Mrs Brooks had always been very careful with money and had never been in debt until her business collapsed in 2008.
She had a small café and when her local high street lost many of its big stores, her trade began to feel a knock on effect.
The café had always been her dream and had traded well until this point. She thought the bad times would pass and therefore paid the café’s bills using credit cards, believing business would pick up and she could pay them off.
Unfortunately the bills continued to pile up and she had to admit that her dream had come to an end.
By this point, she was funding the company using her personal credit cards. She had also taken loans in her own name.
When the end came, Mrs Brooks owed nearly £27,000.
The demands for payment then came almost daily, she tried to keep on top of the repayments but very soon fell behind. She had a new job and a family to feed and simply couldn’t afford to pay what her creditors were demanding.
Mrs Brooks then approached a debt management company who agreed a plan with the companies making claims against her as a way to start paying off some of this amount.
This company charged her a high fee for arranging the plan and administering the payments. The debts did go down but not by much.
It would take her a long time to pay off the amount she still owed.
Mrs Brooks was very sceptical when she was first introduced to CLB's services. It sounded too good to be true. She was an educated woman and couldn’t believe that she might have the right not to pay.
When Mrs Brooks finally instructed a CLB barrister she still owed £26,400.
The main part of this was one claim under a loan agreement which was originally with a major high street bank but had since been bought by one of the major debt buying companies.
Four months after the barrister started working on the case, the company conceded that this claim was unenforceable.
Mrs Brooks is still instructing the CLB barrister but the outcome is looking very positive. After eight months work it has been established that £20,500 is presently unenforceable.
None of the remaining companies have established that their claims are valid and enforceable and Mrs Brooks is not making payments to any of them.