Sarah* found that she had received an overpayment of Housing Benefit because she had not kept the council informed of her wage fluctuations. She was very distressed.
We contacted the council and requested that any further action be put hold. We were also able to negotiate an affordable repayment plan for the debt over a long period of time.
Sarah was very happy with the outcome and with the repayment plan contributing to reducing her stress and anxiety.
Lily* got lost while driving in London and inadvertently went into the congestion zone. After she was contacted by Transport For London, she wrote to them informing them of this. As she had heard nothing more for a year and assumed that the charge had been waived. A year later, enforcement officers arrived and took control of her car. She was now terminally ill, and as her only income was from benefits she was unable to pay the fine. Her only asset was her car which she needed for her daughter to drive her to her many medical appointments.
The bureau contacted both the bailiffs and TFL by letter explaining Lily’s situation.
The bailiffs agreed to take no further action and TFL agreed to write off the debt.
James* is a care worker who needed compassionate leave from work to visit a sick relative. His request for leave was refused by his employer as it was not convenient.
The bureau helped him draft a letter to his employer with an explanation and offering compromise terms in order to take the leave he had originally requested.
The letter was successful as the employer was happy with the compromise and James was able to take his leave.
Steve* was a self-employed Director of a successful business for many years. When his business fell on hard times and began operating at a loss, his take home pay fluctuated to such an extent that he was no longer able to manage his significant credit card debts, and he faced the prospect of bankruptcy.
In the first instance we wrote on Steve’s behalf to his creditors asking them to suspend any further action and freeze interest for a one month period. We looked at Steve’s domestic and financial circumstances and drew up a financial statement to decide on the best course of action. As Steve was still taking a small salary from his business and able to manage small monthly payments on his debts, we recommended that he consider an IVA (Independent Voluntary Arrangement). We referred Steve to Planplan who provide free specialist debt management. They organised a 5 year contract with renegotiated lower, monthly payments with all of Steve’s creditors. Any monies not paid by the end of the 5 year contract would be written off.
Steve is now able to manage his money, safe in the knowledge that his debts are being repaid every month at a level which ensures he can live within his means.
David* and his wife had put all their life savings, including their house, into their own business. When David became ill the business began to suffer, they lost everything and had to move into private rented accommodation, living on benefits. David’s wife took a part-time job around caring for her husband, to supplement their income. When his condition worsened and his need for care increased, David put in an application for Disability Living Allowance. However when this was rejected, their situation became desperate.
David needed constant help and supervision; he was unable to travel, cook or take a bath or shower for fear of drowning or injuring himself. Furthermore his doctor had signed him ‘unfit for work’ for 2 years. We helped David prepare for a tribunal to appeal the decision.
The HM Courts and Tribunals Service accepted his appeal and awarded David back-dated DLA. David’s wife is now able to cut back on some of her part-time hours to care for her husband, thus reducing their stress and anxiety.
Rob* took out a secured loan on his family home some years before he was diagnosed with a degenerative condition, leaving him severely disabled and unable to work. When his wife could no longer hold down her job whilst caring for him, the couple were unable to meet the loan repayments.
Safe in the knowledge that the secured loan included Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) which would take care of the matter it was a huge shock to discover that the PPI payments had been stopped. Without warning arrears had built up on the loan and Rob and his wife were being threatened with court action to take repossession of their home.
We spoke to the creditors to explain their situation and delayed the court action. After getting proof of his employment status from HMRC we were able to reinstate the repayments and clear the arrears. Furthermore we discovered that the PPI policy had in fact been miss-sold and did not cover the full-term of the loan.
We obtained compensation for PPI miss-selling and Rob and his wife were offered a full refund. They are now able to feel secure in the knowledge that the loan will no longer cause stress and anxiety.