She Owed Over 2 Million CZK (€81,000). Hopefully Soon, She Can Retire With No Outstanding Debts

Published: Aug 23, 2022 Reading time: 2 minutes
She Owed Over 2 Million CZK (€81,000). Hopefully Soon, She Can Retire With No Outstanding Debts
© Meghan Holmes, Unsplash

Martina Jetelová* experienced a huge sense of relief when, thanks to the Graceful Summer campaign, she was able to pay off a debt which exceeded 2 million CZK (€81,000). In the end, she only had to pay CZK 3,001 (€122), plus a small fee to the bailiff and after twenty years, the feeling of hopelessness that life wouldn’t get any better finally disappeared.

Martina’s life started to fall apart when she was 29 years old. Just before her divorce, she suffered a stroke, and half her body became paralyzed. “I lost track of everything — life, time, the fact that I was a mother and had a seven-year-old son. I couldn’t speak properly, I had to learn to read, write and count again,” she remembered. After three years of rehabilitation, she gradually came back to life. For more day-to-day living matters, she put her trust in her partner at the time. Unfortunately, this was a mistake.

When she began to recover and regain control of everything, she discovered that her partner had not been paying the rent and utilities. And their debts had suddenly become huge. “CZK 120,000 (€ 5,000) suddenly became CZK 650,00 (€ 26,000) and I couldn’t repay that. In addition, I am on a partial disability pension, over the years I’ve had three spinal surgeries and another minor stroke,” she points out.

Martina tried to repay the her debt, but they kept growing

Martina tried to work and repay what she could, but the debt kept growing. “In the end, the sum totalled CZK 2,200,000 (€ 89,000) which made it impossible to undergo debt relief, even though the client tried to do several times,” adds Magdalena Hronová, a debt counsellor at People in Need, who ultimately helped Martina significantly ease her situation thanks to the Graceful Summer campaign. In Martina’s case, to get rid of the high debt all at once, all she had to do was pay the rest of the unpaid amount – CZK 3,001 (€122), plus a small fee to the bailiff.

But Martina still owes an outstanding amount to a non-banking company. The original amount was CZK 60,000 (€ 2,000), but with interest, this debt has quadrupled over the years. “She owes a total of CZK 300,000 (€ 12,000). But we can already work on her being able to file for insolvency. She will continue to repay the specified amount for three years and will be protected from bailiffs and from further increases in debt. If all goes well, she will be able to retire completely debt-free. I would really like that for her,” concludes Magdalena Hronová.

*The client requested that her name be changed for this story.

Author: Eva Kroupová, Translators: Adéla Zámečníková and Anna Munter

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