Debt Action NI gets £20,000 written off for a vulnerable client.

The Ballymena Debt Action NI service was successful in getting nearly £20,000 written off for a client suffering from severe mental health issues.

The client was referred to the service in October 2012 by her social worker, as she was very distressed about her situation. She is in receipt of Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance. Client’s husband was unaware of her financial difficulties. She suffers from a number of disabilities including schzio effect delusional disorder, depression, anxiety, panic attacks and multiple sclerosis. She was admitted to Holywell and when she was discharged the client went on a spending spree, accessing credit worth £36,000.

The adviser immediately asked the client to sign the Debt and Mental Health evidence form and began collecting medical evidence to support her claim. Client had ten debts with two priority debts to TV licence and HMRC. During this time, the client separated from her husband who found out about the debt. She applied for Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) property and was assessed as a full duty applicant. The adviser has been able to get the majority of the client’s debt written off, the most notable was First Trust agreeing to write off £12,750. The adviser continues to work with the client and is still corresponding with the other creditors to pursue write offs due to her mental health. The client is delighted with the service so far, “the service was brilliant. I was very depressed before getting advice and help from Debt Action NI. The adviser made me feel better. I also felt stupid to have got myself into this situation but thanks to Debt Action NI I am feeling a lot better and have recommended you to other people. Please accept my thanks for all your help.”