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.
* 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