Thank you for your answer, it still does not address the fact that they really can't afford to pay this sort of money. Are they able to reclaim any money if they can prove hardship even after they have paid the first month's demand. Their solicitor as far as I'm aware has told them to re-submit the forms and they have been told by LAS that it is to late to review their situation.
No, but there are no magic wands I'm afraid. Whether it can be afforded comfortably or not, it is due unless you appeal.
I do understand. It is very unfair. But that is not a defence per se.