2 weeks til payday, no money and creditors theatening

I really don't know where to turn anymore. I've tried the CCCS and national debt helpline but all they did was send informatin packe telling me how to deal with my creditors who in turn even with reduced payments are still taking most of our cash each month and we have now accounts that are passed overto debt collection agencies and have court action ebing threatened for non payment.

The situation as it is in the moments are we are a married couple with 2 under 5s and are currently £20k in debt. We were managing to pay our debts off quite confortably til I as made redundant while pregnant with my 2nd child and at the moment with 2 lots of childcare it makes sense for me to stay at home and look after them.

At the moment my husband earn in the region of £750 after tax and NI and we get an additional £500 in tax credits and child benefit.

We live in a council rented house and pay around £60 a week for it. We don't own a car and spend around £80 a month on travel incuding bus fares to work.

Our council tax is £90 a month, gas and electric are £40 a month combined, mobile and home telephons cost around £80 a month, BT line and I'm tied into a contract with T mobile that costs £30 a month and tied in for another few months. Other household bills cost around £50 a month.

Our shopping bill comes to around £250 a month and I'm using cloth nappies and making own babyfood to save money.The clothes are from cheap shops for them.

Our only luxuries are a bottle of wine and a couple of beers a week, 10 fags a day for hubby and a sky tv.

W ave a poor redit ratin so we can't choose 0% deals

The debts we have are a managed loan with HSBC costig £120 a month. £7.5K of cosolidated debt
Egg card £3k paying £60 amonth
Barcaycard £3K payng £34a month (no interest at present )
A&L credi card £1200 paying £20 (no interest)
Nationwide credit card, passed over o det collectors £40 a month
Freemans account £45 a month again with debt collectors
Littlewoods £40 a month, agreed educed payment although still too much
Various other creditors that are asking for around £250 month as well.

What would be suggested?I'd like to avoid bankruptcy as I'm a part qualified accountant and I know the consequences are that I will never be able to pracice



  • mountainofdebt
    mountainofdebt Posts: 7,795 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    There are people on here who can offer far more advice than I can but here's what springs to my mind:

    1) Can you claim housing benefit to help with your rent and in turn your council tax?

    2) Have you thought about becoming a child-minder whilst you are home looking after your brood - although I guess this may have an impact on your tax credits and possibably any extra benefits you may be entitled to.

    3) Do hubby use season tickets for his travel to work?

    4) What sort of telephone package are you on? Is the £30 to T-Mobile included in the £80? If so, if you don't mind me saying £50 is alot of money for a landline each month. Get yourself registered with https://www.18866.com (Gawd I love those people!) and each phone call to a uk landline number will only cost you 2p regardless of how long the phonecall is. Also try and avoid phoning 0845/0870 numbers by finding the alternative number at https://www.saynoto0870.com.

    5) Is there anything you no longer need and can sell on EBAY?

    6) I guess that some would say that you may have to bite the bullet and cut back on the luxuries as well ....hard I know when it seems you have so few pleasures in life but it might have to come to that.
    2014 Target;
    To overpay CC by £1,000.
    Overpayment to date : £310

    2nd Purse Challenge:
    £15.88 saved to date
  • meanmachine_2
    meanmachine_2 Posts: 2,624 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Yeah, ebay is a great way of turning unused possessions into spare cash - and the taxman can't touch you for it. You could see this as your "job" during the day.

    What does your husband do? Is there any way for him to increase his earnings? Driving cabs at night?

    Which Sky package are you on?

    Hubby needs to quit smoking - use these debt worries as a reason. (Or will quitting just cause more worries?). I'm a non-smoker, and the other day just happened to look at the price of fags. a fiver?!!!! Abso shocking. Why do smokers do it? Total rip off. £2.50 for a pack of 10 amounts to £912 a year!!!!!!!

    I think it's a question of cutting right back if you can, experiencing 12 months of pain, to enable you to get debt free. Then stick to a budget so that you can live within your means from that point on.

    And make sure you're claiming everything you're entitled to. I think there are websites that tell you this. Anyone got links?
  • krisskross
    krisskross Posts: 7,677 Forumite
    Freemans and littlewoods are catalogue companies i think. Did you sign an agreement with them? Unless you did I believe the debt is not enforceable........there is a thread about it on the forum somewhere, i just can't seem to find it.
  • Justindebt
    Justindebt Posts: 88 Forumite
    Sorry to hear of your problems, sweetie.

    Tell me, at what stage did Nationwide pass your account to a debt collector?
  • Xbigman
    Xbigman Posts: 3,884 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    Just one tip, whatever you do make sure you pay your rent to the council. I know of one person who let there rent slip several months into the red with out a word from the council until they found eviction proceedings started. Some councils are sh*ts like that.

    Xbigman's guide to a happy life.

    Eat properly
    Sleep properly
    Save some money
  • stellagypsy
    stellagypsy Posts: 416 Forumite
    Sweetie - Re your housing situation - I am not for one moment suggesting that this will be the case for you but I suspect that if you do not take this situation by the scruff of the neck it may get to the point where the rent and council tax are the things you feel are the easiest to not pay. In my experience this can sometimes be the result of being in a multi debt situation. Before this happens please try CHAS (Catholic Housing) - look them up in the phone book, they are a national charity and run a scheme to help people in this type of situation. They will advise you on your benefit entitlement and help you negotiate with your creditors. (you do not have to be Catholic, BTW!). I deal with them a lot through work and they are very knowledgeable and help a lot of people. You could also try CAP (Christians Against Poverty), Barnardos or SureStart as you have young children. Do you have an estate community centre as they sometimes have advice workers that hold surgeries there or they might have some phone numbers of local organisations who can help. Personally, I would go with CHAS.

    Also - I work for Housing and I would advise you that if you feel you are going to experience difficulty paying your rent, you should ring the Housing Office and tell them the full story. If you are going to CHAS (or similar) for help they will be understanding - they may even have an advice worker inthe office, we used to have one but alas not any more. If you don't keep them informed they will possibly start the possession proceedings (the first step is a notice of intent to seek possession being served on you). Likewise with Council Tax, also keep them informed.

    If you do nothing else tomorrow, submit a claim for Housing Benefit. Get 2 proofs of identity for you and husband, proof of your National Insurance numbers, proof of income from all sources (2 monthly or 5 weekly pay slips for hubby) and also 2 month's bank statements and go to the Housing Benefit office with these to make the claim. Also request a backdate to when you were made redundant (don't know if you will get it but you can try for nothing. Say you did not realise you could claim.) Then tell Housing and Council tax. Then ring CHAS.

    Hope this helps - you have taken the first step towards sorting it all out by posting here, wish I had this board available to me when I had big problems several years ago.

    Stella xx
  • H

    Thanks for the response, the housing office are aware of the situation and I am making sure that my rent never goes unpaid for more than a fortnight. As soon as we get paid again we will pay the months rent and council tax I also make sure we have paid the gas and electric and have enough money for food and the essential kids clothes.

    I have found out that we have a drop in centre for the CAB so will be goig there tomorrow to get some face to face advce.

    I'm not totally certain if we will get an housing benefit as our WFTC takes us over threshold but will submit a claim anyway.

    Do you know if I can claim for free school meals and anything towards the cost of my eldests uniform.? But apart from that I think we get all the benefits we are entitled to.

    I have got an application form for a local job that means I can work evenings I am also using ebay to get rid of excess stuff and even went as far as doing a car boot yesteday for all the things that aren't worth selling on ebay.

    We only have the basic sky package which unfortunately was taken out before I was made redundant and again we are still contracted to.

    Hubb uses a season ticket for work which costs £60 month and te rest of our travel expensesare for using the bus to visit my mum and a taxi for our monthly shop so that can't really be reduced.

    I don't know what else I can do now.
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