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IVA (I think) with Baines and Ernst

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Hi everyone. Newbie here :j

Hopefully I'm posting this on the correct board, so here goes.

Like many people, I have some serious debt problems. 100% of my debts are on credit cards - I have no loans, overdrafts, etc. Just cards.

In an act of desperation last week, I called Baines and Ernst. I'd called CCCS earlier in the day, and I'm sorry to say that I wasnt impressed at all. The guy I spoke to really sounded as if he couldnt care less, and made me feel as if they'd get around to me when they had some spare time. Understandable, I suppose, seeing as they're a charity, but I still wasnt keen on the impression I was given.

So I called Baines and Ernst. I spoke at length with a guy there who went through all of my incomings and outgoings. To cut a long story short, he said that he wasnt sure if an IVA or bankruptcy would be my best course of action.

They will be calling me this coming Monday to let me know what their insolvency practitioner thinks, and from that point, it will be my choice (apparently).

However, having read through many posts which basically slate Baines and Ernst, in favour of CCCS and other organisations that dont charge a fee, I have a simple question to ask.

Apart from the fact that Baines and Ernst charges a fee, are there any other aspects to them that are 'worse' than CCCS. To be blunt, if B&E can get the job done faster, then I'm happy to pay a fee. With CCCS, it would have been around 6 weeks before a telephone appointment. Within the space of 7 days, B&E have spent around 5 hours on the phone with me going through everything, called me twice - just courtesy calls - and sent someone to my house to go through all the paperwork. I dont mind paying for that kind of service, if it means I can get help sooner.

But apart from "B&E charges a fee", is there anything else wrong with them? Because having read threads on this forum, I'm concerned that I'm making a mistake.

So far, B&E have told me to stop paying my creditors (of which there are 21), but to send them token payments of £10 each which I've done. However, they havent told me to get in touch with any of the companies to explain. They've told me not to ignore them, but somehow it feels a little scary to be simply sending £10 to each of them, and they (possibly) have no idea why I'm doing that.

Also, B&E havent yet charged me anything. Because they havent been sure which route I need to take (IVA or bankruptcy), they wont be charging me a fee until the end of this month. I've returned my signed paperwork, but I havent paid anything.

Any advice would be very greatly appreciated. For the past week, I've been feeling 'stress free', but having read through over the past couple of days, I'm now feeling stressed again. On the two occasions I've spoken to CCCS (once last week, and once around 4 months ago), I didnt like the attitude or the service. I've also called another company (Payplan I think?) and they were more or less the same.

So, to sum up, I'm happy to pay B&E if they can get the job done. But apart from paying for the service, is there anything else I should be wary of in regards to Baines and Ernst?

Thanks very much

Marguerite
Newcastle-under-Lyme
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Comments

  • Nargleblast
    Nargleblast Posts: 10,762 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Debt-free and Proud!
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    Sorry to hear you had less than satisfactory service from CCCS and Payplan when you called them, I deal with CCCS and have always had excellent service from them.
    Whilst CCCS and Payplan provide free debt management services, an IVA through one of them would be done with their sister companies who are IVA providers. As such, there would be fees involved which you would not have to pay directly, but would come out of the first few months' IVA payments. With CCCS I believe it is the first five or six months' payments that pay all the fees then after that the payments go to the creditors, compared with some other companies that can take a year or so's worth of payments in fees before paying your creditors a penny. I have heard of B&E but have not had dealings with them, perhaps someone else on here can recommend them. It sounds as if they are on the ball however, but as with any agreement you need to discuss the terms and conditions and make sure you understand what you are entering into.
    One life - your life - live it!
  • Nargleblast
    Nargleblast Posts: 10,762 Forumite
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    Added to above - B&E will not get the job done faster, an IVA will still be five or six years in the running. If they can get the admin done quickly and efficiently then they are doing their job properly.
    One life - your life - live it!
  • sunshine702
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    Hi, thanks for your replies!

    Yes, thats what I meant about 'getting the job done faster' - I know the period of an IVA is set. I was referring to B&E doing the paperwork/etc/etc. As far as I can ascertain, B&E will be able to set an IVA (or bankruptcy) up in 5-6 weeks, whereas that was the timeframe that CCCS quoted me just for having my first phone 'interview'. I've had enough stress, and life is too short. Thats why I dont mind paying, assuming B&E are good at what they do.
  • Deep_In_Debt
    Deep_In_Debt Posts: 8,579 Forumite
    Photogenic First Post First Anniversary Mortgage-free Glee!
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    CCCS will only recommend an IVA if it is suitable for you; B&E will probably recommend one as it's making money for them.

    Whilst CCCS do charge a fee for IVA's, they only recommend them if they are suitable as they are not looking to make money out of you and there may be other options open to you.
    Debt 30k in 2008.:eek::o Cleared all my debt in 2013 and loving being debt free :)
    Mortgage free since 2014 :)
  • Charco_2
    Charco_2 Posts: 1,677 Forumite
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    Yes sorry Sunshine702, CCCS will take 6 weeks to get back to you because they´re just so busy sitting around shining and polishing their halo :rolleyes:

    CCCS charge fees and earn money just like any other financial services company out there, however they have set up their company in such a way that the first people anybody speaks to (the face of the company) is a registered charity.

    Their fees are on a par with every other company out there. IVA companies put forward a proposal with their proposed fees for the work, split into two for "nominees" (work carried out) and "supervisors" (work to be carried out). The banks then try to cut these fees, they have certain parameters they use for ALL IVA providers. Fees vary in proposals due to the amounts of money recovered and the difficulties represented by each case.
    Would you ask the wolves to look after the sheep?
    CCCS funded by banks
  • trudij
    trudij Posts: 1,905 Forumite
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    Bainst and Earnst appear to be a branch (or something) of Blair Endersby (or maybe thats the other way round!) Ive been with Blair Endersby for all but 4 years now, (13 payments to go, yay!!!) and they have been fantastic.

    good luck !!
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup
  • sunshine702
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    Hi everyone - I cant quite figure out the connection between Baines and Ernst and Blair Endersby, apart from the fact they have B& E in common. I dont know, from what I've read and heard, and from my conversations with both companies (B&E and CCCS), I cant say I have much confidence in either of them, particularly CCCS. The man I spoke to there seemed to be in a coma. At least B&E seem to have some fire in their belly, but I suppose thats what happens when you profit from someone else's misfortune.
  • Charco_2
    Charco_2 Posts: 1,677 Forumite
    edited 10 August 2009 at 4:55PM
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    That's not a terribly nice attitude.

    IP's provide a service and for the clients we are able to help they are very grateful that there was an option out there for them when things were so bleak. It's not about profiteering from other's misfortune.

    (Blair Endersby and Baines & Ernst are the one and the same company. Just two branches of it. BE are the IVA side, B&E are the DMP side. If you go to B&E and they recommend an IVA they'll take the first two payments to transfer you across, if you go directly to BE you'll avoid this! That's a rather simplified break down of it)
    Would you ask the wolves to look after the sheep?
    CCCS funded by banks
  • Reviva_UK
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    Baines & Earnst don't do IVA's they pass potential IVA's to another company based in the same building - called Blair Endersby.

    The fees for any IVA are actually set and agreed by the creditors and even if the IVA company wanted to charge a fortune for an IVA it would be "controlled ! and modified by the creditors.

    If you are being asked for several payments upfront then you are not dealing with the IVA company directly. They simply want to obtain an intro fee.

    If an IVA is the right solution for you you can check out independent feedback for Blair Endersby and many other IVA companies on the iva comparrison website.

    When choosing an IVA the most important decision is who you choose rather than the cost. You will be having a relationship with them for 5 or 6 years so you have to make the right decision.
  • Nickpearson_3
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    Charco wrote: »
    That's not a terribly nice attitude.

    IP's provide a service and for the clients we are able to help they are very grateful that there was an option out there for them when things were so bleak. It's not about profiteering from other's misfortune.

    (Blair Endersby and Baines & Ernst are the one and the same company. Just two branches of it. BE are the IVA side, B&E are the DMP side. If you go to B&E and they recommend an IVA they'll take the first two payments to transfer you across, if you go directly to BE you'll avoid this! That's a rather simplified break down of it)

    Hi Charco

    Its the same set up fee whether you come via Baines and Ernst or direct to Blair Endersby
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