can they do this?

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chester19760
chester19760 Posts: 86 Forumite
Changed gas/electric early this year from Atlantic to SP as it worked out cheaper and my OH had been made redundent. Got hit with a £224 final bill from atlantic so rang to say couldnt pay it all at once can I pay a bit a month as only one wage incoming at that moment. They said no had to pay in full.
Anyway couldnt so didnt and they sent a final demand have rang loads and explained we have 1 wage for 4 people and simply can not afford it but they still refuse to let us pay a bit a month. Stupid thing is this has been going on since feb and the bloody thing would have been paid.
Is there any advice you can offer me?
thanks

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  • Premier_2
    Premier_2 Posts: 15,141 Forumite
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    You know you'll ahve to pay it in the end.

    Your continuing delay brings the increaseing chance of the creditor appointing a debt collection agency or taking legal action to secure recovery ... either of which probably means extra costs being added to the amount already owed.

    As you say this could have been paid by now, why haven't you been saving what you can towards the bill?
    Even if the creditor wont accept part payment, putting it in a savings account could have been earning you interest too (only a small amount at todays rates admittedly, but every penny counts in your situation). When you have saved enough, you can pay the creditor in full.

    Start saving now.
    "Now to trolling as a concept. .... Personally, I've always found it a little sad that people choose to spend such a large proportion of their lives in this way but they do, and we have to deal with it." - MSE Forum Manager 6th July 2010
  • Magentasue
    Magentasue Posts: 4,229 Forumite
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    It seems odd that Atlantic let you switch without you settling your account first, but they did and you switched so the outstanding amount is payable on demand. You can't pay it so have asked for time to pay. If you were still a customer, they would negotiate a payment plan, but as you're not a customer they want it paid straight away. Can't really see where you can go with this unless you get someone like CAB to negotiate on your behalf. Have you sent them a statement of affairs so that they can see that you are unable to afford to settle the account? If not, I'd suggest drawing up one, sending it with a cheque for as much as you can afford and proposal to pay the rest by recorded delivery. So long as you can clear it in two or three payments, I'd have thought they'd consider it.
  • chester19760
    chester19760 Posts: 86 Forumite
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    I never knew I was in debt with my account I was paying DD every month what Id assumed to be enough (huge lesson learnt there) as they never said, Scottish Power are brilliant they let you know if your DD are lower than your actual bill which gives me chance to up my DD.
    Yes in hindsight I was an idiot not saving at home then paying the full ammount but I honestly have no spare money its that tight.
    Thanks for your advice :)
  • Magentasue
    Magentasue Posts: 4,229 Forumite
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    Definitely contact them as a matter of urgency with payment plan, statement of affairs and cheque - you don't want it to go to collection/court and end up paying costs on top.

    If you cannot pay anything, get help from CAB or similar.
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