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just need somewhere to let it all out...

Discussion in 'Personal' started by legoearth, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. legoearth

    legoearth New commenter

    I just need to off-load before I explode. This seems as good a place as any as any feed back ,positive or negative, would be welcome compared to the black wall I'm looking at at the moment.
    My partner and I have never been good with money, mainly because we never have any. But the latest saga is just about rock bottom.
    Before christmas we recieved a county court judgement against my partner for £1600 for an old catalogue debt.
    'just pay what you owe!' I hear everyone cry.
    Well there's the rub. He doesn't owe it,it's not his debt.
    We recieved no court papers before the hearing and had no idea until the judgement dropped through the letter box.
    I sought advice from a wonderful consumer website and put in an aplication to have the judgement set aside. This was after trying to get details from the debt collection company about what the debt was for. They sent a witness statement with some print screens of their system with my partners name and some other jargon and a high lighted section saying 'given prmission for wife to discuss' or something to that effect. This was dated 2006/2007.
    They said it was for a debt 14 years ago.
    Anyway,to cut a long story short,the aplication was dismissed and £465 has been added for costs.
    I can't afford a solicitor my partner is slipping further into the depths of depression. He doesn't go out of the house, except to cycle in the dark or to drive me to school or the supermarket, not even to the doctors. He's suffered with asthma for years and relies on our daughters supply of inhalers.
    I work part time but it's the sort of part time that doesn't allow another job unless you do it in the middle of the night!
    If we could afford a solicitor he wouldn't go and I suppose they wouldn't deal with me as it's in his name.
    If we try to fight it back in court he wouldn't be able to go. I've yet to get him to admit he has a problem but as many of you may know this is the hardest part with mental illness. He just brushes it off with 'it's a waste of time going, they wont listen anyway' or some such excuse. I see the panic in his eyes if he thinks he might have to see somebody. He slips out the back door if our daughter or son comes in with a friend. It's been a slow process over about 5 years since a family crisis with his mother brother and sister at the same time as injuring his back leaving him unable to work for a while. Then it stated to get longer and longer 'til we are here today in this situation with this debt that's not his ( I know this for an absolute fact) unable to get him to go to court so we lost the aplication to st aside the judgement.
    I sent in a witness statement but I assume the judge didn't look at it because my partner wasn't there.
    I had so much I wanted to say but it all becomes a blur when I think how bad it's got. We'll probably lose the house this year cos the rent has gone up but not my wages and we justcan't afford it anymore. I dread the thought of moving as we had real problems where we used to live and it took us a long time to find this place,not fancy just quiet and private,again something he needs for peace of mind.
    I'm sick of waking up thinking of the next plan to get us out of this mess, but that's what I've always done,for him for everyone else but I've had enough now...


     
  2. legoearth

    legoearth New commenter

    I just need to off-load before I explode. This seems as good a place as any as any feed back ,positive or negative, would be welcome compared to the black wall I'm looking at at the moment.
    My partner and I have never been good with money, mainly because we never have any. But the latest saga is just about rock bottom.
    Before christmas we recieved a county court judgement against my partner for £1600 for an old catalogue debt.
    'just pay what you owe!' I hear everyone cry.
    Well there's the rub. He doesn't owe it,it's not his debt.
    We recieved no court papers before the hearing and had no idea until the judgement dropped through the letter box.
    I sought advice from a wonderful consumer website and put in an aplication to have the judgement set aside. This was after trying to get details from the debt collection company about what the debt was for. They sent a witness statement with some print screens of their system with my partners name and some other jargon and a high lighted section saying 'given prmission for wife to discuss' or something to that effect. This was dated 2006/2007.
    They said it was for a debt 14 years ago.
    Anyway,to cut a long story short,the aplication was dismissed and £465 has been added for costs.
    I can't afford a solicitor my partner is slipping further into the depths of depression. He doesn't go out of the house, except to cycle in the dark or to drive me to school or the supermarket, not even to the doctors. He's suffered with asthma for years and relies on our daughters supply of inhalers.
    I work part time but it's the sort of part time that doesn't allow another job unless you do it in the middle of the night!
    If we could afford a solicitor he wouldn't go and I suppose they wouldn't deal with me as it's in his name.
    If we try to fight it back in court he wouldn't be able to go. I've yet to get him to admit he has a problem but as many of you may know this is the hardest part with mental illness. He just brushes it off with 'it's a waste of time going, they wont listen anyway' or some such excuse. I see the panic in his eyes if he thinks he might have to see somebody. He slips out the back door if our daughter or son comes in with a friend. It's been a slow process over about 5 years since a family crisis with his mother brother and sister at the same time as injuring his back leaving him unable to work for a while. Then it stated to get longer and longer 'til we are here today in this situation with this debt that's not his ( I know this for an absolute fact) unable to get him to go to court so we lost the aplication to st aside the judgement.
    I sent in a witness statement but I assume the judge didn't look at it because my partner wasn't there.
    I had so much I wanted to say but it all becomes a blur when I think how bad it's got. We'll probably lose the house this year cos the rent has gone up but not my wages and we justcan't afford it anymore. I dread the thought of moving as we had real problems where we used to live and it took us a long time to find this place,not fancy just quiet and private,again something he needs for peace of mind.
    I'm sick of waking up thinking of the next plan to get us out of this mess, but that's what I've always done,for him for everyone else but I've had enough now...


     
  3. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I can't really help about the CCJ except to suggest going to Citizen's Advice for possible access to legal Aid.
    If your partner is not working and you only work part-time you will probably be eligible for Housing benefit for some or all of your rent , as well as Council tax relief.
    You don't have to be signing on to get Housing benefit and CT Relief. You can get the forms from the Housing benefit office at the Council and return them there for assessment. The sooner you ring up for the forms the better as they will lodge your claim from that date and , if successful, you will get arrears of the benefit.
    How many hours per week do you work? Under 16hrs and you can sign on for JSA Income Based and have an assessment of your family's entitlement. If your wages are below that figure, they will top up your wages. You have to be able to say that you are available for f/t work and actively seeking it.
    Are you claiming for Child Tax credits if you work enough hours (24 hrs per week, I think)?
    Would your partner be prepared for your GP to see him at home?
    I think you need to talk to your GP too. You are clearly shouldering too much stress and responsibility and need support.
    Start with a phone call for Housing benefit, then make an appointment with Citizen's Advice so that can talk you through a strategy to stall the CCJ leading to bailiffs.
    Do you know which catalogue company is implicated? If so, can they not be contacted direct to ascertain if they have simply tracked down someone with the same name as the actual debtor? I have heard of that sort of thing happening and a letter to them threatening legal proceedings for harassment if they don't desist from pursuing the wrong 'mr smith' can work.
    The Saturday edition of the Guardian has a sort of Watchdog column at the back of the Money paper and they seem to get good results from intervening in readers' problems. The column is called Bachelor & Brignall. You can email them at :
    consumer.champions@guardian.co.uk or write to:
    Bachelor & Brignall, Money, The Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU
    Good luck and take some care of yourself.
     
  4. legoearth

    legoearth New commenter

    Thank you so much for the reply. We get £30/week HB and a little council tax help. Our rent is £57/month! We did get more when we moved in-£125/week but for some reason they dropped it last month,a change in incoMe they said lol WHERE???? I had this problem years ago and it took 4 years for them to stop takig money off us as 'over payment claw-back.' I always inform on time if hours change up or down but benefit never goes up when wages go down in the school holidays ( no overtime).
    My partner wouldn't even admit he has a problem so would never see a doctor about it, so there, I'm stuffed!
    I sometimes wish I could get ill just so he had to do something! He's great around the house and very handy so is busy at home, it's the outside world that is becoming alien to him.
    I just feel like it's ben one long list of battles with the authorities over the last 10 years or so with caring fr my parents when they were ill,my partnrs mother and brother when they were ill, big problems with our social landlord 4 years ago. We ended up in a homeless hostel for 2 months then a private landlord and his 'agent' that didn't pass on the rent,back to the hostel again for 3 months then here, 2 years now and settled but it looks like we'll lose this now and with it being impossible to find 6 months advance rent,where do we go? Not back to local authority/housing asosiation! Then to top it all the 'debt'. I feel like it's spiraling out of control.


     
  5. I don't know whether you have thought about this but sometimes filing for bankruptcy is the best option. I have a couple of friends that did this and it gave them the freedom to start over again financially. Just a thought x
     
  6. moonpenny

    moonpenny Occasional commenter

    Dear lego, just wanted to post as you sound so sad.
    If your rent goes up and you already get housing benefit then you should get an increase in the help they give you if you tell them about the increase.
    As for the CCJ, it sounds as though you have got caught up in the huge wheels of bureaucracy - could you post again on the consumer website and ask for suggestions?
    The only experience I have had of something a little similar is when the city council sent me a letter saying they were going to send me to court for not paying my community charge when I didn't actually need to pay it at that time as I wasn't working.I was passed from person to person via telephone with no one listening until I wrote a letter to my MP and she sorted it out for me.
    I wish you the best of luck and it sounds as though you are being incredibly strong on behalf of yourself and your partner.You must feel under an incredible amount of stress yourself.
    Best wishes xxx
     
  7. polly.glot

    polly.glot New commenter

    I'm so sorry to hear that you are going through this. I have no suggestions, I'm sorry, other than to express my very best wishes...
     
  8. moonpenny

    moonpenny Occasional commenter

    The trouble with applying for bankrupcy is that Lego doesn't actually owe the money and it would have consequences for her for quite a long time. I think she needs to try to sort out the mistake if she can.
     
  9. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    You need to appeal against the drop in HB and insist on an explanation for the change so that you can challenge it if their information is wrong. You should also ask why your HB does not increase when your income decreases.
    It's a different benefit but my sister was recently told that her Child Tax Credits would cease because of new rules. It turned out that the earnings level had changed but that new level would only have exempted her from the benefit if she had just one child, and she has two. She put in a formal request to be re-assessed but so many claimants must have taken the letter at face value and thought they no longer qualified.
     
  10. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    its just anonther money saving con by this goverment anyway
    To the op please take the advice offered by Jubilee.........i understand its along fight back bu t you must do it.Have you thought of approaching a newspaper help line,,,one which might look into it for you and put pressure on the agency/catalouge who claimed it was your debt?
     
  11. Contact your MP - they are there for exactly this sort of situation. From personal experience, I can confirm that a letter from them can achieve what I could not achieve in 8 months arguing back and forth with the electricity supplier!
     
  12. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Or go to thier surgeries...........they are usually good at listening.At least their they can have to whole story explained to them.
     
  13. Legoearth, I've read you OP and just want to say I do hope you can find a away to end all these worries soon. Long term worry makes everyday life so difficult. As usual jubilee has provided excellent practical advice.
    We've been stung twice in recent years by mistakes for debts we didn't have and given money is tight and our budget small I have fought back..usually by letter - a copy sent to all parties involved, making it quite clear I intend to fight injustice. (My not having the means to set up court action didn't come into it - I just refused to lie down and be steam-rollered by bureaucracy and computerised standard threats that had ploughed on...They didn't know I was skint.)
    This catalogue firm should be contacted. Write to Head Office and sound officious and indignant. <u>Demand</u> to see copies of all the paper-work surrounding this supposed 'debt' and put the boot on the other foot by suggesting their needless harrassment of your husband has gone on long enough. <u>Insist</u> they call offf the debt collectors immediately...and do their own investigating as they have obviously made a mistake. Make mention of your MP too...and say you'll be lodging a copy of the letter with "your solicitor". They won't know you don't have a family solicitor to lodge it with, but the threat of legal proceedings heading their way tends to make such set-ups check their facts...
    I was able to get a bank to not only write a grovelling letter of apology to my youngest son for all the trouble and grief they had caused him, (for adding compound interest to an account he'd never opened) but they also suggested compensation too, knowing he could hand the case over to the banking omnbudsman. We'd got to the 'we shall be calling round' heavy letters from debt collectors...and court proceedings etc. No one seemed to be listening. Son (only 19 at the time) was worried sick, mainly because the bank had not heeded his phoned or written protestations at all...just merrily gone ahead and black-listed him and started recovery proceedings. It lasted for three years and it was like banging our collective heads against a brick wall.
    Bring in the big guns.
    If it does go on, I would write to one of the troubleshooting bods of the press. Bad publicity is something most firms try to avoid.
    Stand your ground. I know that is difficult Lego when you feel you have very little ground to stand on, but this trouble is affecting your whole family..and it should be ended. It all sounds horrendous. Best wishes.

     
  14. Y'see...you have them there. The proceedings were 'invalid'.....links in the chain were missing, weren't they....
    You got a county court judgement without any knowledge of the 'offence'? That's wrong on so many counts, isn't it? There should be an acknowledged proceedure in place.
    You might try writing to the courts asking how and why this case got so far without you having any knowledge of it. Be polite, enquiring but 'concerned'.
    They'll pass the buck back to the original debtor I suppose, not caring about the whys and wherefores of individual cases....but insist you are given time 'to make your own investigations' as to how this ever got to court, given it's one huge mistake, and 'seek legal advice'.
    At least then you've made a stand...and it will go on file. It may do no good but you have protested your innocence.
    Again, someone may look back and discover a clerk hasn't done the necessary checking before the court judgement was sent out. Mention this perhaps....as a thought.
    I think all straws are worth clutching at when you face injustice. At least leave a trail of concern....of the 'educated' kind.

     
  15. Linda555

    Linda555 New commenter

    Hi, you have my deepest sympathies. Several years ago we suddenly received an outstanding tax bill for &pound;8000. They stated that we had not submitted an appropriate form many years previously. No matter what we sent, they continued their demands, until eventually in desperation we went to an MP surgery. The MP wrote one letter and everything was dropped. MPs are very powerful, if you have a case (which you clearly do.) Secondly, I would have thought that the citizens' advice bureau would support you through all of this and finally, could you make an appointment with your partner's GP and explain it all - it seems that he really needs help and the GP may have some strategies to help. All the very best, let us know how you get on.x
     
  16. legoearth

    legoearth New commenter

    Thank you all so much for the support and for the very useful advice. As far as getting my husband to the doctor,I don't see any hope there.The time scales with the court case are so difficult to keep to, a citizens advice appointment can take weeks so thats out of the question but I will get in touch with our MP and the original catalogue company but we only have just over a week until we are supposed to pay the costs. I don't even know what will happen about the CCJ and bailiffs!
    It's so good to have somewhere to let off steam and although I don't have a clue who any of you are you are a lovely bunch of friends xxx

     
  17. my advice is similar to other people's. Contact CAB - they may be able to give legal aid. Write to the court, detailing what you think has not happened and that you think you are innocent because of XYZ. Write to local MP. Write to financial ombudsman. Keep a copy of all the letters. Request the court STOP proceedings until you can make enquiries. As for OH, not much I can say except he will eventually seek help himself. As a sufferer of depression, I know that until we want not accept help - we won't.
     
  18. I went through something a bit like this, but not so serious. A mail order company claimed I owed them &pound;500, and I certainly didn't. I just didn't give up, despite their threats and the bailiff they sent. It turned out the debt had been run up in my name on a previous address, but after I moved out. I got the police involved - called them in and told them there had been fraudulent use of my name and details. They looked at my deeds and I showed them my council tax records as well, showing I was at my current address when the debt was run up. They gave me a crime reference number, which I included in a letter, which I copied to the original company and the company the debt had been referred to. Once they had the police crime ref number, this seemed to swing it, and they wrote off the debt and left me alone. Hope this helps. Sending best wishes. xxx
     
  19. legoearth

    legoearth New commenter

    Just for the record,and I guessed it would be mentioned, I am absolutely am 100% certain he did not run up any debt behind my back. He has never handled any of our finances or anything else mainly because he is dyslexic and left school unable to read and write competently! I haven't taken offence amica,it's a very valid point for anybody else in similar circumstances so I do thank you for your comments.
    I find it very interesting to read about the problems others have had,on here and on the consumer forum I use for advice. It seems that the law is not on the side of the consumer if they don't have access to a solicitor. Legal aid was taken away from civil cases some years back and you have to jump through a million hoops to get any advice from a professional if you can't afford fees.
    http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/forum.php
    Have a look at some of the cases on here and you will see it's a minefield out there for the 'little guy''
    Thank you all again xxx Feeling a lot better today.
     
  20. Larsy

    Larsy New commenter

    My friend has received a letter threatening court action for a debt that is actually now invalid. Sometimes companies chance their arms by trying to scare people into paying up for a debt that is not actually valid & that's what has happened here. I agree with all the other posters, just keep plugging away, doctor, CAB, it will all be alright in the end. Do not file for bankruptcy, and do not pay anything. Maybe you could even let the papers know?
    x
     

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