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What will happen if an overpayment is not repaid?

We can apply to the Department of Work and Pensions to make deductions from certain State Benefits you may receive. From some Benefits we can deduct up to a third of your income to recover our overpayment.

From April 2013, new powers of recovery for overpayments of Housing Benefit have been given to Local Authorities.

Direct Earnings Attachments (DEAs) permit Local Authorities to make deductions from debtors' net earnings to recover money owed when they fail to make an acceptable arrangement.

The level of the deduction that will be made is between 3% and 20% of your net earnings above a protected earnings level of £100.00 if paid weekly or £430.00 if paid monthly.

We are also able to register your overpayment in the County Court and once registered, we will hold an order to recover against you, which can be enforced by the Court. Enforcing the Judgement can mean you will be summoned to Court to examine your finances and to fix an appropriate instalment arrangement.

Failure to comply with the Court order will result in the Court Bailiff being instructed under a warrant of execution.

We can apply for an attachment of earnings which means we will recover this debt from your salary/wages. We can also apply for a charging order on your property or a third party order to recover money from your bank or building society account.

If we register your overpayment in the County Court and then proceed to enforce the Order to Recover, you will be liable for the extra costs incurred. These will be added to your original debt.

You case could also be passed to an external debt collection company for recovery.