At the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, we regularly talk to...
[To go to the first post in this series, click here]
[Please note: this article is a work of fiction]
…The credit cards have been paid so it can’t be them. You’re not expecting anyone to come round and you’re home alone with the kids. It’s dark outside, so it’s best not to answer; it’s probably just a salesman. It could be anyone really but it’s best not to risk it. Just keep quiet and they’ll soon go away.
A couple more knocks at the door, then silence. Just sit still and leave the telly on low for a few minutes then check to see if they’ve gone.
There’s a torch shining through the front door and another knock – whoever it is definitely wants to talk, but you’ve already pretended you’re not here, so it’d be silly to speak up now. Just hope that the kids don’t wake or the neighbours don’t notice.
Footsteps becoming more faint – sounds like they’re going. Phew! Who could it have been? Really must sort those bills soon. But EastEnders is on now and it’s better to deal with them in the right frame of mind isn’t it?
Time passes and finances are set to the back of your mind. A week later and you find a hand-delivered letter on the doormat. You’ve just been far too busy to deal with the pile of post. Maybe this weekend will be a little less hectic and give you the chance to sort through it all. Add it to the pile and come back to it then.
Saturday is here! Another week which has flown by. The kids are playing in the garden and the chores are more or less finished for the day.
All except for the pile of post. Today could be the day to finally start sifting through it. But wait, there’s a van pulling up outside – No outstanding deliveries so not sure who it could be…
It was the bailiffs (enforcement agents). They asked why you’d ignored the debt and that they were here to ‘enforce’ and ‘take control’ of goods and assets.
Apparently you now owe over £600 and this could escalate once they start levying. What the heck does “enforcing” mean?! And if they start removing goods, the charges will just go up and up and up.
You try to explain that you don’t have the money, but the kids are starting to wonder what’s going on so you try to keep calm and just let them get on with their job.
They tell you that they just want the money and they have to get it some how. Since you’d ignored the letters this is their only way. It seemed as though they only looked at electrical goods – the TV, the computer and the stereo. They weren’t interested in jewellery and didn’t go into the kids’ rooms.
Unless you come up with the money – and fast – they’ll be back again to take the things they’ve noted.
Thank goodness they didn’t do this straight away – apparently ‘taking control of goods’ just means they can come back and take them at any time.
What a mess. The debt’s already got bigger and now there’s a chance these people will come back at any time for the money.
If only there was a clock to turn back time…
Wish you’d answered the door?