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Didn't know whether to post here or in a benefits subforum.

 

I recently received a letter from Jacobs chasing me for an alleged housing benefit overpayment of just under £2000 from over 7 years ago.

 

I have responded in writing by disputing the debt and stating that as it is statute barred it is now unenforceable although I understand it may be recovered by the local authority through an attachment of earnings order (I am self-employed though) or deductions from future benefit payments.

 

I had no prior knowledge of the alleged debt, have never acknowledged it, and no court information pertaining to it has ever appeared on my credit report.

 

Jacobs have responded by giving me 7 days to pay in full (expiring 12 noon tomorrow) or they say they are going to take me to court. They have provided no breakdown of the amount they claim I owe, or any proof that I owe it.

 

What's my next step?


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But did it happen ?

 

The benefit office should of wrote to you to give reasons why you have been overpaid benefit. If you didnt get full written reasons you should ask for them.

 

You could also contact the benefit office and ask them to explain their decision and to tell them any information that you think will show you haven’t been overpaid benefit. This may sort the problem out.

 

If it doesn’t, you can dispute the over payment if you don’t agree with it. However, you should only do this if you can show evidence to prove why you think you haven’t been overpaid benefit.

 

If you’ve been told you have been overpaid benefit, and you are not sure whether this information is correct, you should challenge it.

 

" Jacobs have responded by giving me 7 days to pay in full (expiring 12 noon tomorrow) or they say they are going to take me to court."

 

Are or may or possibly ?

 

Andy.


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"Application will be made to the County Court to obtain a County Court judgement against you"

 

But the invoice date (which I would presume is the council's) is from April 2011, so they're too late to bring it to court aren't they?


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Anyway, I recently received a letter from Jacobs chasing me for an alleged housing benefit overpayment of just under £2000 from over 7 years ago.

 

I have responded in writing by disputing the debt and stating that as it is statute barred it is now unenforceable although I understand it may be recovered by the local authority through an attachment of earnings order (I am self-employed though) or deductions from future benefit payments.

 

I had no prior knowledge of the alleged debt, have never acknowledged it, and no court information pertaining to it has ever appeared on my credit report.

 

Jacobs, using the 'High Court Enforcement' arm of their business recover a lot of HB overpayments that have been to court and where a judgment has been obtained and a writ of control issued. I am assuming from what you have stated that this debt is not as yet subject to a judgment.

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Correct.


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Well you have already provided the answer yourself above....

 

I have responded in writing by disputing the debt and stating that as it is statute barred it is now unenforceable although I understand it may be recovered by the local authority through an attachment of earnings order (I am self-employed though) or deductions from future benefit payments.


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"Application will be made to the County Court to obtain a County Court judgement against you"

 

But the invoice date (which I would presume is the council's) is from April 2011, so they're too late to bring it to court aren't they?

 

The time limit (to issue legal proceedings) is applicable from the date the decision was made by the LA.

 

The Limitation Act 1980 only applies if the local authority are looking at bringing proceedings in the courts. However, recovery using any other applicable 'recovery action' can be recovered at any time......regardless of how old the debt is.

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Well you have already provided the answer yourself above....

 

I have responded in writing by disputing the debt and stating that as it is statute barred it is now unenforceable although I understand it may be recovered by the local authority through an attachment of earnings order (I am self-employed though) or deductions from future benefit payments.

 

So why are Jacobs stating that they WILL take me to court? Lying to intimidate me?


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The time limit (to issue legal proceedings) is applicable from the date the decision was made by the LA.

 

The local authority must issue a formal notice (called a Decision Notice). You need to ascertain the date that this notice was issued. This is likely to be a different date to the 'invoice date'. Until you know the date (of the Decision Notice) you will not know whether or not the Limitation Act applies in your case.

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send the council concerned a free sar

make them PROVE they have the documents that you owe this.


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The local authority must issue a formal notice (called a Decision Notice). You need to ascertain the date that this notice was issued. This is likely to be a different date to the 'invoice date'. Until you know the date (of the Decision Notice) you will not know whether or not the Limitation Act applies in your case.

 

Just spoke to the council - Decision Notice was issued on 21st April 2011. It's statute barred and Jacobs are talking out of their hat.


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Just hope you never need benefits again as even though the debt is un enforceable it does not vanish into thin air. It is still owed.

So they can deduct a payment towards this debt from any current benefits

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All benefits including pensions


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

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Just spoke to the council - Decision Notice was issued on 21st April 2011. It's statute barred and Jacobs are talking out of their hat.

 

The debt is only statue barred in relation to court proceedings. The Limitation Act does not affect deductions from any of the following benefits:

 

Jobseekers Allowance,

Employment Support Allowance,

Retirement Pension,

Income Support,

Maternity Allowance,

State Pension Credit,

Carer’s Allowance,

Disability Allowance,

Attendance Allowance.

 

Also, if you move away, and make a new Housing Benefit claim in that area the new council can be asked to recover the overpayment from your ongoing benefit.

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Thanks everyone, I'm aware of the limitations of the Limitations Act, the fact that the debt remains recoverable though unenforceable, and the implications for future benefit claims.

 

I'm happy to deal with this if it's owed but it'll be when I can afford it and not before, and I won't be paying Jacobs a penny, just the local authority.

 

I hope I never need benefits again too. The last time, which was a 6 week gap in employment, I didn't bother claiming because of how long it would have taken just to receive anything (more than 6 weeks...). The time before that, my housing benefit was £200 per month short of my rent. I honestly don't know how I survived.


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sar time!!


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The debt does appear to be statute barred as the date of the decision letter is April 21st 2001, that is if you have not made any payments towards the debt or admitted to it in writing, otherwise the 6 year statute of limitations period will apply from the date of payment or admission.

 

The debt being statute barred does not stop a county court claim being made against you, but if you are certain that it is statute barred you have a solid defence against a CCJ

 

. If you receive a response pack to a county court claim, you will still need to complete the N9B to submit a defence otherwise a CCJ will be granted against you by default. You would then have to go through the process of applying to set aside the CCJ.

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You dont get ccj's on benefits 'debts'


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?????

Theyve no need they can take it direct from income


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?????

Theyve no need they can take it direct from income

 

 

He is self-employed so a direct earnings attachment or attachment of earnings order is not possible.

Edited by Will Goodfellow

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But can be taken from any future Benefits regardless of timescale.


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which is income….:roll:


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