Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Splodge1000
    • By Splodge1000 28th Sep 17, 7:17 PM
    • 30Posts
    • 7Thanks
    Splodge1000
    Debt Relief Order advice please
    • #1
    • 28th Sep 17, 7:17 PM
    Debt Relief Order advice please 28th Sep 17 at 7:17 PM
    I have been working with one of the debt advisory charities/services who have done everything they can to help me but I now have a dilemma. I have debts on cards under the £20,000 threshold but at present have no income whatsoever. No job, no benefits. Zilch. My partner is providing for me. A DRO would seem to be the best solution for me but here is my problem.

    I live in my partner's property with her and have done for a number of years. She has lived here for over 25 years and there is no mortgage. There is huge equity in the property (5 times the purchase price). The property is in her name alone, always has been and always will be. I have never been on the land register as a joint owner and never will be (I have never owned property). I never contributed a penny to the mortgage payments when there was a mortgage which is why the property has always been in her name only. This was the understanding. She paid the mortgage (out of her bank account) and was the sole owner and if ever we separated then I would have no claim on the property and would not want to have a claim. The question was asked by the debt charity as to "is there equity in your home" and I answered truthfully that there was huge equity but that it wasn't my home and not my equity,

    I have paid my share of the monthly bills when I have been able to (excluding mortgage and house insurance) and a few years ago a new galley kitchen was put in which cost £900. As my financial position was better at that time I paid half of the cost toward this as a thank you and a present to my partner. I was asked the question about making any home improvements and I answered truthfully that I had contributed to the cost of the kitchen.The debt charity have advised me that their insolvency experts believe this may give me a beneficial interest in the property which might mean a DRO is not granted.

    I have never asked for or wanted any interest in the property. If my partner and I ever decided to separate it was always understood that I would leave and would not ask for anything out of the property. If I had wanted an interest I would have contributed to the mortgage and had my name added to the title deed.

    This is my dilemma. I cannot see any other solution than a DRO because I have not a penny to my name at present and no income in the foreseeable future. I don't want to apply for this if it will be rejected. More importantly I do not want my partner dragged into my mess in any way. These are my debts and not hers. This is her property and not mine and I do not want her ownership or interest compromised in any way as she has paid for this property entirely by herself. It belongs to her. I want no interest in it and have never considered that I have any interest in it. I would rather walk out of the door and live homeless on the streets than compromise her home in this way.

    The debt charity, and I am really happy with their service, have advised me that I couldn't speak with their insolvency people as they don't take calls. I wanted to discuss this matter with them and hammer home that I do not own the property and the improvement I contributed to is what I would regard as minimal. I cannot believe that this might make me ineligible for a DRO.

    Can anyone offer any ray of hope here? I don't know whether to continue with the application or not. My partner will lend me the £90 fee but I do not want to borrow from her if the application will be refused.

    Perhaps someone can advise? Thank you.
Page 2
    • Splodge1000
    • By Splodge1000 3rd Oct 17, 8:36 AM
    • 30 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Splodge1000
    Get in contact with all of the creditors who you have this agreement and make sure they're being held as agreed.


    If you go above the DRO limit, you'd be looking at Bankruptcy I'm afraid. Of course that has a higher fee, but the outcomes are basically the same.


    Make sure to get exact totals for your debt to see if you're indeed skating a bit too close to the limit here.
    Originally posted by StopIt
    Thanks, StopIt. I will do that.

    Not all of my four creditors agreed to this initially. The one who didn't (MBNA) would not put a freeze on the account and I believe they have a reputation for making debtors bankrupt.
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 3rd Oct 17, 10:22 AM
    • 12,664 Posts
    • 11,993 Thanks
    sourcrates
    I’d crack on with the DRO then soon as you can.

    As long as you are below the threshold when it’s signed off you will be ok.

    Also there’s nothing to stop you paying something to each account to reduce the balance if needed, as long as you pay them all the same.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    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/
    • Splodge1000
    • By Splodge1000 3rd Oct 17, 4:06 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Splodge1000
    Iíd crack on with the DRO then soon as you can.

    As long as you are below the threshold when itís signed off you will be ok.

    Also thereís nothing to stop you paying something to each account to reduce the balance if needed, as long as you pay them all the same.
    Originally posted by sourcrates
    Thanks as always, sourcrates.

    Paperwork has been submitted to the CAB; I expect they will may require further details and will provide these on request.
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 3rd Oct 17, 6:47 PM
    • 11,638 Posts
    • 8,772 Thanks
    fatbelly
    I am not so sure that it will, sourcrates, as I have learned something this morning which is disturbing.

    One of my creditors had placed a 30 day hold on my account. This has now been extended by a further 30 days. The creditor explained to me previously that charges and interest would be frozen during this period. They now say that this is not the case, charges and interest are being applied.

    The danger is that this may take me over the £20,000 threshold and make me ineligible for a DRO. If the other creditors who also reported freezing my accounts follow suit then I will exceed the £20,000 limit.

    Edited to add: my creditors are not aware that at present I am seeking a DRO.
    Originally posted by Splodge1000
    It's best not to give them advance notice of a DRO, so that's OK.

    You could complain and ask them to remove interest/ charges.

    When it gets close to the 20k limit it becomes difficult as it is the balance owing on the 'day of determination' that counts and when that day is is not defined. We used to be able to rely on it being the day after we pressed the 'submit' button but under DRO2 it is more likely 2 days after.

    If you do go over the limit you are allowed to bring it back (before the 'day of determination') by making pro-rata payments.
    • Splodge1000
    • By Splodge1000 3rd Oct 17, 11:22 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Splodge1000
    You could complain and ask them to remove interest/ charges.
    Originally posted by fatbelly
    Thanks, fatbelly. I did that earlier today, as soon as I learned that charges were being applied.

    When it gets close to the 20k limit it becomes difficult as it is the balance owing on the 'day of determination' that counts and when that day is is not defined. We used to be able to rely on it being the day after we pressed the 'submit' button but under DRO2 it is more likely 2 days after.

    If you do go over the limit you are allowed to bring it back (before the 'day of determination') by making pro-rata payments.
    Thanks again, fatbelly. This is what I feared and I am perilously close to the threshold if the charges are not lifted. There is less than £125 spare but if the charges are not applied that becomes over £400 across four creditors. Your last sentence offers me some hope.
    • Splodge1000
    • By Splodge1000 11th Oct 17, 7:22 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Splodge1000
    Update to the present situation. There is a further complication.

    I have not heard from the CAB having submitted documents to them over a week ago. That may be just a case of them being very busy and with a high caseload, of course, as they are staffed largely by volunteers.

    The complication is that I complained to one of my creditors that charges had been applied after they had agreed to freeze by account in September. They came back to me with an apology and offered me a £25 compensation payment and a promise to freeze my account at the present balance (i.e. with charges for September applied) for 60 days with no further interest or payment charges applicable during this period. I told them I didn't want the compensation payment and would waive that but I would accept the 60 day freezing if they returned the balance to the level it was in September as they had originally promised.

    This matter has now been escalated to a higher authority and can take up to 56 days to be resolved.

    In the meantime, the creditor has applied charges for non-payment and interest in October because I did not accept the terms of their previous offer. These charges increase my balance and take me over the £20,000 limit for a DRO. My other creditors have kept to their word and frozen my balance.

    I have put in a further complaint to the creditor demanding that these charges for October be removed. This would take me below the £20,000 limit by about £30. I need this to happen otherwise my application for a DRO will be rejected.
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 11th Oct 17, 7:52 PM
    • 11,638 Posts
    • 8,772 Thanks
    fatbelly
    I can see that this is becoming stressful, but you are doing the right things.

    Do you know who you are dealing with at the CAB? Do you have a named intermediary? I actually give my clients a direct number to my desk, but I guess I'm unusual. I'm just wondering whether your local office is dealing with this themselves or passing it to the MAS Unit in Durham.

    If they are dealing with it themselves it is more likely to be by paid staff who are in more than one day per week, though that is not guaranteed.
    • Splodge1000
    • By Splodge1000 11th Oct 17, 8:29 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Splodge1000
    Do you know who you are dealing with at the CAB? Do you have a named intermediary? I actually give my clients a direct number to my desk, but I guess I'm unusual. I'm just wondering whether your local office is dealing with this themselves or passing it to the MAS Unit in Durham.

    If they are dealing with it themselves it is more likely to be by paid staff who are in more than one day per week, though that is not guaranteed.
    Originally posted by fatbelly
    Thanks for taking the time and trouble reply and advise, fatbelly.

    I do not know who I am dealing with at the CAB. When I first attended I asked to speak to the superviser and eventually I spoke with her. She advised that they had a couple of people in the branch who are DRO Intermediaries and got me to sign a form authorising them to contact anyone they might need to with regard to my application.

    All I have is a client reference number which was given to me as part of a written receipt when I dropped in to them a covering letter, personal details, income statement (essentially just a signature that I have no income, benefits or pension and do not own property), list of debts and a credit report. The receipt added that the DRO Intermediary has to attest that they have seen all the evidence and that they would get back to me with a full list. I expected that more information and at least one meeting would re required, but to date there has been no movement.

    Of course, I now need to get the aforementioned balance adjusted before any application can go to the Insolvency Service.
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 11th Oct 17, 8:49 PM
    • 12,664 Posts
    • 11,993 Thanks
    sourcrates
    Remember you can always pay a few quid off each account to bring the level down to below the 20k limit.

    You appear to be pretty close to it.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    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/
    • Splodge1000
    • By Splodge1000 12th Oct 17, 11:21 AM
    • 30 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Splodge1000
    I have sent you a PM, fatbelly, which I am sure you will find interesting. It is nothing to do with my DRO application which is why I have sent it privately.
    • Splodge1000
    • By Splodge1000 12th Oct 17, 2:42 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Splodge1000
    Remember you can always pay a few quid off each account to bring the level down to below the 20k limit.

    You appear to be pretty close to it.
    Originally posted by sourcrates
    Thanks, sourcrates, but I am now at a loss of what to do.

    The creditor with whom I am having difficulties advises me that the 30 - 60 day grace period they give me means that they will not take any collection activity against me during this time. It does not mean they will not apply interest or late payment fees. They will not agree at this point to freezing charges and so my debt to them continues to grow.

    This has now taken me over the total of £20,000. A payment to this creditor of £25 will bring the total amount down to below £20,000 but I am not in a position to make similar payments to my other three creditors.

    I am unsure how best to proceed.
    Last edited by Splodge1000; 12-10-2017 at 2:51 PM.
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 12th Oct 17, 8:28 PM
    • 12,664 Posts
    • 11,993 Thanks
    sourcrates
    Once a DRO is granted it makes no difference how much is then added in fees and charges as they get written off after the monotorium period.

    As long as the balances are below 20k on the day.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    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/
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 12th Oct 17, 9:22 PM
    • 11,638 Posts
    • 8,772 Thanks
    fatbelly
    Once a DRO is granted it makes no difference how much is then added in fees and charges as they get written off after the monotorium period.

    As long as the balances are below 20k on the day.
    Originally posted by sourcrates
    That's correct, and to be honest it doesn't matter if you don't get the pro-rata allocation correct.

    The difficulty with the strategy when you are right on the limit is that you don't know when 'the day' will be. Even if you are with the intermediary when they press 'submit' it is the day that the DRO Team approve it that counts. It is often the second day after submission, but that is not guaranteed.
    • Splodge1000
    • By Splodge1000 12th Oct 17, 10:28 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Splodge1000
    My creditor has offered to freeze charges for two months as from now. If that happens I will be over the £20,000 limit and I am now beginning to wonder if they are adopting this stance to ensure I am over the £20,000 limit and therefore ineligible for a DRO as I am sure that the granting of a DRO, just as with a declaration of bankruptcy, is not what they want to happen. I would like the charges frozen and applied from the date they originally said they would be frozen from, rather than from now. Their position it that I was misinformed previously by them.
    • StopIt
    • By StopIt 13th Oct 17, 8:35 AM
    • 1,449 Posts
    • 1,239 Thanks
    StopIt
    To be fair to them, I doubt they're doing that deliberately, probably just following their own procedures.


    After all, if you do go over the £20k limit, and can't get around it, you save up for bankruptcy instead, the outcome is the same to them.


    Can you ask your partner for help to put enough money into these things to give the leeway you need to ensure this goes through?
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 14th Oct 17, 4:06 PM
    • 12,664 Posts
    • 11,993 Thanks
    sourcrates
    My creditor has offered to freeze charges for two months as from now. If that happens I will be over the £20,000 limit and I am now beginning to wonder if they are adopting this stance to ensure I am over the £20,000 limit and therefore ineligible for a DRO as I am sure that the granting of a DRO, just as with a declaration of bankruptcy, is not what they want to happen. I would like the charges frozen and applied from the date they originally said they would be frozen from, rather than from now. Their position it that I was misinformed previously by them.
    Originally posted by Splodge1000
    Spodge,

    Have you rung round your creditors and got up to date balances from them all ?

    What stage, exactly, are you at with the DRO ?
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    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/
    • Splodge1000
    • By Splodge1000 15th Oct 17, 8:03 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Splodge1000
    Can you ask your partner for help to put enough money into these things to give the leeway you need to ensure this goes through?
    Originally posted by StopIt
    Possibly but I would rather not if it can be avoided. I am already having to scrounge the DRO fee from her.
    • Splodge1000
    • By Splodge1000 15th Oct 17, 8:10 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Splodge1000
    Spodge,

    Have you rung round your creditors and got up to date balances from them all ?

    What stage, exactly, are you at with the DRO ?
    Originally posted by sourcrates
    I am constantly checking through online banking what my balance is with each creditor and as I believe one of them has removed charges which were applied automatically (not the creditor I am in dispute with) I believe I have dipped back below the £20,000 limit, even allowing for the non-adjustment with the creditor that I am disputing.

    The current position is that I have given everything the CAB have asked for, in response to a letter I received from them on Thursday, and I have suggested that they might prepare the DRO application so that it is ready for submission as soon as I pay the fee and confirm that the debts are below £20,000. I could do both of these tomorrow but I don't know how much work the Approved Intermediary has completed on the application.
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 15th Oct 17, 8:36 PM
    • 11,638 Posts
    • 8,772 Thanks
    fatbelly
    I am constantly checking through online banking what my balance is with each creditor and as I believe one of them has removed charges which were applied automatically (not the creditor I am in dispute with) I believe I have dipped back below the £20,000 limit, even allowing for the non-adjustment with the creditor that I am disputing.

    The current position is that I have given everything the CAB have asked for, in response to a letter I received from them on Thursday, and I have suggested that they might prepare the DRO application so that it is ready for submission as soon as I pay the fee and confirm that the debts are below £20,000. I could do both of these tomorrow but I don't know how much work the Approved Intermediary has completed on the application.
    Originally posted by Splodge1000
    You really need to be in fairly tight communication with your intermediary, i.e you need his/her phone number and actually agree between the two of you when the button will be pushed.

    Do you know if they have got a current copy of your Experian report?

    Have you paid the £90 fee?
    • Splodge1000
    • By Splodge1000 15th Oct 17, 9:44 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Splodge1000
    You really need to be in fairly tight communication with your intermediary, i.e you need his/her phone number and actually agree between the two of you when the button will be pushed.

    Do you know if they have got a current copy of your Experian report?

    Have you paid the £90 fee?
    Originally posted by fatbelly
    I have completed the form authorising the Intermediary to obtain the Experian report. That form is with the CAB.

    I can pay the fee any time; I was waiting and hoping to hear from the Intermediary that the application is ready to be submitted and that there seems to be no reason why it should be denied.

    So far the CAB seem reluctant to give out contact numbers but I have left my number with them. I shall go into their office again if I do not hear anything in the next 24 hours.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

5,057Posts Today

9,569Users online

Martin's Twitter