Too Much Month at the End of the Money! debt Dr
debt Dr Question: If you borrow £4500 on an average high street credit card, with a minimum payment of 3% and an APR of 15.9%, then try to pay off the balance using minimum payments only, how long will it take to pay off the debt? Answer: 19 years (and you’ll repay £7511 during that time.)
debt Dr Being in debt can be a frightening place and for many people it’s all too easy. What makes it all the more stressful is the fact that the whole situation seems very threatening and it’s difficult to know what is going to happen next. That’s why many people tend to bury their heads in the sand once their debt starts going out of control. This really is the worst thing to do.
debt Dr Here are 4 recommendations to help you take control……
debt Dr Know your problem Know your numbers Know your options Know your rights
debt Dr Know your problem Acknowledge where you are in the life of a debt problem. Are you at the beginning and just becoming aware that you might not be able to keep up repayments? If so, now is the time to act. Have you started to miss payments and are beginning to receive letters from your creditors? There is still time to take action and you’ll probably be able to negotiate something without damaging your credit rating too badly.
debt Dr Are you starting to get solicitors letters or has the debt been passed to a credit collection agency? If you ignore things at this stage it begins to get more complicated and the courts can get involved. Have you received a court summons or a County Court Judgment? You need to start talking quickly because soon after this the bailiffs can get active. Don’t worry, wherever you are in this process you can still find a way out. Your next step is to do some maths.
debt Dr Know your numbers In order to take control, you must get a clear picture of your financial position. This is what you will use to negotiate with your creditors. You need to put together an income and expenditure document. What this means is that you need to write out all your income during the month, then write out all your outgoings during the month. At this stage don’t include the repayments you are making to your creditors, you’ll work that out later.
debt Dr Subtract the amount of money you have to spend each month to live from the amount of money you bring in, this is your disposable income. Now add up the minimum monthly payment required for each of the outstanding debts. Take this figure away from the disposable income you’ve calculated. If your disposable income doesn’t cover your minimum repayments then you have to take action as soon as possible.
debt Dr Know your options It’s very easy to let worry cloud your judgment. Be reassured, whatever situation you’re in there is a way out. Your objective is to get out of debt as quickly as possible so be careful before you commit to consolidating your debts or taking out a loan secured against your house. As a general rule if you owe less than £12,000 you should be able to negotiate with creditors yourself and arrange lower repayments over a longer period.
debt Dr If you can prove, with your income and expenditure calculations, that the repayment period is unreasonable you may be able to get them to freeze interest on your account. With debts above £12,000 there are a number of additional options, some of which could enable you to write off on average between 30%-50% of the value of your debt, one of which depending on your situation may enable you to write off the entire debt. The truth is, being in debt is complicated and getting yourself out of debt can be even more so. It is advisable you get professional advice before making any decisions.
debt Dr <ul><li>Solutions to debt. </li></ul><ul><li>Voluntary Arrangement </li></ul><ul><li>Full & Final Settlement </li></ul><ul><li>One off IVA </li></ul><ul><li>Bankruptcy </li></ul><ul><li>Creditors Arrangement </li></ul><ul><li>Debt Relief Order </li></ul>
debt Dr I.V.A. ADVANTAGES Interest frozen Opportunity to write off some of the debt Usually period of 60 months (5 years) Creditors must stop chasing if the arrangement is accepted by 75% of the monetary amount of the debt Court ratified procedure, although no need to attend Discreet solution DISADVANTAGES Regular monthly payments must be met for the period of the arrangement Creditors have the right to vote for or against the proposal Any increase in the equity of a property may have to be realised for the benefit of your creditors during the term Payments may be raised if your income is increased Credit rating is detrimentally affected
debt Dr FULL AND FINAL SETTLEMENT ADVANTAGES Percentage of debts written off Average timescale of 12 - 18 months One off payment No long term arrangements DISADVANTAGES Lump sum is required Negative impact on credit file No guarantee of success Takes a number of months to settle Creditors continue chasing until settled
debt Dr 1-off IVA ADVANTAGES Interest frozen Opportunity to write off some of the debt Quick process (Usually within 6 months) Creditors must stop chasing if the arrangement is accepted by 75% of the monetary amount of the voting debt Court ratified procedure, although no need to attend DISADVANTAGES Lump sum required (normally 25%+) Creditors have the right to vote for or against the proposal The settlement figure needs to be at the value of all realisable assets and there cannot be any disposable income available Credit rating is detrimentally affected
debt Dr BANKRUPTCY ADVANTAGES Debts written off Usually period of 12 months (or less) Creditors must stop chasing their debt Straight forward procedure We will be with you all the way No longer carries the stigma it used to DISADVANTAGES £510 cash payment per person on the day Bankruptcy advertised in press Cannot be a director of a limited company If you borrow £500 or more, the lender (person/company) must be aware you are bankrupt Cannot hold certain positions in the community Your assets are in the hands of the Official Receiver (beneficial interest, 310 order) Credit rating detrimentally affected
debt Dr CREDITOR ARRANGEMENTS ADVANTAGES Releases immediate pressure from creditors Allows time for another solution to be proposed Keeps down monthly expenditure Straightforward procedure to set up DISADVANTAGES Interest on the account may not be frozen Payment period could go on for years Informal arrangement - no legal protection Creditor may use aggressive tactics at any stage
debt Dr DEBT RELIEF ORDERS ADVANTAGES Debts written off Usually period of 12 months (or less) Creditors must stop chasing their debt Straight forward procedure No need to attend court Only £90 cost DISADVANTAGES Unsecured debts must be less than £15,000 Your assets must be worth less than £300 and disposable income less than £50 p/m Cannot be a director of a limited company If you borrow £500 or more, the lender (person/company) must be aware you are subject to a Debt Relief Order Cannot hold certain positions in the community In the last 3 years you must have lived, had a property or carried on a business in England or Wales
debt Dr Know your rights In the short term it’s important you know your rights. It can be easy to find yourself in a position where you are scared to answer the phone in case it’s someone asking for money, or where you feel sick when the post drops through the letterbox. There are guidelines produced by the Office of Fair Trading and laws such as the Consumer Credit Act 1974, the County Courts Act 1984 and the Administration of Justice Act 1970 which are set up to provide you as the consumer with protection.
debt Dr All of them are relevant but the one that protects you most if you are being unduly pressured by your creditors is the law that relates to harassment; SECTION 40 OF THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE ACT 1970 S40 Punishment for the unlawful harassment of Debtors. (1) A person commits an offence if, with the object of coercing another person to pay money claimed from the other as a debt due under a contract he-
debt Dr (a) Harasses the other with demands for payment which in respect of their frequency of the manner or occasion of making any such demand, or of any threat or publicly by which any demand is accompanied, are calculated to subject him or members his family or household to alarm, distress or humiliation; (b) falsely represents, in relation to the money claimed, that criminal proceedings lie for failing to pay it; (c) falsely represents himself to be authorised in some official capacity to claim or enforce payment;
debt Dr ( d) utters a document falsely represented by him to have some official character or purporting to have some official character which he knows it has not. (2) A person may be guilty of an offence by virtue of subsection (1)(a) above if he consorts with others in taking such actions as is described in that paragraph, not withstanding that his own course of conduct does not by itself amount to harassment.
debt Dr With the guidance outlined today you can begin to take control. There is a solution to any debt problem and you can find a way through. The most important thing to remember is that you do not need to take out a secured loan to cover your unsecured debts, there are other options. If you are struggling with your finances, please seek professional help at the earliest opportunity from a company providing all debt solutions.
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