99-year-old threatened with court action

A 99-YEAR-OLD woman was threatened with court action for debts to an electricity company - even though the bill had already been paid.Edna Clenshaw's daughter Eileen Ray has told how debt collectors threatened legal action despite the fact she had been making regular payments on her mother's behalf for eight months.

A 99-YEAR-OLD woman was threatened with court action for debts to an electricity company - even though the bill had already been paid.

Edna Clenshaw's daughter Eileen Ray has told how debt collectors threatened legal action despite the fact she had been making regular payments on her mother's behalf for eight months.

In February this year when Mrs Clenshaw, moved into Jeians Residential Home, in Colchester Road, Mrs Ray agreed to pay off a £243 debt to electricity company, Powergen, for her.

However, despite making regular payments of £25 a month, Mrs Ray was horrified when she started to receive threatening letters from a collection agency.

Mrs Ray, of Hogarth Road, said: “I don't know how my mother ran up the debt because we had thought she was paying all of her bills by direct debit.

“But when she did have to move out and I found out about it I decided to do the right thing and pay it off.

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“I contacted Powergen and they agreed to send me a payment card so I could pay a little bit each month - as well as paying all the bills for my own property.”

However on October 18 Mrs Ray said she received a letter from a Manchester based debt collection company.

She said: “They were demanding my mother make a payment off the bill and threatened court action if no payment was made.

“I contacted Powergen which said there had been a mix up but then another letter came on October 26.

“This one said that if I did not pay before 10am on November 1 then legal action would be a certainty.”

Mrs Ray said she is outraged by the company not communicating with the collection agency it uses.

She said: “If my mother had still been in charge of her own finances this would have frightened the life out of her.

“The thought that there might be other elderly people opening threatening letters like these when the bills are being paid is disgraceful.

“My mother certainly would not be fit enough to attend court even if it was just to sort this mess out.”

A spokeswoman from Powergen said: “We set up a payment plan with this customer but one payment was missed and a reminder letter was sent out.

“The debt collectors didn't realise a double payment was paid the following month and continued to attempt to get the money.

“Any money left on the account has been wiped off the accounts as a good will gesture.”

n. What do you think of Mrs Clenshaw's situation? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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