NM was diagnosed with meningitis in 2017. which caused him to sustain a severe cognitive impairment and multiple intracerebral haemorrhages. NM sustained a traumatic brain injury as a result.
Head of Pro Bono Kara Smith outlines NM’s case here.
Our team was assisting NM with his debts as he was experiencing financial difficulties as a result of his illness. One creditor in particular refused to grant NM a medical write-off and failed to implement a suitable repayment plan.
In October 2017 we sent an initial letter on NM’s behalf to the creditor to request a medical write-off for two separate loans. NM’s father and attorney also supported this request, granting Stewarts authority to deal with the accounts after struggling to manage them over a period of two years. The bank agreed to enter into an affordable repayment plan of £1 per month valid until November 2021, which enabled the family to manage NM’s finances whilst they focused on his recovery.
However, throughout this time the communication with the creditor was poor; they failed to update their systems to include Stewarts as an authorised party and subsequently advised that the £1 per month they has been receiving had only been agreed for one account.
NM had previously received an inconvenience payment of £75 in August 2019 as a result of their unsatisfactory service and was advised that he should be now be eligible to request a medical write-off instead. The medical write-off was requested in September 2021 and the family were informed that the creditor intended to make a goodwill payment of £100 as an apology for the way in which the matter had been dealt with.
Unfortunately, our request for the debt to be written off was rejected in December 2021. As a further blow to NM and his family, the creditor continued to argue that no repayment plan had been agreed on either account despite receiving these monthly payments for over a year.
Due to the continued poor service, we lodged a formal complaint with the company against the creditor in February 2022 for their continuous failure to consider NM’s vulnerabilities, and for unreasonably applying pressure to his family during a very difficult time.
The creditor argued that they were unable to uphold the complaint and reiterated their decision to decline the write-off request. Stewarts assisted NM and his family with a complaint to the CEO of the company providing an overview of the numerous errors they had endured throughout the previous four years.
It was agreed in September 2022 that the service NM and his family received was both unexpected and undeserved; the write off request due to NM’s medical condition was formally approved. The outstanding balances of £19,856.66 and £1,281 were both reduced to zero and NM was no longer liable to make any further payments to the creditor.
This was a fantastic result achieved by the Pro Bono team and has come as a relief to NM and his family following a long dispute with the bank.
Testimonial from NM:
“We first contacted Stewarts in Sep 2017 to help us, and from that date they have been a pillar of support all the way through the numerous problems we have had. It has taken a long time, but there was never a waiver in their support. I cannot thank them enough.”
Paralegal Shanice Browne contributed to this article
The Legal Service – We are here to help
The Legal Service, delivered by our pro bono team, provides patients with advice without obligation, for however long it takes to resolve the issue. Our support is available regardless of the circumstances of an accident and regardless of whether a patient has a personal injury claim.
In these difficult times, the concerns of our pro bono clients are likely to be more stark than those in more fortunate circumstances. The Legal Service will be available throughout the crisis to help in any way we can to ease the burden on our clients.
To get advice from The Legal Service, please contact Kara Smith by phone on 020 7822 8000 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find further information regarding our injury expertise, experience and team on our Personal Injury pages.