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Legal Aid Board say I owe them £18K - help

(8 Posts)
MeAndMyGirl Sat 17-Sep-11 17:26:27

Finished v v bitter access/divorce court saga last July which had went on for 4 years. Had some legal aid help which had repaid. However just had letter in from Legal Aid board saying I owe them £18K as have this in assets - I don't. I had to pay ex £10k and the £8k was debt paid off as per new mortgage agreement.
I don't have £18K and v worried. Lawyer has not returned calls. Any suggestions/help out there?

mumblechum1 Sat 17-Sep-11 23:38:12

Hmm, I haven't done legal aid for about 6 or 7 years, but unless they've drastically changed the system, the idea is that if you end up better off as a result of the action, you're liable to pay.

So say you and your H have £100k equity in the house, and you sell it but you receive £70k and he receives £30k, you have made a notional profit of £20k (over your half share).

The debt may not have been taken into account, depending on circs. Did you sign something to say that the statutory charge would apply?

Not returning your calls is not on. Call again on Monday and if your lawyer won't speak to you ask to be put through to his or her managing partner.

The legal help bill which you paid may just relate to the divorce, not the ancillary relief bill.

I'm sorry, I don't want to worry you, it is possible that the LSC have made a mistake and I hope that is the case.

Collaborate Sun 18-Sep-11 09:24:19

Don't understand you saying you had some legal aid help that had repaid. Presumably not repaid if they now want £18k.

You MUST use the money you get to repay the LSC first. You can't use it to repay your debt then tell the LSC to go swing for it. The LSC have a first charge on that money, and that is made clear in the paperwork you sign when you apply for LA.

mumblechum1 Sun 18-Sep-11 10:18:41

Collaborate, isn't it still a two stage system, with Legal Help (Old folks like me used to call it the green form), followed by a full certificate?

mumofsoontobelawstudent Sun 18-Sep-11 18:03:09

LOL mumblechum I still call it the green form too! Us oldies grin

Collaborate Mon 19-Sep-11 00:02:08

It is, but you won't know that the statutory charge kicks in for the Legal Help until the certificate has run its course, in which case the client gets notified of their global liability.

MeAndMyGirl Thu 22-Sep-11 19:28:25

i have to pay it back but luckily should be relatively flexible about terms as I don't have that money. fuck a doodle

mumblechum1 Thu 22-Sep-11 20:35:43

Presumably you bought out your H's share of the house? In which case the board will put a charge on it, just like a second mortgage, and you'll have to pay interest.

Your solicitors should have explained all this to you tbh.

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