The #debthour debt clinic – Monday 12th August

posted by in #Debt Hour, Debt

who's your favourite tasty tweeter?

Don’t be shy!

Last week saw us kick-off our first #debthour clinic where we answered your burning debt and money questions live, right here on the blog. If you missed it, fret not!

Every Monday during August* our friendly debt geeks will be on hand to answer your debt questions.

We aim to reply to every question straightaway. No debt question is too outlandish for us, so this is the perfect opportunity to clear up any worries you may have.
Recent questions we’ve answered include…

Can you help my mother with the credit card debt she ran up since my father passed away? She’s very scared and needs someone to listen and advise her.

My former uni flatmates have left me high and dry with a £400 bill from EDF on our old property. I’m on JSA and there’s no way I can afford to pay this. Help!

How long does an IVA usually last for?

I have a joint credit card with my ex-wife. They’re pestering me for payment on a debt that she ran up on the card, not me. What can I do?

To see the answers to these questions, check out last week’s #debthour.

Ask a debt question

To ask a question, simply post a comment in the box below. Remember that if you’re posting using your Facebook login your question may appear in friends’ news feeds.

Now…what would you like to ask?

*No #debthour on 26th August as this is a Bank Holiday. Instead, we’ll be back on Tuesday 27th August

At StepChange Debt Charity we want you to be free of debt and save money.

Written by

Tags #Debt Hour Debt
  • Kayleigh

    Hi, bit of advice please,,I had to take out a payday loan a couple months back for £200 and with interest its almost £500 now Im a single mum working part time and behind on rent phone bill and council tax also got catalog bill for £372 very scared please help thanks xx

    • moneyaware

      Hi Kayleigh,

      We can certainly help with the payday loan you’ve told us about.

      I think first off it’s important that you cancel the continuous payment authority that the payday lender currently has. It means they can dip into your bank account and carry on taking money that you need for other expenses. We’ve got a blogpost that can walk you through it. – http://moneyaware.co.uk/2013/01/payday-loan-debt-help-what-to-do-if-you-cant-afford-the-payment/

      As you’re struggling at the moment, I think it would be a good idea for you to have a closer look at your situation. Things liek your council tax are a priority and we need to make sure you get caught up on it as soon as possible.

      We have an anonymous advice tool called Debt Remedy that can suggest a solution for you in 20 minutes – http://www.stepchange.org/debtremedy.aspx?domain=www.MoneyAware.co.uk

      Hope this helps

      Best regards

      Rachel

  • Karl

    Hello how can I go about getting a debt relief order? I have roughly 9200 worth of debt and I’m off sick at the minute with depression. Living with my partner but might have to move out soon because of money worries. Been doing some research and think it might be the best option for me?

    • moneyaware

      Hi there Karl,

      I’m very sorry to hear that money worries are causing stress within your household. Please don’t worry, we’ll do all we can to help you.

      As a Debt Relief Order is a form of insolvency, the criteria for one is quite stringent. We would need to look at your budget to figure out if it’s the best option for you.

      You can contact us and speak to an advisor here: http://www.stepchange.org/Contactus.aspx

      Or you can try Debt Remedy, our online debt advice tool -http://www.stepchange.org/debtremedy.aspx?domain=www.MoneyAware.co.uk

      Best regards

      Rachel

  • Sarah Pook

    Hello MoneyAware 🙂 Thinking of taking out a consolidation loan because I have a lot of little debts all collecting interest and think this might be the best option for me. Having all different payments is really stressing me out every month. Just wondering where I can go for the cheapest one?

    • moneyaware

      Hi there Sarah, thanks for posting.

      We wouldn’t usually recommend consolidation loans as very often they can make the situation more difficult. They usually have higher interest rates than normal loans and if you find yourself relying on credit again, it might mean more stress with more things you would need to juggle. We have a blogpost that goes itno a little more detail if you’d like to take a look: http://moneyaware.co.uk/2013/01/to-debt-consolidate-or-not-to-debt-consolidate/

      A better way of doing things would be to have a good look at your budget and figure out realistically what you can afford to pay right now. If you have things like loans, credit cards, catalogues, store cards etc, these always come secondary to your living expenses.

      Our Debt Remedy service can suggest a debt solution for you in just 20 minutes and get you on the right track: http://www.stepchange.org/debtremedy.aspx?domain=www.MoneyAware.co.uk

      Hope this helps

      Best regards

      Rachel

  • Tom

    I’m on a free debt management plan with Step Change,
    recently I received a cold call from a company who promised me that I could
    right off some of my debts through an IVA. I’ve done some research and this
    sounds feasible. However, I am slightly worried about my property.

    • moneyaware

      Hi and thanks for your question.

      It sounds like you would benefit from some free and
      impartial advice.

      As you’re already a client of ours I’d recommend that you
      give us a call. If an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) is suitable for your circumstances we can arrange one of these.

      It’s worth noting that an IVA is a legal agreement, and if
      you do have a property then this will be taken into consideration in the agreement. You could be asked to re-mortgage the property or extend the terms of the IVA (beyond 5 years) to take into account any equity.

      An IVA is a form of insolvency and is also a complex legal
      document, and we’d require an in-depth look at your budget, assets and debts. It’s worth noting that fees are involved in IVAs and as a Charity we’d only recommend an IVA if this is the best solution to your situation.

      You can read more about DMPs versus IVAs here -http://moneyaware.co.uk/2011/07/12-differences-between-an-iva-and-a-dmp/

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,

      Mat

  • Greenshoots

    I’m about to go bankrupt and I’m worried that I’ll lose my
    car, it’s a 4×4 worth about £5,500. I need the car to visit my children who
    live over 80 miles away, I also need it for my work (I’m a self employed
    landscape gardener hence the need for a 4×4 and trailer)

    • moneyaware

      Hi and thanks for your question.

      It’s always best to take advice before petitioning for bankruptcy. The Judge may even ask what advice you have taken and from who.

      We have dedicated advisors who can look at your situation
      and talk you through bankruptcy and what it will entail if this is the best option.

      If the car is genuinely a ‘tool of the trade’ i.e. essential for your work it’s unlikely that the Official Receiver would request the vehicle is sold. However, we’d need to know a little bit more about your situation before we give full advice.

      I’d recommend that you gather details of your income, expenditure and debts and give us a call. We can even assist in filling in the bankruptcy paperwork free of charge.

      I hope this help.

      Kind regards,

      Mat

  • Jo

    Hi all, some advice please! I had to leave my house last year due to a violent relationship and as a result I know I have debts that I left behind and havent been paid. I now live in a council property and got the shock of my life when I received a CCJ letter through the post, on a debt that my ex partner ran up in my name!!! Is there anything I can do to dispute this? He controlled all of my money and used credit cards like no tomorrow, after everything he put me through I don’t think it’s fair that he gets to torment me even further now that I’ve finally left him!!! Thank you for looking at my question I’ve seen u on the MoneySavingExpert forums and think your advice is brilliant. Please help me!! xx

    • moneyaware

      Hi there Jo, thank you for posting today.

      I’m very sorry to hear what you had to go through and want to assure you that we’ll do all we can to help.

      Despite the difficult nature of your situation where your ex had control over your money, the stance tends to be that if a debt is taken out in your name then you are liable for this. It’s not guaranteed that the debt can be disputed under these circumstances as it would be very difficult to prove who was using the credit product at the time.

      With that said, if you’ve received what’s called an N1 claim form, this is the initial letter you receive from the County Court telling you that a CCJ has been lodged against you by a creditor. You are usually given a period of 16-19 days to outline your income and expenditure to the court in the N9A or N9B forms that should be enclosed and make an offer of monthly payment. If you dispute the debt, you can explain why using those forms.

      If however the debt is ‘judgement by default’, this means that the court weren’t able to make initial contact with to arrange payment and the CCJ is now ‘forthwith’, meaning that they are asking for the full balance. If this is the case, do not panic!

      All you need to do is download what’s called an N245 form which is also known as a ‘varying of judgement form’. This is similar to the claim form that was first issued in that it’s an income and expenditure form where you demonstrate how much you can afford and send it to the court.

      The fee to process the N245 form is £40 which you must enclose with the form as a cheque or postal order. If you are on low income you can include an EX160 form to have the fee refunded. You can download both forms on the Justice.gov website:

      N245: http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n245-eng.pdf

      EX160: http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/ex160a-eng.pdf

      As there are other debts you may have left behind at the previous property, I definitely recommend you look at your credit file and see where you are with them. You can do this for free at noddle.co.uk

      I strongly feel you would benefit from free and confidential debt advice. Debt Remedy can provide a solution in just 20 minutes: http://www.stepchange.org/debtremedy.aspx?domain=www.MoneyAware.co.uk

      Best regards

      Rachel

  • Albert pregely

    We have a £28,000 Mortgage shortfall with Future Mortgages and have written to them to ask to get the debt written off due to ill health and lack of income following the fsa guidelines.Their solicitor Shoosmiths have informed us this morning that the debt has been sold to a company called Sigma.Where do we stand now in regards the 12 year limitation and should we still pursue getting the debt written off.

    • Hi,

      As with any mortgage shortfall debt it is a non-priority debt meaning they can only make you repay them at a rate that you can afford. If you’re liable to pay you could get debt advice to see what is the best way to deal with the debt. You could use our online debt advice tool Debt Remedy.

      If you were looking to get the debt written off due to ill health they generally need medical certificates or documentation on your situation. Sadly this isn’t something we would be able to advise on.

      The limitations period for a mortgage shortfall debt is 12 years – meaning that if no court judgement has been obtained within 12 years or you have not made payment or admitted the debt in writing then it is non-enforceable. The best thing to do if you think this applies to you is to write to them with ‘without prejudice’ at the top of the letter asking for them to send proof of the debt or of the last payment made. You could also ask for a clarification of the total amount. Send this recorded delivery for proof they have received it.

      Hope this helps,
      Jess

    • moneyaware

      Hi Albert,

      As with any mortgage shortfall debt it is a non-priority debt meaning they can only make you repay it at a rate that you can afford. If you’re liable to pay you could get debt advice to see what is the best way to deal with the debt. You could use our online debt advice tool Debt Remedy.

      If you were looking to get the debt written off due to ill health they generally need medical certificates or documentation on your situation. Sadly this isn’t something we would be able to advise on.

      The limitations period for a mortgage shortfall debt is 12 years – meaning that if no court judgement has been obtained within 12 years or you have not made payment or admitted the debt in writing then it is non-enforceable. The best thing to do if you think this applies to you is to write to them with ‘without prejudice’ at the top of the letter asking for them to send proof of the debt or of the last payment made. You could also ask for a clarification of the total amount. Send this recorded delivery for proof they have received it.

      Hope this helps,
      Jess

      • Albert pregely

        Thank you for your advice the bit about it being a non-priority debt is most reassuring.
        Warm Regards and Thank You
        Albert

        keep up the good work!!!

      • moneyaware

        You’re very welcome Albert.

        We can help you to see how best to deal with the mortgage shortfall debt. If it is not statute barred through the 12 year limitation period we can go through a budget, look at your options and see how much you can afford.

        Do Debt Remedy or contact us to speak to a debt advisor.

        We’re here if you need us.

        Take care,
        Jess