Raise provides free and confidential telephone debt advice for our Housing Association tenant, and local residents under the Greater Merseyside Money Advice Project. ( Our home visiting service is currently suspended) We can provide advice and support with all personal debt issues, whether temporary or long term, including :
Priority debts (e.g. rent arrears or mortgage arrears, council tax)
Non-priority debts (e.g. water charges, door step lenders, payday loans, catalogues, credit cards)
Negotiation with creditors
Debt Relief Orders and Bankruptcy
Applying for grants
Our client came to Raise with debt totalling approximately £23,000. She was struggling to maintain priority bills and needed help to negotiate with creditors and understand her debt options. The client studies full-time at University and is recognised as a disabled student, she also works part time.
How did we help?
Our client had previously applied for PIP but was refused. Working to maximise her income, the debt caseworker advised her to request a Mandatory Reconsideration, as if PIP were awarded, she would be entitled to UC as a disabled student.
She had previously defaulted on her court order for Rent arrears. The caseworker explained the consequences of a further default and the risk of further action leading to possible eviction. The client was advised that she could make a request to the court to vary the order if it’s more than £3.70 week, to make payments more manageable. She was advised to contact her landlord in the first instance to see if an informal arrangement could be made and we would assist with varying the court order if she wanted to go ahead with this.
There were also council tax arrears of approximately £8,500. The caseworker explained the consequences of non-payment and after completing a full financial statement with the client to determine what disposable income they had, contacted the Council directly to negotiate a payment plan that was affordable for the client to maintain.
The client also had non-priority debts and was presented with all her options to deal with these. After discussion with the client, the caseworker suggested that she contact her creditors, whilst considering her options, and offer token monthly payments. The client received information and guidance on how to do this and the consequences of inaction were fully explained. Although this is a short term solution it would give the client time to look at long term solutions, without fear of further action from creditors ion the meantime.
After Raise presented the client with all potential debt options the client decided they wanted to apply for Bankruptcy. The caseworker had advised the client on the impact this could have on their future credit and given as much information as possible to ensure the client is able to make an informed decision. The caseworker is now working with the client and with debt charities to obtain the Bankruptcy fee.
What were the results?
When the client came to Raise, she was struggling to get by on a reduced income and finding her priority payments unmanageable. Debts were building and she was in desperate need of support. Now, she is finally on track to becoming debt free. Our caseworker has provided essential information on how to manage priority payments and has helped to negotiate directly with creditors. She has explained all possible options and allowed the client to make an informed decision about how best to resolve her debts.
Here’s what the client had to say about Raise:
‘The staff are friendly and professional and have really put me at ease’.