Your first port of call should be the Citizens Advice Bureau. Here they will offer you free advice, help and assistance but remember this organisation is generally staffed with volunteers, who have had some training. You should also contact one of the charity funded debt help organisations. They have no axe to grind as they are non-profit-making organisations and they are only interested in helping you.
CCCS or Consumer Credit Counselling Service is one such charity dedicated to providing confidential, free counselling and money management assistance to financially distressed families and individuals. This charity does not charge any fees and they are very helpful, knowledgeable and able to assist you in finding a solution to your debts. Do your own research and you will find many other organisations and internet forums where the public go to talk about their experiences, their problems and solutions. You will often find good advice here from people in the same situation.
Most debt organisations and counselling services will assess your situation and ask you to complete a full financial review to see what you can afford or perhaps cannot afford. These organisations will generally not charge you. They are a free service to help you. The general options or schemes available to help you sort out your debt are Debt Management, Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA) or for extreme situations Bankruptcy.
Within the Industry, Debt Management is also called an Informal Voluntary Arrangement (not to be confused with an Individual Voluntary Arrangement). There are companies who will gladly take your debts and turn them into one affordable monthly payment for a monthly fee and in some cases an upfront fee as well. Debt Management arrangements are an informal agreement with your lenders and is not a court approved agreement. Therefore it can be changed whenever required. This means that you will be paying off your debt forever, with no real end date in sight.
The second choice you have is an IVA or Individual Voluntary Arrangement. Here you have a formal arrangement that is done by a qualified IVA practitioner. Under an IVA the term over which the debt is to be paid is agreed by the practitioner and your creditors. This is an official agreement unlike a Debt Management scheme.
With a Debt Management scheme and an IVA you keep your home as long as you continue to pay your mortgage and the agreed monthly payment towards paying off your debt. With these agreements the interest is generally suspended. Both of these schemes protect your home.
Each type of scheme has good and bad points. For example a Debt Management has not been done through the court and your lenders are “bullied” into taking the monthly payments. The Debt Management companies know that your creditors cannot take you to court as long as you are making an attempt to pay something each month. N.B. this does not apply to mortgages, secured loans, hire purchase and leases.
Recent news is that creditors are not readily agreeing to Individual Voluntary Arrangements, and would rather see people go bankrupt. Possibly the reason for this is that the creditor stands to lose up to 75% of the debt and the clients pay back the difference with no interest being charged. Then, after 5 years, clients will walk away with their credit files purged. If the client had gone bankrupt they would be scarred for life – or at least a further 6 years after the bankruptcy period has finished.
Well now there is a fourth option (which is not a Debt Management Solution nor an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) nor a Bankruptcy Scheme). There is a rapidly growing, yet relatively unknown key to unlocking credit card debit. There are companies in the United Kingdom that have found that Credit Card Agreements and their Terms and Conditions are flawed and therefore invalid and unenforceable,
It is also possible to legally detach yourself from some mortgages, loans and finance agreements. It is estimated that approximately 20 million finance agreements may be flawed and unenforceable. Some lenders have set aside vast amounts of money to pay possible compensation claims that may arise. This fourth alternative solution is capable of wiping out your credit card debts legally and your mortgages, loans and finance agreements. To find out more information go to the resources at the bottom of the article for more information.
Your first port of call should be the Citizens Advice Bureau. Here they will offer you free advice, help and assistance but remember this organisation is generally staffed with volunteers, who have had some training. You should also contact one of the charity funded debt help organisations. They have no axe to grind as they are non-profit-making organisations and they are only interested in helping you. By Mark Aucamp.
Contributing author Mark Aucamp has been providing website content and is acknowledged as having experience in Debt Management and providing Mortgage Advice. Mark is the administrator, editor and author of Talk Money Blog where he offers advice on Money Saving Tips, personal finance, Mortgage Help & Advice and debt solutions.Why not visit: http://moneysavingtips.net for some of the latest money saving tips