Anyway out of this for me?

If anyone has time out there to read the about the mess I am in and tell me what to do first, I would be grateful.

I am at the point where I am struggling to see any way out of this.
First off, without arrears and debts being paid, my outgoings are higher than my income.

How did I get here – many ways, the biggest being I have had manic spending sprees most of my adult life from undiagnosed manic depression (bipolar disorder). I went years undiagnosed, remortgage after remortgage, more episodes where I thought I had Joan Collins income, more debts, divorce lots of things but the main one bipolar disorder.

I have robbed peter to pay paul for years, had a salary so could keep remortgaging, finally had the massive nervous breakdown, lost my well paid job and here I am. My last bout of mania found me taking out 3 mobile 18 month phone contracts and signing up for sky. Phones have 11 months to go, Sky 5 months.

I have sold every item not necessary for me and my family, but no where near covered what I paid for them, and when you have no money for food, I took what I could get.

My highs have been stabilised with medication but the depression associated with the illness and subsequent reaping what I sewed in my many years of madness is at a record level.

I am currently a student on a NVQ retraining to earn a living that will fit around my illness, will be able to earn in approx 6 months. I have 2 payments of £400 coming from a Grant between now and June

My income * please see bit about CSA under out goings – disability living allowance, incapacity benefit, child tax credit and child benefit – this comes to £1201 per calendar months.


Normal monthly mortgage payment - £513 (rising in 11 months after fixed term to 2% above base rate).
Council tax - £85 (with single parent reduction – don’t study enough hours to get it free, nor am I social nuisance enough to claim on the grounds of my manic depression, despite having a 4 strong psychiatric team)
Contents and buildings insurance £21
Gas - £50 (including £10 for catchup)
Elec £55 (inclucing £10 catchup)
Water £35
TV Licence £13
Contract phones - £105
Car insurance £25
Petrol £100 – college is 160 miles per week
Food (me and 2 teenagers) - £260
Sky £21
Internet £14.99
BT £35
Credit debts on debt management £86.01 (approx £30,000)

Total outgoings £1451
Total income £1201
Equal Minus £250

Mortgage arrears by next week £1400

My income should also include a whopping £1000 a month from the CSA. My children’s father was put on a deductions of earnings order but since June the employer has only sent 4 payments in – August payment is missing and now Novembers. The CSA don’t seem bothered saying taking the employer to court is not worth their while because big employers are not scared of a £1000 fine. But if they have taken it from his wages and not passed it on then I think they have stolen it. My ex husband is quite high up within the company (hence large maintenance award) and he knows CSA law inside out so he will have imparted his knowledge to the payroll dept without a doubt but I cant help thinking that there is a criminal element to this, not purely a civil child support case. The £1000 includes arrears at £400 a month for the next 20 months. I am on the phone to them day in day out and it has been like this for most of the time I have been involved with them. I am at my wits end

If I sell my house and pay of all my debts then I could be left with up to £22000 depending on what I get for the house, this is not enough for me to go an buy somewhere cheaper - cheapest property for me and my family (all bedroom sharing) would be ex local authority flat at £90,000 - so I would still need a mortgage for £68000 (currently £115000 - fixed term goes up Dec 08 and payment increase even more) and no one is going to give me a mortgage with my credit rating and no salary

Beginning to panic.

If I sell I will have made myself homeless so no council house, if I let company repossess I will probably loose money and may not be able to pay off the credit debts.

I cant get a private tenancy because I cant get a financial reference and 6 month tenancies and the insecurity will mean upset for the kids and my mad mind doesn’t cope too well with stress

If I had the CSA money I would have an additional £750 a month to reduce my credit debts - in 20 months that would be £15000, I could do full and final settlement on the smaller debs just out of one months money. By then I would be able to do some repair to my credit rating, I will have an income so could sell and get a smaller place and mortgage - – god does all this make any sense anymore?

This has turned out to be so long but I can’t think straight right now to know what I should be doing, I don’t know where to start – oh I emailed my MP over the holidays complaining about the CSA, I have done that.

I have got £300 in the bank, no food cos I am afraid to buy it, I have cancelled a load of direct debits so I don’t get charged when the bounce, the main one being my mortgage and I cant get hold of anyone half decent in the CSA until new year


  • southernscouser
    OK, first things first. You need to prioritise your payments.

    Council tax

    They are all your top priorities. If you have money for nothing else, make sure you have money for these.

    Do you have any secured loans? If so these need to be added to the above list.

    I haven't included water in this list because legally they aren't allowed to disconnect you. However, I would advise you make payments to that aswell!

    What arrears do you have for the electric and gas?

    I'd also get in contact with CAB about the CSA. I'm amazed that they show no interest. Are you given a designated person to deal with who might be totally inept? :confused:

    As for the mobile phones. Can you at least reduce the tarrifs to the cheapest possible? If they refuse perhaps explaining your situation to them! Do you still have the mobiles? If so try ebaying them? If they are lastest models you might be able to get enough to make a dent in paying the line rental or if it is reduced, maybe all of it! :think:

    Don't worry, you have come to the right place and you will sort this out. Stick around and it will all start to become second nature and even an obsession! :)
  • mummytofour
    mummytofour Posts: 2,636 Forumite
    You need help fast with regard to the morgage arrears, have you made any payments in the last few months? I think that a call to shelter would be a good idea, keeping you roof over your head is a MUST and to stay where you are would be the nicest solution in your case.

    I know somebody will be along soon who knows more than me.
    Take care
    Debt free and plan on staying that way!!!!
  • Need_To_Sort_It
    Oh god this is awful

    Yes paid a lot off mortgage arrears from the money I got in July, Spet Oct and Nov, but it didnt get the arrears down cos I went months and months with no money from CSA and made lower payments knowing the deductions of earning order was coming.

    CAB in this rural area - crap used to work for them, I was a paid welfare benefits officer with them when I had my breakdown, aside form the fact the only one who is not a a volunteer octogenarian with no formal training is the manager who doesnt do casework of any sort, I could not face going to see them there now I am officially nuts. Nearest other one is 40 miles away, and with trained staff so yes could go there.

    I know a bit about CSA law from my job, but not enough, I have done the complaints procedure to death over the years, hence my letter to my MP, I guess I need to find someone who has in depth knowledge of CSA law, a solicitor maybe on the Legal Aid scheme - or whatever its called now???
  • southernscouser
    Does your ex have any contact with your children? Just trying to understand how much of an @sshole he is. :)

    Hopefully someone else will post who is more knowledgable of the CSA coz I'm afraid I haven't got a scooby. :undecided

    Check out the Oldstyle board for tips on how to reduce your grocery bill. They are all very helpful and knowledgable.

    Who is your debt management plan with?
  • Need_To_Sort_It
    Right sorry, need to compose myself.

    No secured loans, a large unsecured at £20,000 but they never mentioned a charging order or anything they take £46 a month in payment. The others are smaller, I dont even know the full amounts anymore, I negotiated with them a year ago using a budget sheet when I got divorced yes I did it twice)and had a smaller CSA payment

    Will contact mobile phone people, I dont care if I dont have mine and go on payg, the other 2 were for the kids, so dont really want to alert them to this desperate situation, but can reduce their tarfiif hopefully and they would not even miss it. I can sell my handset no problem. I got the kids theirs as their 'earnings' for all the jobs they do for me to help me stay well and go back to school and I could not ask them to do the same without telling them of this. They have not seen their dad from the day he left all those years ago so to explain why I was so poor right now could open a can of worms I cant deal with.

    My Gas and elec was switched to the cheapest in my area started off at £35 each but they tell me its not enough so they upped it.
  • Need_To_Sort_It
    Well I did a signature, great init *sigh*

    My plan over the next few days -
    1. Find my paperwork for all creditors and tell them all I cant afford to pay them anything for a while.
    2. Work on my basic shopping list and cut it down by half.
    3. See if I can get my mobile phone tariffs down.
    4. Find stuff to sell on eBay
    5. Find out how to deal with CSA properly
    What else? Is this a good start? I hope it is - an hour ago I was ready to walk out and keep on going
  • southernscouser
    Are you currently with a debt management company to pay your debts? :think:
  • Need_To_Sort_It
    No I'm not, last year when I got divorced I used the Dealing With Your Debts booklet I had, did a budget sheet and sent it off, they all accepted.
  • southernscouser
    No I'm not, last year when I got divorced I used the Dealing With Your Debts booklet I had, did a budget sheet and sent it off, they all accepted.

    OK thats good. Have they all frozen interest and charges etc?

    So, do you have a plan of action at all? I know you said you have £300 in your account. What does this need to pay? When do you get paid again and when is your mortgage due?

    Now is the time to start taking control of your money again rather than letting it control you. :)
  • In_Search_Of_Me
    Hi there! Firstly big hugs for you! As ou may know manic spending is an element of bipolar. Do you have a social worker and can the local authority deal with your finances for you? There are people in each local authority who can act on your behalf I suggest that you ring your CMT (community psychiatric team) to discuss this if you havent already got a social worker and get one asap. There is absolutely no shame in this! You are very vulnerable and I would suggest that you get some help sorting this to avoid another breakdown. Your ex would also find it more difficult to refuse payment to a government official as they would take control ofyour finances for you! Have a read of this
    which explains more.
    Alteratively ring sCCCS for sme help & advice as a matter of priority. I would suggest social services first though...They may also be able to get your mobiles stopped as you were effectively unable to sign a contract, in legal terms, at that time due to the effects of bipolar but the phone cos will always try to wriggle out but find it more difficult again when dealing with the government who know the law inside out so harder for them to wriggle!!
    Keep posting & keep us posted!
    Nerd no 109 Long haulers supporters DFW #1! Even in the darkest moments, love and hope are always possible.

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