I’m getting rather worried and a bit confused as to how to handle our situation over the next few days.
Basically, some weeks ago, having studied posts on this forum (and asking a few questions) I concluded that our best way forward is most probably to go down the IVA route. At that time, we were still fully up-to-date with all our loan and credit card payments but the situation had become unsustainable as all our income was going on servicing the interest and the pot was on the point of spilling over. I then took some preliminary steps to anticipate going to IVA (or BR) and started to cancel all the direct debits and open a new basic Co-op bank account that is not associated with our creditors.
We have now missed one payment on most cards (coming up to two in a couple of cases quite soon) and also gone over the limit with a number of lenders due to this action. I had intended by now to have contacted an IVA firm and got the ball rolling and presumably I could have been informing the creditors as to what was happening etc.
However, we got cold feet about two weeks ago and started to look at bankruptcy as a serious option instead. The more I looked into this (mainly with the help of posts on the sister forum) the more we realised that it is potentially more involved, albeit it usually is over quicker than an IVA. Other advice (eg Moneysavingexpert) strongly recommended that we speak to independent people before going forward, so I spoke with the CCCS earlier this week. We are waiting now for an advisor to do a phone interview in the middle of next week.
Apparently the CCCS have their own IVA department which (correct me if I am wrong) is likely to be cheaper for us than going to a private company – so are there ads and disadvantages here? Are the CCCS slower, less personal, less knowledgeable or what? The professionals on this forum all seem to be really helpful etc, so I guess it’s worth paying a little more for the extra personal touch, then? “You get what you pay for”, as Sybil Fawlty says……… The way I feel at the moment is that I shall probably phone one of the IVA companies tomorrow for an alternative assessment to the CCCS anyway..?
My other main concern is what to do about the demanding letters we are starting to get now – “please contact us immediately if you do not intend to pay the full arrears within 48hrs” etc etc. So far, We have not contacted any creditors – the letters are roughly a maximum of a couple of weeks old now (could be on our hols for all they know [what with I don’t know though!]).
Any thoughts and encouragement would be most welcome please – things are always worse late at night, I guess.
You have found the right place for advice and support before making a choice on the best way forward. Talk to 3 different IP's to get an informed perspective. Paying more will not necessarily mean you get a better service. You will get a feel for the ethos of the company. Insolvency is a business like any other and it's good to shop around to make an informed decision. Probably, contact from your creditors wont stop until you take the step to decide how to handle it and who the best person is to do that for you.
An expert will respond.
All the best- late at night there is always someone here to respond. So don't get down - just post.
As for the letters from creditors, I initially wrote a standard letter back to them all advising that I was having financial difficulties and was in the process of reviewing my situation with a licenced IP. That buys you some time.
I also changed my home phone number so I didn't get any threatening calls, it was free via BT to do this and was well worth it!!
IVA Accepted - Sep 2009
F&F Accepted - Oct 2014
CC Received - Jul 2015
Thanks folks for your comments and encouragement â€“ it is very much appreciated. I did talk to another company this afternoon and we should have a second opinion on Monday.
We hadnâ€™t realised that the CCCS IVA was a commercial concern!!
I like Dougieâ€™s idea of the standard letter â€“ the firm I spoke to this afternoon said they can provide a standard template letter for posting to all the creditors, if we go ahead with them. The phone number issue is sorted as we did have two lines until just recently but cut back to the one â€“ fortunately it was the one that all the creditors had registered for contact!
Feeling less stressed today â€“ a big thanks again to all you caring people out there.
Must admit I never really thought about IP's fees (wrongly or rightly) I chose my IP based on recommendation initially, but upon speaking to them, I found them to be not only well informed and efficient, but that I (and my hubby) got on with and felt at ease with. This is why the advice of speaking to three or four IP's beforehand to get a few opinions is a great idea, its totally up to you who you want to represent you (as long as they feel they can represent you of course)
As soon as we take instructions from a client, creditors are written to by us to confirm the process being followed. We also encourage our clients to inform their creditors directly, and do provide standard letters to make this process as simple as possible.
Hi, we are now into the fourth year of our IVA, we had the same concerns about entering into it. We were £70,000 in debt but both had good jobs, all our money was paying off cards and loans, I was then made redundant and things got worse. We consulted a debt agency and although they ripped us off eventually done us a favour by introducing us to the IVA process and a good IP. We were initially worried but now know it was the best thing we could have done, all the letters and calls stopped, we filled in our expenditure sheet and started having a life. We now live comfortably, even getting a mortgage 1 year into the IVA. I would recommend this to anybody, we are now 1 year away from being debt free, hope this helps anybody as it can be a desperate, miserable life being in debt. Tere is light at the end of the tunnel and you soon get back on your feet.