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Cupcake08

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Post by Cupcake08 » Fri Apr 23, 2021 8:45 pm
Needlessly stressful. Now in month 59, have previously provided 2 mortgage redemption statements since September 2020. IP or at least advisors on phone adamant things progress as they see fit. They wanted a physical valuation of property as desktop one was deemed not reliable enough. The surveyor is RICS and must come from their approved provider. Despite assurances surveyor would contact me, I have had no communications. Having raised this in writing with IP I am still waiting. I just feel overwhelming tired of the process at this stage. I know the pandemic has impacted this but it is just another stressor at an already difficult time. Is this normal? My outstanding contributions if IVA extended would be £3.5k. Is this worth the toll on health? Money or your life....

luluj

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Post by luluj » Sat Apr 24, 2021 7:03 am
So sorry to hear you are having difficulties at this late stage despite you having done all that has been asked.

Unfortunately they are in control in this and if they are insistent all you can do is continue to report no contact from them.

You could consider writing a complaint to them, demonstrating full compliance and their inability to be efficient, but not sure it will get anywhere.

Who is your iva with? We may have someone linked to them on the forum who could help
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Cupcake08

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Post by Cupcake08 » Sat Apr 24, 2021 7:41 am
Thanks, I am sorry to sound like a complainer but the whole thing has me at a low ebb. I am with Step Change, to be honest in hindsight I may have been better off with a different provider.
The housing industry is moving forward ordinarily so clearly surveyors are working in Covid secure way. Just cannot fathom their case management system that allows this to happen. Surely it is in no ones interest to do so?
I have requested time bound reply so will continue to await response.

Foggy

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Post by Foggy » Sat Apr 24, 2021 8:33 am
This is unusually belligerent for StepChange. Under the terms of your agreement, assuming it is written in the usual way, you have agreed to get an independent valuation --- a surveyor from their panel is not independent and I would think this would be grounds for a formal complaint, first to Step Change and then escalated to their regulatory body, if needs be, via the Government Gateway.
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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Cupcake08

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Post by Cupcake08 » Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:47 am
Thanks Foggy. I appreciate the feedback. I think at this stage my equity is likely to trigger the extension anyway and I have no appetite for protracted dispute (nerves cannot handle it). Just want it finalised in a prompt professional way as required by terms and conditions, as long as the arrangement is overseen with the desired outcomes there are no consequences or concern for debtors wellbeing. This close to 60th payment is far too lax for me and my already stretched nerves.
I believe it is standard for them to instruct a surveyor from their approved provider (I guess there must be cost benefit to using sole provider they pay directly). I have no doubt their survey will be in order for some reason there is a protracted delay which isn't being managed.

I already know I cannot release any equity as I did look into this previously but SC not interested as process not yet initiated by them at this stage so they are very much not allowing any deviation from their internal process. Also they were very reluctant to me enquiring about Covid guidelines from Government re equity release.

They also seem reluctant to reply to emails. I think the entire scenario is the result of being one of many many cases being managed during a pandemic.

It is difficult to know at the start of an IVA journey which provider to go with. I was embarrassed by my financial problems which inhibited my search. I would urge others to check at least one alternative. Be mindful that firms with large caseloads can mean a bumpy journey and a less than ideal experience from a client perspective. It won't matter to the IVA but it will to your mental health and ability to sustain the arrangement.

Foggy

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Post by Foggy » Sat Apr 24, 2021 12:11 pm
I have to echo that last paragraph. We always advise chatting to a few providers and I, personally, do not like the 'IVA Factories', where you have no direct access to the person supervising the arrangement ( The IP), and are, basically, a small grain of sand on a very large beach. To be fair, sometimes the anonymity suits --- and this is OK unless you need any intervention.
My opinions are merely that .. opinions based on experience. Always seek professional advice.
IVA Completed 23rd July 2013 .... C.C. 10th January 2014
http://foggy.blogs.iva.co.uk

kallis3

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Post by kallis3 » Sat Apr 24, 2021 1:36 pm
Have to say that way back in 2008 I used Payplan and they were great then. The smaller companies did seem to be so much better but they are few and far between now as are the IP's that used to post on here..
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Cupcake08

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Post by Cupcake08 » Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:31 pm
Ok, I have finally had response from case handler.

They have issued a template response asking me to remortgage etc. Just thought I was asked the panel for any indications on the following.

Valuation of property is excessive. Previously they specified a physical survey - no without any explanation just using this inflated valuation, have queried this.

Advised I would need to raise a variation with creditors in order to go straight to 12 month extension if equity clause is triggered and I don't wish to raise finance. This was because I simply asked about the application of the Covid 19 Guidelines issued by Government (easy to google it - 1.12). Have asked why this doesn't apply me to me - everything about my agreement and my circumstances are 'normal' but for some reason no one at SC wants to confirm why this doesn't apply to me.

The sum I am being asked to raised though refinancing is more than half the amount again of my original debt. Is this linked to the inflated valuation or is the the original debt plus statutory interest?

I know I cannot remortgage but possibly a very expensive secured loan with a variable rate from an enquiry made via a broker last Autumn. Total cost was just awful and I cannot believe this kind of secured lending at exorbitant costs would be acceptable as a debt solution by a national debt charity?

I have politely expressed how disappointed and upset I am at how my case is being handled. It makes me feel so angry that as a debtor you end up with this level of contempt. I also feel I need to pay for formal advice from another IP to handle this. Fuming and stressed doesn't cover it.

Foggy

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Post by Foggy » Tue Apr 27, 2021 5:53 pm
The covid guidelines were produced and agreed by creditors in an attempt to circumvent the need for the variation that StepChange are talking about ---- I would take this to their regulatory body.

The figure they are talking about for equity to be released: The repayment for this 'new' lending cannot exceed half of your current IVA payment, nor can the term be extended beyond state retirement age --- this often limits any loan amount anyway .... but the total amount release should not exceed the remaining outstanding balance of the original debt and fees. Statutory interest should not be added when the debts and fees are being settled by equity release.

They cannot force an unrealistic and unagreed valuation upon you --- under the standard terms YOU have agreed to get a valuation, not them ... again a matter to speak to regulators about. You need to complain about your own IP rather than the company.
My opinions are merely that .. opinions based on experience. Always seek professional advice.
IVA Completed 23rd July 2013 .... C.C. 10th January 2014
http://foggy.blogs.iva.co.uk

Cupcake08

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Post by Cupcake08 » Tue Apr 27, 2021 6:18 pm
Thanks Foggy. Frankly I think they way this operate is slack and unacceptable - the gateway won't intervene in individual cases but I am pursuing enquiries as well as asking the IP to respond directly to my queries.

Foggy

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Post by Foggy » Tue Apr 27, 2021 6:52 pm
The regulators do not 'intervene', however, they do consider complaints and investigate them. If they find the IP at fault they will issue a sanction against that IP. These sanctions range from a slap on the wrist to monetary fines, sometimes running into thousands. It is often the threat of such a possibility that focuses an IP and he or she will then apply themselves to resolving the issue before the, in this case, IPA are involved.

Are you emailing the IP direct or going through a general StepChange inbox ?
My opinions are merely that .. opinions based on experience. Always seek professional advice.
IVA Completed 23rd July 2013 .... C.C. 10th January 2014
http://foggy.blogs.iva.co.uk

Cupcake08

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Post by Cupcake08 » Tue Apr 27, 2021 7:34 pm
I am emailing the IP directly, it was only way I could get a response after a protracted delay of non responses from the main address in - however the caseworkers are authorised to respond on their behalf. I honestly think they don't give a sh*t - about debtors anyway. They provided me with a helpful template to ask lenders for finance on a vastly inflated valuation (let that sink in). It is just staggeringly poor.....how was it ever going to work??? Nuts.

Rejjy666

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Post by Rejjy666 » Wed Apr 28, 2021 12:25 pm
Hi. I too am with stepchange and been through the equity release procedure. I was worried by it all and like you much preferred the idea of a 12 month extension rather than remortgage or secured loan. I didn’t have the troubles you are experiencing, I found stepchange very helpful through the whole process (as well as this forum) They advised I needed to attempt remortgage/secured loan from a lender of my choice and provide evidence of the outcome. My current mortgage provider is Lloyds bank so I visited the website and using the online mortgage tools I applied for a remortgage in principle. This was declined obviously, within an hour a helpful chap from Lloyds called to see if he could assist but I still failed the credit check and he explained that the IVA on my file was probably the reason. I asked him if I could have my failed application in writing which I then forwarded to stepchange and the 12 month extension was triggered.
I never had to have a surveyor sent to my property, only provide a mortgage redemption statement. Maybe they have changed the policy? Anyway, good luck with all.

Cupcake08

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Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:31 am

Post by Cupcake08 » Wed Apr 28, 2021 1:47 pm
Thanks Rejjy666 - glad you are having a happier experience. SC required physical valuation several months ago as desktop one not reliable enough and it never took place, no follow up or comms or response to my enquiries so I emailed the IP as I felt it was reasonable to do so (month 59). Valuation very high on the remortgage request pinged through. I don't believe process has changed, your own valuation must have been more reliable.
Interestingly my current lender declined to provide any evidence of my inability to remortgage - instead they advised me to tell Stepchange to ring them direct to establish this (!!!). I have had other attempts declined by other lenders - I cannot progress an online application as I don't fulfil the initial criteria so directed to call instead, therefore the screen shot is not available to email.
I feel have done everything a reasonable person would do; I have co operated with everything asked of me in a timely fashion to the best of my ability, disclosed all information and have asked sensible reasonable questions to clarify. The crux of the matter I guess is whether you can sail through the prescribed process with minimal contact and come through it unscathed. Good luck with your continued journey.

Cupcake08

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Post by Cupcake08 » Thu May 27, 2021 7:59 pm
Well my month 60 journey continues and I have to admit it is not what I expected.

Original agreement included secured loan in addition to remortgage.
Prior to IVA I was also issued with a separate letter by the IP Provider which explained how 'Your property is handled in an IVA' - this also included secured loan and I was asked to sign to acknowledge I had read and understood.
Duly signed as IVA was not going to be agreed without it.

My current lender and my current bank account provider were a no - I also approached a reputable broker. I kept the IVA company informed and they gave me a deadline (which was observed). The broker results as they were taken in earnest and carried out responsibly (based on I&E and confirmation of circumstances) where not available until about 14 later.

However, the IVA company have advised that I need request a variation if I want to exit the IVA with this secured loan as a lump sum settlement as I had concluded the equity clause with a screen shot from Santander online application where you get declared ineligible because of IVA. And now I have to explain why I want the variation (!!).

I was initially sceptical about the secured loan but after consideration I felt it would conclude the IVA arrangement and after all this aggro with them, in addition to stresses of lockdown I felt a simple loan payment, which was half of my current contribution was a way forward. I honestly did have reservations as it was higher rate but weighing up pros and cons I felt it was the right choice for me. After 5 years I just want to move forward.

The amount the creditors would receive from secured loan is double the amount they would get from my contributions over Year 6.

I have to admit I cannot actually understand what is actually going on? Somewhere along the line this system is broken or there is some kind of issue. I had previously asked very straight direct questions to Step Change about secured loans and they have been dilatory and evasive. Even emailing the IP direct you get the brush off.
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