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Mental illness “downward spiral” disrupted by lawyers

Following a divorce, 64 year old Phil* became mentally unwell, which set off an enormous chain of problems. He lost his job, couldn’t keep up with his rent and tried to end his life. He began living off his superannuation, credit card and a bank loan.  He incurred more than $90,000 of debts, including a $45,000 credit card debt.

Phil* first met the visiting Mental Health Law Practice (MHLP) when he was an involuntary patient at the Princess Alexandra Hospital.  Medical staff believed Phil’s declining mental health had adversely affected his financial judgement for a considerable time. The MHLP corresponded with many parties on Phil’s behalf, including submitting hardship applications to creditors, obtaining supporting documentation from health workers, and lodging complaints with the Financial Ombudsman Service. The MHLP also successfully negotiated temporary repayment freezes, manageable payment plans and a full waiver of the $45,000 credit card debt.

Phil was thankful for the MHLP helping him manage his debts and told us that our work had put a spring in his step.

*Not his real name

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