Well-off family have viewers in tears after they pay off family's debt on Rich House Poor House

25 August 2020, 01:14

The couple cried from happiness on the show
The couple cried from happiness on the show. Picture: Channel 4
Mared Parry

By Mared Parry

The debt-ridden couple were overwhelmed with the support and generosity of the family they swapped with.

A recent episode of Rich House Poor house had its viewers bawling after one couple ended up paying off the others' impressive debt.

The £11,500 had been racked up by Sarah and Ross Timmins, with the increasing arrears making their day-to-day life a serious struggle.

The Timmins' home in Cornwall
The Timmins' home in Cornwall. Picture: Hat Trick Productions

Getting by on only £121 a week, the Cornwall-based family of four were living a hand to mouth existence.

The show saw another family, the Whitings from Newquay, swap houses with the Timmins', and in a lovely turn of events (which doesn't usually happen), the well-off Whiting family paid off the looming debt.

As the show came to an end following the stay at eachother's homes, Colin and Lizzy Whiting revealed the big gesture they were going to make for the Timmins, who they'd actually never even met.

Colin said: “Once we had come to an understanding we decided that we wanted to help this family to move away from that situation, from the debt dragging them down.

The couple were visibly emotional
The couple were visibly emotional. Picture: Hat Trick Productions

"As Ross and Sarah returned home, Sarah began to read a letter the Whitings had left.

It said: “Dear Ross and Sarah, we have learned how tough things are for you financially.

“We would like to help you clear your credit card debt.”

Sarah then starts to cry and Ross takes the letter from her, reading it himself and realising what exactly has been so kindly offered by the other family, who live on a budget of £1239 a week.

Ross told the camera: “For a family to have stepped in our shoes and offer the gesture, and never even met us, I didn’t think it existed.”

As the show ended it was revealed the Whitings had paid off three quarters of the Timmins’ debt and had started a joint savings plan for a deposit.

The poor family explained on the show that it was tough living a life where they constantly had to worry about debt.

Ross revealed they were in £11,500 of debt, spread over six cards, saying: “The actual figure itself hasn’t gone down, we’re just paying off the interest.

“It puts pressure relationship-wise.

“The things we’ve built up over the last 10 years could disappear overnight.”

The letter had everyone in tears
The letter had everyone in tears. Picture: Hat Trick Productions

Lizzy, following a chat with Sarah’s mum, was filled in on the extent of the debt the Timmins were in.And Colin acknowledged the family were “trapped in a debt spiral”

Ross’ sister revealed to Colin that “everything is budgeted”, and “it weighs on family life", adding that Ross works incredibly hard just to make ends meet, struggling through 90-hour weeks and then heading home to do homework with son Max.