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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Thanks answer but I forgot to provide you with more

Customer Question

Thanks for your answer but I forgot to provide you with more details. Please confirm if I should plead guilty based on the following details:
Point 1:
I received a summons from Barkingside Court to appear on Friday 17 April related to the fact that I did not inform my changes of circumstances to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit as I was enrolled as a Student and was in receipt of Student Finance. (this changes of circumstances was in November 2012).
Point 2:
On 22 April 2014, I accepted a recorded interview with London Borough of Redbridge explaining to them why I did not believe it was changes of circumstances and I did not intend in any way to act fraudulently.
My statement was based on the fact that I was still self employed and although the school considered me as a full time student, courses taught are only during 3 times a week which allowed me to continue my self employed activity.
Had I known that it was considered changes of circumstances in any case, I would have informed the borough. I may have acted by negligence but it was not deliberate.
Also, I accepted the interview as I had nothing to hide and could have refused it
Point 3:
The Summons is asking me to decide whether I plead guilty or not guilty.
If I pleaded guilty I need to fill out a form confirming this along with details of mitigating circumstances about the offence and about my financial circumstances (where I can prove my financial limitations).
Point 4:
On 6 June 2014, I received a letter from Housing benefit confirming that the overpayment amounts to £14,538.51, and because of my limited financial capacities, they accepted my offer to pay them £200 per month until my circumstances improve.
I started paying them £200 monthly since June 2014 and continue to do so.
However in the summons declaration, the London Borough of Redbridge requires a compensation of £15,991.76 .
Thanks for assisting me in the following:
1. Should I plead guilty or not guilty
2. I cannot pay such an amount an continue to pay my £200 monthly, and can prove that I have also a debt management company taking care of my previous debts.
3. I am also paying installments of £50 to Student Finance as they readjusted the grant I previously received (overpayment of £1,500)
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this..

Alex Watts :

1. If you failed to declare a change even if it would have made no difference then you are guilty of an offence

Alex Watts :

2. They are likely not to order you to pay at the hearing, rather than at the County Court. You can offer to pay £5 a week, but you should start to pay the overpayment

Alex Watts :

3. See above

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

JACUSTOMER-iafku9nt- :

Yes but am already lying overpayment since last June

Alex Watts :

Ok, then that is good. You will continue to make the same overpayment until it is cleared

JACUSTOMER-iafku9nt- :

OK thanks

Alex Watts :

You don't need to do anything else at this stage

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you at all?

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