A Fresh Start For Man Struggling to Cope With Debt After Vicious Assault

A client contacted Debt Service seeking advice on how to deal with his spiralling debt.
The client is aged 59, has one child, no assets and is registered as deaf. The client was running a successful sole trader business but was burgled and badly assaulted. He was unable to return to work and with no earnings, the client was using credit from various sources to survive. 
From the attack the client was left with a number of physical injuries which led to mental health problems. His debts were in the region of £14,000. As client would not be fit to return to work and prior to contacting the debt service, he had been in touch with the benefit helpline.

Advice NI’s debt adviser arranged an appointment and booked a sign language interpreter at no cost to the client. The interview was carried out prior to first lockdown where all the information was provided from the client regarding his finances and debts. 

Once a financial statement was drawn up it became apparent the client could not afford to repay these debts, therefore a Debt Management Plan (DMP) or an Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA) were not affordable options. However the client did meet the criteria for a Debt Relief Order (DRO) as he did not own a car, wasn’t a home owner, had debts less than £20,000 and his surplus income at the end of the month was less than £50.  The adviser explained the cost of the DRO as £90 and once approved, client would enter into a moratorium period for 12 months and after that the debts could be written off.

During lockdown, the adviser and client kept in regular contact via email and the client provided all the necessary documents needed when applying for the DRO.  The client was very stressed with the debts but adviser kept the process as smooth as possible.

DRO was applied for and approved. Client was delighted to get a fresh start and also really helped his mental health improve as this stress was now lifted.

Advice NI received feedback from the client about their experience: “I would like to thank you so much for your immense support dealing with the DRO application and I must admit no one could have done a better job than what you did for me. I would pass on my recommendation to others who may have similar problems like I did and I know you'll handle the application exactly as you did for me.”
 
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