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  • FIRST POST
    • unlucky10
    • By unlucky10 19th Mar 17, 10:01 AM
    • 2Posts
    • 1Thanks
    unlucky10
    Wits end
    • #1
    • 19th Mar 17, 10:01 AM
    Wits end 19th Mar 17 at 10:01 AM
    Hi this is really difficult for me to begin so please don't be judgemental as this is a really tough time for me now and I'm sorry for the long post. Basically we are in severe debt and to top it all my husband is currently waiting for tests to see if he has bowel or stomach cancer. Consequently I'm absolutely terrified of him having this diagnosis, I cannot keep my mind from fearing the worse not only the emotional wrench of losing him but also where this would leave me and my teenage daughter. We're obviously praying it's not this diagnosis but all the indicators are not good. Even if he has it and it is treatable he is self employed he's the main breadwinner and I worry how well manage with our debts if he's unable to work as he's too ill and having treatment. The reasons we are in so much debt is because I fell pregnant just at the time he was setting up his business and the childcare and the fluctuations in his income crippled us. We have therefore lurched for the last 15 years since she was born going from loans to remortgaged to hefty expensive credit cards etc. Coupled with the fact that I then got made redundant and had to take a job which paid around £600 per month less. We've been head in the sand for far too long I know but this is the facts of the situation. I estimate that between us our debts are circa £60k!! Which absolutely terrifies me. Most of this is expensive credit card debt which is why it's escalated so much as the interest rates are so high. We've tried switching to lower rates in years gone by but now we are limited with who we've got. We've also got a car loan but this is due to finish next February. The rest of our debt is overdrafts and we've got a £95k repayment mortgage. Thankfully none of our debts are secured against our home but I realise that if I lost my husband his creditors can take any of his assets before I inherit them. And if I lose him I can't afford the repayments without his income. Most of the card debt is in my name because I was the one in an employed job which also terrifies me but we did this because of his self employed status but they are joint debts although on paper it doesn't look that way. He has about £15k of debt in his name alone, the car loan and mortgage is in joint names. None of the debts are secured against his business and he is a sole trader.
    So all this is really scary stuff. We only have about 8 years left on our mortgage and then it would be paid off. I love our home and it's full of memories and if the worst should happen I want to be able to stay in the family home especially as I have excellent neighbours who I am going to need for support. We do have life insurance and critical illness cover on our mortgage but and this is a big but, it's a reducing term assurance. I've checked the policy and if anything happens this year it would pay out £59k, £51k next year and so on. This is obviously a shortfall on our current mortgage balance as stupidly we couldn't afford to increase our insurance premiums. Naively we thought with only 8 years to go on the mortgage we'd pay this off then throw our mortgage money at our debts and the additional car loan money once paid up to our debts to try and clear them, and snowball them. I'd asked him to consider an Iva or Dpm previously but he won't as he didn't want to risk our house or his business and having a bad credit rating. He has no debts on his business like van loans but obviously has his monthly materials bills etc. He is getting very depressed obviously with the diagnosis hanging over us we're all very anxious and also because he's unwell he can't do anything although he is still currently managing to work, but for how long? We can't afford to go out and do anything to cheer him up. I feel like I'm carrying this burden alone, his parents are deceased and he's an only child, my parents are alive but my mum is undergoing cancer treatment herself and I can't add to their burdens plus I'm so ashamed. He does have sickeness cover for his work but this only pays out about £160 per week, no where near enough to cover our bills. His income fluctuates hugely each month which is why we've robbed peter to pay Paul all these years. I bring home around £1200 per month. He doesn't have a pension as he couldn't afford it (I do and it's a good one) so I worry I won't have an income from him. He has a very old frozen pension but there's hardly anything in it. So you can see I'm in a complete mess with not knowing where to start or turn for help. Meanwhile if he does have cancer I've got to try and find the strength to support him through this which will also mean me taking time off from my job if he needs operations etc and I clearly need my job! I've also got to try and support my daughter who I don't want unsettled too much as she's in an important year at school exams wise. I just feel a wreck!
    I would welcome any help or ideas of what we can please do! I've thought should we up our life insurance now but if he does get the diagnosis it may be too late. If it is bd news and we can claim the critical illness /life insurance of £59k does that actually have to be used to pay off the mortgage or do you get it in a cash lump sum? I'm assuming you have to use it to pay off the mortgage as it's a decreasing term with mortgage but if not I was wondering if I could use it to pay off debts then I could take on the mortgage myself but extend the term so the payments were more affordable? If not could I pay off the mortgage but this would still mean there's £36k left that won't be paid off. I could afford payments on a £36k mortgage but not with debts of £60k! And they wouldn't give me a mortgage on just my salary with all these debts against my name. God forbid if the worst happened I couldn't even afford his funeral!!
    I've thought about selling the house too. The mortgage is £95k and I estimate on current house values our house is worth £250k. I don't want to leave this house I really don't but am wondering if we have no option but also if I sold and cleared debts I'd still have to try and start again with security for my daughter. I'm 43 my husbands 44 and I'm completely at a loss and can't think straight. Please help!
Page 1
    • zippygeorgeandben
    • By zippygeorgeandben 19th Mar 17, 10:47 AM
    • 662 Posts
    • 765 Thanks
    zippygeorgeandben
    • #2
    • 19th Mar 17, 10:47 AM
    • #2
    • 19th Mar 17, 10:47 AM
    Try not to worry at this moment in time but people will definitely suggest you post a statement of affairs (SOA) and people can help you work out what is a priority to pay for at this moment in time.
    Everyone will be able to provide more complete advice if you post a statement of affairs which you can create here: http://www.stoozing.com/calculator/soa.php
    I'll leave you with this - no debt is unpayable, whether it takes 1 year or 20 years and there is ALWAYS a solution.
    PS - Forgot to add - people aren't judgemental in this forum so don't worry about that!
    Last edited by zippygeorgeandben; 19-03-2017 at 10:52 AM. Reason: PS
    End Sep 2016 End August 2017
    £8236.57 £4876.49
    (Tesco 4.8%) £222.61pcm
    £6185.75 £851.34 (Zopa 4.0%) £48.99pcm

    £5344.50
    £2890.04 (Sainsburys 0% until 06/19) £140pcm
    £2000.00 £1333.35 (Sister 0%) £133.33pcm

    Total debt
    £19.766.82 £11499.70 Original DFD May 2019.
    • granniegrooch
    • By granniegrooch 19th Mar 17, 11:53 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    granniegrooch
    • #3
    • 19th Mar 17, 11:53 AM
    • #3
    • 19th Mar 17, 11:53 AM
    So very sorry for all that you are going through. I wonder at this point if you have approached Citizen's advice or one of the debt help companies which may help you get in touch with your credit card companies/creditors? I'm not sure how it works, but I have heard that there may be ways that they can help you arrange for 'freeze' on your interest payments at least.
    • MrsLWW
    • By MrsLWW 19th Mar 17, 1:25 PM
    • 75 Posts
    • 235 Thanks
    MrsLWW
    • #4
    • 19th Mar 17, 1:25 PM
    • #4
    • 19th Mar 17, 1:25 PM
    I'm so sorry for your situation and really hope that your DH's diagnosis is not worst case scenario.

    Normally most people wouldn't advocate extending a mortgage, however, in your circumstances with the risk you might be facing in loosing your home altogether, if I was in your situation I would be taking some of the equity out of your home, paying off the debts (IN THE FIRM AGREEMENT THAT YOU TAKE OUT NO MORE CREDIT) and budgeting so that you can live solely off of your wage. If things improve with your husband, then great, in the future you can use his income to really tackle your mortgage. But maybe for now, I'd start planning and living in the worst case scenario.

    HTH
    Debt peak approx £30,000
    CURRENT DEBT: Jan2017: £21,249 - Feb2017: £20,953 - March17: £19,223 - Apr17: £18,463 - May17: £16,374 - Jun17: £15,618: Jul17: £14,903 (CC Paid OFF!) Aug17: £12,700
    My parents always said "If you can't afford it cash, you can't afford it!" so true!.... mind you, turns out we can't afford much lol
    • January2015
    • By January2015 19th Mar 17, 1:55 PM
    • 1,753 Posts
    • 4,718 Thanks
    January2015
    • #5
    • 19th Mar 17, 1:55 PM
    • #5
    • 19th Mar 17, 1:55 PM
    Normally most people wouldn't advocate extending a mortgage, however, in your circumstances with the risk you might be facing in loosing your home altogether, if I was in your situation I would be taking some of the equity out of your home, paying off the debts (IN THE FIRM AGREEMENT THAT YOU TAKE OUT NO MORE CREDIT) and budgeting so that you can live solely off of your wage. If things improve with your husband, then great, in the future you can use his income to really tackle your mortgage. But maybe for now, I'd start planning and living in the worst case scenario.

    HTH
    Originally posted by MrsLWW
    Sorry - but I completely disagree with this. The last thing you should do is move unsecured debt to secured debt. Unsecured debts will trundle along for a long, long time on token payments of £1 a month if necessary. If you up your secured mortgage and can't pay that in the future you risk losing your home. Leave your secured mortgage as it is now.

    Post up a statement of affairs (SOA) and then people can give you more informed advice.

    Try to stay strong and positive - hard to do I know when you have the worry of your OH's health and financial worries. You will find masses of support and help on here with the financial bit.
    Last edited by January2015; 19-03-2017 at 1:57 PM. Reason: Spelling
    DFW Nerd No. 1484 LBM 07/01/15 Debt was £95k I'm driving it down
    £1k emergency fund (member #84) £1k/£1k
    Xmas 2017 £1 p/day challenge No. 20 - £420/£730
    Make £10 p/day Feb £74.31, Mar £664.37 Apr £40
    • Bedsit Bob
    • By Bedsit Bob 19th Mar 17, 3:42 PM
    • 9,639 Posts
    • 50,675 Thanks
    Bedsit Bob
    • #6
    • 19th Mar 17, 3:42 PM
    • #6
    • 19th Mar 17, 3:42 PM
    If you get the chance off pay off the Mortgage, do so.

    The most important thing is a roof over your head.

    Even if your creditors make a move on the house, a court is very unlikely to put you and your child out of it.

    The most likely, worst case scenario, is that they will put a Charging Order on the property, meaning the debts will only be settled from the house, when it is eventually sold.
    My job is Top Secret. Even I don't know what I'm doing.

    Amount I have so far denied the BBC - £1161
    • moneyfacts
    • By moneyfacts 19th Mar 17, 4:49 PM
    • 67 Posts
    • 114 Thanks
    moneyfacts
    • #7
    • 19th Mar 17, 4:49 PM
    • #7
    • 19th Mar 17, 4:49 PM
    Perhaps easier said than done, but worry less about money for time being and contact your creditors and tell them what's happening, they will understand.

    Also you mention that your partner is going through diagnosis, I would try not to be too pessimistic at this stage.

    Also I'm sure the what you're going through makes you realise how money problems are the least of your worries. Maybe spend more time supporting your husband and worry about bills later
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 19th Mar 17, 5:26 PM
    • 11,951 Posts
    • 11,440 Thanks
    sourcrates
    • #8
    • 19th Mar 17, 5:26 PM
    • #8
    • 19th Mar 17, 5:26 PM
    As said in other posts, try not to worry about the debts for now, your husbands health comes first.

    Unsecured debts take a long time to go through the collection process, the worst a creditor can do in your situation would be a CCJ and a charging order, as said before, it's unlikely a court would sanction an order for sale due to your current circumstances.

    There are a lot of variables and unknowns in your situation at present, my advice would be to inform your creditors of the situation, reduce or stop your unsecured payments altogether, save some money up, you may need it, concentrate on paying the mortgage, that is your priority debt now.

    The rest (unsecured debt) can wait until your circumstances become clearer.

    Posting an SOA will help.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts there.
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
    • MrsLWW
    • By MrsLWW 19th Mar 17, 6:35 PM
    • 75 Posts
    • 235 Thanks
    MrsLWW
    • #9
    • 19th Mar 17, 6:35 PM
    • #9
    • 19th Mar 17, 6:35 PM
    Sorry - but I completely disagree with this. The last thing you should do is move unsecured debt to secured debt. Unsecured debts will trundle along for a long, long time on token payments of £1 a month if necessary. If you up your secured mortgage and can't pay that in the future you risk losing your home. Leave your secured mortgage as it is now.

    Post up a statement of affairs (SOA) and then people can give you more informed advice.

    Try to stay strong and positive - hard to do I know when you have the worry of your OH's health and financial worries. You will find masses of support and help on here with the financial bit.
    Originally posted by January2015
    Totally appreciate what you are saying January, however unlucky seems to be in a good position with her mortgage and is still young enough that extending the mortgage is a real and potentially manageable option, given that she will be spending way less on interest.

    Unlucky, it's not an ideal scenario, but if it is affordable for you to manage a single mortgage payment COMFORTABLY on your own with your bills, whilst your husband is ill or god forbid worse, then personally I would consider it. My main concern would be my husband, not trying to deal with each of the companies on their own and I would want to avoid a DMP/IVA if I could. I would be worried about dealing with a debt management solution without your husbands wages.

    If you could extend the mortgage and pay your bills with something left over at the end of the month to live comfortably, then it's something to CONSIDER, but as other have pointed out, it might not be for you. I'm only advising what I would do in your scenario.

    Essentially you could do a mortgage calculator and figure out if you could afford a higher mortgage payment and running the house on your wage, failing that I would approach a debt management company as suggested above.
    Debt peak approx £30,000
    CURRENT DEBT: Jan2017: £21,249 - Feb2017: £20,953 - March17: £19,223 - Apr17: £18,463 - May17: £16,374 - Jun17: £15,618: Jul17: £14,903 (CC Paid OFF!) Aug17: £12,700
    My parents always said "If you can't afford it cash, you can't afford it!" so true!.... mind you, turns out we can't afford much lol
    • StopIt
    • By StopIt 20th Mar 17, 8:17 AM
    • 879 Posts
    • 810 Thanks
    StopIt
    Totally appreciate what you are saying January, however unlucky seems to be in a good position with her mortgage and is still young enough that extending the mortgage is a real and potentially manageable option, given that she will be spending way less on interest.

    Unlucky, it's not an ideal scenario, but if it is affordable for you to manage a single mortgage payment COMFORTABLY on your own with your bills, whilst your husband is ill or god forbid worse, then personally I would consider it. My main concern would be my husband, not trying to deal with each of the companies on their own and I would want to avoid a DMP/IVA if I could. I would be worried about dealing with a debt management solution without your husbands wages.

    If you could extend the mortgage and pay your bills with something left over at the end of the month to live comfortably, then it's something to CONSIDER, but as other have pointed out, it might not be for you. I'm only advising what I would do in your scenario.

    Essentially you could do a mortgage calculator and figure out if you could afford a higher mortgage payment and running the house on your wage, failing that I would approach a debt management company as suggested above.
    Originally posted by MrsLWW

    No, changing unsecured debt to secured debt in a situation like this is frankly crazy and no, it doesn't matter if the additional monthly secured lending is "affordable" now or not.


    The advise to sort the mortgage and sort the unsecured stuff as and when is correct. If their house is safe, frankly debt collectors can do what they want, but they wont be getting paid until it is viable to do so and speaking to Stepchange or the National Debtline is essential to help with this.


    One thing that hasn't been mentioned is MacMillan. If the worst is confirmed (And I hope it isn't), get in contact with them also. They can help with financial issues as well as provide support as it's a very common consequence of this sort of thing.


    Lastly, good luck and I hope things get better for you guys soon. Money is frankly irrelevant at the end of the day and your health and happiness going forward, no matter the circumstance needs to be prioritised. Don't let money get to you, it's not worth it.
    • another casualty
    • By another casualty 20th Mar 17, 12:51 PM
    • 2,913 Posts
    • 4,625 Thanks
    another casualty
    So sorry to hear of your situation unlucky 10.
    You seem to be doing remarkably well in keeping yourself together in spite of everything going on around you .

    You've done the right thing by asking for advice on this thread.
    It's done a lot for me , and many others.

    The main thing I suggest is , trying to tackle 1 issue at a time.
    Your husband could be around for a lot longer than you think.
    If he is a strong a character as you, then that will be the case .
    Let's hope so.

    Hopefully you can keep up,mortgage payments and if you seperate that from your debts and calculate how much you need to survive on food / clothes etc when you fill,out an s o a on here , then maybe a debt mgt plan would be able to help with the unsecured debt.
    See what others say on that . Stepchange / payplan etc.
    Don't consolidate or do anything like that , but try to keep your unsecured debt seperate from your mortgage .

    Hope things improve
    • Kitten868
    • By Kitten868 20th Mar 17, 6:59 PM
    • 816 Posts
    • 1,621 Thanks
    Kitten868
    you poor thing this is awful. I can't believe you're dealing with all this at just 43!
    I think you have to see it as two separate issues. 1. the mortgage is fine as it is for now. if the worst happens you have that cover in place to bring it down to £36k. you will be able to get a mortgage on your own for that. this is not a problem.
    2. the debt. I think regardless of what the outcome is for your husband you need to apply for a dmp. this will get your interest frozen and make your monthly repayments affordable. just get it manageable.

    the health problems are awful. I'm so sorry. if he does get a bad diagnosis then you can change your dmp accordingly and Macmillan can advise you when it comes to paying bills and visiting hospital. you can do this through nationwide building society xxx
    Loan 1 £7100/£8000
    Loan 2 £5100/£5800
    Total £12200/£13800 12% PAID
    • unlucky10
    • By unlucky10 21st Mar 17, 9:04 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    unlucky10
    Thank you so much for everyone's reply so far. I'm sorry I've not replied earlier on top of everything else my mum whose got breast cancer has suffered a DVT this week as a result of her chemo, never rains but it pours does it! Still no news on my husbands appointment as yet but praying we hear soon as it was marked as urgent. Thanks for all the reassuring advice it's just good to hear that there are avenues at least and although whatever the outcome we've clearly got a mamouth mountain to climb I feel better for having shared My fears on here. I will post a statement of affairs as soon as I'm able but we've got so many outgoings it's not a five min job especially as some bills like mobile phones are through my husbands business but as he's a sole trader it's still his expense if you get what I mean! Coupled with the fact that he doesn't know I'm doing this yet so I have to surreptitiously get in his office without him knowing as I'd rather not stress him further at the moment I'd rather do the research and then present him with possible options and hopefully some solutions! Thank you again for all being so supportive it means a great deal.
    • Kankaroo
    • By Kankaroo 21st Mar 17, 10:31 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Kankaroo
    I am so so sorry you are going through this. It's so easy for me to say but try not to worry. Sometimes getting just letting people know what is going on can help a little.

    Ring your creditors, explain your situation. I think you will genuinely be surprised at how understanding they will be. A lot of creditors will let you put your accounts on hold for a decent amount of time and then will be happy with you making smaller payments.

    Seek advice from CAB. Their advisors are so informed.

    Go and speak to your own gp. They can talk with you and listen to what is going on and give you coping techniques for all the stress and anxiety that you are going through at the moment.

    Try and spend a little time for you and your wee family. Life is so incredibly precious.

    Much love to you.

    Cx
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 22nd Mar 17, 8:10 AM
    • 4,265 Posts
    • 7,711 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Sorry about your husband and mums health issues and hope you get some answers soon.

    Re the debt, you are in a fairly good position in that you have some critical illness protection albeit not enough to cover the mortgage in full. Should your husband be diagnosed with cancer I would use the critical illness lump sum to pay as much off the mortgage as possible. I don't think it is worth upping the cover at this stage as he has had tests and I am sure it won't be covered due to pre existing conditions. Paying a big chunk off will help though. Is the mortgage up to date?

    The unsecured debt is another matter. Don't turn it into secured or realise equity from property. If you are unable to meet minimum payments at the moment I would write to them explaining circumstances, ask them to freeze interest and offer a token payment until your situation is clearer and you know what your income will be. A DMP may be the way to go but to get some breathing space while you deal with the health diagnosis I would not rush into it. One thing you can do is go through all direct debits and decide what is essential and what can go. Posting an soa on here will get you more advice.
    Countdown to early retirement on 21.12.17 3 months to go.
    • StopIt
    • By StopIt 22nd Mar 17, 9:59 AM
    • 879 Posts
    • 810 Thanks
    StopIt
    Thank you so much for everyone's reply so far. I'm sorry I've not replied earlier on top of everything else my mum whose got breast cancer has suffered a DVT this week as a result of her chemo, never rains but it pours does it! Still no news on my husbands appointment as yet but praying we hear soon as it was marked as urgent. Thanks for all the reassuring advice it's just good to hear that there are avenues at least and although whatever the outcome we've clearly got a mamouth mountain to climb I feel better for having shared My fears on here. I will post a statement of affairs as soon as I'm able but we've got so many outgoings it's not a five min job especially as some bills like mobile phones are through my husbands business but as he's a sole trader it's still his expense if you get what I mean! Coupled with the fact that he doesn't know I'm doing this yet so I have to surreptitiously get in his office without him knowing as I'd rather not stress him further at the moment I'd rather do the research and then present him with possible options and hopefully some solutions! Thank you again for all being so supportive it means a great deal.
    Originally posted by unlucky10

    Oh wow, you've been right through the ringer.


    You can tell the cancer in both your mum and your husband to do one. It may not help physically, but whatever you do, do not let it beat your family mentally. You can get through this, and remember to ask for help and support is not a sign of weakness but of strength. We can all beat cancer together and make sure to make use of all of the services available to you.


    Post your SOA when you can, but for now, just enjoy time with your family and be determined that neither debt, nor cancer will define your lives together.


    Good luck, be strong (And I can see from this thread you're a tough cookie!) and things will get better.
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