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  • FIRST POST
    Find The Real
    IVA support and discussion thread
    • #1
    • 28th Sep 13, 4:07 AM
    IVA support and discussion thread 28th Sep 13 at 4:07 AM
    IVA's. There is a lot to talk about so I have started this thread for anything IVA related.

    Whether you want to debate any aspect of an IVA, ask a question, share your IVA journey including high and low points or offer support, are thinking of starting an IVA and have a million questions or having completed an IVA you want to share your experience and knowledge, hopefully this thread can offer a chance to do just that.

    It's not exclusively for those in the IVA club, anyone is welcome to join in but please kindly remember this thread is not for judgement.

    Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom.
Page 3
    • FocusQueen12
    • By FocusQueen12 5th Nov 13, 10:37 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    FocusQueen12
    UTMNII

    I have had car insurance on monthly payments with One Call for most of IVA years and they fixed contract for 3 years so price stays same, not sure how premiums compare with the market at moment though. Might be option for you.

    I do agree that any extra money does seem to come in one hand and then go straight out of the other :-) nothing changes there!!!

    Enjoying reading your thread :-) hope it continues..........
    Last edited by FocusQueen12; 05-11-2013 at 10:38 PM. Reason: Mistype
    • UpToMyNeckInIt
    • By UpToMyNeckInIt 6th Nov 13, 8:56 AM
    • 878 Posts
    • 469 Thanks
    UpToMyNeckInIt
    Great suggestion FocusQueen,

    I didn't even know you could get a 3-Year insurance contract.

    Will certainly bear it in mind.

    DC: I used to pay for my bike insurance technically 'by saving on my other allowances'. Ie: I covered its cost relatively easily from reduced outlay in various other bits like car maintenance / fuel etc.

    After all, if I wasn't cycling, I would be driving.
  • OneStepAtATime
    Quick Question
    Hello

    I am currently in an IVA and have read about the StepChange Budgeting Guide but after searching it in Google I cannot find the document anywhere.

    Can someone help out by pointing to where I can get this from?

    Having read this thread things seem a little less scary and I hope that I can share the experiences that I've had in the coming weeks.

    Thanks
    • UpToMyNeckInIt
    • By UpToMyNeckInIt 6th Nov 13, 1:07 PM
    • 878 Posts
    • 469 Thanks
    UpToMyNeckInIt
    Hi OneStepAtATime, welcome to the forum.

    The Stepchange Budget Guidelines Report 2012 can be found here.

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B7La...N1E/edit?pli=1

    (Sorry, have not yet been able to get hold of the latest version that came in on October, but the figures will probably only differ by a couple of quid here and there).

    It is well worth a read, as it covers every form of expenditure, right the way down to allowances for hairdressing, kid's school dinners, meals at work, even hobbies etc.

    If you are careful to correctly record your income and expenditure, and to broadly claim the best ('maximum') allowance figures where you can, your IVA payment should be set at quite an affordable level. Certainly use this a review time, claim increasing allowance expenditure, thus off-setting any income increases, and keeping your repayment as low as possible.
    • Depth Charge
    • By Depth Charge 6th Nov 13, 7:36 PM
    • 964 Posts
    • 608 Thanks
    Depth Charge
    Great suggestion FocusQueen,

    I didn't even know you could get a 3-Year insurance contract.

    Will certainly bear it in mind.

    DC: I used to pay for my bike insurance technically 'by saving on my other allowances'. Ie: I covered its cost relatively easily from reduced outlay in various other bits like car maintenance / fuel etc.

    After all, if I wasn't cycling, I would be driving.
    Originally posted by UpToMyNeckInIt
    Hi

    Thanks for that

    These sound like top of the range bikes with cover at those premium levels.

    Also keeps you fit does cycling, I need to consider getting into it as the weight has upped a trifle again I think.

    DC
  • FiatFan
    Hi all,

    I've just done my car insurance, pay monthly, 2nd cheapest on confused and claimed £44.62 topcashback. Saved £100 on renewal alone before cashback so well chuffed!

    ooh by the way it was with The Green Insurance Company
    Last edited by FiatFan; 06-11-2013 at 9:59 PM.
    Roll on DFD, final payment 1st October 2017
    • UpToMyNeckInIt
    • By UpToMyNeckInIt 7th Nov 13, 8:12 AM
    • 878 Posts
    • 469 Thanks
    UpToMyNeckInIt
    Cheers FF, will add them to my list.
  • Find The Real
    Have you also tried AXA for your car insurance UTMNII as they were coming out relatively cheap on a recent search and as you are already a customer they may have a discount in place, sometimes it is worth asking.

    I may have to change my insurance this year as I am with the Co-op who were great in accepting most people for monthly payments but are very pricey on quotes, it is only a discount with them that has made it a reasonable price to have my home and motor insurance with them.

    I am very fortunate though that I can negotiate with my new creditors a payment break to pay for it in full if need be but it is really helpful to know what companies are IVA friendly for life's essentials.

    Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom.
    • UpToMyNeckInIt
    • By UpToMyNeckInIt 8th Nov 13, 3:24 PM
    • 878 Posts
    • 469 Thanks
    UpToMyNeckInIt
    Thanks for all the suggestions. Quite a few pay monthly options to choose from.

    Yes, AXA are cheap at the moment. Was about to get my home insurance with Budget Insurance, when I re-ran the comparison and were pipped by £50.
  • Find The Real
    There were some very good points made on another thread when someone was originally asking for advice about a certain company and entering into an IVA, so I thought it would be interesting to share experiences and opinions on how to go about choosing the right company for an IVA and whether they are really offering an unbiased opinion considering the amount of fees that can potentially be charged.

    I had fully researched all my options for almost a year before I decided to do something about my debt. First of all as I knew I was going to have a mortgage shortfall, I entered into a DMP until I had the figures as it was seeming a lot easier to go for a more formal agreement once I had that. I also did a lot of research on bankruptcy and IVA whilst I was waiting and I found the difficult choice to be just who to choose as it is something most us none of us know much about until we are in debt and things are tough. I searched a lot and on other people's recommendations and experiences, and more importantly by speaking with the company, I felt really happy to use the firm I did for my IVA

    Yes I agree by relying on people being biased over their experiences with a firm, people can get a false feeling that there will never be any problems along the way, but I would like to throw out there for discussion, what do you think is the best way to choose your IVA firm if that is the route you think is the best and are there any pitfalls or things you should consider?

    Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom.
    • UpToMyNeckInIt
    • By UpToMyNeckInIt 10th Nov 13, 2:57 PM
    • 878 Posts
    • 469 Thanks
    UpToMyNeckInIt
    FTR: You are very fortunate to have had your IVA with about the best IVA firm out there: Just google 'melanie giles complaints' ...not a sausage. That speaks volumes.

    I think finding a genuinely 'unbiased' opinion though on IVA's is nigh-on impossible.

    I think as well, that customers must carefully consider all their options, before deciding that an IVA is right for them.

    The IVA guidance on this site suggests that customers with debt problems seek advice from the ‘charity’ organisations. Sounds fair enough doesn't it? ...until you find out from any of their websites, that they are funded by your creditors.

    I can't help feeling that was who’s interests they were looking out for when they advised me. They tried pushing me towards a debt management plan (would have taken 15-20 years to pay off my debt + loads of interest).

    No doubt, the charities 'over-sell' DMP's, in the same way the private sector is accused of mis-selling IVAs. I have read dozens of accounts over the last year along the lines of:

    '...I'm in a DMP with [insert charity/company], but 5-Years in, hardly any of my debt is paid off...'

    ...clearly had those people chosen IVA's, they would be debt-free by now.

    Don't get me wrong, I am sure that the Customer Advisers working for these charities genuinely believe they are offering the best advice. But their advice is dictated by the policy of that organisation, which is almost certainly heavily influenced by the creditors who ultimately pay their wages.

    Also, on the rare occasion that Stepchange believe an IVA to be the best option, they refer much of that to Grant Thornton anyway. (Just google 'Grant Thornton Complaints' to see why that may not be in your best interests). They are all very competent etc. (Most of the problems seem to be associated with delays in closing the IVA, associated with reclaiming PPI). But with only a handful of IP's to cover their 20,000+ customer portfolio (nearly half the IVA market basically), one-to-one customer service is probably not their strong suit.

    I have even come across allegations that some CAB offices refer potential IVA customers direct to GT as well. Hardly inmpartial advice is it?

    Saying all that, the flip-side of the coin is to seek advice from the private sector (as ultimately, that is where you will likely end up if being referred by a charity for an IVA). In doing so, no doubt perspective customers will encounter firms that will ‘over-sell’ IVA’s to people for whom it may not be the best solution.

    With 35-40% of all IVA's failing to complete, one has to assume that there is a lot of mis-selling of this product to people for whom clearly it is not the right solution. A solution though which is very lucrative for the company.

    Hence why I have also read several accounts from customers claiming that they have very few assets and low (sometimes state-benefit only income) along the lines of:

    ...'Help, I can't afford my IVA - wish I'd gone bankrupt instead...'

    So, each perspective IVA customer should seek opinions from not just CAB, Stepchange etc, but to speak to the private sector as well. Everyone needs to look at their own unique circumstances, and make an informed decision after hearing the pro's & con's of IVA vs DMP vs BR.

    If you have your heart set on an IVA, my personal advice - based solely on my experience, is to forget the debt charities (take heed of their advice by all means, but if they are going to refer you for an IVA, best to avoid the most complained-about IVA company in the Country).

    Instead, Google:
    'Insolvency Practitioner Reviews'; and
    'Insolvency and Rescue Awards'

    Then seek advice from 2-3 IVA companies that have both good customer reviews AND recognised for best practice within the industry.

    Pesrsonally, I would put slightly more faith in the customer reviews.

    I say that, because my IVA company (Mitchell Farrar), have been nominated in the awards (which at least reassures me that they are competent), but frankly, their customer service is poor. (Frequently Emails don't get responded to, premium-number phone line - only to be put through to an answerphone - then to not get a call-back either).

    You have to feel comfortable with your chosen firm, because you are well-and-trully stuck with them once your IVA is approved.
  • Find The Real
    An excellent post UTMNII as I think it covers a lot of points about what kind of advice there is out there especially. I think a major problem is for some people they struggle on with the debt, hoping things will get better or hope it will go away, or there is a sudden change in circumstances and due to the stress and panic of that, tend to naturally go with the advice they are given dependent on who they first turn to, after all these are debt advice 'specialists'.

    Very few people deliberately go out of there way to accumulate debt and so I think a lot of people choose to go for a DMP because they feel it is the right thing to do to pay back all of the money and I think this sometimes gives false data of what some of the debt charities advise. I was never advised to go into a DMP because of my level of debt but I chose it as I needed breathing space until I had final figures.

    IVA's and bankruptcy are not to be taken lightly and in my own opinion that it is perhaps the formality that concerns a lot of people and think in some way a DMP is less damaging to their finances.

    To me it is all about research and I am very much for the DMP as a stepping stone if you are really undecided about what to do, so you can assess the level of debt and how best to approach it depending on personal circumstances. But in reality how many people can in a way step back from their own debt problems and objectively look at all the options, which is why there is a big reliance on going with whatever advice they are given from both the charities and the private sector.

    I think there has been an awful lot of mis-selling of IVA's especially in the past which is creating the problems we are seeing now and I do think that as a whole the industry is learning from the problems that have been created but you will still get the odd rogue firms out there, as is any sphere of business, which is a shame as for some people I really do think an IVA is the best solution out there.

    I think what it has show from both my posts and that from yours UTMNII is that yes seek advice but also be strong enough to treat it as just that - ADVICE - and don't just assume that because that is what has been recommended, it is the right way to deal with your debts, and that not to entirely rely solely on the free advice charities but to also get advice from the private sector as if you are choosing the IVA route, generally and this is in my very own opinion, you will may get more specialist advice from those companies that solely deal in IVA's and have a lot of experience in this area (sure DC will correct me on that one!).

    Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom.
    • UpToMyNeckInIt
    • By UpToMyNeckInIt 11th Nov 13, 8:23 AM
    • 878 Posts
    • 469 Thanks
    UpToMyNeckInIt
    Fair points again FTR,

    DMP's do have their place - not least, the use as as 'stepping stone' as you mention.

    But also, if you can pay everything off on a DMP within say, 6-7 years, then perhaps the benefits of greater flexibility that these aparently offer, has to be an important consideration.

    As you say, any form of insolvency should not be taken lightly.
  • Find The Real
    Entirely my own opinion but I think the idea of entering into a form of insolvency is scary for a lot of people and that the DMP is a more 'acceptable' form of dealing with debts, regardless of the fact in some cases they are going to spend years paying it off.

    It also doesn't help that you tend to hear a lot about how the wild promises made by some IVA firms about being able to write off a significant amount of debt in just 5 years, when in reality it can be more than 5 years and a lot more to be paid in with PPI and windfalls. Bankruptcy can see a far more attractive option, especially it you have negative equity or very little in assets but then there is still the stigma regarding that for some people, how you are forever listed in the London Gazette and how some newspapers are back to publishing the details. Is this culture of being ashamed of debt stopping some people from choosing the right option?

    Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom.
    • UpToMyNeckInIt
    • By UpToMyNeckInIt 11th Nov 13, 5:22 PM
    • 878 Posts
    • 469 Thanks
    UpToMyNeckInIt
    ...all true, and it is easy how some people are put-off IVA's by the 'too good to be true' marketing.

    I also understand the 'stigma' that some people feel as well about insolvency generally.

    Not wanting to make light of the subject of bankruptcy specifically: But I never figured out what the big deal was regarding being listed in 'The London Gazette'. After all: Who actually reads it?

    IVA or BR - we are all on the publicly available 'insolvency Register' anyway - and I can't say any of my friends/family read that either.

    If they said my details would be printed on page 3 of The Sun, I'd be a little more concerned!!!
  • Find The Real
    Well I suppose the point I was trying to make rather badly is that some people are very ashamed at being in debt, don't even tell close friends and family and may be put off by details being published in a number of places should anyone care to have a nose for whatever reason by going for either an IVA or Bankruptcy.

    Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom.
    • Depth Charge
    • By Depth Charge 12th Nov 13, 5:37 PM
    • 964 Posts
    • 608 Thanks
    Depth Charge
    Hi

    A number of very capable and interesting posts.

    One area in bankruptcy that I and others feel is unfair and actually needs looking at again is that of motor cars & vehicles.

    The idea is to give someone a fresh start, so those who need a reliable vehicle for employment and / or other essential travel need a reliable vehicle that will last the bankruptcy and any IPA / IPO period.

    The costs of maintenance, repairs and servicing are high so what is the point of penalising someone who needs a reliable vehicle with such a low value asset acceptance, it does not make sense especially if someone has an IPA and asks for a review due to the high costs.

    PS - people should be aware that the O/R can be challenged and requests for reviews are allowed.

    As far as the Stepchange allowances are concerned, well they are not the law and just inputting information & expenditure figures in their Debt Remedy tool for purposes of being advised what debt solution to pursue (in 20 minutes I think it has been claimed) is open to serious debate in my opinion.

    My opinions that are open to be challenged by anyone including Stepchange!

    I will gladly demonstrate and elaborate if necessary, no problem

    DC
    Last edited by Depth Charge; 12-11-2013 at 5:52 PM.
  • Find The Real
    I totally agree DC that the debt remedy tool should be made much more clearer it as a very rough guide and should be treated as such. Although it does have it uses for people who are perhaps nervous about speaking to someone in person about their debts in order to get an idea of their options. This after all the internet age where most things are there at a click of a button.

    I do agree that there should be more consideration for costs associated with owning a vehicle. With job opportunities as they are, more people are having to travel and to rely on public transport is not always practical. My heap of a car is actually worth the value and (touch wood) is relatively cheap to run but only because it had pretty much had just about everything replaced before I went into an IVA, if it was at that stage now there is no way I would be able to afford to keep it on the road.

    So considering that IVA's tend to be more generous in the value of the car as they seem to understand the concept that in a lot of cases there is no need to review the monthly payments due to less repairs, the same criteria should also apply in bankruptcy.

    I presume however that the Daily Mail middle classes would be in uproar should a bankrupt be allowed to have a decent reliable car and so this is perhaps why they are so strict on this. It would seem in this day and age public opinion rather than common sense seems to be the norm.

    Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom.
    • Depth Charge
    • By Depth Charge 13th Nov 13, 9:54 AM
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    • 608 Thanks
    Depth Charge
    I totally agree DC that the debt remedy tool should be made much more clearer it as a very rough guide and should be treated as such. Although it does have it uses for people who are perhaps nervous about speaking to someone in person about their debts in order to get an idea of their options. This after all the internet age where most things are there at a click of a button.

    I do agree that there should be more consideration for costs associated with owning a vehicle. With job opportunities as they are, more people are having to travel and to rely on public transport is not always practical. My heap of a car is actually worth the value and (touch wood) is relatively cheap to run but only because it had pretty much had just about everything replaced before I went into an IVA, if it was at that stage now there is no way I would be able to afford to keep it on the road.

    So considering that IVA's tend to be more generous in the value of the car as they seem to understand the concept that in a lot of cases there is no need to review the monthly payments due to less repairs, the same criteria should also apply in bankruptcy.

    I presume however that the Daily Mail middle classes would be in uproar should a bankrupt be allowed to have a decent reliable car and so this is perhaps why they are so strict on this. It would seem in this day and age public opinion rather than common sense seems to be the norm.
    Originally posted by Find The Real
    Hi

    Another very capable, good and interesting post.

    You cannot seriously advise someone on what solution is best or to pursue by just inputting information and based on expenditure figures that may not be in line with the industry accepted guidelines (20 minutes apparently)

    Not everyone understands debt advice when they input this information, there are vulnerable people also.

    Any debt solution has to be sustainable, affordable and sensible budgeting is paramount.

    You must be given full advice on all options available based on your full circumstances, anything less is absolute nonsense and undermines debt advice in general.

    The powers that be are looking for a consistent approach to debt advice as it should be.

    How can you have an online debt tool that recommends a course of action when that person could clearly have other options.

    I can elaborate and demonstrate if necessary, no problem

    Like I have said, all comments welcome and that applies to Stepchange on what is now becoming a bit of a farce in my opinion.

    I am not going there on the middle classes bit

    These are my opinions and I fully stand by them



    .
    • Depth Charge
    • By Depth Charge 13th Nov 13, 10:20 AM
    • 964 Posts
    • 608 Thanks
    Depth Charge
    Hi

    Following on

    Below is a link to the April 2012 I/S Bankruptcy guideline expenditure allowance tables -

    http://www.insolvencydirect.bis.gov.uk/freedomofinformation/technical/TechnicalManual/Ch25-36/Chapter31/part7/Annex%20D.htm

    Maybe compare these with the Stepchange figures, in particular look at the clothing and footwear allowances.

    The I/S figures are not the law either and can be challenged depending on circumstances.

    There is also the Common Financial Statement figures that are industry recognised and acceptable for Debt Relief Orders (I cannot put these up due to the rules)

    We keep hearing that the Stepchange figures are used in IVAs, do you see the potential contradictions?

    It would appear sometimes that the Stepchange figures suit the IVA people and on other occasions Stepchange get criticised for being creditor sponsored.

    Stepchange are almost 100% funded by the creditor I understand and the majority of their revenue comes from money they receive for their Debt Management Plans.

    Make your own minds up

    My opinions and views with comments very welcome

    The subject is not going away and the challenges are coming

    DC
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