'A serious illness almost cost me my home'

Martin_article_detail
18 May 2013
by Neil Skinner

Martin faced the frightening prospect of homelessness after falling seriously ill. Framework’s expert legal advice helped him to remain in his Worksop home and continue his recovery.

Two weeks after his 40th birthday Martin suffered a stroke and was rushed to hospital. As a result he was off work for a period or many months. His rent arrears began to build up and (inclusive of costs) eventually peaked at around £1,700.

After what I had been through with my illness I was now facing the prospect of being homeless as well.

Martin

Shortly after Christmas, while still recuperating and settling in back at the factory where he works, he was handed a notice of eviction by his landlord.

He explained:

“I had to take nearly a year off work in total and sick pay only goes so far. As a result I fell behind with the rent. I suppose I did bury my head in the sand a little bit but I had other things on my mind like getting better again. I didn’t realise how serious things had actually got until I opened the post one morning a few days after Christmas and found a letter telling me I was going to be evicted.

“Obviously that was a big shock to me. After what I had been through with my illness I was now facing the prospect of being homeless as well. I really didn’t know where I would end up and I got very down about things.

“All I wanted was to get better so I could spend time with my children again and get back to how things were, but having all this hanging over me was a big burden on my shoulders. I knew about Framework so I went to them and asked for help.”

Martin’s situation got so precarious that he was summoned to appear at the local Magistrates’ court, where he very well could have lost his home. Supported by Phillip Bird from Framework’s Legal Support Team, he was able to agree to a schedule of repayments that would allow him to both continue his recovery and return to work.

He added: “Phil was great with me and the judge was actually a lot more understanding than I thought he would be. He gave me a three month review [a chance for him to re-establish regular rent payments] and things have been good since then. Phil also helped me to get on top of other debts that I had built up.

“I am now back working part time and things are much better. I’m still on medication and not feeling 100 per cent but I am generally feeling a lot better. I’m still able to have my children here to stay and that really means a lot to me. Without Framework I really don’t know if I would be able to say that.”

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