#Talk Money Week – talking helps in many ways

At the start of March, J was an existing Money Advice client and the Money Adviser was in the process of assisting J to apply for a Debt Relief Order (DRO), to clear some historic debts they had from a former abusive relationship. J had recently moved
into her own property and was settling down in the area with her young son.
During the first couple of months of lockdown due to COVID19, it became difficult to contact J and phone calls and messages often went unanswered.
When the Money Adviser was able to talk to J, they were short and often distracted conversations. J had promised to get some further information for her DRO application but on a number of occasions, she had apologized and said she had not been
able to.
Our Money Adviser simply said ‘That’s fine, the DRO can wait until we’ve got the information but J are you OK?’ A conversation that started about bank statements soon turned into something else. J disclosed that she had briefly been in a relationship with someone and the other person would now visit whenever they felt like at whatever time of day and would expect J to let them into her flat. They would shout and become abusive if J did not let them into her flat. J said that she felt
scared, as they had strangled her when they turned up last.
The Money Adviser listened to J and explained that he could contact someone to help her if she wanted. J asked the Money Adviser to help her and the Money Adviser completed a safeguarding referral that day.
Police officers and an Independent Domestic Violence Adviser from Leeway visited J within 2 days. Following their visit, the police arrested J’s ex-partner and bail conditions prohibited them from visiting J. The police referred J to her local council’s housing team for assistance with potentially finding somewhere else to live. Her local council assisted J with a Discretionary Housing Payment to clear rent arrears to enable her to move. She was given a tenancy at a new property but J said she would struggle to move
everything due to having to look after her young son, she cannot drive and she has few friends in the area who could help her.  The Money Adviser applied for assistance from the COVID Hardship Fund and J was awarded £200 to pay for removal
costs.
The day after she moved, the Money Adviser received a message from J ‘All moved so happy with this place. It’s lovely. Thank you so much for all your help.’
Whilst she had been looking to move, J had asked the Money Adviser to put her DRO application on hold. Now that J is in safe and secure accommodation, the Money Adviser has started work on a court application to withhold J’s new address from the Insolvency Register and will be submitting her DRO application within the next few
weeks. J can now look forward to a debt free, safe Christmas with her son in her new house. All thanks to a conversation that started about bank statements!