I will not be contributing for the next 2-3 months at least.
Things that people may find useful as they enter into an IVA/comments on things I have noticed coming through:
IVA companies say in adverts "your credit score may be affected". It should say "Your credit score WILL be affected" and it will be affected for at least 6 years, even if you get out of an IVA early
Never put your name, telephone number or email address on a board like this. Your IVA might end in 5 years but you could find the information you put here floating around for the next 20 years. The moderators here go beyond what they need to do but the internet is a dangerous place [
Despite what the adverts say, you will be a commodity. They do not advertise for the sake of it, then advertise because they hope to make money from your change in circumstances
Do not believe the adverts which quote "real" people. The last thing you want in an IVA is for people to know you are in an IVA
If they ask you to overinflate your expenditure or claim for things that you know you do not do (smoking is a good example), that is not a good sign in terms of the way that your IVA will run. Honesty has to be from both sides.
As Foggy keeps saying, this is YOUR IVA. You are entering into a contract and the contract will only be as good as the people being paid to help administer it. Some IVA companies give the impression that they barely know what the right hand is doing, let alone both hands working together. Choose carefully
At least 25% of all IVA's fail. Do not believe the hype around IVA's. It may not be the best option for your particular circumstances
The lowest amount for entering into an IVA is around £6000 owed. What that really means is that is what your IVA company believes is financially viable for them to be involved - not that you are actually repaying anyone
In larger companies your Insolvency Practitioner will barely know who you are so do not expect a lot
If your IVA is now being processed overseas, an IVA company did not make that change because it provides a better service. They did it because it makes their profit margins better
Make a Subject Access Request every 2 years to find out what they really know about you
The ability for an Insolvency Practitioner is based on legislation that is seriously not fit for purpose. They are pushing changes and decisions that where challenged in court, sometimes have backfired against them. If they are going to court to "understand key aspects of the legislation" would assume they advertise they lost and what they would now change. Given one major court case recently linked the largest IVA provider, they got blown out of the water by the judge but not a lot seems to have changed
Be really careful around recurring card payment or allowing direct access to your bank account. These are supposedly "consent based" but what it really means is that one you give consent, the IVA company will argue that they now have an automatic right of access/able to call funds based on the IP and how they determine what happens. If it goes wrong your bank will say that is your problem
You have no choice if you are transferred to a new IVA provider. Sometimes it happens because a company has folded, sometimes it happens because you are "sold" and it releases money to your old IVA company. It is not a nice feeling
If you get asked to sign forms linked to reclaiming PPI or other forms of charges, if you honestly believe that they were not missold (you claimed on them in the past/you felt they were right at the time), clearly state that is what you believe. That way if a bank contacts you about a reclaim, you can say the IVA company has decided to reclaim despite what you have stated (but that also means you do try and reclaim once you come out of an IVA)
Savings is really contentious and keeping some under the mattress is till the best way to go. The amount of savings should just be enough to cover a largish bill but not enough that the IVA allows you to live a life of luxury/pays for multiple holidays (and I have seen this happen)
Lastly, things change for a 5-6 year period. Anticipate what could change linked to your IVA provider
Unfortunately, there is likely to be a lot of people going into IVA's over the next few months. If you are one of them, think carefully and really on yourselves/boards like this for the "real" experience. Once you have your creditors meeting, you are committed and 5-6 years (or in the experience on one member of this board 9+ years), is a large part of your life.
IVA started March 2011, Completed March 2016 and certificate issued 11 days after final payment. It was not always easy but then some of the best decisions aren't.
Great post - I will also be sorry to see you go for a while.
Sharing from experiences of dealing with debt
The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.
Bob Marley. http://kallis3.blogs.iva.co.uk