09 Mar 2015

A question about : Help! Spent housing benefit repaying old debt

Hi. Ok,I know I have done a wrong thing. A debt from my past turned up demanding what was owed and was prepared to hurt me to get it. I used a large portion of my housing benefit payment to pay the debt off in full (approx Ј300) and i now have no way to make up the shortfall. Could anyone please offer advice as i am worried that i could lose the flat. HELP!
Please also read post by myself further down for more detail!

Best answers:

  • Sell whatever you can, including the device you are using to post on here....
  • Can only agree. TV, computer, phone, ....sell everything until you have made up the Ј300.
    Then use it to pay your rent.
  • A laptop that has a broken case! I have very little,maybe a little background may be a good idea. I suffer from bi polar and have recently managed to get a roof over my head after 2 1/2 yrs homelessness following the break up of my marriage. I have the bare bones together in my flat,certainly no luxuries and what i have has been either given to me or salvaged from the bins around town (Sofa,old tv,kettle etc) so worth nothing. I've been doing well since last summer,keeping the relationship with my children together and my mental health was improving. This setback is sending me into depressive thoughts and i can feel a looming crisis. My anxiety levels are thru the roof and i'm shaking as i type,bad thoughts are creeping in which is what has triggered me to seek advice.
    I have always made my relationship with my kids the priority,its as much for them that i need advice and help.
  • I'd be more careful who you borrow off in the future
    Or learn to defend yourself
    You'd best get yourself down the council and explain.
    You won't find the solution on a forum.
    Go to the council TODAY.
  • Stop sitting there doing your head in. It won't help.
    Get your coat on and be pro active, go out and speak face to face to people. Go into cab, go find a church charity, speak to the council.
    Stop thinking and start doing.
    Just do it!
    Go on off you go!
    Do do do
    Don't sink, keep swimming
    Its just a setback. That you will sort. And then you will be back on track.
  • Are you in social housing or private?
    If you are in social housing then ask to set up a repayment plan towards the arrears (contact your housing officer)
    If you are in private housing then it might be a little more difficult. If you are in a fixed term then the LL cannot try to evict you unless you have 2 months of rent arrears. If you are in a periodic tenancy then he can give you two months notice to evict you.
    However, the landlord may allow you to 'catch up' by paying back a bit each month. Ask.
    Another option is to ask the council about a Discretionary Housing Payment. You need to be claiming HB (which you are) and some councils will use it to pay rent arrears to prevent homelessness.
    For the future please ring Stepchange (a free debt advice charity) and get your debts sorted so this doesn't happen again.
    And/or have your HB paid direct to the landlord (I believe most councils will allow you to do this if you ask telling them your reasons)
  • Thanks misspickle and pmlindyloo,I'm getting up and ready to deal with this direct and heading to town in next hour.
  • Don't worry about any debt that doesn't involve keeping a warm roof over your head and food in your cupboards, other debt can be dealt with after you have sorted the important stuff out....Have you done a benefit check to make sure you are claiming everything you are entitled too?
  • Why not just continue to pay with your other benefits? You'll only be short one month - living off potatoes, porage and a couple of bags of frozen vegetables for a few weeks will not kill you.
    (Out of politeness tell your landlord now, rather than the end of the month, that you will be short this month but will be able to pay the balance end of March.)
  • you seriously think that someone on benefits can eat frugally enough to 'save' Ј300 in a few weeks?
    how much do you think benefits pay?