Diary of a Debt Advisor: P for Pensioners
Wednesday 17th August 2011
After years in the debt management industry I thought it was finally time to lift the lid on some of the most interesting cases of my career. Every week I will reveal an exclusive insight into the people behind the debts and how I managed to help them….
All too often people assume that debt is something that affects the young, who haven’t yet learnt how to manage their money. I think we forget, sometimes, that older people can need our help just as much.
Recently I met an older couple, Ron and Lesley Peters, who had run into some financial difficulty. Lesley suffered badly from arthritis, Ron had chest and breathing difficulties and they needed some money for a mobility scooter as otherwise they were virtually housebound.
I went to visit them to see what savings they had left, but they told me that they had lent their money to their son, Joe, for a deposit on a house about a year ago. Joe had promised them monthly repayments and had managed to keep them up regularly for a few months until he got laid off. A further blow came when his wife left him after he lost his job and his house was quickly repossessed.
The Peters explained that they had turned to their neighbour for help, who put them in touch with someone willing to lend them money. He would come round to their house every Tuesday. They would collect their pensions at 10am that morning and he would call round for his money at 6pm that same day.
Because they struggled to find the money to pay him, he agreed to loan them more money to settle the first loan and have a little left over to live on. This spiral continued until the Peters needed to find £900 a month just to pay the legal loan shark.
The pressure eventually became too much and Lesley broke down in front of her friend who recommended the couple contact me.
Three hours into our meeting we had managed to get the monthly payments reduced from £900 to £130. I was able to negotiate with their existing creditors and arranged for the Peters to cease payments whilst I negotiated a new deal.
The reduction in repayments means that the couple are now able to afford to pay their creditors, their bills and their groceries without worrying.
From Debt Management Today