Posted: 14 August 2015

Eve's story: Spiraling debt

A council tax debt led to Eve’s children going hungry and eventually losing their home.

Eve's story

Eve, a survivor of domestic violence, walked out on her husband when her youngest child was just two years old.

After a period in a refuge Eve and her three children moved into a flat of their own. But Eve’s job never covered all her bills and she soon fell into arrears on council tax, quickly receiving a court summons.

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Eve attended a court hearing so she could explain her situation and it was agreed she would pay £10 a month. But despite keeping up with her agreed  payments, the council applied for an attachment  of earnings, and confiscated a fifth of her income  without anything more than a letter – that Eve  didn’t receive until after the money had started coming out of her wages.

For a while, Eve could not afford food, and relied on food parcels for her and the children, but still, they often went hungry. George, Eve’s eldest son, aged 11, described how he was often hungry at night but knew his mum could not do anything to help their situation because they did not have enough money.

Eve was visited twice by bailiffs, but living in a furnished rented flat, the only thing they could have taken would have been clothes off her and the children. Eve eventually moved out of her flat and in with a friend as she couldn’t afford the rent any longer. She is now slowly repaying her debts, but she thinks it will take another year before they are cleared.

 

 

By Matt Summers-Sparks - Digital team
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Our impact report sets out the positive changes we’ve made to the lives of vulnerable children across the UK.
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