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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70180
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Two years ago I changed my hours at work and notified the housing

Customer Question

Two years ago I changed my hours at work and notified the housing benefits people, my daughter then took an overdose and became mentally unstable. During this time I changed work again and increased my hours with everything that was going on I didnt notify them. At christmas I renewed my claim and it turns out i had been overpaid by £6500. i went an had an inerview under caution with them and explained the circumstances. they have just got back to me to say they have fined me so i now owe approx £10,000. They say that if I pay it off within 6 months I will have no criminal record and no admission of guilt but if I cant do this they will prosecute and take me to court. I dont have any savings what can I do?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Whether I have to pay it all up front or can I pay it over a long length of time and still not have a criminal record because of my circumstances?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Well, that is a problem I'm afraid.

How did this turn from £6500 to £10k?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Because they have fined me 30% on top of what i owed on housing benefit and 50% on top of what i owed on council tax.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I see.

How quickly can you pay it?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I dont have any savings or any extra money of any kind , I was hoping to pay back so much a month over years. I am studying in the evenings for a degree in counselling but I have another 2 years then i can get a better paid job but with a criminal record this would be difficult. I dont know which way to turn , I just need to know if I can do this legally or


if there is any other course of action I can take?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

Its a very difficult situation. The plain fact is that they could prosecute you. They are just offering this disposal to avoid that. You cannot force them to extend the time period.

However, you can negotiate with them. They would probably rather have the money than bring a prosecution that they may lose. Realistically they are going to want this paid faster than you are proposing but may give you longer than they are currently offering.

I'm not sure what else I can say and I wish I could say something positive. The plain fact remains that they will want repayment quickly to avoid a prosecution but you may be able to get them to offer longer.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

no thanks for your advice


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No problem and all the best.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-remus2004/