To think they should let the debt go?

(178 Posts)
falulahthecat Sun 08-Jun-14 17:49:12

I had a job at a uni in the finance dept. which started off as me coming in for 20 hours a week as an intern/dogsbody - then when a lady left on the purchase eldger because I was finding it all so easy they let her train me up for a couple of days and gave me her job. 5 months later my contract was due to end, I had a weeks holiday, then 10 days then my contract was to be renewed.
Being my first 'proper' job I'd stupidly not insisted on written confirmation, however everyone was so confident I'd be staying I'd even paid my £5 for the Christmas meal (2 months later!).

I come back off holiday and get "Oh, er we didn't clear it with HR and as it's the recession (it was 2010) we're not renewing any contracts that expire. You might be able to reapply but we're changing it to a position for someone with payroll experience blah blah".

So I had 10 days to find a job, which didn't happen. (In fact 2 years of unemployment and depression/anxiety followed, hurrah).

THEN they paid me the next months pay - and I went to the job centre next day to sign on and said the last time I was paid was yesterday and so my job seekers was delayed.

By the time I found out it wasn't mine (had stupidly assumed they wouldn't have made a mistake like that and it was either my months 'notice' or I'd been paid in arrears as my payment method changed after the first month) some was gone and I needed the rest for rent etc. until my jobseekers kicked in for rent.

2 years later they start chasing it up, using debt collectors etc. There's nothing in my contract saying it would become civil debt, and so the use of debt collectors is I believe, illegal. (Please correct me if I'm wrong, I got it from the CAB website I think).

I agreed to pay £5/£10 a month from my jobseekers allowance (I'm pretty sure even banks aren't supposed to use that for interest!) but after 7 months decided it was too much as unlike a lot of people we were getting only £400 between 2 of us and no housing benefit etc. - basically my family was having to pay our rent, it was a horrible time!

2 years later and a debt collection turns up at my parents address AGAIN.

I could just ignore it, but if they ring my Mum or turn up she won't deal well and I'll feel so very guilty.

AIBU to think that, in these partcular circumstances, they were dicks and should just let it go? :/ Just to say I've only just been able to find another permanent job (instead of temp/seasonal) after all this time, and have overdrafts etc. that need paying off, and we're meant to be saving anyways... ARGH!

falulahthecat Sun 08-Jun-14 17:49:25

Goodness that's really long - sorry!

magpiegin Sun 08-Jun-14 18:00:01

Why should they? Yes, they made a mistake when they overpaid you, it wasn't your money so it needs paying back.

The contract thing is unfortunate but not relevant. That's the risk you take with contract work.

expatinscotland Sun 08-Jun-14 18:02:35

I think companies should have one year and after that, too fucking bad.

MrsGoslingWannabe Sun 08-Jun-14 18:03:52

How much is the debt? And what agency are the using to chase it?

If they turn up at your parents just get your mum/dad to say they have no contact details for you. I'm sure it would be illegal for the agency to keep hassling your parents.

MrsGoslingWannabe Sun 08-Jun-14 18:07:03

Debt collector letters always sound threatening but the truth is they don't have much authority at all. Its just words.

brokenhearted55a Sun 08-Jun-14 18:09:15

There's nothing in my contract saying it would become civil debt, and so the use of debt collectors is I believe, illegal.

There doesn't have to be anything in your contract. It goes without saying.

If you know you've been overpaid and don't tell them its technically a criminal offence too.

You were paid money you werent due and when you discovered it wasnt yours you kept spending it.

As shit as it is they are entitled to claim it back.

WhatNowBrownHow Sun 08-Jun-14 18:10:38

Yeah Expat, why should anyone ever pay anything back? hmm

You should contact them and tell them you're not at your parents address, it would be harassment for them to continue to contact that address when they know you're not there. The debt collectors will probably trace your address if you didn't provide one.

JSA is income in terms of debt. DLA isn't.

I's not illegal for someone to instruct debt collectors on a balance they are owed.

jacks365 Sun 08-Jun-14 18:10:56

Since you are now working then can take it to court and get an attachment of earnings. You need to deal with it.

expatinscotland Sun 08-Jun-14 18:11:16

Because it's their cock up is why.

intheenddotcom Sun 08-Jun-14 18:11:49

You need to pay - don't forget that the more visits the more the amount goes up.

falulahthecat Sun 08-Jun-14 18:12:03

magpiegin

Because they told me my 6 month contract would be renewed, and their mistake caused me further financial hardship because if I'd given it back I would have had NO money for 2 months for rent, bills etc. as job centre just take it from the last day you were paid, not how much money you have. also, there was nothing in my contract to say any overpayments would become civil debt and so the use of debt collectors is in itself unlawful - in fact they're calling it 'student debt' in the letter which is untrue!

MrsGosling

It's £1,045 - a months pay. I know from working there that they generally don't use 'heavy handed' debt collectors but my Mum will panic if anyone calls and will NEVER remember to say she doesn't know where I am or lie, she's absolutely awful with anything like that and it'll stress her out :s

I know they're only doing it now because the 'end of year' is in July and every May they go through all the debt and try to claw some back so the budget looks better!

WhatNowBrownHow Sun 08-Jun-14 18:12:12

Keeping money you know isn't yours isn't a cock up, it's theft.

falulahthecat Sun 08-Jun-14 18:14:36

magpiegin

I can only assume you don't know the stress that can come from sending over THREE THOUSAND job applications/CVs out and not getting a job when you are perfectly intelligent/capable. I was left suicidal.

No one wants to give you a job when you're out of work. When you're working you get job offers left right and centre, as soon as you're out of work, especially then when people weren't so 'understanding' about young people being jobless, people just think 'If no one else wants to employ you why should I!' And my experience and educaion meant I was overqualified for shop work etc. and basically I could only get 0 hours contracts at Xmas etc.

falulahthecat Sun 08-Jun-14 18:15:20

WhatNowBrownHow

At first I didn't know it wasn't mine!!

WhatNowBrownHow Sun 08-Jun-14 18:16:48

You didn't know that companies tend not to pay you for work you haven't done??!!

falulahthecat Sun 08-Jun-14 18:16:56

Am wondering how I was supposed to buy food, pay rent etc.... if not with the money they gave me, when I was refused it my JSA etc.. hmm Loan sharks?

falulahthecat Sun 08-Jun-14 18:18:43

WhatNowBrownHow
I thought I was paid in arrears, then when I went over my payslips I assumed it was the months notice I was due - by the time I realised that was the case, a week later, I'd informed the job centre, and it was all the money I had for the next 2 months.
I spent as little as I could, I actually gave 200 back straight away.

WTF does everyone think I did with it?! Dinners out and clothes shopping hmm

brokenhearted55a Sun 08-Jun-14 18:19:02

The second you found out you'd been overpaid you should have handed the rest back but you didnt. You used it to pay your rent etc. You knowingly spent money that was not yours and know your upset they want it back?

My firm forgot to deduct my season ticket loan from me. I didn't notice the first month but I did the second month. I went straight down to HR when I discovered it and made arrangements to pay the two missing payments back and to start deducting the rest. To do otherwise would have been theft. It was their cock up but I OWED the money.

whynowblowwind Sun 08-Jun-14 18:20:30

Yanbu.

Their mistake.

PicandMinx Sun 08-Jun-14 18:23:45

If the debt collector turns up again, ask her/him to prove that you have a debt to pay. Ask them to write to you at the last address known to them. Do not give them your phone number or your new address. It's up to them to prove you have a debt.

falulahthecat Sun 08-Jun-14 18:24:19

I suppose I was foolish not to immediately sign on, but no one in my family had ever signed on before and I was completely ashamed by it blush

WonderingAllowed Sun 08-Jun-14 18:25:04

How can it be theft? Over dramatic much?

It was not a loan so using debt collectors seems odd.

Have they got a CCJ against you?

brokenhearted55a Sun 08-Jun-14 18:25:12

So if you make a mistake and over pay someone (your dcs music lessons or whatever) wouldnt dream of asking for your money back when you found out?

falulahthecat Sun 08-Jun-14 18:25:48

brokenhearted55a

You're comparing being jobless and homeless to a season ticket in a job you continued to have.

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