Funeral firm fails to fulfil payment promise to widow, Lynda Madden

Lynda Madden is still waiting for a funeral plan refund which was promised to her last year

Lynda Madden is still waiting for a funeral plan refund which was promised to her last year

First published in York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

A WIDOW is still waiting for the boss of a York finance firm which closed down last year to reimburse her husband’s funeral costs, as promised months ago.

Lynda Madden and her terminally ill husband, Noel, of Stamford Bridge, paid Yorkshire Asset Protection (YAP) £6,500 for two funeral plans early last year, but she ended up having to pay the bill for her husband’s service when he died in the summer and the firm’s offices in New Street shut.

York trading standards department launched an investigation into YAP after receiving 36 complaints about the firm.

Last September, YAP boss Robert Holly requested 28 days to reimburse Mrs Madden in full for the funeral costs and in October, he told The Press he was in the process of arranging the suitable finance for her full refund. In November, he said the money had been “sorted”, having borrowed £3,000 to pay to her.

He said this month it had been his intention to arrange a payment of £3,000 over the festive period but, when the firm was trading, he had taken the wrong decision to try to keep it afloat through short-term/payday loans, and the interest that was accruing on them was crippling.

“Furthermore, money owed to the bank was building up at a rapid rate, putting me in the position where nearly every penny I managed to bring in, through work and small loans from friends, was being swallowed up. That is sadly why I have been unable to make the first payment as yet.”

He said he had carried on regardless of these financial setbacks and would still ensure she was paid when he himself was paid for a job he did prior to Christmas.

“This is a very emotionally and pysically stressful time for me and I take no pleasure in the fact that Mrs Madden has not yet been paid,” he said.

“I have been juggling payments to merely keep afloat so that I can pay back Mrs Madden in full and in the fulness of time.

“I understand this is frustrating and disappointing for all concerned, but assure you that with a little more time this matter will be resolved.”

Mrs Madden said: “Normally I am an optimist but in this case, I will believe it when the payment arrives.”

City of York Council said the Trading Standards investigation into YAP was ongoing.

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