Financial Help

16 months ago my husband sustained a hypoxic brain injury caused by an overdose.

He had experienced mental health problems for a couple of years and this was made worse by his hidden gambling addiction.

While he was in hospital I had to sort through our finances. He had kept these problems from me and it was such a shock to find we were £2000 behind on the mortgage and £16000 in debt

It felt like a double blow, dealing with his physical health problems and then finding that we were about to lose our flat.

I visited the Citizen's Advice Centre and they advised me to contact all of his debtors including pay day loan companies, credit cards and debt companies and ask them for a charitable write off. I thought this was a crazy idea but feeling quite desperate I wrote some letters. I asked his consultant and ward sister for reports explaining my husband's physical problems and his prognosis They were surprisingly supportive and gave me detailed information.

I duly sent off the information but wasn't holding my breath. A couple of weeks later one of the debtors contacted me for clarification and asked me to fill in some forms describing our income and expenditure (which didn't take long as there wasn't much coming in or going out). And then another company contacted us and again asked us to fill in forms describing our current financial situation. One by one the companies started to contact us and low and behold we got letters and emails agreeing to the write off.

16 months down the line and all of his £16000 has been written off !!! Some companies were a little slow but most were quite helpful and not at all patronising or judgemental.

Please, if you find yourself in financial difficulties, seek help. Whether online (just Google what you need) or by visiting CAB, Stepchange or some other FREE agency.

Helpful Tips

* Don't demand anything - being very polite gets you much further

* Provide as much supporting evidence as possible (I asked the hospital for reports and also provided letters from DWP to prove our income

* Get as much as advice as possible (never pay for this)

* Get organised and keep records of who you contact, when you contact them and the outcome

Good luck and let me know if you find this useful

Angie

6 Replies

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  • This is brilliant news that the debts have been written off. I hope the way forward will be a bit better now.

  • Hi Angie my names also Angie, you are spot on with your advice its so easy to get swamped especially when an injury or illness occurs. It can feel like your drowning, but there is so much help out there. But you have to be careful of these companies that advertise their help, but charge you for it. The ones you have listed do a brilliant job, I have heard of step change, they have helped a couple of my friends.

    Silly question but the year you were born was it 1968, I only ask as thats when I was born sorry silly question.

    Angie

  • Yes it was. Born in April, are we twins ?

  • :-) we must be im in may though so I wasn't quite done yet lol

  • Hi Angie, My husband's bi was also caused by a suicide attempt. We had no money troubles, luckily but ours was the opposite problem, He had a successful business which we had to sell, we didn't qualify for any help at all and he was incapable of working or of being left whilst I worked so we had some very bad years. Sold the house, the car, everything I thought could help us survive for those years.

    Hope your husband has conquered his gambling problem and that his bi is not causing him too much of a problem with his life now. Suicide is such an awful thing and, whether it succeeds or not, the problems for the person left behind are huge. Many times over the years I have wished that I had arrived home 15 mins later and my husband would not have survived and all the problems would be over by now. Instead of which I am living with someone with a bi that causes so many problems in our life and that has ruined my health too.

  • As you may or may not know the helpful unemploymentmovement.com website has closed down :-(

    Luckily there is a good replacement: respectfulbenefits.forumoti...

    where you will be able to get advice on how to best deal with Jobcentre shenanigans, ESA / PIP applications, etc

    Please also be aware of benefitsandwork.co.uk/ who also provide excellent benefits info and advice.

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