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    • PoorSillyStudent
    • By PoorSillyStudent 15th Apr 18, 10:01 PM
    • 1Posts
    • 0Thanks
    In a pickle
    • #1
    • 15th Apr 18, 10:01 PM
    In a pickle 15th Apr 18 at 10:01 PM

    I'm a mature full-time student who is on a placement year (having gone back to uni in my 30s)...

    During the first year I stayed in halls and the university failed at every opportunity to fix any issues with the accomodation (mould, broken lights etc) so I told them I'd not pay till they fixed it - well they let the term end, and the next academic year begin then sent solicitor letters demanding money. As a student I couldn't afford what they were asking...

    Fast forward to Masten group getting involved and them getting a High Court Writ and sending their menacing letters.

    I made a very fair offer 100 a month while I was on placement and then 50 a month after - and that was accepted, then I made a mistake with the standing order. Two weeks after the first payment was due I got a phone-call saying I'd not paid "Oh, I'm sorry... I must have made a mistake I could pay that installment over the phone then call the bank ..." to which they said "nope, we can't accept any deals and will now seek to possess your stuff"

    While I don't have enough things* to satisfy the debt and in a few months time I'll not have employment (and planning on a PhD so wont be a proper earner for 4-5 years, so I don't mind being bankrupt or doing a DRO) I am currently staying with my mother... I'm not on the tenancy, I don't pay rent (train into london daily takes all my money), and I'm worried about the bailffs coming to take her stuff (how DO you prove you own absolutely everything in your home).

    Normally I'd assume - they've not been in, so as long as I don't let them in, they have no power - the agreement entered into was over the phone (though he said he was meant to come to the property - and from what I've read, he was legally obiliged to do so and create a list of goods for the control order)... but because this is the "second stage" I'm worried that whatever bailiff is sent will assume that he's got rights of access and barge in anyway

    Making proper offers to Marsten seems unlikely as I'm only gainfully employed for a few months more before going back to being a student getting the 9k a year in student loans.

    *I have one thing of value - a computer, which as a computer science student I need for study - how do I prove its value? IT was bought in bits from ebay over quite some time.

    In total I think I have about 6000 of other debts and the debt now with Marsten is over 5000 so I'm hardly a great candidate for bankruptcy, but I don't see many other options

    What do I do to control my spiraling debt issue, knowing that I'm unlikely to have a proper income for years?
    What do I do about the HCEO/bailiff types at the door?
    What do I do to make sure my mother doesn't lose all her stuff because of my screw-up?
    Can bailffs do their thing here if I'm not the tenant?

Page 1
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 15th Apr 18, 10:50 PM
    • 16,448 Posts
    • 15,555 Thanks
    • #2
    • 15th Apr 18, 10:50 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Apr 18, 10:50 PM
    Just keep the doors locked, they cannot force entry to private property for that kind of debt.

    Proving who owns stuff involves finding receipts for anything of value, not letting them in, avoids this problem.

    Enquire about a DRO, you may well qualify.

    Try the stepchange website.
    Last edited by sourcrates; 15-04-2018 at 10:52 PM.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".

    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to Any views are mine and not the official line of

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
  • National Debtline
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 18, 12:28 PM
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 18, 12:28 PM
    Hi there

    As sourcrates explains, HCEOs cannot force entry for this type of debt (unless they have been inside previously to list your goods). You could get a sworn statement (called a statutory declaration) to confirm what goods in the property are yours, but there really is no need as long as you keep the doors locked and do not let the HCEO in. Make sure your mother is aware of this too. You don't mention a car, but if you do have one keep it hidden until the matter has been resolved.

    You could apply for a stay of execution through the high court. That is where you can ask the high court to stop the HCEOs collecting the debt on the basis you stick to an agreed payment plan. There is a 50 fee to apply but you may not have to pay this if you are on a low income. You'll find more information on this here

    I'd suggest contacting one of the free debt advice agencies to talk through the process, and look at other options such as a DRO, which sounds like it could be more suitable than bankruptcy. I hope it all goes well.

    We work as money advisers for National Debtline and have specific permission from MSE to post to try to help those in debt. Read more information on National Debtline in MSE's Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help guide. If you find you're struggling with debt and need further help try our online advice tool My Money Steps
    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 16th Apr 18, 1:54 PM
    • 5,638 Posts
    • 6,944 Thanks
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 18, 1:54 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 18, 1:54 PM
    Who owns the halls of residence? My university had the nasty stick that they would not let you graduate if you owed them money. A while back and probably a different university, but it might be worth checking on your small print for this sort of thing.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
    • DCFC79
    • By DCFC79 16th Apr 18, 2:19 PM
    • 33,618 Posts
    • 21,157 Thanks
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 18, 2:19 PM
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 18, 2:19 PM
    Tell your mother to only speak to them (if they do call ) through say a window or the letter box. They wont take your mothers car if its in her name.
    • luvsmoothies
    • By luvsmoothies 16th Apr 18, 2:38 PM
    • 546 Posts
    • 367 Thanks
    • #6
    • 16th Apr 18, 2:38 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Apr 18, 2:38 PM
    theoretica makes an important point. It's usually in the terms and conditions of enrolment to the university that if a student owes any money to the university after the course ends, then that student will not graduate.
    • andydownes123
    • By andydownes123 16th Apr 18, 3:34 PM
    • 477 Posts
    • 623 Thanks
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 18, 3:34 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 18, 3:34 PM
    I know this probably doesn't help, but what did you expect from university halls of residence? I know some of them can be pretty nice, but on the whole they're neglected and built to withstand vomit and parties, rather than be palatial. The toilets in mine were more akin to prison/school toilets and the communal kitchen was pretty rank at times.
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