that h suffers with high levels of anxiety and depression, bank statement to show that the money has not been spent, any relevant paperwork really, I have a character reference that I found, done by one of his old employers a few years ago, wondered if that would help, and just hope that h can do the interview, he is not good under pressure, not good at all, I was wondering if it would be possible for him to make a statement and read it out before the questions start, would that be a good idea or not?

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Take advice from your legal rep about the prepared statement.

 

There is still a threshold of £2k, but lots of people get IUC'd and don't go to court for £2k. I'm not saying it will be any fun BUT the folks with horror stories tend to be the ones to post on line.

 

I think keep reading is just going to make you feel worse - it will change nothing but give you sleepless nights.

 

You really are doing the best thing, when is the appointment?

 

If he is not good under pressure it may be worth him having an appropriate adult - this can be in addition to his legal rep. It may well help him x


Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

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Hi Shoelover

 

 

Thank you so much, I have read about the prepared statement, I think in H's case it would be very good idea, we will take advice from the legal adviser, I am unsure about things like adverse inference, I think that means being pre-warned to the questions so as to have a defence ready, anyway I am sure that I do not need to worry about that.

 

 

How many questions roughly will he have to face?

 

 

Would I be able to be the appropriate adult?

 

 

I slept a little better last night, but it is the last thing on my mind before I go to sleep and the first thing on my mind when I wake up.

 

 

I truly wish that we had not gone on believing that it was just a case of they will sort it out.

 

 

I still do not understand why he received letters saying that his benefit would stop in Nov, then another letter saying Dec because he had got to 365 days, very confusing.

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Hello PP.

 

I'm sure shoelover will get here when they can, but please bear with us because it's the weekend.

 

I stand to be corrected, but I think I've seen adverse inference in relation to someone who goes to the interview and answers 'No comment' to all the questions.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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