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Case Study: Recovering social care fees

An overview of a case led by our debt recovery experts where social care fees were recovered following the death of a debtor.

Recovery of social care costs is not always straight forward, with no two cases being the same. For deceased cases, the administrators, personal representatives or next of kin don’t always see the outstanding balance as a 'debt' like a water bill for example. Recovering debt on deceased accounts can lead to the person dealing with the outstanding balance to become emotional and they don’t always understand why they have to pay for care costs.

By referring matters like this to DWF, our clients know that we use our knowledge and expertise, to get the best results for them whilst providing a compassionate but business-like approach to recovering the outstanding debt.

Our client in this case is an East Midlands based County Council. The county is made up of seven parliamentary constituencies and approximately 723,000 people.

The case was passed to DWF in late April 2017. Our client had made several attempts to recover the balance from the son of the deceased who was the executor of the estate before instructing ourselves. The arrears had built up over a three year period between 2012 and 2015 and had a relatively large outstanding balance of £43k.

The executor of the estate contacted us within days of receiving our letter and believed the outstanding balance was not due and in fact, claimed he was due a refund. The executor was under the impression that his mother was exempt from charge as she had been sectioned under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act and therefore any care after her release from hospital would be free of charge.

Our client advised this wasn’t the case, as there was nothing to suggest that Mrs A had been sectioned under section 3 of the Mental Health Act and informed me that she had suffered with dementia, therefore, the outstanding balance remained payable. She was discharged from hospital with a 'Residential Dementia' classification.

After contacting Mr A to advise the balance remained outstanding as his mother had not been sectioned under the Mental Health Act, Mr A confirmed that payment would be made from the funds held in her estate.

Just a few days later a cheque for the full balance of £43,761.93 was received from Mr A to clear the balance in full to which our client was very happy. 

This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.

David Scottow

Director - National Head of Recoveries

I am a Senior Director and National Head of Recoveries with almost 40 years’ experience in debt litigation, insolvency and credit management..

Sectors