Help Please!

Hi,

One of my friends advised me write for help.

My son & his fiancee are in a mess and have said they are going to use 'debt free direct' - have you heard of them? Are they kosher or not? they have heard that these people can clear half their debts for them.

I have told them to contact CAB or National Debt line but they need urgent help.

I am concerned because the papers always have these adverts and I don't want them to be in a worse position - currently they owe approx £23,000. They have a 50% shared ownership house with mortgage of £38,500 and no chance of increasing it - already tried this option.

Nearly daughter in law's mum is dying from cancer and therefore she hasn't worked properly for 4 months +.

With her not working full time - she has 3 young sisters and a brother (no father) they are not able to cover their outgoings.

Sorry to ramble but would appreciate any advice you can give

Thanks very much

Amethyst
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Comments

  • ceegee
    ceegee Posts: 856 Forumite
    I don't know too much about this sort of thing, but surely someone free and impartial like the Citizens Advice Bureau or the Consumer Credit Helpline or Debtline would be much better than a commercial outfit.

    Hold on and some far more knowlegeable people will be along dispensing good and comforting advice!
    :snow_grin"Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow........":snow_grin
  • Amethyst,

    You have come to the right place. I am no expert, although I am learning with the aid of this site, but Debt free direct will probably charge for their services by taking a % of the monthly amount they calculate your son can pay back.

    He would be well advised to visit the CAB. Other options are http://www.nationaldebtline.co.uk/ and http://www.cccsonline.org/, both of which will help with sorting a proper budget, setting up a Debt Management Plan and dealing with creditors for FREE.

    Your son and his fiancee are lucky to have you and I am sure they will be on the road to recovery very soon. It might be an idea to get him and his fiancee together and get them to go through a few of the threads on this site to give them some understanding of what others have faced and how they are trying to remedy this. Some of the threads may help give them the wake up call they need and help them get on the straight and narrow.

    HTH

    Tic

    Ps: were u born in February? Amethyst!
  • Debt_Free_Chick
    Debt_Free_Chick Posts: 13,276 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    DO NOT USE DEBT FREE DIRECT!

    As already stated, they will either set up a Debt Management Plan and take a fee for doing so or sell a consolidation loan or an expensive IVA.

    Get onto the National Debtline NOW ..... 0808 808 4000
    Warning ..... I'm a peri-menopausal axe-wielding maniac ;)
  • Amethyst listen to Debt_Free_Chick as she (i presume) IS an expert in this area. She is one of the "far more knowlegeable people" ceegee was referring to.
  • Hi Amethyst

    Please heed the warnings already given above. In my opinion, it is extremely difficult for a commercial business, dependent on making a profit, to be as completely impartial as an independent, impartial, free, not-for-profit debt advice organisation, and there are plenty available (see some of my other posts on this board for web links).

    I have reviewed the Debt Free Direct web site, which is very well presented, clear and impressive. Check it out for yourself here:
    http://www.debtfreedirect.co.uk/home.php

    They clearly state that there is no direct charge or cost to the people they help. However, they do receive fees/commission as a result of some of their recommended solutions. This, in my opinion, is what makes true impartiality very difficult.

    The possible options they mention which concern me most are:

    Consolidation loans (moving debts owed to several creditors to a different creditor) which may reduce total monthly repayments but does not reduce the total debt and may increase the total cost of repayment, i.e. because of a longer repayment period.

    Secured loans (securing the debt, which may currently be unsecured, against property or insurance policies etc.). There are far fewer possibilities to negotiate repayment of secured debt than there are with unsecured if financial problems re-occur in the future, which place the property or other security at risk.

    Remortgage (replacing an existing mortgage with a new, often increased, mortgage). This is similar to the secured loan option above but combined with an existing mortgage, therefore same potential problems re. unsecured versus secured debt.

    I have never recommended any of the above options as I have always found that less risky and/or cheaper alternatives are possible.

    Hope my contribution is helpful. Best wishes, Graham B
  • Amethyst
    Amethyst Posts: 35 Forumite
    Hi All,

    Thank you I have passed on the info and shown son & nearly d-i-l

    Hopefully they will get through to one of them - trying now!!!!

    Amethyst
    Brithday not in Feb - just love the colour
  • PW
    PW Posts: 14 Forumite
    Not born in February, but definately a Pratchett fan.

    Don't know what the below notes mean, please disregard.
    Before you can be old and wise you have to be young and stupid
  • mountainofdebt
    mountainofdebt Posts: 7,795 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    but is your nearly DIL entitled to any benefits, especially as she is caring for her mum?


    I'm sure someone on the benefit board could help more on this
    2014 Target;
    To overpay CC by £1,000.
    Overpayment to date : £310

    2nd Purse Challenge:
    £15.88 saved to date
  • I know someone who got into twice as much debt and ended up haveing their home repossesed due to consolidation loans with this sort of company. Most of their crediters refused the payments because they were from a fee charging debt management company which made everything spiral totally out of control. They had first gone to the banks who consolidated all their debts which didnt help at all so they then went to the fee paying consolidation which 5 years on they are still paying back even after the money from the re possesion on thier property. With my situation which is diabolical i have opted to use CCCS which are being an absolutle life line. Pleaswe advise your son and future daughter in law to choose very carefully :-)
  • Amethyst
    Amethyst Posts: 35 Forumite
    Hi all,

    Update for you - son & nearly dil have contacted CCCS - who couldn't have been nicer - explained what would happen to n dil, then son and finally me to ensure they understood.

    Worse came when I got them to write down all debts - nearly £35,000!!!

    Still I hope once they have had the appointment (26th April) they will be on the right road.

    Unfortunately, mountainofdebt n dil doesn't get any benefits - her mum does though.

    They got worried thinking bailiffs would turn up or debt collectors (like on the tv).

    I can't thank you all enough for the advice, I will update again asap.

    Thanks
    Amethyst
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