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My debt saga- what to do next?


My Credit Chaos, confessions and consequencies.


I’m compiling this after several weeks of trying sort out my 20+ years financial mess an gather my spinning thoughts into some legible order. Not sure what is relevant but here goes.



1. From approx. 2003 to 2017 I accrued some £72,000 worth of debt (still the same balance today)- created by twelve credit cards and one current a/c..

2. The debts are all in my name. The mortgage is joint with my wife and I.

 3. My £72k of debt consists of 13 defaulted a/c’s. All opened 2003-2007 except for a long term TSB current a/c from 1970’s??

4. Three of these a/cs are still with original creditor the rest sold/managed to DCAs

5. Out of the 13 a/cs I still make £1pm token payments to 6 of them.

6. The remaining 7 a/c’s I have not made any payment to since my aggrement with Stepchange fell thro. All 7 still keep in touch with me but I’ve never acknowledge them.

7. The 13 defaulted balances vary between £750 - £13100, (£22,200 over 3 Barclay cards. Many of the original cards I obtained were, I think, taken over by other credit card Companies. I still have a lot of old statements)

8. According to CRAs the a/c’s defaulted 2018 ish (when I started with Citizens Advice).

9. I have had some refunds (my records are inconsistant) amounting to around £400.

10. The interest has been frozen since 2017.

11. I also have a mortgage with only a few years to go.


Other bits of info:-

12. All my recent info has been gathered from Clearscore and Transunion CRA’s. Older info from my paper trail of statements, notes and Experian going back 20 ish years.

13. I have been with Citizens Advice (started Feb 2017 until redundancy that year).

14. Then with Stepchange (2018 again redundancy). My thanks to these wonderful folKs. Since then I’ve hidden away.

My options?:-

15(£72k debt, 13  accounts, 6 still paid, 7 not paid since july 2019 but all write to me,  all defaulted 2018 ish, got a mort and funds to pay debt off, majority of credit sold on/managed).

 16. I can pay them off in full in full as I have my Mum an Dads inheritance. I do not want to as it was my wife and I whom caused the debt- not my parents or children. As a self employed person its also much of my pension fund. My wife and I are 60 an 61 resp .

17.  Irresponsible lending. I know my borrowing was utterly irresponsible and I always have the consequences somewhere in my mind but, what about their morals??  - I certainly done a lot of balance transfers raising funds on one card in order to pay off another in a never-ending escalating spiral.

18 (Incredible how these companies seemed to encourage/had a blind eye to balance transfers. Keep it in the family I suppose).

19. Credit limits were raised by these companies (along with discounted offers of booze perhaps to drown one's sorrows with?!?) and its not in my nature to lie about income.

20(I currently have three credit cards from Barclay opened from 2003-2004 with over £22k debt on them (I think my original applications may have been for other cards, ie midland bank/goldfish or whatever then subsequently taken over by Barclay. Dont know how to find out.)

21. As most of my debts have been managed/sold on and accounts aging should I ask for proof of dept ownership?

22. Full and final settlements (We have a mortgage, the house has a market value £110k? but 26 years of family wear, still £13k left to pay)

23. I’ve always lived in Scotland.

A few q’s:-

24. Default dates, as listed on CRAs, are they accurate?

25. Irresponsible Lending? Debt ownership evidence? Statute bared? Negotiating reduced full an Final offers (but have asset with our mortgage)?

26. Many of the original cards I obtained were, I think, taken over by other credit card Companies. I still have a lot of old statements.


Why, how and excuses?:

27. A career change age late 30’s around year 2000 an children arriving. New career/retraining not progressing so well, severance gone, funding the family..................not borrowed since 2017 but damage done. Still odd period of unemployment. Diagnosis ADHD at age 56(Ah. So that’s why i’m like this) but a recent heart attack has focused ones thoughts.


If anybody has the time and can make sense of my above story I’d appreciate any feedback- morally, spiritually or advice.


Yours knackered but now feeling a bit better-



  • fatbelly
    fatbelly Posts: 20,962 Forumite
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    edited 20 November 2023 at 5:07PM
    Para 23 - you live in Scotland

    Para 6  and 15- there are 7 accounts you haven't paid since 2019.

    These will go statute barred next year so i'd be inclined to leave them alone.


    On the other 6 i'd start by doing cca requests


  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 33,127 Forumite
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    Real pity you've been paying the £1 a month as most of this would be statute barred by now, which is more use in Scotland than England.

    Suggest you stop paying anything and send CCA letters (or the Scottish equivalent). A lot of debts issued prior to 2009 were non compliant then.

    Make sure you bank with someone with whom you have no debt, so check the bank groups.

    A lot of these will be non compliant and can be written off.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • EssexHebridean
    EssexHebridean Posts: 21,716 Forumite
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    edited 20 November 2023 at 5:16PM
    Well statute barred in Scotland applies after 5 years IIRC, so keeping your head down on the ones that defaulted in 2019 for a bit longer is something to consider for those.

    I'm guessing that those who know more than me on that side of things will definitely vote for sending CCA requests on those that you HAVE been making payments to. (Not on those that you haven't though!)

    You're no longer using credit, that's one good ting for sure. I take it that means you also have a god solid household budget, save for things like Christmas, holidays and car replacements, and you have a robust emergency fund in place?

    You are likely a good candidate for Full & Finals - that's for sure. As a rule we'd warn people off using lump sums to clear debt, but your case is a little bit different in that you have already addressed the issues that caused the debt in the first place - so it might well be that approaching those creditors who you are paying and who can produce a valid CCA with a low F&F would be a decent strategy. The mortgage/house is irrelevant for the purposes of informal debt arrangements so don't worry about that aspect.

    As for not wanting to use the inheritance, it really comes down to how much you want to have this hanging over your head for years to come otherwise - do you really think your kids (or come to that, your parents!) would want to think of that? (And if the answer as far as the kids go is "yes" then clear the debt with it, and leave the rest to the cats home!) 
    🎉 MORTGAGE FREE (First time!) 30/09/2016 🎉 And now we go again…New mortgage taken 01/09/23 🏡
    Balance as at 01/09/23 = £115,000.00
    Balance as at 31/12/23 = £112,000.00
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  • sourcrates
    sourcrates Posts: 29,376 Ambassador
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    After 5 years of no written acknowledgement or payment, debts become prescribed in Scotland, the law is much more succinct on the subject up there, the debts are written off, and no longer exist.

    So the accounts not acknowledged since 2019, keep doing so.

    CCA requests are a must on the debts you have been paying, find out what is enforceable, and what is not.

    Any that cannot provide compliant paperwork can literally be ignored until they too become prescribed by statute.
    You are then free to settle any remaining accounts for as little as you possibly can.
    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 forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. 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
  • Hello. Thank-you all for taking the time reply to my saga. Heartwarming.

    Slow progress but doing CCAs to the companies I have been paying.

    Qs. I usedfatbelly's link for the forms. Is it only the CCA form( not the data pro) that is sent?
    . Do I send forms to the companies managing or owning debts?
    . For payment should it be a £1 Postal order payee bit left blank?

    (Hope my q's arn't to daft)

  • fatbelly
    fatbelly Posts: 20,962 Forumite
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    Yes to all that.

    I'd write to whoever is writing.- If it' s just a collector they should pass it on
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