EXPERT linguists have been left “devastated” and “struggling to put food on the table” as they claim they remain unpaid following the collapse of a Bolton business.

The interpreters and translators say they are owed thousands of pounds in wages from Debonair Languages which confirmed it had gone into administration as of August 5.

The Chorley Old Road-based firm employed thousands of agents across the country, including in contracts for the Ministry of Justice and thebigword ­— one of the UK’s largest specialist language agencies.

In the days following the announcement, dozens of former Debonair agents have contacted the Bolton News about the situation.

One woman said she is owed payments of almost £1,000, dating back to May, and said she feels like she is ‘going nowhere with getting money back,’ and leaving her ‘frustrated and stressed out’.

She added: “We all have bills, mortgage, family and children to look after. I currently have no work, no payment from all the previous work that I have done. I have no more savings, no income. I now struggle to even put food on the table.”

Another of Debonair’s former agents, who worked as a Mandarin interpreter, says she is owed more than £5,000. The agent had worked for thebigword but agreed to take on her first job for Debonair covering a 21-day trial at Birmingham Crown Court in June and July.

Speaking to the Bolton News she said she is “devastated” and despite continuing to chase Debonair for the wages owed she has been unable to get hold of anyone.

She added that the concern has put strain on her family and that she desperately needs the money to support her children’s studies.

Another fellow Mandarin interpreter said she still has outstanding payments from Debonair from the last three months totalling over £3,000. She added that she will soon have credit card payments to make and believes the agents’ treatment by Debonair is “very unfair”, especially as they provide services for the UK justice system.

Debonair has been approached for comment.