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  • FIRST POST
    • Fizz Bomb
    • By Fizz Bomb 12th Oct 16, 10:57 PM
    • 34Posts
    • 10Thanks
    Fizz Bomb
    Advice desperately needed please
    • #1
    • 12th Oct 16, 10:57 PM
    Advice desperately needed please 12th Oct 16 at 10:57 PM
    Hi, not posted on here for some time.
    I have got myself into something of a pickle and not sure what to do.
    Following the breakdown of my marriage 3 years ago and the time since, I have managed to run up unsecured debts of around 35k. I brought some debt with me after my marriage broke up and over the last 3 years it has increased rapidly as I use it to supplement my income as a single mother. I have juggled it by moving it around several times but always end up adding to it. I admit I have been reckless at times and used it for luxuries such as clothes, meals out and trips away etc so I'm feeling terribly ashamed of the mess I've got myself into. I suppose I have tried (wrongly) to provide everything for my children but have just lived way beyond my means.
    I have been advised that an IVA is my best way forward but I am scared of taking the plunge for fear of being rejected because of my recent and possibly reckless spending. I would be very grateful if you could offer any advice. It has taken me over a year to accept that I need help and in that time have accumulated more debt, however my credit is close to running out and I know something must be done. So far I haven't missed a single payment as I'm robbing Peter to pay Paul and using credit to live while my debts/bills are paid with income. The prospect of missing payments petrifes me. I currently owe out more than I bring home.
    I don't really know what anyone can say to make me feel any better, I guess I'm just looking for people who may have been in the same boat and come out the other side. I'm losing sleep and becoming anxious and teary a lot of the time as this problem increases. I suffered two tears of depression after my marriage breakdown (this also didn't help with debt) and I'm terrified of ending up back there.
    Grateful for any advice.
Page 1
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 12th Oct 16, 11:03 PM
    • 6,378 Posts
    • 35,181 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    • #2
    • 12th Oct 16, 11:03 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Oct 16, 11:03 PM
    OK - firstly well done for asking for help - facing the situation head on is one of the hardest things.

    Get yourself an SOA done - link is in the sticky post at the top of the board. Make it as accurate as you can - it really has to be. Format for MSE and post in here and we can take a look and see if we can see anywhere that savings can be made.

    Have you thought about contacting one of the free debt charities for a bit of impartial advice also? I take it your ex is paying any child support he should be on time and in the correct amount? Who has advised you that you should look at an IVA?

    Don't feel ashamed, but DO hold on to how this situation is making you feel - it's that which will ensure you never go back here once you're sorted out.

    You've faced it, now time to fix it.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • Fizz Bomb
    • By Fizz Bomb 12th Oct 16, 11:16 PM
    • 34 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    Fizz Bomb
    • #3
    • 12th Oct 16, 11:16 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Oct 16, 11:16 PM
    Thank you for your response.

    I spoke to both payplan and Stepchange last year who advised IVA and have since spoken to another IVA firm who have said the same, although they are looking at proposing a monthly repayment of as little as £80 per month because of my high outgoings and relatively low income.

    I unfortunately don't get maintenance from the children's father.
    I will do a SOA tomorrow when I can get on the laptop.
    Can't thank you enough for replying.
    • Sanctioned Parts List
    • By Sanctioned Parts List 12th Oct 16, 11:28 PM
    • 294 Posts
    • 764 Thanks
    Sanctioned Parts List
    • #4
    • 12th Oct 16, 11:28 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Oct 16, 11:28 PM
    So far I haven't missed a single payment as I'm robbing Peter to pay Paul and using credit to live while my debts/bills are paid with income. The prospect of missing payments petrifes me. I currently owe out more than I bring home.
    I don't really know what anyone can say to make me feel any better, I guess I'm just looking for people who may have been in the same boat and come out the other side.
    Originally posted by Fizz Bomb
    Oh yes, if the boards did a "robbing Peter to pay Paul" badge, I'd have two!

    As EH says, do a Statement of Affairs for yourself. I've linked it directly, because I'm nice

    • mum2one
    • By mum2one 13th Oct 16, 12:17 AM
    • 16,019 Posts
    • 59,588 Thanks
    mum2one
    • #5
    • 13th Oct 16, 12:17 AM
    • #5
    • 13th Oct 16, 12:17 AM
    youve done the hardest step, just check that any company you work with are free ones such as Stepchange / payplan - others are fee paying, xx
    16 crafts 2015 =10/16
    Sisters legacy -50 charitable acts 25/50
    Angel Baby Item, 25 hats,5 blankets, 20 prs booties, 4 sets of bonding squares, angel dress, 3 sets cardi, blankets, bonding squares, hat, nappy covers
    Tackling the debt free life one day at a time xx
    RIP Dad, - Always love you, - He was 1 in a million xx
    • chevalier
    • By chevalier 13th Oct 16, 2:37 AM
    • 7,688 Posts
    • 17,797 Thanks
    chevalier
    • #6
    • 13th Oct 16, 2:37 AM
    • #6
    • 13th Oct 16, 2:37 AM
    Unless there was violence in the marriage or some other form of abuse, then I would suggest that you tell your ex that he HAS to step up and provide for HIS children. I really hate males who don't accept their responibilities for children don't end when the marriage breaks down.

    IVAs are pretty scary as there is no wiggle room in the payments, ie you have to pay it every month. Is your wage likely to increase as the children get older and you can work more? Can you do more work around the children, like mystery shopping etc to bring your income up? Any old gold to sell, mobile phones, other stuff to ebay?

    good luck with moving forward
    chev
    I want a job that is less than an hour driving away from my house! Are you listening universe?
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 13th Oct 16, 6:47 AM
    • 2,568 Posts
    • 4,377 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    • #7
    • 13th Oct 16, 6:47 AM
    • #7
    • 13th Oct 16, 6:47 AM
    As Essex says doing an soa is a good start. Also keeping a spending diary for everything.

    The soa will show if you are able to afford minimum payments. If you don't want to go down the IVA or DMP route moving as much on to 0% credit cards will help but this depends on you still getting credit. If stepchange have said IVA is your best option probably due to the level of debt then that may we'll be the way to go. Do you have any assets - house or car?

    If you read threads on here and bankruptcy board you will see other people have been in your situation and addressing it always improves their outlook. It might be worth seeing a doctor for help with your anxiety.
    Debt and mortgage free and saving for early retirement
    • Fizz Bomb
    • By Fizz Bomb 13th Oct 16, 7:01 AM
    • 34 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    Fizz Bomb
    • #8
    • 13th Oct 16, 7:01 AM
    • #8
    • 13th Oct 16, 7:01 AM
    Hi there, thanks so much for the replies. The problem with working more is, I would scarecley be any better off because of the tax credits etc. I am a classic benefit trap victim. Because I'm at the top of my scale at work there is no scope to earn any more money and for what I do (business support) it's a fairly decent wage. I have just completed an an access to nursing course with the view to pursue my dream of becoming a nurse. I have applied for university for next year so I see this as my only way of improving my wage albeit a long way off. Being a single mother I don't get much time to spare to work anymore but again, benefit wise I feel I would be working for next to nothing. Very frustrating.
    I could kick myself myself for getting into this mess. I recognised over a year ago I was in trouble but did nothing but further increase my debt. I really am failing my children ��
    I will do my SOA as soon as the boys are at school after 9.
    • Fizz Bomb
    • By Fizz Bomb 13th Oct 16, 7:06 AM
    • 34 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    Fizz Bomb
    • #9
    • 13th Oct 16, 7:06 AM
    • #9
    • 13th Oct 16, 7:06 AM
    Sorry, forgot to add I have no assets or anything to sell. My name is still on the mortgage of the flat I owned with my ex, but I have walked away from that and have a solicitors letter to say I have no interest in it. It was a northern rock together mortgage with an unsecured loan and I am told the unsecured loan would need to be included in any IVA etc that I do. The balance owed in total is around 75k and it is worth only around 70k so I am hopeful this will not need to be involved in any way.
    Car wise, I lease from my auntie who in an ex Nissan employee, so I pay £150 a month for everything bar petrol. It isn't a credit agreement either so should be fine.
    • Fizz Bomb
    • By Fizz Bomb 13th Oct 16, 9:33 AM
    • 34 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    Fizz Bomb
    Here is my SOA as promised, It's bleak


    Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet
    Household Information

    Number of adults in household........... 1
    Number of children in household......... 2
    Number of cars owned.................... 0
    Monthly Income Details

    Monthly income after tax................ 808
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 0
    Benefits................................ 1058
    Other income............................ 0
    Total monthly income.................... 1866

    Monthly Expense Details

    Mortgage................................ 0
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 500
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 75
    Electricity............................. 64.5
    Gas..................................... 64.5
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 42
    Telephone (land line)................... 0
    Mobile phone............................ 45
    TV Licence.............................. 12.12
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 30.5
    Internet Services....................... 22.5
    Groceries etc. ......................... 280
    Clothing................................ 0
    Petrol/diesel........................... 120
    Road tax................................ 0
    Car Insurance........................... 0
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 0
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 200
    Childcare/nursery....................... 52
    Other child related expenses............ 40
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 0
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 0
    Buildings insurance..................... 0
    Contents insurance...................... 6
    Life assurance ......................... 0
    Other insurance......................... 3
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 0
    Haircuts................................ 0
    Entertainment........................... 6
    Holiday................................. 0
    Emergency fund.......................... 0
    Total monthly expenses.................. 1563.12


    Assets

    Cash.................................... 0
    House value (Gross)..................... 0
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 0
    Other assets............................ 0
    Total Assets............................ 0


    No Secured nor Hire Purchase Debts

    Unsecured Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    Barclaycard platinum...........7200......170.......0
    Barclaycard visa...............4647......106.......0
    Tesco..........................5256......110...... .0
    Barclay loan...................4106......141.......6
    N power .......................250.......30........0
    Next...........................1581......60....... .20
    Barclay overdrft...............850.......20........0
    Mint ..........................4200......70........19.9
    Total unsecured debts..........28090.....707.......-


    Monthly Budget Summary

    Total monthly income.................... 1,866
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 1,563.12
    Available for debt repayments........... 302.88
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 707
    Amount short for making debt repayments. -404.12

    Personal Balance Sheet Summary
    Total assets (things you own)........... 0
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -0
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -28,090
    Net Assets.............................. -28,090

    Created using the SOA calculator at www.stoozing.com.
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using other browser.
  • National Debtline
    Sorry, forgot to add I have no assets or anything to sell. My name is still on the mortgage of the flat I owned with my ex, but I have walked away from that and have a solicitors letter to say I have no interest in it. It was a northern rock together mortgage with an unsecured loan and I am told the unsecured loan would need to be included in any IVA etc that I do. The balance owed in total is around 75k and it is worth only around 70k so I am hopeful this will not need to be involved in any way.
    Car wise, I lease from my auntie who in an ex Nissan employee, so I pay £150 a month for everything bar petrol. It isn't a credit agreement either so should be fine.
    Originally posted by Fizz Bomb
    Hi Fizz Bomb

    Before taking the plunge with an IVA I think it’s worth calling National Debtline for some independent advice. If you don’t have assets have you considered bankruptcy instead? It could be a simpler way to deal with your situation as long as there wouldn’t be any serious implications such as affecting your career path or a rental tenancy.

    James
    @natdebtline
    Last edited by National Debtline; 13-10-2016 at 9:59 AM. Reason: wording
    We work as money advisers for National Debtline and have specific permission from MSE to post to try to help those in debt. Read more information on National Debtline in MSE's Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help guide. If you find you're struggling with debt and need further help try our online advice tool My Money Steps
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 13th Oct 16, 10:00 AM
    • 6,378 Posts
    • 35,181 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Thank you for your response.

    I spoke to both payplan and Stepchange last year who advised IVA and have since spoken to another IVA firm who have said the same, although they are looking at proposing a monthly repayment of as little as £80 per month because of my high outgoings and relatively low income.

    I unfortunately don't get maintenance from the children's father.
    I will do a SOA tomorrow when I can get on the laptop.
    Can't thank you enough for replying.
    Originally posted by Fizz Bomb
    If this is still for the same reasons as previously - that he has the children a couple of nights a week, then he still should be giving you something. At the moment you can't make ends meet - the children's quality of life will suffer. he needs to step up to the plate, frankly. I believe there is a tool on the CSA website that enables you to see how much he *should* be paying, allowing for the time he has custody, etc. If it were me, I'd take that figure, knock 20% off as a goodwill gesture, but tell him he needs to start giving you that amount. Do tell him that from the kindness of your heart you're not asking for what the CSA would stipulate, too - it's amazing how well that focuses the mind!
    Oh yes, if the boards did a "robbing Peter to pay Paul" badge, I'd have two!

    As EH says, do a Statement of Affairs for yourself. I've linked it directly, because I'm nice
    Originally posted by Sanctioned Parts List
    I quite deliberately don't - the very act that someone has top put the effort into going to look for it indicates a willingness to sort themselves out.

    youve done the hardest step, just check that any company you work with are free ones such as Stepchange / payplan - others are fee paying, xx
    Originally posted by mum2one
    Agreed.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • Fizz Bomb
    • By Fizz Bomb 13th Oct 16, 10:01 AM
    • 34 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    Fizz Bomb
    Should have added that the high travel cost is my lease car (149 a month and 50ish in tunnel tolls per month)

    Also, I have not included in this the NRAM unsecured loan which although I pay nothing towards at the moment, would need to be included in any IVA etc. The total of this is £8340.

    Thank you so much again
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 13th Oct 16, 10:10 AM
    • 6,378 Posts
    • 35,181 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    well done - comments in red as usual...

    Here is my SOA as promised, It's bleak


    Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet
    Household Information

    Number of adults in household........... 1
    Number of children in household......... 2
    Number of cars owned.................... 0
    Monthly Income Details

    Monthly income after tax................ 808
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 0
    Benefits................................ 1058
    Other income............................ 0
    Total monthly income.................... 1866

    Monthly Expense Details

    Mortgage................................ 0
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 500
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 75 This includes single person discount? Do you pay over 10 months, or 12? If 10, apply to pay over 12 instead to help with budgeting
    Electricity............................. 64.5 This and your gas are very high - join the MSE cheap energy club and see where you can move to that would be cheaper - check both single deals and dual fuel offers.
    Gas..................................... 64.5 See above
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 42
    Telephone (land line)................... 0
    Mobile phone............................ 45 You need to bring this down - you're out of contract now are you?
    TV Licence.............................. 12.12
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 30.5Nope - ditch it. Sorry but it's a pure luxury in your position, and one which you can't afford.
    Internet Services....................... 22.5 Does this include your landline rental?
    Groceries etc. ......................... 280 Reduce by £100 as a starting point. The Old Style boarders will help you if you go and have a good browse around in there for inspiration.
    Clothing................................ 0
    Petrol/diesel........................... 120This is high taking into account your "other travel" figure - can you elaborate on why?
    Road tax................................ 0? - see Petrol/diesel above
    Car Insurance........................... 0? - see Petrol/diesel above
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 0 ? - see Petrol/diesel above
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 200 ? - see Petrol/diesel above
    Childcare/nursery....................... 52
    Other child related expenses............ 40 Can you clarify what this is?
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 0
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 0
    Buildings insurance..................... 0
    Contents insurance...................... 6 Well done!
    Life assurance ......................... 0
    Other insurance......................... 3 Can you clarify what this is?
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 0
    Haircuts................................ 0
    Entertainment........................... 6
    Holiday................................. 0
    Emergency fund.......................... 0
    Total monthly expenses.................. 1563.12


    Assets

    Cash.................................... 0
    House value (Gross)..................... 0
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 0
    Other assets............................ 0
    Total Assets............................ 0


    No Secured nor Hire Purchase Debts

    Unsecured Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    Barclaycard platinum...........7200......170.......0
    Barclaycard visa...............4647......106.......0
    Tesco..........................5256......110...... .0
    Barclay loan...................4106......141.......6
    N power .......................250.......30........0
    Next...........................1581......60....... .20
    Barclay overdrft...............850.......20........0
    Mint ..........................4200......70........19.9
    Total unsecured debts..........28090.....707.......-


    Monthly Budget Summary

    Total monthly income.................... 1,866
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 1,563.12
    Available for debt repayments........... 302.88
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 707
    Amount short for making debt repayments. -404.12 That's a massive deficit

    Personal Balance Sheet Summary
    Total assets (things you own)........... 0
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -0
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -28,090
    Net Assets.............................. -28,090

    Created using the SOA calculator at www.stoozing.com.
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using other browser.
    Originally posted by Fizz Bomb
    You're right - it is a bit bleak isn't it. To be honest there are savings, and if I were you I'd look to make them, but I think a further chat with a debt charity and then moving forward into some form of arrangement may be your only option. You MUST do something about it now though - you can see how much worse it's got since you last posted an SOA - imagine where you'll be if you leave action for another year.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 13th Oct 16, 10:12 AM
    • 6,378 Posts
    • 35,181 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Should have added that the high travel cost is my lease car (149 a month and 50ish in tunnel tolls per month)

    Also, I have not included in this the NRAM unsecured loan which although I pay nothing towards at the moment, would need to be included in any IVA etc. The total of this is £8340.

    Thank you so much again
    Originally posted by Fizz Bomb
    OK ignore my comments on the travel in the SOA comments then - it must be said though, on your earnings, I think you have to question whether you can justify paying that level of travel - is there an option to apply for a transfer to somewhere nearer to home?
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • anna_1977
    • By anna_1977 13th Oct 16, 10:16 AM
    • 362 Posts
    • 385 Thanks
    anna_1977
    Hi,
    Are you getting the max council tax benefit you can.

    I was in a similar position after my kids left but as others have said you MUST get maintenance from your ex, it doesn't matter if he has them a couple of nights a week, you'd be entitled to less but still some!
  • National Debtline
    I believe there is a tool on the CSA website that enables you to see how much he *should* be paying, allowing for the time he has custody, etc. If it were me, I'd take that figure, knock 20% off as a goodwill gesture, but tell him he needs to start giving you that amount. Do tell him that from the kindness of your heart you're not asking for what the CSA would stipulate, too - it's amazing how well that focuses the mind!
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    I agree this is something worth looking into. The CM Options website has a calculation tool and also a helpline for advice.

    www.cmoptions.org

    James
    @natdebtline
    We work as money advisers for National Debtline and have specific permission from MSE to post to try to help those in debt. Read more information on National Debtline in MSE's Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help guide. If you find you're struggling with debt and need further help try our online advice tool My Money Steps
    • Fizz Bomb
    • By Fizz Bomb 13th Oct 16, 10:25 AM
    • 34 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    Fizz Bomb
    Hi, I am only entitled to a small amount of council tax benefit, something like £1.50 per week.
    My ex would make my life a living hell if I applied for maintenance. He really would. Also, he is self employed and I really don't think that he declares anywhere near what he actually earns. I left him, and left him with our mortgage, which he now rents out and he reminds me constantly what a mess I left him in. He would really really make my life difficult if I went down that route and I am, if I'm honest, afraid of him.

    No option to move work, my car is £149, petrol around £25 a week which I've rounded up for unexpected extra journies and the toll I lay around £10 a week. No way of reducing that at all, sadly.

    Mobile phone contract has another 18 months to run.

    Tv could go I guess, it's mainly for the kids really.
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 13th Oct 16, 10:35 AM
    • 1,005 Posts
    • 3,049 Thanks
    MrsSave
    How about Netflix for the children? The basic is £5.99 per month, and my ds loves that he can watch his favourite shows on it.

    Other than that, I echo what EssexHebridean has said with regards to your SOA.

    Please contact a debt charity, who will discuss all your options with you. Don't use one of the fee paying companies.

    Well done for taking the first step.
    Emergency fund #16 £70/£1000
    Loan repayments: 16/60 Overpayment total: £25
    Check out my debt free diary 'A Pound Stretching Maternity' below:
    • anna_1977
    • By anna_1977 13th Oct 16, 10:47 AM
    • 362 Posts
    • 385 Thanks
    anna_1977
    I think any debt charity would advise that the TV does go as it's not an essential
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