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  • FIRST POST
    peteraol
    Just had visit from DWP Customer Compliance Officer - Worried
    • #1
    • 12th Jul 12, 12:12 PM
    Just had visit from DWP Customer Compliance Officer - Worried 12th Jul 12 at 12:12 PM
    I am on JSA and I just had a visit from a DWP Customer Compliance officer and was shocked to find that she turned up with my bank statements! I had got them ready anyway as the letter of her visit said I would need them but she already had a years worth printed out.

    Anyway, I get $129 every 2 weeks as they take a little off for my water and pay in directly. I have been taken to court for loans and credit card debts a few times now and there is no way I cant make the court payments etc from JSA as it runs into hundreds a month. Therefore my Mother has been lending me the money to pay the court debts (some have charging orders so can order a sale if I default) which I need to pay back at a later date as its from her savings. The payment into my account from my mother was what she had come to query.

    However the person from DWP says this counts as income even though I know its a loan that I have to repay. She therefore says I am likely to lose my JSA.

    Now I am worried. What shall I do?

    Thanks
Page 1
  • sulkisu
    • #2
    • 12th Jul 12, 12:45 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Jul 12, 12:45 PM
    How much money has your mother given to you and was it one lump sum or at regular intervals?
  • peteraol
    • #3
    • 12th Jul 12, 1:13 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Jul 12, 1:13 PM
    Hi,

    Over the past year its been around £3000 to pay towards creditors. It wasnt a lump sum and was every couple of weeks if I needed it. I have a couple of creditors that I cant fail to pay as they have charging orders. Also some is being used to make up arrears on electric, gas and water charges.

    The basic idea was that she would do it if she could until I got back into work and then I would need to repay it back as its coming from what she put aside when she isnt here anymore which is being left to my brothers and sisters.

    Basically if I didnt have it then I would have defaulted on the court orders and would have been made homeless.

    Thanks
  • Cate1976
    • #4
    • 12th Jul 12, 1:15 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Jul 12, 1:15 PM
    Money lent to you by family shouldn't be counted as income. Housing Benefit tried it on me. They asked for bank statements and saw payments from my Mum. Wrote to me asking if the payments were for work I'd done. I went to office and said no, Mum had been lending us money adding that I assume family are allowed to lend me money and they said it was ok.

    My advice to you would be to show £xxx goes in on a certain day from your Mum then within a few days it goes out to xxxxxx. Also go to CAB if you think DWP are going to get awkward.

    Might help if your Mum writes a letter confirming that the payments are loans.
    Last edited by Cate1976; 12-07-2012 at 1:18 PM.
  • peteraol
    • #5
    • 12th Jul 12, 1:30 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Jul 12, 1:30 PM
    Thank you Cate1976,

    I did offer them to take my mothers phone number and also to check the branch where the money is paid in which is always the same one in my mums town which is about 90 minutes away from me.

    I have also got 2 grown up sons (20 and 23) who sometimes stay with me over the weekend. They live with my ex wife and the DWP person said that actually someone else even staying one night can be a breach of the rules too as I claim as a single person living alone.

    So really they are saying I cant have my children stay and my mother cant lend me money to get me out of trouble.

    What a joke!
  • diceydeb
    • #6
    • 12th Jul 12, 1:37 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Jul 12, 1:37 PM
    If family are going to help you out its best they give it to you in cash or pay a bill for you with it. Its hard to dismiss a regular payment into your account as unaccountable income. As for relatives staying at your house I always thought it was ok as long as it was no more than 3 nights a week.
  • pmlindyloo
    • #7
    • 12th Jul 12, 1:53 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Jul 12, 1:53 PM
    Forgive me for saying so but if you are on JSA then your creditors should only be taking a minimal amount from your income. If your Mum has been lending you money to pay your debts then something is wrong and you need some specialist advice about your debt and how to manage it.

    There are different options available so without knowing your full circumstances then I would hesitate to suggest anything.

    Please post on the DebtFree Wannabe board or make an appointment with a money specialist at CAB.
  • peteraol
    • #8
    • 12th Jul 12, 2:07 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Jul 12, 2:07 PM
    Forgive me for saying so but if you are on JSA then your creditors should only be taking a minimal amount from your income. If your Mum has been lending you money to pay your debts then something is wrong and you need some specialist advice about your debt and how to manage it.

    There are different options available so without knowing your full circumstances then I would hesitate to suggest anything.

    Please post on the DebtFree Wannabe board or make an appointment with a money specialist at CAB.
    Originally posted by pmlindyloo
    Hi, I have had help from CCCS and a company called Dawn Advice before. The debts are my own fault so I hope nobody jumps in with any remarks about how I got myself in the situation.

    However, one of them is with First Direct who gave me a six month period of paying a reduced payment of £50 but that has now reverted to the full amount of £180 a month and another creditor giving me a very hard time is Barclays as it was a business loan to my company (which has now collapsed) which I had guaranteed. Also the water and electric is set at £180 a month to pay of arrears there also.

    My JSA total is £258 a month

    Thanks
  • Cate1976
    • #9
    • 12th Jul 12, 2:09 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Jul 12, 2:09 PM
    Go to CAB on all this. I don't think they can stop your children staying at the weekends. I would also put in writing to manager to complain about loans from family being counted as income and your children not being allowed to stay some weekends. Good point that creditors should accept minimal payments with you being on JSA.
    Last edited by Cate1976; 12-07-2012 at 2:14 PM.
  • pmlindyloo
    Hi, I have had help from CCCS and a company called Dawn Advice before. The debts are my own fault so I hope nobody jumps in with any remarks about how I got myself in the situation.

    However, one of them is with First Direct who gave me a six month period of paying a reduced payment of £50 but that has now reverted to the full amount of £180 a month and another creditor giving me a very hard time is Barclays as it was a business loan to my company (which has now collapsed) which I had guaranteed. Also the water and electric is set at £180 a month to pay of arrears there also.

    My JSA total is £258 a month

    Thanks
    Originally posted by peteraol
    I don't know what CCCS advised (were they aware of all your debts?) and they usually have a great reputation but you should not be in this situation when you are on JSA. Absolutely ridiculous.

    Have never heard of Dawn Advice - hope you didn't/aren't paying them anything.

    You must get some more professional advice. Do it now.

    I will try and find the link for the organisations you can go to for help.
  • pmlindyloo
    Here you are:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2077631
  • peteraol
    I don't know what CCCS advised (were they aware of all your debts?) and they usually have a great reputation but you should not be in this situation when you are on JSA. Absolutely ridiculous.

    Have never heard of Dawn Advice - hope you didn't/aren't paying them anything.

    You must get some more professional advice. Do it now.

    I will try and find the link for the organisations you can go to for help.
    Originally posted by pmlindyloo
    Hi , Thanks for that.

    The CCCS know all my debts as I had spoke to them and filled in the online form and listed them all. The only help I had from them was that as I only have JSA then that isn't enough for them to deal with creditors and I would be classed as a "web customer" only. I think they said I needed to have a clear amount of about £100 a month before they would take on the case. So all I can do is out my financial statement then send it directly to the creditor myself with an offer and then see what they say.

    Dawn Advice haven't been paid a penny. They are a legal advice charity that the CAB put me onto when I had to go to court. Sadly the advice was very limited and contained nothing I didn't basically already know.

    Thanks
  • pmlindyloo
    Hi , Thanks for that.

    The CCCS know all my debts as I had spoke to them and filled in the online form and listed them all. The only help I had from them was that as I only have JSA then that isn't enough for them to deal with creditors and I would be classed as a "web customer" only. I think they said I needed to have a clear amount of about £100 a month before they would take on the case. So all I can do is out my financial statement then send it directly to the creditor myself with an offer and then see what they say.

    Dawn Advice haven't been paid a penny. They are a legal advice charity that the CAB put me onto when I had to go to court. Sadly the advice was very limited and contained nothing I didn't basically already know.

    Thanks
    Originally posted by peteraol
    Are you a home owner by any chance?

    If you are, then have your creditors put a charge on your house?

    Just trying to get my head round this as the usual debt advice - discussing all your options (for example bankrupcy) doesn't seem to have been given. Or was it, but you didn't want to consider them?
  • peteraol
    Are you a home owner by any chance?

    If you are, then have your creditors put a charge on your house?

    Just trying to get my head round this as the usual debt advice - discussing all your options (for example bankrupcy) doesn't seem to have been given. Or was it, but you didn't want to consider them?
    Originally posted by pmlindyloo
    Yes I am a home owner. I have had 3 charges made against the property now which basically is eating into the equity but I still have some left. I didn't get any advice about going bankrupt from CCCS. All that happened on the calls I have had with them was that m income (JSA) was not enough for them to get involved and I would have to print the financial statement and offer letter myself.

    Its also a mystery to me how the DWP person arrived with my bank statements going back to last July.
  • pmlindyloo
    Yes I am a home owner. I have had 3 charges made against the property now which basically is eating into the equity but I still have some left. I didn't get any advice about going bankrupt from CCCS. All that happened on the calls I have had with them was that m income (JSA) was not enough for them to get involved and I would have to print the financial statement and offer letter myself.

    Its also a mystery to me how the DWP person arrived with my bank statements going back to last July.
    Originally posted by peteraol

    All makes a bit more sense now.

    So your options are quite limited.

    I would seriously consider bankrupcy - at the least do some reading and get some professional advice.

    There is a bankruptcy forum on here which you might want to look at.

    I'll try and find a link with information about bankruptcy and who you can contact.

    I know it is probably something that you do not want to look at and to be honest I don't know all your circumstances but based on what you have told us I think you should seriously consider it and start afresh.
  • pmlindyloo
    Link for information:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=1056083
  • Sixer
    Compliance are wrong. Appeal any decision to remove JSA. Gifts from family are not counted as income. They are voluntary payments. Here is the decision maker's guide:

    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/dmgch51.pdf

    Jim claims ESA. He declares that he gets a payment of £20 a week from his uncle, Peter, towards the cost of running his car.

    Peter makes the payment because Jim has been receiving ESA for some time and needs a car to get around.

    Peter makes the payment because of family ties and affection for Jim. Peter does not expect or receive anything in return.

    The DM decides that the £20 is a voluntary payment.
  • peteraol
    Thanks for that information. I have copied the whole section to see what other peoples opinions are. Its very interesting.

    "A voluntary payment is similar to a charitable payment but it will not usually be made from a charitable trust. Voluntary payments are usually paid for the benefit of an individual. But DMs should recognize that charitable payments may also be made to individuals
    1. for the relief of poverty or
    2. because a wider purpose is involved. 51395 The DM should consider
    1.
    the background to and
    2.
    reasons for
    the payment when deciding if it is voluntary.
    Example 1
    Jim claims ESA. He declares that he gets a payment of £20 a week from his uncle,
    Peter, towards the cost of running his car.
    Peter makes the payment because Jim has been receiving ESA for some time and
    needs a car to get around.
    Peter makes the payment because of family ties and affection for Jim. Peter does
    not expect or receive anything in return.
    The DM decides that the £20 is a voluntary payment."

    Opinions appreciated.
  • real1314
    Your voluntary payments from your mum will not affect your JSA. The compliance person has probably never seen this sort of thing before and has assumed it will be treated as income (as do lots of people on here). Once it gets to a decision maker it should be fine.

    The compliance person is also wrong about your grown up kids staying. it has no effect on JSA, although it could affect HB or CTB if you got those; but in fact if they stayed just 2 days every week and spend the rest of their time with your ex, it wouldn't affect HB/CTB either.

    search for "voluntary payment" and you'll find lots of threads on the subject (most of which will have my comments on!)
  • peteraol
    Your voluntary payments from your mum will not affect your JSA. The compliance person has probably never seen this sort of thing before and has assumed it will be treated as income (as do lots of people on here). Once it gets to a decision maker it should be fine.

    The compliance person is also wrong about your grown up kids staying. it has no effect on JSA, although it could affect HB or CTB if you got those; but in fact if they stayed just 2 days every week and spend the rest of their time with your ex, it wouldn't affect HB/CTB either.

    search for "voluntary payment" and you'll find lots of threads on the subject (most of which will have my comments on!)
    Originally posted by real1314
    Thank you for that information. It was something nice to see after a sleepless night

    I do agree that my mum does give me this on a voluntary basis. She knows its to pay debts and to keep things like my car insured and taxed as I need it for interviews etc. I think I might get her to prepare a letter stating that she knows its voluntary and is being given without reward.

    Does it matter that I said I am supposed to repay it back when I am back in work?
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