Another petition

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Foggy
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by Foggy » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:21 am
As many will know, our last attempt to get a petiton raised regarding completion delays was scuppered by the government petiton service, claiming that this was not the government's responsibility.
So -- I have quickly penned this petition to ask the government to make it their responsibility - I would be grateful for any observations before I submit it:


"Record personal debt in the UK and it’s “solutions”.

Debt is increasing at an alarming rate in the UK, driven on great part by the last decade or so of austerity measures, seeing a real drop in household incomes, despite the increases in people working two, sometimes three jobs to make ends meet.
People are using credit (usually credit / store cards at a high interest rate) to buy everyday essentials like food. Many cannot make minimum repayments or the whole payment they do manage to make is eaten up by interest alone, so the debt never reduces.
There are several debt solutions open to individuals, including Debt Management Plans (DMP) , Debt Relief Orders (DRO), Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA) or Bankruptcy (BR) – the choice of which is dependant on a raft of individual circumstances.
This document will concern itself, primarily, with IVAs: Currently (Q3, 2017) there is a record high of IVAs being started with 15,523 this quarter. That is 61% of the total individual insolvencies in quarter 3 (25,479). Up 18.3 % on the previous quarter and total individual insolvencies are up 7.7% on the previous year.
Now, an IVA typically lasts 5 or 6 years and the debtor must use the services of an Insolvency Practitioner (IP). Once signed up an in the IVA they are bound to that IP, regardless of quality of service. However, the IP can pass them on (sell them!) to another insolvency firm with no consultation.
In the “credit world”, where there is a breakdown or dispute between a creditor and debtor, the debtor can turn to the Financial Ombudsman for mediation and a resolution. However, in the ever growing “IVA world” there is no such mechanism for mediation and resolution. The debtor has to rely on the insolvency firms internal complaints procedure and then, if they haven’t been beaten into submission, the dispute can be escalated to the IP’s regulatory body. All well and good … BUT … the regulatory bodies do not intervene. They will not alter or make an IP alter their course of action, even if proven incorrect. If the case is proven against the IP they will only “slap the wrist” and, possibly, levy a fine on the IP. A fine that disappears into their own coffers. The debtor gets no restitution nor is the dispute settled.
We demand that the government take this situation seriously – it will only get worse as more and more enter insolvency – and set up a body with a similar mantle to that of the Financial Ombudsman, to watch over the interests of those in insolvency, to mediate in disputes, ensure adherence by IP’s to agreed terms and to offer resolution / restitution if shown to be required. This can be achieved in one of several ways, including, extending the role of the Financial Ombudsman to include debt solutions, creating a new debtors advocacy service or extending the remit of the Insolvency Service to include mediation and resolution. "
redboxtree
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by redboxtree » Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:01 pm
May be too emotive - you might want to link it to how the 1986 legislation is not fit for purposes and that it is allowing IVA companies to take actions that may not be supported by the legislation BUT those actions are hard to challenge given the way that they self regulate between themselves.
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Foggy
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by Foggy » Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:07 pm
redboxtree wrote:
May be too emotive - you might want to link it to how the 1986 legislation is not fit for purposes and that it is allowing IVA companies to take actions that may not be supported by the legislation BUT those actions are hard to challenge given the way that they self regulate between themselves.



Thanks, Redboxtree. Has to be a little emotive and not too full of legal reference and statistics to get read by "Joe Public" and, more importantly, signed, but I see the point.
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kallis3
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by kallis3 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:16 pm
I think it's good and hope it works out this time.
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jonathah
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by jonathah » Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:47 pm
That's great. I would support that.
However,,,,,,,if I were drafting legislation (HA!) I would enable unhappy clients to refer the matter to the courts. An IVA is after all a legal agreement not a informal arrangement.
If you had a CCJ for example, any issues would ultimately be referred to the court. With an IVA, all you can do is complain to the "other side".
IVAconfused75
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by IVAconfused75 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:05 am
Hi.
I know it's a bit late for my 2 pence worth, but I would've also included that the financial mediator also offer some advice if the debtor should be using an IVA at all, based on their level of debt and their mental state at that time. Not all debt is based around overspending shopping sprees or lavish lifestyles, it can be poor health or bereavement which never gets mentioned and will have a massive effect on a persons clear thinking into making a big life altering decision like an IVA.
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Foggy
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by Foggy » Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:20 am
IVAconfused75 wrote:
Hi.
I know it's a bit late for my 2 pence worth, but I would've also included that the financial mediator also offer some advice if the debtor should be using an IVA at all, based on their level of debt and their mental state at that time. Not all debt is based around overspending shopping sprees or lavish lifestyles, it can be poor health or bereavement which never gets mentioned and will have a massive effect on a persons clear thinking into making a big life altering decision like an IVA.



I agree. Debt is relatively rarely caused by lavish lifestyles for us mere mortals (pop and film stars excepted -- but, again, not all). I imagine that the government's line of thinking here would be that we have CAB and The Money Advice Service, as well as forums like this one, to help us make an informed choice. It is a valid point that most of us get our information from a firm with a vested interest in us taking on an IVA --- however, if you can find them, there are firms that freely give advice with no expectation of a return, such as those who post on here and help even the clients of other firms for no return at all. Anyway ,,, I digress ......

The petition service gives a petitioner VERY little chance to explain themselves (800 words) and to cover all they want to say -- although there is a link in mine back to this thread, so anyone interested can look in and, as well as seeing my arguement above, will see your comments as well.
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