I'm in an IVA, started in May. I am separated from my wife, and have a new partner. Between us we have 5 children (only 3 are resident). My IVA is based on my circumstances as a single adult living at home with a parent.
My partner and I desperately want to move in together, but financially it's very difficult.
Some bullet points to outline our situation:
- I have an IVA
- My partner has CCJs, and owes around £8000. I've suggested a DMP to assist dealing with creditors. Mainly catalogues and a single credit card the refuses to hold the interest. Perhaps a DMP company could convince them otherwise.
- I am paying maintenance for my children, but my partner is not receiving anything for her 3.
- One of those 3 has ADHD, and is in receipt of DLA and my partner receives a carers allowance.
- I have been asked to move out from my parents place.
- My partner is in receipt of housing benefit, council tax benefit and income support. If I move in, these are removed. I become responsible for the shortfall.
- My partners tenancy agreement came to an end EOM August. It has not been renewed. The owner died and his sons are selling the property. It is currently in probate. My partner is effectively in limbo, not knowing whether she'll be asked to leave at any moment.
- We have no capacity to save for a deposit.
- We have no means of borrowing from anyone
- We dont have 6 months rental up front.
- We need to move away from the area we are living in so that I can be closer to work. The commute costs around £350 per month. Reducing this would help massively.
So what do we do? What options are there? We probably don't qualify for help from the council because on paper my salary is too high.
We want to be together. We are engaged (no immediate rush to get married) but cannot live together and cannot spend to much time together for fear of being accused of benefit fraud. It seems to me that it is a rediculous situation.
It would be far easier to quit my job, go bankrupt and expect the tax payer to pick up the tab. But it seems we're penalised for trying to pay our own way. I'm not ranting against people on benefit, I just don't see an easier way forward given our situation.
Speak with your IP and see if they will grant a payment break so that you can both save for a deposit. Once you move in you will need to complete a fresh income and expenditure form and it will probably be better to base this on joint income and expenditure.
If the IVA is unaffordable then there is no harm in looking at the bankruptcy option as you have no assets to protect
At the end of the day your IP will be able to assist but only if they have the full facts
if you move in with her you may be able to claim working tax credits as well as child tax credits. Also the CSA should be asked to chase for maintenance for her 3 kids - it should not have come from your wage.
Sharing from experiences of dealing with debt
There is a solution for everyone .... Just need to stay positive !
Hi, we're discovering that there is so little assistance available. The council basically told us to get lost, in a polite way you understand, but that was the gist of what they said.
We could move in together, but bankruptcy is the only option at that stage. My IVA will most certainly fail. This will make it harder than it already is to move nearer to work, to make living that little bit more affordable. If it wasn't for the commuting, we'd be fine.
The children's father is not working, so we would receive so little maintenance that it's not worth bothering with, and certainly would make no difference to us.
We'll find out soon enough what benefits and tax credits are available to us. I earn too much to receive anything, although we may qualify for £1.20 per week housing benefit according to the council website.
Hi, there are so many variables in your situation. But there must be a better option than bankruptcy and benefits. I hope you get this sorted out but you need to speak to your IP as soon as possible.
It is worth mocking up a joint I&E form to see exactly how the change in your circumstances will affect the dividend (I wouldn't know how to do this but the IP can help). If the change is drastic, perhaps you could volunteer an extra 12 months contributions as a gesture of commitment and goodwill.
Such a large change of circumstances to comprehend, and this is bound to have a major impact upon your ability to fund your IVA payments. Can I suggest that you arrange a face to face meeting with your IP, to go through all of these points so that proper advice and guidance can be given about the way forward.
Yes, it is somewhat overwhelming. I have contacted my IPs office via email, detailing the change of circumstances. I have asked for a payment break, as this will go a long way to helping us achieve our goals. I've described a our situation as driving round the M25, all alone and every exit is closed.
A face to face meeting sounds like a good idea. Just me, or both together? Although my partner is not responsible for my debts, the IVA has an impact on our living standards.
When I started the IVA I was in a only a fledgling relationship, courting/dating. Now though it is full on. We are now engaged. How was I to know I would meet my soul mate so soon after starting my IVA. My worry is that my change of circumstances would be poorly received by IP and creditors. Surely personal affairs such as this cannot be expected to cease just because you are in an IVA? You see, while we could continue as we are; seeing each other only a couple of days a week, living apart. We still risk being dragged in under caution by the benefits people. There's no rule about how many nights you can spend together. It's how your relationship are perceived by them.
I would go together. Your partner is bound to have questions of their own which they meed answers to. And most IPs are genuinely supportive and appreciate that you have lives to live - so don't be afraid to be up front with yours and tell them where your priorities now lie.