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  • FIRST POST
    • PippaGirl
    • By PippaGirl 13th Sep 17, 3:16 PM
    • 2,167Posts
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    PippaGirl
    Am I eligible for a DRO?
    • #1
    • 13th Sep 17, 3:16 PM
    Am I eligible for a DRO? 13th Sep 17 at 3:16 PM
    I've had advice from stepchange and they say that I'm not eligible for a DRO for 2 reasons. One, on two occasions within the last month I've had no money and no food and took out a wonga loan for 3 days so I could eat. When my ESA arrived they were paid off. Apparently this preferential treatment discounts me from a DRO. I've only missed one payment on 2 credit cards, all other bills are up to date. The other reason they say I am not eligible is because my allowances of expenditure are too high.

    My circumstances, my income consists of income related ESA and PIP. I am registered disabled and physically I have degenerative disc disorder of the spine causing severe pain meaning on most days I'm unable to walk anywhere. I can't afford a car so have to use taxis and trains. Buses are too painful.

    Mentally, I've been detained under the mental health act twice in the last 2 years. I have recurrent depressive disorder which fluctuates in waves and I get really low and suicidal regularly. In those times I don't get out of bed except for the loo, don't dress don't eat etc and spend hours in unbearable emotional pain seeing only one way out. I've also got an eating disorder and there are many foods that are fear foods for me and that I won't eat. Because of the eating disorder and low mood my food allowance is very high, as I'll buy in non processed easy food. I also pay a support worker for 3 hours a week. She'll clean where I'm physically unable, prepare and encourage me to eat, and once a months takes me out to eat in a pub. That's usually my only social event. I need taxes to and from the hospital and the Doctor's surgery. And I pay a dog walker to take my dog out 3 times a week as I'm unable to take her anywhere. So my expenses are high but they are what I spend. And I'd physically and mentally suffer if anything were cut down.

    Bankruptcy is an option stepchange gave but said as the insolvency service would feel my allowances are too high that I'd be paying back my creditors for between 3-6 years (I went BR in May 2012 so 7 months short of six years ago) and I'd be treated harshly because of that.

    My debt is just under £6000

    Given that my income is income related ESA which is what the government says I need to live on according to all their letters and PIP both benefits of which are meant to help you with the costs of your disability, how can I have too much money for a DRO?

    I have no savings or assets or vehicle or anything and I live in an LA property. To be honest the debt has really affected my stress levels and I'd really wanted a DRO and set my heart on it and for stepchange to tell me I'm not eligible for one and if I go BR I will be treated harshly and will be paying for 3-6 years (money I can't afford hence needing wonga) has left me devastated and feeling totally hopeless.

    Is it really the case that on income related benefit and a disability payment I am spending too much on meeting the needs of my disability for a DRO?
    "Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them." Dalai Lama
Page 1
    • StopIt
    • By StopIt 13th Sep 17, 3:53 PM
    • 1,391 Posts
    • 1,183 Thanks
    StopIt
    • #2
    • 13th Sep 17, 3:53 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Sep 17, 3:53 PM
    Book a visit to your local CAB and get their opinion.


    Without an accurate SOA it's hard to say whether Stepchange were correct about the DRO. The first bit is nonsense, but if it is judged that you should have over £50 a month after expenses then you can't get a DRO.


    However, I may be wrong but I don't know if you're allowed 2 different forms of insolvency in a 6 year period. Your case is certainly one for the CAB, realistically.
    • PippaGirl
    • By PippaGirl 13th Sep 17, 4:04 PM
    • 2,167 Posts
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    PippaGirl
    • #3
    • 13th Sep 17, 4:04 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Sep 17, 4:04 PM
    The CAB were the first place I contacted. They no longer deal with any debt cases at all, they gave me the stepchange number.
    "Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them." Dalai Lama
    • DorisTrousers
    • By DorisTrousers 13th Sep 17, 4:51 PM
    • 492 Posts
    • 286 Thanks
    DorisTrousers
    • #4
    • 13th Sep 17, 4:51 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Sep 17, 4:51 PM
    Hi,

    As loath as I am to criticise SC, this advice is just absolute pants.

    Taking out a Wong loan in desperation is NOT preferential, especially if you are more or less up to date with other payments. I fail also to see how an income of ESA and PIP (which is disregarded anyway) would ever leave you with a surplus of over £50.

    It is also NOT the place of a debt advisor to tell people how to spend their money, although we can inform where expenditure is likely to be questioned. The common sense approach is to maybe put less on food, and more on hobbies, entertainment and any other number of other expenditure categories.

    The moral of this story is that you should contact National Debtline on 0808 808 4000 and get another point of view, and the right result. I would have no hesitation in looking at a DRO for you, and I suspect 99% of Approved Intermediaries would say the same.

    It would also be useful if a forum moderator were to bring this to the attention of a SC representative so that they can defend themselves.
    • PippaGirl
    • By PippaGirl 13th Sep 17, 5:30 PM
    • 2,167 Posts
    • 1,790 Thanks
    PippaGirl
    • #5
    • 13th Sep 17, 5:30 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Sep 17, 5:30 PM
    Hi,

    As loath as I am to criticise SC, this advice is just absolute pants.

    Taking out a Wong loan in desperation is NOT preferential, especially if you are more or less up to date with other payments. I fail also to see how an income of ESA and PIP (which is disregarded anyway) would ever leave you with a surplus of over £50.

    It is also NOT the place of a debt advisor to tell people how to spend their money, although we can inform where expenditure is likely to be questioned. The common sense approach is to maybe put less on food, and more on hobbies, entertainment and any other number of other expenditure categories.

    The moral of this story is that you should contact National Debtline on 0808 808 4000 and get another point of view, and the right result. I would have no hesitation in looking at a DRO for you, and I suspect 99% of Approved Intermediaries would say the same.

    It would also be useful if a forum moderator were to bring this to the attention of a SC representative so that they can defend themselves.
    Originally posted by DorisTrousers
    Thank you Doris. That's reassuring though I'm very reticent to get my hopes up after my conversation with sc yesterday. I'm desperate to deal with this quickly so that it doesn't make my mental health worse which it's already doing. Which is what I thought a DRO would do.
    "Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them." Dalai Lama
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 13th Sep 17, 8:03 PM
    • 11,528 Posts
    • 8,663 Thanks
    fatbelly
    • #6
    • 13th Sep 17, 8:03 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Sep 17, 8:03 PM
    I've had advice from stepchange and they say that I'm not eligible for a DRO for 2 reasons. One, on two occasions within the last month I've had no money and no food and took out a wonga loan for 3 days so I could eat. When my ESA arrived they were paid off. Apparently this preferential treatment discounts me from a DRO. I've only missed one payment on 2 credit cards, all other bills are up to date. The other reason they say I am not eligible is because my allowances of expenditure are too high.

    My circumstances, my income consists of income related ESA and PIP. I am registered disabled and physically I have degenerative disc disorder of the spine causing severe pain meaning on most days I'm unable to walk anywhere. I can't afford a car so have to use taxis and trains. Buses are too painful.

    Mentally, I've been detained under the mental health act twice in the last 2 years. I have recurrent depressive disorder which fluctuates in waves and I get really low and suicidal regularly. In those times I don't get out of bed except for the loo, don't dress don't eat etc and spend hours in unbearable emotional pain seeing only one way out. I've also got an eating disorder and there are many foods that are fear foods for me and that I won't eat. Because of the eating disorder and low mood my food allowance is very high, as I'll buy in non processed easy food. I also pay a support worker for 3 hours a week. She'll clean where I'm physically unable, prepare and encourage me to eat, and once a months takes me out to eat in a pub. That's usually my only social event. I need taxes to and from the hospital and the Doctor's surgery. And I pay a dog walker to take my dog out 3 times a week as I'm unable to take her anywhere. So my expenses are high but they are what I spend. And I'd physically and mentally suffer if anything were cut down.

    Bankruptcy is an option stepchange gave but said as the insolvency service would feel my allowances are too high that I'd be paying back my creditors for between 3-6 years (I went BR in May 2012 so 7 months short of six years ago) and I'd be treated harshly because of that.

    My debt is just under £6000

    Given that my income is income related ESA which is what the government says I need to live on according to all their letters and PIP both benefits of which are meant to help you with the costs of your disability, how can I have too much money for a DRO?

    I have no savings or assets or vehicle or anything and I live in an LA property. To be honest the debt has really affected my stress levels and I'd really wanted a DRO and set my heart on it and for stepchange to tell me I'm not eligible for one and if I go BR I will be treated harshly and will be paying for 3-6 years (money I can't afford hence needing wonga) has left me devastated and feeling totally hopeless.

    Is it really the case that on income related benefit and a disability payment I am spending too much on meeting the needs of my disability for a DRO?
    Originally posted by PippaGirl
    You've not given me any reason to think you wouldn't qualify for a DRO. I'm an intermediary with CAB and that's probably the option I would steer you to. Hopefully you can find a Citizens Advice Office who say the same. I have not heard of Citizens Advice refusing to deal with debt cases. I know that has become a possibility due to the MAS accreditation process - would you be happy to state which office told you that?

    I wouldn't be looking at bankruptcy but stepchange are not correct to suggest an income payments order as a possibility as your only income is benefits. They are also not correct to suggest that a IPO/IPA lasts for 3-6 years. They last for 3 years. But that's academic - you should be looking at a DRO
    Last edited by fatbelly; 13-09-2017 at 8:07 PM.
    • PippaGirl
    • By PippaGirl 14th Sep 17, 5:32 AM
    • 2,167 Posts
    • 1,790 Thanks
    PippaGirl
    • #7
    • 14th Sep 17, 5:32 AM
    • #7
    • 14th Sep 17, 5:32 AM
    FB, if it's okay I will PM you the town I live in as it's this CAB office that don't do anything to do with debt any longer.
    "Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them." Dalai Lama
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 14th Sep 17, 7:27 AM
    • 11,528 Posts
    • 8,663 Thanks
    fatbelly
    • #8
    • 14th Sep 17, 7:27 AM
    • #8
    • 14th Sep 17, 7:27 AM
    Thanks, Pippa. I'll look into this next week.

    We clearly have two major issues if some individual CAB offices are stopping dealing with debt issues and stepchange are giving incorrect advice.
    • PippaGirl
    • By PippaGirl 14th Sep 17, 10:45 AM
    • 2,167 Posts
    • 1,790 Thanks
    PippaGirl
    • #9
    • 14th Sep 17, 10:45 AM
    • #9
    • 14th Sep 17, 10:45 AM
    I've put my complete SOA up on the BR board now in the hope someone will tell me whether I'm eligible for a DRO

    How do I stop a wonga loan being paid if they have my debit card details?
    "Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them." Dalai Lama
  • StepChange_Kirsty
    Hello,

    I've posted a reply to your original post on the "Bankruptcy & Living With It" board. You can find my reply here.

    I'm also sending you another private message. I hope this helps.

    Kirsty
    I work as a debt advisor for StepChange Debt Charity and have specific permission from Martin to post on these boards to try and help those in debt. Read more information on StepChange Debt Charity in the Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help article. If you find you're struggling with debt and you need further help try our online advice facility Debt Remedy.

    Don't be afraid of getting debt advice. We'll help you take one more step towards getting help with your debt.
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