George* came to Mustard Tree extremely distressed and anxious due to his financial circumstances. He was in arrears, close to £29,000, and as they went unpaid each passing month they were getting higher and higher.
George, who relied solely on his pension of £126.11 per week, was at a complete loss and felt debilitated by the anxiety that this was causing him. He felt his physical health and was deteriorating because of all of the stress and pressure he was under. He was receiving letters constantly with threats of court appearances and bailiffs being sent to his home.
We registered George as a client when he first came to Mustard Tree, meaning that he was able to access the Food Club twice weekly which is £2.50 for ten items of food. Unfortunately, even having access to this, there were times when George couldn’t afford the £2.50 meaning that we offered him access to our Food Club for free (hardship), and food bank referrals so that he didn’t go without food that week.
We discussed applying for a Debt Relief Order (DRO) and how this might help George to have some breathing space and clear his debts. He happily agreed and we made a referral to Salford Citizen’s Advice so that he could speak to the DRO unit.
With the support of Mustard Tree, George had his DRO assessment, sent off evidence of all of his debts and paid the application fee. A few days later we found out that his application had been approved.
George is delighted that his DRO has been successful, he didn’t even know that something like this was an option and he can’t believe that there has been a light at the end of the tunnel. He is no longer anxious or stressed, he feels healthier and happier. He says that a weight has been lifted from him, he’s not scared to answer his door or open letters anymore, and he is looking forward to a bright and happy future.