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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71128
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have a 22 year old debt to the department for work and pensions,

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I have a 22 year old debt to the department for work and pensions, they contacted me 2 years ago for payment stating I had been over paid an amount of income support in 1991/92 of £1600, after some legal advice I called told them it was statuary barred they agree! Now they have just contacted me again 2 years later stating that under new regulations they have instructed my employer to do a direct earnings attachment (with out a court order) to deduct monies from my earnings. Can my employer refuse this as it is such an old debt?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
They are not time barred I'm afraid. They never were. They are not pursuing a contractual debt so subject to time barring. This is simply a benefits overpayment so there are not limitation periods.
Therefore there are no grounds to refuse unless, of course, you say that you do not owe the money.
the only new regulations are that they now have a policy of pursuing overpayments whereas before they did not.
Of course, a debt from 22 years ago might be hard to pursue for them but they certainly can if they can prove it.
I'm very sorry.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Could I offer them a reduced payment as it is so ould would they be obliged to accept

You can offer one but they are not under an obligation to accept it.
They may do. It depends on whether they think they could prove this if it went to court.
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