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Michael Holly
Michael Holly, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 7072
Experience:  I have 20 years of experience as a solicitor in litigation and other areas
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Morning,My mother is 78 years of age this May. As a result

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My mother is 78 years of age this May. As a result of her partner passing away recently, I have had to look at her financial situation. Unfortunately I have discovered that she is approx. 21k in debt.
My mother pays approximately £675 per month on direct debits and is just paying off the interest on the debt. It is unlikely that this debt will be paid off, due to the minimal income that my mother receives (state pension and disability allowance). My mother is confused by this and cannot relate to the magnitude of the situation. I am in the process of trying to gain a letter from my mother's GP to support the fragile mental status of my mother.
Apologies for the long winded introduction, however, I feel that you would need some context.
From a legal perspective I am not sure how to approach this issue? Whilst I realise that I will have to approach the credit card companies and explain the situation, I am not sure what my options are in addressing this. Does my mother claim bankruptcy or negotiate a nominal fee in the reduction of the current debt (which I doubt she could settle anyway). Can you please advise what steps I should take to resolve this please?
It appears that your mother has lost the ability to manage her finances. The first step would be to get appointed as her deputy by the Court of Protection so that you have the authority to act on her behalf.I would ask the doctor to state in the letter whether s/he believes that your mother still has capacity to look after her affairs. Assuming the answer is no, you can send a copy to the Court of protection and ask to be appointed her deputy. They will send you the forms and guide you through the process.I would start writing to the creditors now explaining that you have just discovered the position and are applying to become her deputy. I would make offers to each of the creditors based on an affordable ratio of the total debt out of her available income.If they creditors do not accept you can ask the court to make an IVA which turns your payment schedule into a court instalment payment order.If you get stuck at any stage the Citizens Advice Bureaux are usually excellent with debt or benefit related problems.I hope this helps , if there are any further points please reply, I will be happy to respond.Best wishesMichael
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