IVA or ending it all?

calmwaters Forumite Posts: 3 Newbie
Seriously don't know what to do.......

Been hiding debt for years from family and friends, I have a proposal for an IVA ready to be sent to creditors, but the thought of my name being on a register is making me feel like not even being here...:(

I have a high profile job...and feel so ashamed....the thought of people finding out makes me fill will utter dread. The thought of 5 years feeling like people you work with know...thinking like I would not be worthy of the job....feeling like everyone who looks at you knows.....your personal details - all out there to shame you.....

Either send of the proposal or end it all....If I don't send it off....I will lose my job anyways as I will have no money for fuel, food for children etc. The debt is too high for a dmp - apparently take 36 years to pay off!

Someone - guide me please...... is it worth the shame? do people find out? should I tell people?......arrrrrrrr.......my head!


  • AFF8879
    AFF8879 Forumite Posts: 645
    Seventh Anniversary 500 Posts Name Dropper
    The first thing to remember is that the main reason it feels so overwhelming is because you don’t have a firm plan. Once you set a course of action and have a plan to resolve this, I promise you’ll feel like a weight has been lifted, regardless of whether it takes you 3 years or 30 years to clean up.

    Would submitting the IVA actually breach conduct rules at your workplace (ie actually put your job at risk), or is it more the stigma/ people’s reactions that worry you?

    But in any case, sounds like you need some emotional support. Do you have a close friend/ family member you would feel comfortable confiding in? If not, try giving Samaritans a call on 116 123. I’m no psychologist but it feels there is more needed here than just the mathematical financial plan.
  • calmwaters
    calmwaters Forumite Posts: 3 Newbie
    It is the stigma.......I have always been such a proud person and feel so belittled. I am more ashamed of myself and feel like such a bad person, mother, wife, friend.......

    Like I am not worth anything anymore.....I appreciate you replying AFF8879, ;)

    I don't even want to ask at work - as then they will know and are unsure if it will affect my position and if not then I have the stigma of them knowing...so in a no win situation there.
  • Willing2Learn
    Willing2Learn Forumite Posts: 6,286
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited 16 November 2019 at 4:14PM
    The stigma is all in your head. You currently have difficulties with your finances. Ain't nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about.

    If it helps. We had an ex-professional footballer present to our agency, looking for advice, guidance and support. Anyone can find themselves having money problems.
    I work within the voluntary sector, supporting vulnerable people to rebuild their lives.

    I love my job

  • fatbelly
    fatbelly Forumite Posts: 19,206
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Cashback Cashier
    You've been in debt for years and now you're rushing into an IVA that you are not comfortable with.

    Tell your IP to put it on hold while you take further advice.

    I have two suggestions:

    1. Talk to someone who is not selling you a product. I suggest National Debtline.

    2. Go over to the debt free wannabe board and post a statement of affairs. That is a link to a calculator. Please format for mse.

    There is no need to feel ashamed in having a problem and then dealing with it. But you do have to understand the strategy that you chose, and not be pushed into one that you do not understand.

    If the strategy does turn out to be a form of insolvency then honestly there isn't the stigma that there used to be. Nothing appears in your local paper and the insolvency register isn't something that reveals its contents to a google search. You would have to be pretty clued up to know where to look.
  • foxy-stoat
    foxy-stoat Forumite Posts: 6,879
    Eighth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    calmwaters wrote: »
    It is the stigma.......I have always been such a proud person and feel so belittled. I am more ashamed of myself and feel like such a bad person, mother, wife, friend.......

    Like I am not worth anything anymore.....I appreciate you replying AFF8879, ;)

    I don't even want to ask at work - as then they will know and are unsure if it will affect my position and if not then I have the stigma of them knowing...so in a no win situation there.

    Check you contract of employment, but I would of thought you will be ok unless your in the police or part of the legal or financial profession.

    Your name is on a register yes, but I do not know anyone who would want to regularly check it.

    IVA is part stage down from Bankrupt, if you have already researched the DMP route then apart from down valuing your property or making drastic lifestyle changes then you have little choice.

    One thing you will need to do is talk to your family, if your debt has been increasing over many years then you have been living beyond your means so you wont be addressing the cause of where you are now. You will have a chance of succeeding if you pushed the button on the IVA, but your lifestyle will have to change for the next 5 years, possibly 6 depending on equity in your current property.

    Good lucks
  • DE_612183
    DE_612183 Forumite Posts: 1,374
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    How "unique" is your name?

    If not very, then you have even less to worry about - the register is based on surnames
  • I_Want_to_be_Free
    I_Want_to_be_Free Forumite Posts: 31
    Third Anniversary
    Hello calmwaters, I don't want to give any debt advice as I am in no way an expert and I think you need professional guidance, however, I would like to hopefully put a different light on your worry of stigma. In 2010 I had a nervous breakdown and the final straw happened when I was in work in the middle of an open plan office of over 100 colleagues peering over their work stations to look at me like meerkats. I was half carried in front of everyone to the CEO's office and looked after until my family arrived. I thought my career was over and that I'd never live down the shame. But, something so surprising happened... I had so many people message me and come to see me afterwards to tell me that I was not alone and that they had been through something similar too or a close family member had. There were no judgements or no shame, I had been hiding how bad I was feeling for months (it was due to overwork for years on end and finally my body said enough) when I could have opened up to people and they could have helped me. I am not saying that you need to tell anyone about your debt but if people do find out then it's not the end of the world and their reaction may actually surprise you.

    Also, as a side note, I am almost £50k in debt on credit cards myself and I have confided this to my close friends and family. I have not had any negative reactions and everyone has been so supportive. One friend has even offered to lend me his £20k deposit he has saved for a house if it will help me to get my debt onto 0% and pay him back in installments. I haven't accepted but again, you may be surprised at the support you get. As others have said, there is NO SHAME IN BEING IN DEBT. The priority now is speaking to a professional to guide you through what is the right course of action for YOU. You can do this calmwaters, believe in yourself! xxx
  • sourcrates
    sourcrates Forumite, Ambassador Posts: 27,673
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    calmwaters wrote: »
    It is the stigma.......I have always been such a proud person and feel so belittled. I am more ashamed of myself and feel like such a bad person, mother, wife, friend.......

    Like I am not worth anything anymore.....I appreciate you replying AFF8879, ;)

    I don't even want to ask at work - as then they will know and are unsure if it will affect my position and if not then I have the stigma of them knowing...so in a no win situation there.

    Debt is the one thing us brits never talk about, stiff upper lip, an all that, well I can tell you many, many people are in the same boat as you, but dare not admit it, even to close family, its a shocking state of affairs, because if we talked more openly about it, we would find that it becomes much less of a problem.

    The feelings you describe, must have been felt by many people, and yet there is no need to feel this way, losing control of our money situation is a very common problem, the first time it happened to me it felt very wierd, I was unable to make the minimum payments on my loans, cards, but managed to keep my utilities all up to date (priority debts) yet over time, and with the help of this forum, i came to realise that things happen in life, it may or may not be your fault, but playing the blame game helps no one, you are where you are, and you must find a stratagy to get out of it.

    No one will be looking on the insolvency register for you, most people are unaware even of its existance, we brits are utterly clueless when it comes to debt solutions, its something most people only research when they find themselves in the same boat as you, the awareness is simply not there, thats why they tend to take the first option handed to them, despite the fact it may not be suitable.

    My advice to you is to post up a statement of affairs, let us see what the figures are, then we can advise properly, it could be an IVA is the right choice, but you must be comfortable with your decision, as you have to live with it for 5/6 years, fatbelly (above) makes a good point about getting advice from a sourse not trying to sell you anything, IVA `s are very profitable for the IP due to the fee`s paid from your monthly payments, you must make sure you get advice from a debt advisor, and not a salesperson, as most IVA companies are commercial buisneses.
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Debt free wannabe, Credit file and ratings, and Bankruptcy and living with it boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing [email protected]. All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.For free non-judgemental debt advice, contact either Stepchange, National Debtline, or CitizensAdviceBureaux.Link to SOA Calculator- https://www.stoozing.com/soa.php The "provit letter" is here-https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/2607247/letter-when-you-know-nothing-about-about-the-debt-aka-prove-it-letter
  • PrettyKittyKat
    PrettyKittyKat Forumite Posts: 1,270 Forumite
    Calmwaters this is such a big decision for you and I can't understand that you are feeling confused and worrying about what will happen next.

    As others have said please reach out to a professional helpline where you can talk through your feelings.

    I worked in an IVA company and there was a whole host of people in IVA's. Lots of managers, accountants, people on 60k+ salaries. Just because you have a successful career/position of responsibility does NOT mean you are immune to changes in life causing financial strain. The important thing here is that you HAVE addressed it and you ARE going to be putting a solution in place to deal with it - this is the bravest thing you can do!

    Most people I know don't even know what the insolvency register is and NOONE I know would sit and check whether the people they know/work with are on it. I think you would also be surprised how many of your colleagues may be on debt solutions or have been on once in the past - it is much more common than we all think but most people don't talk about it!

    Now is the time to take control of your debt - if you have any concerns or worries about how the IVA works please ask here and thhere are lots of people that can help you :)
  • Simmo71
    Simmo71 Forumite Posts: 18
    Fourth Anniversary 10 Posts
    Calmwaters, I was in a similar situation to you some years ago. I was in the financial services industry so an IVA would've meant bye bye job but my debts had become unmanageable (£50k plus...). I've always been a very private person and had exactly the same fears as you about entering an IVA in terms of the stigma, what if friends, colleagues, clients, family etc found out. I eventually took the plunge as I had moved to a different industry and got to the stage where I just wanted an end to being in debt. Next month will be 5yrs since taking it out and to the best of my knowledge nobody has found out (apart from my wife, obvs). Maybe some people know and just haven't let on, but in reality the fear of it happening is probably so much higher than the likelihood of it actually happening. Somebody above mentioned how few people would know where to look even if they had an inkling they could do so. My hunch is the only people who would know where to look are those who've been in the same boat themselves, which I guess lessens the stigma a bit.

    Whether an IVA is right for you is something you'd be best discussing with one of the debt charities who will give impartial advice, but my advice would be please don't let stigma and pride prolong the agony. I've very much been down that road myself and with hindsight just wish I'd grasped the nettle earlier.

    But whatever you do, good luck and remember there's a whole world of support out there, and indeed on here.
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