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Post by Oilybits » Sun Dec 01, 2013 8:54 pm
After fighting with spiralling debts for eight years, I finally had to admit that I can't pay them. My debts came about because of a stupendously unaffordable mortgage with that ultimate 'responsible' lender, Northern Rock. Now locked into a zero equity non-competitive government owned mortgage and a top up with Firstplus (worst mistake of my life!)

Tomorrow, I will have that dreaded phone call with an IP from Stepchange.

I've spent a week on sick leave due to stress, trawling over and over the budgets and having "how did I ever survive this long" moments. Let's hope it'll all be over and I'll be on my way to sorting things out tomorrow.


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Post by Foggy » Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:35 pm
Good luck Oily. Might I suggest that you speak to a few other companies as well as StepChange as it is important to find a company you can work well with and who will work for you.

You can find listings on or, alternatively, have a look around the forum for clues as to which firms do well and which don't seem to.
My opinions are merely that .. opinions based on experience. Always seek professional advice.
IVA Completed 23rd July 2013 .... C.C. 10th January 2014


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Post by komakino » Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:19 pm
You could do a lot worse than Melanie Giles' company...I've been on this forum for over 3 years and people who have an IVA with them invariably get looked after really well.


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Post by Shining » Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:26 pm
Hi and welcome to the forum. First step taken to acknowledge a debt problem, good advice above to speak to 2 if not 3 or more companies to ensure case specific impartial advice. All the best and you're a member of a fab forum here now so do keep in touch.
IVA final payment left the bank on the 26th January 2013...looking forward to a debt free future.


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Post by Struzzo39 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:26 am
The hardest part id admitting there is a problem. Good luck with your path to becoming debt free and welcome to the forum
Steven & Debbie

Michael Peoples

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Post by Michael Peoples » Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:20 am
I doubt if you will speak to an IP from Stepchange as I think they only have one yet tens of thousands of clients. You should also seek advice from the independent sector before you commit to using Stepchange.
Michael Peoples | McCambridge Duffy Insolvency Practitioners
If you would like to talk to me about proposing an IVA or have any questions at all please visit


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Post by Oilybits » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:50 pm
OK, thanks for the advice. I won't be making a decision today. I will look around first.


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Post by josu » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:55 pm
Hi, I have just finished my IVA, best decision of my life. Good luck!


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Post by Hair_bobbles » Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:51 pm
You need to get some advice from at least 3 firms. has hundreds of reviews.

An iva is not an easy option-

But an iva will stop any creditors biting at your ankles.

The budget will be strict.after your essential living expenses have been worked out- all of your disposable income will go into the iva.

No luxuries- ie holidays ( birthdays & xmas were never part of our budget either)if you have a flashy Car on finance that might have to go back.

But having said all that being in debt is what it is & it is a reasonable way to pay back what you can afford.

I hope it all works out for you ,,deciding to take some sort of action is the first step!

An old bible proverb says this: the rich one rules the poor, and the borrower is a slave to the lender.

How true are those words of wisdom.


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Post by welshwiz » Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:44 pm
Hi Oilybits

Speaking from experience I wish I had found this forum before I entered into my IVA, I must admit haven't had too many problems with firm I am with, just a few niggles, but having found the forum I would have probably contacted Melanies Giles, she and her team have really good and positive feedback on forum, and from what I can see Melanie spends a lot of time on the forum replying to all queries not just her clients.
Good luck with IVA, think of it as a 5 or 6 year loan. On the First Plus loan, we went down this road too, did you have PPI with them, can honestly say in their favour they contacted us and from letter from them to pay out from them took only 2 months.
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