Where do you begin again, if you don't exist?

It's not a philosophical question, so please bear with me.
I'm 48, single, and it's been 4 years since I've worked properly. I worked in investor relations, earned very good money, lived in Central London etc etc.
I had a family member become very ill and I left my last job to support them - they've recovered fully thank goodness, but I fell out of the 'habit' of structured work and began this cycle of not really being much use. 
I was pursued for various debts (hmrc, council tax and a few others) through the first couple of years, but then I moved house (lost the ability to pay for my flat rental, obviously) and began living in the spare room of my relative and also of a close friend. Throughout this period I haven't worked beyond helping both with house/diy projects.
I currently have zero assets, zero income, no bank account, no credit cards, no loans, no electoral existence and am very much disenfranchised from 'normal society' I guess.
Food and other sustenance based things I'm being supported for (by the relative and friend) but this of course feels terrible and I very much want to stop it.
I'm fearful that if I contact HMRC or anyone else, I'll 'pop up' back on their radar and their relentless pursuit will begin again, putting me straight back into the very stressful situation of owing money which I genuinely have no means to pay.
I'll leave it here for now, in the hope there has been someone in a similar situation or at least someone who reads this and can offer some advice on where to start.

Thanks for reading


  • Sorry to hear of your situation . You are obviously very capable of doing many things , but imho the circumstances you have been put through have knocked the stuffing out of you it seems .
    I would suggest 2 things initially ;
    You need to add up all of your debts etc and do a statement of affairs so you know the hard part of the battle financially .
    The other thing to do ..claim universal credit ASAP . There may be other benefits also . You'll get nothing for 6 weeks after applying for u c but you will then be back on the system .
    Try not to worry too much about how much you owe etc but if you disclose on here or the d f w board you'll get great advice .
    The only thing to be aware of , is whoever you are staying with may have to pay more council tax if you disclose you are with them . Not an expert there, but you should get help here also .
    Hope this helps ..
  • Forgot to mention that it is worth going onto the entitled to website , plus of course citizens advice ..
  • I think, if you want to come out of hiding, as it were, you need to start somewhere. It might be scary when these debts resurface, but maybe try speaking to StepChange or another free debt helpline to see what your options are, there are some options on here - https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/loans/debt-help-plan/. I hope you get sorted 😊. 
  • Tahlullah.H
    Tahlullah.H Posts: 1,227 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Good luck with the first steps of your journey back into 'society'.  I will keep reading and supporting from the sidelines.  
    What I do not give, you must never take by force.
    Mortgage outstanding - 30/12/22 - £25,900. 31/01/23 - £22,300. 28/02/23 - £20,500. 31/03/23 - £17,500. 30/04/23 - £15,800. 30/05/23 - £13,800. 31/06/23 - £11,300. 31/07/23 - £9,800. 31/08/23 - £8,300. 30/09/23 - £6,000. 31/10/23 - £3,000. 30/11/23 - £1,200. 06/12/23 - £00.00
    God save us everyone, As we burn inside the fire of a thousand suns, For the sins of our hands, The sins of our tongues, The sins of our fathers, The sins of our young.
    Linkin Park
  • Thank you everyone for your advice - I'll be contacting Step Change tomorrow - tbh I have no idea what my debt actually is, but I guess I need to start somewhere
    Thanks again
  • You may find you feel better once you know exactly where you stand and can make a plan to get everything sorted out. 
    #46 3 to 6 month Emergency Fund Challenge: £585 to go
  • another_casualty
    another_casualty Posts: 6,506 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    edited 1 September 2020 at 3:15PM
    TBH , the most depressing thing is when you round up everything you own and take your head out of the sand .Be prepared for the cost of a haircut/ clothing / food  questions etc etc  .However, when you talk to stepchange , you should feel relieved that someone there will take care of you every step of the way and that they take over. Follow their advice and all will seem better . Your most crucial payment of all will be council tax , and eventually rent etc. 
    Will be lurking also , hoping to see good progress ..
    Make sure you have all information of all of your debts ready for when you speak to stepchange ..
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