Do you owe debts? It is a very stressful situation when you’re facing difficulties in paying your creditors. And, there are many people who go through this situation every year. In 2020, the number of such cases has only increased. With that, the level of stress has also increased as a result of the financial crisis caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
A lot of people have fallen into debt and it has even affected their mental health. If you’re going through something like that, you would probably not want to deal with creditors at least for a while. Having to do so might make your condition worse, and delay any improvement.
That’s why debt collectors, finance companies, etc are required to follow some regulations regarding how they should deal with such cases. All you have to do is contact them without any delay and explain your situation. You’ll find all the essential information about writing off debt due to mental health.
How to know that your mental health is affected by debt?
Being somewhat stressed out can be normal for a person who is in debt. You’ll come across some situations that will make you nervous, like the visit of a debt collector or enforcement agent. Though if you’re experiencing something unusual such as lack of sleep or a low mood, it is clearly a sign that you’re mentally affected by the debt situation.
In that case, it is time for you to get help. Continuing with the same process, in this condition won’t be a good idea, for the debtor’s mental health. Sometimes, it can also be the case that deteriorating mental health has caused you to fall back in repaying your creditors.
This is made worse when the people dealing with your debt aren’t much help and considerate, which is often the case. However, there are places where you would always get the help you’re looking for.
Will you be considered as being vulnerable?
There are certain circumstances in which a debtor is treated as vulnerable by debt collectors and enforcement agents. This includes people who are facing any kind of mental health problems. So, all you have to do is inform them that you’re vulnerable.
However, you’ll have to show them some kind of proof, like a doctor’s note. So, keep those documents handy. Apart from that, you’ll also be treated as vulnerable if you’ve undergone a situation such as unemployment or any kind of emotional suffering. People who are physically disabled or have a serious illness would also be included in this list. So, even if your problems are not related to mental health, you should check if you fall into the category of “vulnerable”.
How do you convince creditors of your situation?
Generally speaking, you won’t be facing any hassles if you claim vulnerability. You can usually talk to the creditor over the phone and make some kind of arrangement to pay them or ask for some time. However, in some cases, they might request to see proof of your condition as they have the right to do so.
They might often reject the proof that you’re already carrying, such as doctor’s appointments and notes. Now, you might wonder what to do in such a situation. There’s no need to worry as you can solve the problem by filling up a Debt and Mental Health Evidence Form. This should be enough to convince them and finally treat you as a vulnerable person.
What are your rights as a vulnerable person?
Creditors have to deal with vulnerable persons a little differently than other debtors. In general, agents can visit you at their own time between 9 a.m. and 6 pm. on the day appointed. As a vulnerable person, you can ask them to visit at the time that you choose. You can also ask them not to call you many times a day. Moreover, they can’t come inside your home unless there is another adult present with you.
How will a DMHEF help you in this situation?
The DMHEF is a very helpful way to prove the authenticity of your claims of vulnerability. If you’re in a bad position mentally, you are advised to fill up one of these forms first. It may have been a little complicated in the past, but the new version is quite simple.
Moreover, you won’t be charged a fee for it any more. This form would contain the confirmation of healthcare professionals about your condition. It is the ultimate proof that you can show to your creditors and debt collectors. They won’t have a chance but to accept it, otherwise, you can complain against them.
Can you have your debt written off?
If you’re facing mental health problems, you can definitely request the creditor to write off the debt. Unfortunately, though, they are not bound to accept it, they would probably keep chasing your unsecured debt until they are sure that you can’t pay them anyhow.
However, they might offer some kind of help to you and act considerately, depending on the organization you’re dealing with. So, you have a very limited chance of writing off debt due to mental health problems.
What about Priority Debts?
Among all types, priority debts are meant to be the first ones you should be dealing with. In normal circumstances, you cannot simply have them written off, even if you can’t afford them. You’ll have to make some kind of arrangement with the creditors to pay them and stop them from chasing you.
However, if you’re thinking of having it written off, that’s possible only in certain situations. They will do so in case your mental health seems to have been damaged permanently. Also, they’ll write it off in any other case where it’s clear that they can’t recover the money from you.
Moreover, they’re not above the rules that have been set on the matter of dealing with vulnerable debtors. So, at least you can expect them to be helpful and considerate towards your situation.
Where can you find help with your Debt?
When you have a mental health problem, you’ll surely need someone to help you deal with the situation. The first place you must look for help is your family, who are the nearest to you. You’ll need their help to deal with your creditors and talk on your behalf on this matter.
Now, when it comes to matters of how to clear your debt, your family might not be the best place to find assistance. In that case, you must look for a good debt advisory service. Many of them offer their services absolutely free of any cost and can provide you with expert advice.
There are different options that you have when it comes to writing off your debt. An advisory service can give you detailed information about how they work. Not only that, but they can also find and choose the one that would be best for you. That way, you’ll be able to relieve your mind of some stress and focus on getting your mental health in good shape.