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Rossendales and +£100k legal aid bill/Capital contribution Order Demand Hell - please help me

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Hello all,

 

I am very stressed and anxious and feel I have no one to speak to about this. I would be grateful for any help anyone can offer me.

 

I will keep it as brief as possible. Thank you for reading and taking the time out to help me.

 

I was arrested for a very foolish issue in 2009, my assets were frozen so I received legal aid as I was unable, due to the restraint order being in place on my assets, to pay legal fees myself.

 

In 2012, after many, many (expensive) meetings with my solicitor and barrister, I plead guilty and am sentenced to prison. I come home in 2014 and have to sell my family home to settle a large confiscation order – no issue with all this – I was a fool and it's fair and correct that I pay back what I made through my ‘crime’.

 

House sold in 2015, confiscation settled. I am aware that I have received Legal Aid (of course) but my solicitors advise that ‘if they don’t contact you, forget about it’ essentially. Now, after selling my home and settling my confiscation order, I am left with a sum of money, certainly well over £30k.

 

I was half expecting a letter from the LAA whilst I was in prison or at least as soon as my home was sold and the freezing order lifted – but I heard nothing. Assuming the onus is not on me to call them and pay my legal aid bill, I assume (that word again) that all is clear and I can move on with my life.

 

The funds I had remaining are slowly spent on rent, repaying family and friends who had loaned me money and a failed business investment (it’s been a rough few years :)_

 

In December 2017, everything changes.

 

I receive a letter from Rossendales asking for £100,000 plus in the form of a Capital Contribution Order – the first I’ve heard of it and a ruined Xmas ensues. Rossendales letter states that they think I still have all the assets from before settling the confiscation order, which I do not have anymore. I decide to engage with the LAA direct and they seem fair and I explain that I used to have the assets that Rossendales mentioned on their letter but they were sold to pay the confiscation etc.I send proof of this of course.

 

The LAA ask for annotated bank statements covering the last few years which I send - they show that there is little money remaining and the funds, that I suppose, they feel are theirs, have been spent on 'living' by me - to repeat - I had no idea I owed this money beyond knowing I had received legal aid.

 

My communication with the LAA has been along the lines of 'you missed your chance as all my funds have been spent since being released from prison and your letter came out of the blue etc' –

 

I have been totally transparent and honest with them and have nothing to hide, if they had asked me for the COO upon selling my home back in 2015, I would have had the funds to pay them in full with no argument – but writing to me 2.5 years later, the funds have been spent.

 

After various emails and receiving 3 years of annotated bank statements, the LAA appears to accept that I have spent almost all my funds but because I was left with enough funds on selling my home in 2015, the COO should remain and I ‘still have a liability to pay towards the Capital Contribution Order’.

 

They appear willing to remove my rent payments and settlement payment to HMRC from the funds I was left with, but nothing else.

 

I am struggling with these points:

 

- I have a job and earn c£30k a year – but even if I agreed to pay £250-£500 a month towards the COO – this would cause me real hardship and still take me the rest of my life to repay the debt.

 

- Was the onus on me to contact the LAA once I was free and settle this matter?

 

- Are the LAA likely to make me bankrupt or would they rather I make a payment each month to settle my debt over many, many years / decades

 

Perhaps you could give me some suggestions – I feel really worried and feel like giving up all together frankly. I don’t really dispute that I received legal aid, but I don’t have the money to pay this debt that has come from nowhere.

 

Thanks for reading this far.

Phillip

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Hi and Welcome to CAG

 

What is the debt actually in connected to ?

 

 

Andy


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Hi Andy - it's connected to my legal aid bill and the Capital Contribution Order from the Legal Aid Agency. Sorry, glad to clarify that!

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We could do with some help from you.

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 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

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seems like they try this on quite a bit

certainly totally ignore the powerless DCA

they in this instance are NOT BAILIFFS

 

https://cse.google.co.uk/cse?cx=partner-pub-8889411648654839:6449422593&ie=UTF-8&q=Capital+contribution+Order+&sa=Search+CAG#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=Capital%20contribution%20Order%20&gsc.page=1


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I think my main question is this - I used to9 have the money but I had no idea I owed the Legal Aid people anything, so it got spent over the last 3 years, which I can account for. Out of the blue, they want paying a huge sum which I no longer have.

 

If there is no money left - how can I pay them?

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deal direct with LAA only

offer a small monthly payment?


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Threads merged 3rd time...do not start anymore threads on this issue.

 

Andy


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I am so sorry - I posted to the 'general debt' forum hoping for more responses - apologies, my mistake.

Phillip

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post 7 details what you need to do

you don't need to start new threads for more advise.


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I am so sorry - I posted to the 'general debt' forum hoping for more responses - apologies, my mistake.

Phillip

 

This is not a general debt issue.....hence we moved you to General Legal Issues Forum....where you will get the appropriate advice.


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thanks DX - i forgot to thank you for your suggestion.

 

My question is with the debt being so large, it would take many, many years to pay off the 'debt' - do you think this is not that relevant as they need to 'tick a box' and consider it settled? I do not have much if any money spare but would have to find it each month i guess...

 

Thanks again.

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£10PCM they cant get blood of a stone


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DX100UK - you've really got me laughing here which isn't easy at the moment.

What you say is true. Cheers

Phil

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Hi all,

 

I thought I would update the situation.

 

As per the advice on this and other forums, I requested a copy of all the information the LAA hold about me, as is my right under the DPA, especially, the Legal Aid application and associated paperwork.

 

After 2 months of repeated requests, it turns out that they do not have it.

My solicitors were legally obliged to retain it for 5 years after my case, and they no longer have it.

The court no longer have a copy also.

 

It appears that the LAA don't have a copy of the paperwork they keep saying I received and signed

- all a bit odd and seems slightly ridiculous to me.

 

They are currently reviewing my case and have asked Rossendales to step down until they have decided the outcome.

 

I was surprised they couldn't send me any paperwork on my case.

 

Jon

Edited by dx100uk
spacing

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GOOD WORK..

this will go nowhere now you'll see

 

dx


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thread title updated


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DX - I hope you are right, it seems madness that they don't have any documents.

I will update you on the outcome and thank you for your support and feedback also.

Jon

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DX - I hope you are right, it seems madness that they don't have any documents.

I will update you on the outcome and thank you for your support and feedback also.

Jon

 

Not madness. Most companies struggle with data storage.

 

In regard to physical paper files, they just don't have the room to store these and they use outside companies such as Iron Mountain. The problem with such storage is that they have to send boxes of files for say a whole calendar month or for a period. The boxes sent contain many different records and a note is kept somewhere on a spreadsheet as to a date range of files. The spreadsheets are then kept by someone responsible for records, but sometimes it is not that easy to find out when a particular file record was sent for storage. Companies like Iron Mountain charge a fee for each box you want to be retrieved from storage. And then there is the time to search through say 20 or 30 boxes looking for one file.

 

And digital file storage can be a problem as well. There is always a fight going on to reduce the amount of data being stored and you have IT system changes, which can cause problems,

 

What tends to happen, is that companies make an economic decision. Unless there is an absolute legal necessity to keep certain data, a decision will often be made to destroy records. This is based on the cost of keeping records outweighing benefit. If it means that they have to occasionally write off money, because they don't have the information to enforce a debt, if the debtor defends any action.


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When I say madness, I suppose I meant that I can understand the reasons for not keeping or maintaining certain documents after a nuber of years BUT if you are trying to pursue people many years after an event, you would think it makes sense to keep those records to hand.

 

What I find very interesting is that they repeatedly refer to 'the documents you signed' and 'as stated on the documents you signed when applying for legal aid' etc and it turns out they don't have a copy themselves!

 

Not sure how helpful this is to my case but its made me realise that they have been chancing their arm so to speak.

 

Jon

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