Lifeline for mum drowning in debt

Samantha Collier
Samantha Collier
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New hope in £16,000 crisis as Samantha given expert help

A SINGLE mum with 19 creditors chasing debts of £16,000 has new hope for the future after Action Desk teamed her up with expert, impartial and free advice.

Steve Wilcox, debt advisor

Steve Wilcox, debt advisor

Mum-of-four Samantha Collier has been rescued by Steve Wilcox of the Citizens’ Advice Bureau who unpicked a decade of borrowing on cards, bank loans, catalogues and clubs.

He also helped her leave a debt firm to whom she was paying big sums to keep creditors at bay – when she could have obtained the same service free.

Now Samantha is paying into a debt management plan which has frozen interest on her loans.

It will take her more than 20 years, at £60 a month, but calls from irate creditors should stop. Steve, of the CAB debt support unit in Sheffield, said she could have gone bankrupt, freeing herself of all her debts, but she chose to honour her repayments.

He said: “Now she’s in a position to pay at a rate she can afford. One thing is certain though – using a commercial debt company will no longer figure as an option.”

Miss Collier, aged 42, of Knutton Road, Parson Cross, had been paying One Debt Solution £110 a month for nearly a year, but was horrified to discover it had paid creditors just £1.50 – while more than £1,000 sat in her client account.

She cancelled – and contacted Action Desk after waiting three months for a refund. A cheque arrived the day after we called.

Mr Wilcox said: “After getting The Star’s help to extricate herself from one firm, Miss Collier contacted another who advised her to set up a debt management plan and pay them £115 a month – £32 of which was charges.

“They did not advise her about other alternatives such as bankruptcy and they did not advise her that she could get a debt management plan without having to pay any fees.

“Payplan and the Consumer Credit Counselling Service can both set them up free.”

For advice call the National Debt Line on 0808 8084000. To see an advisor call the CAB on 0114 2501144.