So I am in my final 9 months of my IVA and was sold from Vanguard to Ebenegate.
They called me in December to tell me they had done an I&E review due to a change of circumstances that I had submitted and according to them I could not afford the payments due to cost of living.
Did I want a payment break, I said no but could they do an affordability review with a view to reducing the payments without extension to my time.
This is where things have gone horribly wrong....
On the 4th December I received a phone call stating that our income and expenditure was at -£108 per month due to cost of living and my current income and expenditure amounts.
They then proceeded to tell me that I would need a creditor meeting to reduce my payment down to the minimum of £117 per month. I was asked if I wanted a payment break to which I said ‘no’ because I only had 9 months left on the IVA and didn’t want it extended any further.
I had been paying £175 per month for the last 5 months due to me asking for a review in June due to cost of living. I was under impression that this was my new monthly amount as an IVA is supposed to support your current financial position, not make you worse off.
December the 15th I had a further phone call telling me my account was in arrears and that a creditor review had been requested. I was confused as to why my account would be in arrears as I had only requested a one month payment break throughout the last 5 years and that was authorised and I had added that extra month onto my budget. I was informed I would need to extend my IVA by 4 months for it not to fail. As you can imagine I am completely confused now as to how this has got to this position. I asked them to go away and review this and let me know why I am 4 months in arrears they never got back to me. I also asked them to proceed with the creditor review for minimum payment without extension.
January 1st 2023 they took full original payment out of my account not the £175 I had been expecting. As you can understand I was upset and confused as to why this had happened. I was then informed me that this was due to me not paying my full amount for the last 5 months. Which I wasn’t aware that this would happen as far as I was concerned the £175 was my payment amount as per the decision the company made in June. To confirm I have no control over the amount that comes out of my account that was set up by ebenegate, I was not happy about initially setting up this type of payment for this exact reason that they can just take any amount that they want.
So to summarise so far
- Asked for a review in June 2022
- Was told I could pay £175 which is actually a 22% reduction in payment
- Was not made aware that this would put me in arrears
- Told by ebenegate on the 4th December that I could not afford the £175 payment due to cost of living
- Asked if I wanted a payment break which I refused due to only having 9 payments left
- I asked for a review to the minimum payment without extension, was told this had to go through creditors which I agreed to
- 15th December told the account was in arrears and would need to be extended by 4 months to complete, again was confused as to why as I had always paid the amount I was asked to by Ebenegate
- 1st January £225 payment taken from my account when I was expecting £175 to be taken.
- 3rd January told that Ebenegate could only reduce the payment amount by 15% and for up to 6 months without a creditor review which is why full payment was taken
- £175 is a 22% reduction and the reduced level could have been taken in January as well as August – January is 6 months. So Ebenegate has breach their own rules, my payment should have been £191 without a creditor meeting which would be 15% so either they had a creditor meeting and took to much money in January or did not have a creditor meeting and breached their own rules
- I was told at first on the 3rd January that the creditor meeting would be in a few days then told it was the 26th of January so inconsistency in communication
- I was not made aware that paying a reduced amount would put me in arrears, it was treated as this is your new payment amount going forward.
- One month payment break and 5 months of the top up from £175 to £225 is £50 a month so a total of £250. That would total a maximum of £475 which is only just over 2 months payment so unsure why an extension of 4 months would be applied.
- Was informed that ebenegate were not in receipt of my file from when you took it over from Vanguard.
I have had no reply to any emails from them
On phone I asked for SAR which they said they had put through, I had also asked for someone to call me to let me know what they would be proposing in the creditor meeting. Neither of these things were done. I called back on the 23rd of January to find out why I had had no communication from them. They stated that the SAR request was not done I have had to re email them with regards to this and it is now being processed but will be 30 days from the date of my email on 23rd not initial call on 3rd January. They have admitted due diligence has not been followed with process and have taken a reduced amount of £117 for January and February.
However I have had an email stating that my creditor review will be done on 20th February not the 2 dates in January I was told due to their paperwork not being done and that I have agreed to extend the IVA by 9 months. I have absolutely 100% NOT agreed to this. In fact its the one thing that I have been very strong about throughout that I did not want the IVA extended at all.
Further to this my final 8 payments come to £1800 or if agreed with the minimum payment would be £936.
As a company they have already informed me that due to the cost of living crisis which is not predicted to end before the summer of 2023 and that’s a generous estimate that I am minus £108 every month. My circumstances financially will not be changing any time soon.
I cannot get hold of the IVA company and they do not communicate well with me or each other, departments do not talk to each other. They do not reply to any of my emails and when I call they are always on 'other calls'
I just want a fair payment for the final 9 payments and I want this gone from my life and I am now feeling like this is going to be hanging over my head for another year due to their complete lack of competence.
I have always informed them of changes, paid what they asked and feel like because its so close to the end its now becoming an issue.
I do not know what information is right as there is such conflicting information and I do not trust them to have my best interests.
If anyone has had a similar situation or if anyone has any suggestions as to who I could go to for advice I would very much appreciate it
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