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View Full Version : Benefit cheats win again?!?



giveusaclue
23-01-2009, 15:59 PM
Having succesfully getting a S8 awarded we have also now had the Local Council agree to pay us the Housing Benefit directly. With the T still not even considering moving out at least this will be something we will get as we continue down the warrant and bailiff route.
Any advice out there on chasing the arrears? Most of it Benefits!
I've seen the various court order enforcements and it doesn't seem that encouraging. I am even willing to accept low monthly payments (just the principal of getting the money back), but with the T's unwillingness to play ball is this something that can be set up by a court. Still cannot beleive they can get away with what is essentially theft!
They have already told us they are not going to pay us any money as they are saving it for a deposit on a new place!!

Thanks in advance!

johnboy
23-01-2009, 16:52 PM
Surely the most important thing is to get the tenants out and new ones in now you have the court order.
Deal with getting the arrears later.
Start building up as much info as you can on the tenants which will help to get back any funds at a later date.

FULL NAMES
PARENTS NAMES & ADDRESSES
CAR DETAILS
WORK DETAILS
PREVIOUS ADDRESS DETAILS
NI NUMBERS
DATE OF BIRTH
BANK DETAILS
DETAILS OF FRIENDS AND ADDRESSES
PREVIOUS PARTNERS DETAILS

Most of this info you should already have if you used a good application form at the start of the tenancy.

You could go down a number of routes such as
MCOL
ATTACHMENT OF EARNINGS
PRIVATE DEBT COLLECTORS
CHASE THE GUARANTOR (YOU HAVE ONE DONT YOU)
I HAVE HEARD (DONT KNOW IF YOU CAN) GET A COURT ORDER AGAINST ANY BENIFITS THE TENANT GETS. (50P A WEEK IF YOUR LUCKY)

giveusaclue
23-01-2009, 17:41 PM
Nice one. Agree, house back is highest priority (hopefully fairly intact!).
Will debt collectors be interested in a benefits case?? Almost seems fruitless.
Will explore all avenues.
Can you sell debts? Would be nice just to palm this off to some tenacious bull dog firm.

Impartial Advice
23-01-2009, 18:28 PM
I'm not 100% on deductions from benefits but I know that the min payment for rent arrears acceptable to the court for someone claiming means tested benefits is #3.05 p/w in our area when dealing with arrears to Local Authority!

Paul Gibbs
24-01-2009, 10:02 AM
IIRC the courts will not allow deductions from someones benefits (unless the creditor is the council)

Preston
24-01-2009, 10:29 AM
IIRC the courts will not allow deductions from someones benefits (unless the creditor is the council)


Hi,

Sorry, I know I am being slow, but what does IIRC mean again?

Preston

Mars Mug
24-01-2009, 10:34 AM
If I Remember Correctly it's something to do with remembering something correctly.

Preston
24-01-2009, 10:34 AM
IIRC the courts will not allow deductions from someones benefits (unless the creditor is the council)

Hi, have just realised that this is advice is not quite correct - getting too hung up on the IIRC thing.

Anyway, a quick summary is shown below. Just google "direct deductions" and lots of information comes up. The recognised best guides to this sort of thing are the Child Poverty Action Group's Welfare Benefits Guides which should be available in all main libraries.

Summary

Benefits are normally paid direct to the person claiming but sometimes money can be deducted by the DWP and paid to a third party. Deductions from benefits are also known as 'direct deductions' and are formally called the 'Third Party Deductions Scheme'. These deductions are usually made from certain means tested benefits including Income Support, Pension Credit and Jobseekers Allowance - income based. However in some circumstances they may be made from other benefits. Most deductions are made when there is a debt and if there is enough benefit to cover the payments.

When are they made?
Deductions can only be made in certain circumstances, usually when a person has got into debt. Deductions can include the following:-

fuel debt - fuel direct payments can be made if a person is in gas/electric debt. The fuel company should not disconnect a person if this happens. The amount deducted will include current fuel consumption as well as for arrears.

rent arrears - to have deductions made then the person must owe the equivalent of four weeks full rent.

council tax arrears - the local authority must get a liability order from the magistrates court for deductions to be made.

housing costs - mortgage interest or interest on loans for repairs/improvements is paid direct to the mortgage lender if the lender is a member of the Mortgage Interest Direct Scheme. Other housing costs can also be paid to a third party including payments under a co-ownership scheme. Residential accommodation charges can be paid under direct deductions as can certain hostel charges.

water charges debt - this can include debt for water and sewerage. The deduction can be for both debt and current consumption.

fines - The magistrates court can apply to have not only fines but costs and cmpensation orders to be deducted.

child support payments - deductions can be made towards child maintenance. More information on child support payments.

certain loans including
- Social Fund loans - Budget and Crisis loans are nearly always recoved by deductions from benefit,
- Loans made by 'not for profit' lenders, for example, credit unions and charities (more details),
- Integration loans for new refugees can also be repaid by direct deductions.
Is the claimant's consent needed?
Deductions can be made without the claimant's consent for:

Council Tax arrears
Community Charge ("poll tax") arrears
fines
current housing costs, including current mortgage interest
child support payments
hostel or nursing home charges which are not covered by Housing Benefit
The claimant's consent is required for deductions if they are for:

rent and housing costs arrears
fuel costs and arrears and fuel service charges
water charges and arrears and water service charges
loan repayments including integration loans
and the total to be deducted is more than:

for claimants not getting Child Tax Credit, 25% of their applicable amount for Income Support or income based Jobseekers Allowance or Pension Credit minimum guarantee
for claimants getting Child Tax Credit (CTC), 25% of their CTC plus Child Benefit plus applicable amount or PC minimum guarantee but not any housing costs included in those
If the total to be deducted is less than 25% of those figures deductions can be made

Preston
24-01-2009, 10:35 AM
If I Remember Correctly it's something to do with remembering something correctly.

Thank you. I understand why I forgot now.

Preston