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Jamie-Law
Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 19444
Experience:  Solicitor
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I received a call from the Fraud department of the Universal

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I received a call from the Fraud department of the Universal Credit today. To cut a long story short, they discovered that I had an ISA that I had failed to declare, and when they asked me whether I had any savings or ISAs (before they told me that was why they were calling -- I thought they were calling about something else) I said that I did not. When they said that this was why they were calling, I said that I thought I did but had forgotten about it and wasn't sure because I had not put any money in or out for a long time (which is true as far as it goes). Now they are going to call again next Wed to give me time to look for my ISA documentation.For the moment they have stopped my claim. Fair enough. If I get some kind of sanctions about applying again, I can live with it. My concern is that they will decide that I was never eligible for benefits in the first place and ask for all their money back, and even take me to court. The most immediate priority is how I should deal with the follow-up phone-call next week.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this? In which country do you live? If different, which country is your legal question related to?
Customer: U.K. I have contacted a couple of lawyers but not had a response as yet
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I rang one and messaged another. You are my third
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I am divorcing my wife, and some of the money in my account is intended for her as part of the financial settlement

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I will help you. I am just reviewing your question. Hopefully, we can get this resolved quickly.

Hopefully, we can get this resolved quickly.

If you need to contact customer services you can do so by calling free on: 0808(###) ###-####or by email: *****@******.***

You may get a request offering you a telephone call. I am more than happy to do this for you but please note that this is a premium service and therefore attracts an additional charge. This charge is not instead of asking an online question but in addition to. You do not have to accept a telephone call and if you do not wish to have it, please do not click on the request for one. Should you do so then you will be charged for the call.

I will try and answer your question promptly, but as this is an online service there can be delays.

Don’t worry you do not have to wait here for an answer and you will get an email when I respond.

Now let me just take a look and your question and I will see if I can provide an answer for you.

You are only permitted £16k in savings.

They will calculate when the savings were over the threshold and then will re-calculate the benefits from them to which you would have been entitled.

If this creates an overpayment then you will need to pay it back.

You need to provide the ISA information. If you do not then they can write to the bank directly and ask for it - so its best to be honest.

If there is an overpayment that does not mean you won't get benefits again.

But it does mean you will get the benefits appropriate to what you are entitled to.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today, please?

If you need anything further I am available for a follow up at no extra cost.

I was just following up to see if there is anything else I can assist you with today? If so, just let me know.

If not, then I am happy to have been able to assist you.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thanks. I have just had a phone conversation with one of the lawyers I tried to contact earlier. She says much the same thing -- to give them the ISA information, but that it is probably not enough money invovled for them to take me to court, but that I will have to pay back all the benefits I have received. She's says though that it might backfire if i say that I forgot so that I shouldn't explain at all, or just say that I made a mistake and apologise if they ask for an explanation. Agree? Or should I stick to the story that I just forgot about the ISA?

Dont admit to anything unless they ask.

But just forgetting is not a defence sadly.

I hope that clarifies.

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