Money Does Matter Arrears Talk Debt Guide Produced by East

Document Sample
Money Does Matter Arrears Talk Debt Guide Produced by East Powered By Docstoc
					                                                         Money Does Matter
                                                    Arrears Talk Debt Guide
                                    Produced by East North East Homes Leeds
                                                                October 2007
                                                           Updated April 2008
                                                           Updated July 2008

                                                                                      East North East Homes Leeds
                                                                     A company wholly owned by Leeds City Council
                                       East North East Homes Leeds is registered in England and Wales No 06031596
                   East North East Homes Leeds Registered Office Tribeca House, 71 Roundhay Road, LEEDS, LS7 3BE                                                                                                    24
              This document can be made available in large print, Braille and on tape. It is also available
              in translation. Please tick the required format / translation and return to:
              East North East Homes Leeds, Freepost RRJX-YRTK-TACE, Leeds LS7 3YY                                                       Are we getting it right?
Please tick         Document Name               Arrears Talk Debt Guide                                                                 We’re always trying to improve the quality of our
I would like this document: On tape                                             By email
                                                        On disc
                        In large print             As text only                                                         You can help us by filling in this form and:
                                                                                   ARABIC                                  hand it in at any East North East Homes Leeds Housing Office
                                                                                                                           send it to us at East North East Homes Leeds, Freepost RRJX-YRTK-
                                                                                                                            TACE, Leeds LS7 3YY
        Htio bih ove informacije na bosanskom jeziku.                              BOSNIAN
                                                                                   CHINESE                              Thank you for your help
                                                                                                                       What do you think about this booklet overall?
                                                                                                                       Please tick whichever applies.
        J'aimerais ce document en Français                                         FRENCH
                                                                                   GREEK                               Good                Average         Poor
                                                                                                                       What part(s) of it should we improve?
                                                                                   PAHARI                              Did you understand the information?
        Eu gostaria deste documento em Português                                   PORTUGUESE
                                                                                                                       Yes                 No
                                                                                                                       If no, please say what you didn’t understand

        Ndirikuda kutsanangurerwa izvi nechi Shona.                                SHONA                               Do you think the layout is
        Waxa aan jeclaan in aan helo dukumentigan oo af - Soomali ku quoran        SOMALI
        Me gustaría esta información en...
                                                                                                                       Good              Average          Poor
                                                                                                                       How could we improve it?
        Ningependelea hati hii kwa lugha ya Kiswahili                              SWAHILI
                                                                                                                       Your name
                                                                                                                       Your address
Your name:

Your address:
                                                                                                                       Your phone no.
E-mail address:

Phone number:                                                                                                          Email address if you’d like other languages or formats, please contact us on
For more details                                                                                              2   23                                                   
0800 915 1600
                                            Problems paying your rent                 4

                                            Illegal Money Lenders                     5

                                            Leeds City Credit Union                   7

                                            Tenant reward scheme                     10

                                            Income and Outgoings                     11

                                            What if I don’t pay my rent?             12

                                            Benefits & Tax Calculator                14

                                            Jargon Buster                            15

                                            Advice Services                          16

                                Don’t ignore it
                            it won’t go away!

                            Talk to us - we are
                            here to help and
                            you’ll be surprised
                            how we can!   22   3                                     
                                                                                                    Fuel Advice Helpline                                     0113 2145179
                                                                                                    Gingerbread                                              0800 018 4318
                                                                                                    Help the Aged                                            0808 800 6565
Don’t just ignore it, it won’t go away!
Keeping the roof over your head is important to you and your family, collecting the                 Jobcentre Plus
rent for that roof is important to us. If you don’t pay your rent we have less money to             Southern House, 529, York Rd, Leeds, LS9 6TF            0113 214 8000
spend on repairs and improvements. This is unfair to the majority of tenants who do                 Parkway House, North Parkway, Seacroft, Leeds, LS14 6UZ 0113 214 8500
pay their rent on time. We will always try to help people with genuine difficulties; but            219, Roundhay Rd, Leeds                                 0113 214 2100
we will take prompt action against people who deliberately don’t pay.
                                                                                                    Leeds Housing Advice Centre                              0113 247 6919
We Can Help
This leaflet recognises and highlights some of the problems we know our customers                   Lone Parent Helpline                                     0800 018 5026
experience and is a guide for people who are struggling to pay their rent. It tells you
about the many different ways we can help you improve your situation and meet                       Mind                                                     0845 766 0163
your rent payments, from helping to manage your income, getting advice on
managing debts or helping you claim benefits and s to boost your income.                            Money Advice Association                                 0147 659 4970
Help us to Help You: Keep in Touch                                                                  National Debt Line                                       0808 808 4000 or
Don’t bury your head in the sand. Although there are so many ways we can help we
                                                                                                                                                             0800 980 2800
can’t help you if you don’t let us.
Make sure you keep in contact with your local Housing Office at all times, and                      Office of Fair trading “Help Yourself Out”               0870 60 60 321
always reply as soon as possible if we phone you, send you a letter or visit your                   Rights of Women                                          0207 251 6577
The sooner you act the smaller the problem and the sooner it will end.                              Shelter                                                  0808 8004444

We Do Help                                                                                          SSAFA - Soldiers, Sailors and Airforce Association
Our Staff, including 7 Area Benefit Advisors, help customers claim Housing Benefit                  31 New York Street, Leeds, LS2 7DT                       0113 2451118
including backdated benefit to help clear rent arrears. We help people suffering
hardship to make claims for extra Discretionary Payments towards their rent. We                     Tax Credits Helpline                                     0845 300 3900
also help people claim s and other Welfare Benefits.
                                                                                                    The Grove Housing, Tenant Hall,Blenheim Grove, LS2 9ET
In 2007 / 08 our advisors made 56 Discretionary Housing Payment claims of which                     Single people, pregnant women and young people with
36 were successful and coupled with complex claims management, good cause                           children, aged 16-25.                                    0113 3688888
backdates and appeals made, resulted in a total of £562,606 extra Housing Benefit
and £564,459 extra council tax benefit obtained for our customers.                                  The Jamaica Society                                      0113 262 6435

DWP Statistics show up to £1420 MILLION is UNCLAIMED each year in Housing                           Victim Support                                           0845 303 0900
Benefit. £4 BILLION in allowances are left UNCLAIMED by older people yet 2 million
are living in poverty! (Help the Aged)

You collect your parcel when the postie leaves it next door!
You collect you winnings if you win on a horse!

So why not come and see us and make sure you collect all the allowances and
benefits you are entitled to.                                                                           4   21                                                       
                                                                                           We set up links with local independent voluntary debt advice services and helped
                                                                                           set up outreach advisory services in some local areas.
                                                                                           Details of how to reach us, our benefit advisors and partner advice agencies is at
                                                                                           the end of this leaflet.

                                                                                           When the Money Won’t Stretch
                                                                                           We understand that although rent is a priority, there are other bills to pay. But you
Citizens Advice Bureau Legal Line      0870 120 2450                                       might be paying the wrong ones! We can help you contact other people you may
Harehills & Chapeltown Law Centre      0113 249 1100                                       owe money to, and help you negotiate repayment plans such as Council Tax.
Shelter                                0808 800 4444
                                                                                           We work closely with the voluntary debt advice groups providing ‘face to face’ debt
                                                                                           advice for our customers. These include; St Vincent’s, Ebor Gardens Advice
                                                                                           Centre, Leeds City Credit Union, Burley Lodge Advice Service or the Citizens
                                                                                           Advice Bureau. We can put you in touch with these agencies that specialise in
                                                                                           giving advice on multiple debt issues.
Action for Gipton Elderly                                   0113 240 9784
                                                                                           These agencies will help you ‘prioritise’ your debts to make sure you pay the most
Age Concern                                                 0800 009 966                   important ones first. They can help you negotiate with all kinds of people you owe
                                                                                           money to, such as catalogues and loan companies so you can pay an amount you
Archway, Single people, pregnant women and young people                                    can really afford. It’s important to be honest and tell your adviser the extent of your
with children, aged 16-25.                              0113 3833900                       difficulties so they know the full picture and can help you make realistic
                                                                                           arrangements you can stick to.
Bangladeshi Muslim Association                              0113 277 6063
                                                                                           Details of local advice surgeries and how to contact them are at the end of this
Black Mens Forum                                            0113 262 6333                  leaflet. Why not give them a call or come to us and we will refer you.

Burley Lodge Advice Service, Little London Children’s Centre 0113 275 3498                 If you have problems with door step lenders, these agencies can help you with
Child Support Agency Enquiry Line                           0845 713 3133                  these too.

Christians Against Poverty (Debt Advice regardless of belief) 0113 225 9773

Claim Line for Pensioners                                   0800 028 1111
                                                                                           Good news. The regional loan shark investigation team, piloted in
Community Legal Service                                     0845 3454345                   Birmingham by its Trading Standards Service, has come to
Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS)                  0800 138 1111
                                                                                           You may have seen the posters displayed in our blocks and
Debt Advice Helpline                                        0800 9802800                   offices or heard the advert on Radio Aire.

Disability Benefits Enquiry Line                            0800 882 200                   Since its initial launch in Birmingham and surrounding areas in
                                                                                           September 2004, the team has identified nearly 100 targets and
Disability Rights Commission                                0845 762 2633                  have reported 27 individuals for illegal money lending. These
                                                                                           investigations have resulted in over £2,000,000 of debt being
Financial Services Authority On Line Debt Test at                                          wiped out and over 1300 victims being helped. So far over 10                                                          years in prison sentences have been handed down for illegal
                                                                                           money lending and 10 years for possession of firearms. Further                                                                  20   5   matters are progressing through the courts.                  
Since The Illegal Money Lending Team launched in Leeds on 11 May 2007, it
has already established itself. Within 2 weeks the first arrests of 3 illegal
money lenders were made in the Seacroft area.

There were 250 names on the Seacroft illegal
money lenders lists who have now been helped
and who no longer have a debt.

Did you know if it is an illegal loan you do not                                                                                          Cross Gates & East Leeds
have to repay it?                                                                                Leeds City Centre
                                                                                                                                          Methodist Schoolroom
                                                                                                 Westminster Buildings,
                                                                                                                                          Austhorpe Road,
All money lenders, operating as consumer credit                                                  31 New York Street, LS2 7DT.
businesses, must obtain a consumer credit licence                                                                                         Cross Gates LS15 8QR
from the Office of Fair Trading before engaging in the activity of money lending.
The loan sharks don’t bother with this so any loans they make are unenforceable in
                                                                                                 City Centre - Opening times:
law.                                                                                             Drop-in advice times
                                                                                                 Mon: 09.30 - 12.30
This is why illegal money lenders use intimidation through peer pressure and                     Tue: 09.30 - 12.30
violence to collect the debts.                                                                   Fri: 09.30 - 12.30

The Team has uncovered examples of loan sharks that have terrorised whole                        Telephone advice times
communities, charging huge amounts of interest on loans, adding indiscriminate                   Mon: 10.00 - 13.00
charges to the loan when they feel like it and using violence to collect the money.              Tue: 10.00 - 13.00
                                                                                                 Wed: 10.00 - 13.00
Some loan sharks add so many charges that the debt increases even though                         Fri: 10.00 - 13.00
payments are being made. Some force victims into crime, stealing to order to pay off             For an appointment please call in during opening hours, or contact our telephone
the debt. Crime statistics in Birmingham have shown when the loan sharks are                     advice service on 0870 120 2450 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday from
removed from an area the level of crime reduces.                                                 10.00 am to 1.00 pm.

The team offer a confidential service, providing help and support to those people                Cross Gates & East Leeds - Open as follows:
caught in the grasp of an illegal money lender. Their experience of dealing with this
                                                                                                 Monday 10.00 am to 1.00 pm          Methodist Schoolroom, Austhorpe Road,
illegal activity is second to none and is borne out by their successes to date.
                                                                                                                                     Cross Gates, LEEDS, LS15 8QR
So please add to the 250 in Leeds who have already been helped. If you or anybody                Friday   10.00 am to 1.00 pm        Telephone: 0870 120 2450
you know is in the clutches of an illegal money lender the team can and will help.               Chapeltown
Call the loan shark helpline on 0113 225 1122 or email                                           0113 2629479 or 0113 2622281        Willow House, New Rosco Buildings, Cross                                                                                                     Francis Street, Leeds LS7 4BZ
                                                                                                 Seacroft Hospital
                                                                                                 0870 120 2450                       The Newsam Centre, LEEDS
                                                                                                 Tuesday: 10.00 - 12.00
Leeds City Council’s Corporate Debt Unit
If you have rent arrears and / or Council Tax debits, and are having trouble paying
                                                                                                 Telephone advice service                   Home visits advice service
them because of other debt and money problems, you may be helped with free                       Telephone 0870 120 2450             If you can’t get to us, we’ll come to you.
independent and confidential money / debt advice, by contacting their specialist                 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday &        Please phone on 0113 244 1614 for more
team on 0113 2475858 or 0113 2475096.                                                            Friday 10.00 am to 1.00 pm.         details. This service is for people who are
                                                                                                                                     housebound.                                                                        6   19                                                           
‘By doing a budget of the money I have left each month and sending a financial
statement out to all debt companies I’m now on top of everything’                                They will help you get all the possible benefits and advice that are available to you,
                                                                                                 from this one point of contact. Affordable arrangements will be made for you to re-
If you are having any sort of money problems why not give them a ring or come to                 pay both rent and Council Tax while you get help with all your other debts.
us and we can refer you!

Below is a typical case study of someone with money problems and how they
have helped and the type of help St Vincent’s provide.

Diane* came to see me as she had recently lost her job and was struggling to make                Is this you?
payments for rent, council tax and other bills and buy food for her and her child..
She also had several non-priority debts which she could no longer afford to pay and                    Have you had problems with bank charges?
Yorkshire Water was threatening court action. She applied for benefits and was                         Do you dislike high street banks or do they make you nervous?
awarded full Housing and Council tax benefit and after contacting council tax to find                  Have you been refused a bank account?
out what she owed for the year I was told that she was actually in credit and they                     Have you had problems getting low cost loans?
would arrange to send the balance back to her. We applied to the Yorkshire Water                       Are you on Benefit so think there is no point?
Community Trust and she received funding towards her arrears which prevented                           Do you keep your savings under the bed and risk being burgled?
court action. We negotiated with her non-priority creditors for reduced monthly
payments which they all accepted. She is now able to make weekly payments                        Then Leeds City Credit Union has services and accounts for you.
towards her rent arrears and she is managing to pay her bills and buy food.
                                                                                                 Current accounts with access to a loan facility - apply for the loan option when you
*name changed                                                                                    apply for the account and if a month comes up when the money won’t stretch, make
                                                                                                 a call and the loan can be made available so you will have no returned Direct Debits
Why not telephone for an appointment to see what they can do for you or call in at               so NO BANK CHARGES.
the shop and café for a chat and a bargain!
                                                                                                 This will help you pay your rent by Direct Debit with no worries about Bank
If you do go, come and tell us about your experience, we love to hear good news                  charges.
                                                                                                 The account also comes with either an ATM card you can
                                                                                                 use at any LINK machine to withdraw your cash for free or
                                                                                                 a Visa debit card which you can use at LINK machines AND
                                                                                                 also use to buy things in shops.

                                                                                                 A current account not your cup of tea but need a bill payment service?

                                    173 Haslewood Drive, Leeds, LS9 7RE                          Then see Leeds City Credit Union about their bill payment service. Just complete a
                                                                                                 couple of forms with staff and pay in what you need to cover your household bills
  If you have problems with:
         Benefits                   Monday, Wednesday and Friday                                 and they will pay them all for you, including your rent.
         Debt                       9.30 am - 1.30 pm no appointment needed.
         Housing                                                                                 This helps you manage your money and have peace of mind. You know what you
         Rent Arrears               Or you can phone 0113 2350276 and we can                     have left over to spend or save and again NO BANK CHARGES.
                                    advise you over the phone or arrange a home                  It is suitable for those of you who are working, on s or on benefit and is a good
  We can HELP with Free             visit if you can’t get out and about. OR                     choice for those who like to pay by cash. One payment and Leeds City Credit Union
  and Confidential Advice                                                                        do the rest.
                                    Phone: 0113 2350276                                                                        18   7                                                               
Did you know that the Post Office Card Account may not be available after
2010? Everyone will need some sort of account to have their benefit, wages or
tax credits paid into.
                                                                                                                                         At the Henry Baran centre in Gipton on
Don’t delay, call in to a Credit Union Branch and talk about an account today?                                                           Mondays 9.00 am to 12.00 pm.
For more details please ring 0113 214 5252 or call in at any of the local Leeds City
Credit Union branches at:                                                                                                                Please phone 2484126 for an
                                                                                                                                         appointment or call in at the Gipton area
     City Branch, 32 Kirkgate, Leeds, LS2 7DR
                                                                                                                                         office and they will arrange one for you.
     Wetherby One Stop Centre, 24 Westgate, Wetherby LS22 6NL
     Halton Moor One Stop Centre, Neville Road, Leeds                                                                                    At the St Vincent’s Support Centre,
     LS15 0DW                                                                                                                            Community Shop & Café Berking
     Great George Street, City Centre One Stop Centre, 2 Great George Street,                                                            Avenue, York Road, Leeds LS9 9LF.
     Leeds, LS2 8BA
     South Seacroft One Stop Centre,                                                                                                     Monday to Friday 10.00 am - 4.00 pm
     90-95 Moresdale Lane, LS14 6GG                                                                                                      Please phone 2484126 for an
     Roundhay Road, 269 Roundhay Road, Harehills,                                                                                        appointment.
     LS8 4HS,
                                                                                                                                         St Vincent’s Community Shop,
                                                                                                                                         Kentmere Avenue, Parade of shops
                                                                                                                                         between St Richard’s Church and The
                                                                                                                                         Gate public House.

                                                                                                                                         Tuesdays 11.00am to 2.00 pm.
Having a money crisis? Desperate for cash and                                                                                            Please telephone 0113 2484126 for an
don’t know where to turn? Think you might have to turn to your local door-                                                               appointment.
step lender?

You don’t need go to the doorstep lenders, Provident or Greenwoods and pay                      East North East Homes Leeds staff work closely with the staff from St
through the nose with massive interest rates. Look how much a Leeds City Credit                 Vincent’s Support Centre. A warm welcome awaits anyone who visits the
Union Handiloan could save you.                                                                 centre which has a community shop and café with a free Debt advice and
                                                                                                counselling service.
                                          No of       Weekly                 Total
                                Loan                              APR
                                          weeks     repayment               repaid              You will also find help with basic household budgeting to help you make the
                                                                                                money go a little further.
Typical doorstep lender 1       £300        32         £15      399.7%      £480
                                                                                                You can also drop in for a coffee, cake or a chat at the centre or perhaps take
Typical door step lender 2      £300        31         £15      365.1%      £465                advantage of the low cost furniture and household goods they have for sale.

LCCU                            £300        33         £10       26.8%      £324                St Vincent’s have helped a number of our customers and these are some of
                                                                                                the customer comments we have received about how they have helped;
A massive saving of £156, which will be much better in your pocket or even
put into a Credit Union Christmas Club or other saving account.                                 ‘By talking to the creditors that I owe to help lower my outgoings’
                                                                                                ‘They describe everything in detail and step by step in a friendly way’

                                                                                                ‘St Vincent’s contacted all the people I owe and arranged payments, for the first time
                                                                                                in years we are becoming debt free, thank you’.                                                                       8   17                                                               
                                                                                                   You don’t need to go to Bright House to get replacement goods that cost you a
                                                                                                   fortune like the young mum in the case study below:

                                                                                                   1. A young mum came into the Seacroft branch asking about the Handiloan. When
                                                                                                      asked the purpose of the loan she replied it was to pay a loan she had from
                                                                                                      Brighthouse. She originally bought a bed and a cooker for £1,000. The payments
                                                                                                      had been £37 per week, which she had been paying for 2 years! This worked out
                                                                                                      at approximately £3,800 already paid and yet she still owed £600. We gave her a
Your local Housing Office                                                                             loan for the £600 to pay it off, reducing her payments to £9 per week,
                                                                                                      immediately making her £28 per week better off. This member then opened a
You can call into your local Housing Office to discuss any financial problems with                    budget account and we now pay her bills for her and manage her monthly
paying your rent with your Housing Support Officer.                                                   outgoings. She also opened a Christmas Club account and by Christmas of last
Housing Benefit Advice in your area                                                                   year she had saved £300. When she realised how much she had saved she
                                                                                                      burst into tears in the branch (and the staff joined in!), saying that it was the first
We have seven Benefits Advisors who are able to advise on Housing and other                           time she had not had to get a doorstep loan for her children’s Christmas
benefits. They are available at different times in the offices and for home visits. For               presents.
details please contact your local advisor on the following numbers:
                                                                                                   Apply for a Leeds City Credit Union Handiloan and save yourself that fortune!
Burmantofts Area Office                   0113 214 3448
Gipton Area Office                        0113 214 3273                                            What is a Handiloan?
South Seacroft One Stop Centre            0113 247 5608                                            The Handiloan is a same day loan service, available from any of our branches
North Seacroft Once Stop Centre           0113 214 4409                                            across the city, so you can go in with your application form and come out with cash
Halton Moor & Richmond Hill               0113 214 1381                                            in just minutes. Cash loans up to £500 are available on fixed weekly repayments
Meanwood, Harehill’s & Chapeltown         0800 915 1600                                            and a low interest rate of 2% per month on a reducing balance so you know exactly
Wetherby, Moortown offices                0800 915 1600                                            how much you need to pay back and when.

Welfare Rights Advice Surgeries                                                                    How do I apply for my Handiloan?
                                                                                                   Simply visit your local LCCU branch and complete an application form. So we can
Leeds City Council Welfare Rights Unit offers free confidential advice on all Welfare
                                                                                                   process your application as quickly as possible please bring proof of your income,
Benefits and Tax Credits. They can help you with appeals and check you’re getting
                                                                                                   and if you’re not already a member of LCCU, then please bring at least two forms of
all the money you’re entitled to. The sessions are appointment only.
                                                                                                   identification including a passport, driving licence, a copy of your tenancy
Wetherby One Stop Centre:                                                                          agreement, utility bills etc.
Every fortnight on a Wednesday morning 10.00am - 12.30pm.
                                                                                                   Its important you do get the right help:
South Seacroft One Stop Centre:                                                                    We recommend that you don’t use a debt management company - why would you
Wednesday and Friday 10.00am – 12.30pm.                                                            need to when we have so much local advice available and Leeds City Credit Union
                                                                                                   branches across Leeds? If you do you decide to use one of these companies you
North Seacroft One Stop Centre:                                                                    need to make sure you’re doing the right thing and the company is reputable. By
Every fortnight on a Mondays morning 10.00 am – 12.30 pm.                                          contacting one of the agencies at the back of the leaflet, you will get help to make
                                                                                                   sure you are doing the right thing. They will help you to find about any fees the
Halton Moor One Stop Centre:                                                                       company might charge you and how long it will take to pay off your debts. Some
1st Monday and 3rd Tuesday of every month 10.00 am – 12.30 pm.                                     people have lost a lot of money to these companies so you need to be very careful.

Appointments can be booked by phoning 0113 2149006. They will also be able to                      If you’re being harassed by a debt collection agency, come and see us. We will
help you if you need a home visit.                                                                 refer you to any of the agencies detailed later in this leaflet for advice or, if you
                                                                                                   prefer you can contact them directly. You could also contact the Trading Standards
                                                                                                   Service.                                                                          16   9                                                                 
Our customers have told us how relieved they feel when the doorstep collector no
longer knocks on the door as they have been told to deal with the advice workers.

Remember, you don’t have to let a Debt Collector into your house,
make an appointment for them to return after you have found

Getting started                                                                                        Below are words or phrases commonly used by Debt Collectors.
Included is an Income and Outgoings form: why not visit your local Housing office or
call us and ask for a home visit so we can help you fill it in?                                            County Court - Is a Civil Court which may be used to enforce collection of a
                                                                                                           debt. Debts up to £5000.00 are dealt with by the Small Claims section of the
We will also do a benefit and tax credit check to make sure you are                                        County Court.
getting all the income you are entitled to.
                                                                                                           Bailiff - Someone who is authorised to collect a debt from you, on behalf of
Once all this has been done, we’ll agree with you an affordable but formal                                 your Creditors. There are 3 types of Bailiff. The County Court Bailiff who works
arrangement to re-pay your debt.                                                                           for the Court Service. The Certified Bailiff who has provided references to the
                                                                                                           County Court, and the people they employ are considered fit, and The Private
To complete the form yourself – fill in how much money you have coming in, and
how much you have going out either weekly or monthly, depending on when you get
paid. This will help you to manage your money and know what you have left over to
spend.                                                                                                     Warrant - This is official written permission given to the Bailiff allowing him to
                                                                                                           carry out his/her duties to collect a debt. It is given by the Court.

                                                                                                           Priority Debt - The consequences of not paying a priority debt is serious.
                                                                                                           These debts include Rent arrears, Fuel arrears, Council Tax arrears and
                                                                                                           Outstanding Court fines. Failure to pay these debts could result in you being
To help us to help you, East North East Homes Leeds has introduced a series of                             evicted from your home, and in some cases you could be imprisoned.
Prize Draws to reward our customers who pay regularly.
                                                                                                           Non Priority Debt - These include Credit Card, Hire Purchase, Loans and
Every 3 months we will hold 7 x £250 ‘good payer’ prize draws. A total of 28 prizes                        overdrafts. Collection of these can not be enforced by imprisonment.
over the year to be won just for paying your rent.
                                                                                                           County Court Judgement (CCJ) – If your Creditors take action in the County
Clear accounts are automatically entered so remember to keep your account clear                            Court they may request that a County Court Judgement be made against you.
or in credit to qualify or pay by direct debit with only ‘technical’ arrears due to paying                 This means that the County Court has ordered you to pay an amount of
calendar monthly.                                                                                          money (This will normally be the debt plus Costs). Details of the CCJ are
                                                                                                           entered on to a Register which is used by Credit Companies, Banks, and
AND AT YEAR END 7 DIRECT DEBIT PRIZE DRAWS                                                                 Building Societies etc when you apply for credit. A CCJ will affect your credit
Also at year end we will hold 7 x £250 Direct Debit prize draws to reward those who                        rating.
pay by Direct debit and reduce our collection costs.
                                                                                                           Credit Reference Agency - A company that stores computerised records of
YEAR END RUNNER UP PRIZES                                                                                  people’s use of Credit. When you apply for credit, e.g. a store card, checks will
7 x £100 arrears ‘runner up prizes’ for those who are in arrears but clear their                           be made with the Agency about your credit history.
account for 31 March the financial year end.

Please Note:
Terms and conditions apply. Please contact your local office or see your copy of
‘Your Home’ for full details.                                                                             10   15                                                               
                                                                                                  Name                                             Address
                                                                                                               Income                           Monthly            Outgoings       Weekly   Monthly
                                                                                                  Wages                                                    Rent
                                                                                                  Wages - partner                                          Council Tax
                                                                                                  Other wages                                              Contents insurance
                                                                                                  Child benefit                                            Life insurance
Each year there are millions in unclaimed benefits. Make sure you are getting                     Income Support                                           Water
all you are entitled to.                                                                          JSA                                                      Electricity
Each year the allowances change so its worthwhile checking every year and its                     Child Tax Credit                                         Gas
easy with our online quick calculator.                                                            Working Tax Credit                                       Telephone
You can Do It Online on our website: using the following steps:                  Attendance Allowance                                     Mobile phone
                                                                                                  Disability Living Allowance                              Court fines / orders
                                                                                                  Carers Allowance                                         Maintenance / CSA
      Log on to                                                                  Maternity Allowance                                      Pension
      Using the left hand bar, click on Do It Online                                              Statutory Maternity Allowance                            HP
      Using the left hand bar, click on Housing Benefit calculator                                Pension                                                  TV licence
      Using the right hand bar click on the document                                              Pension – partner                                        Car tax
                                                                                                  Pension credit                                           Car insurance
                                                                                                  Maintenance / CSA                                        Car fuel
                                                                                                  Statutory Sick Pay                                       Car breakdown cover
                                                                                                  Incapacity Benefit                                       Car parking
                                                                                                  Bereavement Benefit                                      Garage rent
                                                                                                  Housing Benefit                                          Food
                                                                                                  Council Tax Benefit                                      Household items
                                                                                                  Contributions from family                                Cigarettes
                                                                                                  Student loan / grant                                     Alcohol
                                                                                                  Other                                                    Laundry
                                                                                                  TOTAL                                                    Clothing / footwear
                                                                                                  List of priority debts              Amount     Weekly /  Childcare
                                                                                                                                        £        Monthly   Nappies / baby items
                                                                                                                                               Arrangement School meals
                                                                                                  1                                                        Pocket money
Then follow the easy instructions and in 5 minutes you will know if you can                       2                                                        Pet food
claim any extra benefits or tax credits and save some money.                                      3                                                        Vet bills
Or you can                                                                                        4                                                        Window cleaning
                                                                                                  5                                                        Christmas presents
Call in or contact your local office where your Housing Support Officer will be                   6                                                        Household maintenance
able to carry out the check for you providing you can have all your income                                                                       Weekly /  Appliance rentals
details at hand.                                                                                  List of non priority debts          Amount     Monthly   Hairdressing
The calculation is a guide only based on the information you supply. So please                                                           £                   Socialising
make sure you include all your income details. For a full evaluation, call in at your             1                                                          Hobbies
local office where we can also help you with a housing benefit claim or you can                   2                                                          Holidays
claim by downloading one from our Money Matters section at                      3                                                          Other
Usually benefit will only start from the Monday after Housing Benefits receive your                                                          TOTAL INCOME
form.                                                                                                                                     TOTAL OUTGOINGS
                                                                                                                               TOTAL LEFT OVER / SHORTFALL                                                                        14   11
                                                                                                  This is an accurate record of                                            
                                                                                                                                     Signed                                        Date
                                                                                                  my financial circumstances
                                                                                                      If you are not at home when we deliver the notice, contact your Housing Office
                                                                                                      straight away. We can help you to sort out the problems that stop you paying your
                                                                                                      rent or can refer you to one of the specialist advice agencies listed in this Guide.
We’re doing all we can to help people to pay their rent without creating hardship. If
you don’t work with us to help reduce your arrears and choose not to pay your rent                    Or you might want to seek legal advice from Shelter, a Law Centre or the Citizens
or spend your money elsewhere, you’ll leave us no choice but to take legal action.                    Advice Bureau (CAB) . If you contact us we have a fast track referral process with
                                                                                                      the CAB which will cut down how long you need to wait for an appointment.
This applies whether you pay yourself or fail to keep your Housing Benefit claim up
to date.                                                                                              If you don’t clear your account or contact us when we have served a Notice or break
                                                                                                      your re-payment arrangement, we may take court action against you and you could
                                                                                                      lose your home. Sometimes the court will grant an order allowing you to stay in your
As an Introductory tenant you have fewer legal rights than a secure tenant.                           home on the condition that you pay your rent plus a certain amount off your arrears.

Your Introductory Tenancy is a trial period. You must show us that you are                            We will work with you to help you ensure you keep up to the ordered payments so
responsible enough to keep the property. To do this you must:                                         you can stay in your home but if you fail to do this, we’ll have no choice but to ask
                                                                                                      the court for a possession date and if need be grant a warrant to have you evicted
                                                                                                      from your home.
Pay your rent on time
As an Introductory Tenant you can be evicted much more quickly and more easily
than a secure tenant.
                                                                                                      If you are evicted from your property for rent arrears you may no longer be eligible
                                                                                                      to go on the Leeds Homes Register for re-housing by Leeds City Council and the
You have a right to request a review of the decision to evict you but we do not need
                                                                                                      many housing associations in Leeds.
to prove in court that it is reasonable to evict you as we would have to do if you were
a secure tenant.
                                                                                                      In 2007 / 2008 East North East Homes Leeds carried out 35
As an Introductory Tenant you must understand if we need to serve a Notice to                         evictions, making families and single tenants homeless.
Terminate you Introductory Tenancy, your eviction is very likely to follow soon after.
                                                                                                      Don’t let this happen to you. If you think you might fall behind with your rent, or
You can ask for a review but if we have followed all our procedures correctly and                     already have problems paying, contact us. We are here to help and will always try
you have not worked with us to reduce your arrears, the review will not be upheld                     to help you keep your home.
and an application for a warrant to evict you will follow. The process is much quicker
and simpler for Introductory Tenants.

It’s vital that if you’re in arrears you respond to us before we serve the Notice.

If you fail to make your rent payments, we will write to you and visit you. If you’re not
at home when we visit, we’ll leave a card asking you to contact us.

If you don’t respond to letters and visits to clear the arrears, or make re-payment
plans which you then break, we would apply for a County Court Judgement to
recover the debt or serve you with a Notice of Intent to Seek Possession. This is a
legal document which is the first step to court proceedings that could lead to your
eviction.                                                                            12   13                                                               

Shared By: