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Breathing Space From Bailiffs

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Breathing Space From Bailiffs

In a victory for common sense, Theresa May is set to introduce a so-called ‘breathing space’ for those struggling with debts.

This manifesto will offer a six-week breathing space for those people who are struggling with serious debts. During this six-week period you are able to organise your finances and put a plan of repayment together, without being chased for repayment or worry about bailiffs or creditors taking legal action against you.

May’s manifesto is considered a move for her to come good on her promises to help working families who are “just managing”. Following the snap election of 2016, she said that for an “ordinary working class family” life is “much harder than many people in Westminster realise”.

An HM treasury Spokesperson said: “We are committed to helping people overwhelmed by debt by giving them the time they need to seek advice and get their lives back on track.”

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With six-week breathing space, you will find yourself in a better position to without worrying about further interest and charges.

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The creditors are more likely to be repaid their money, if you have time to better organise your finances and arrange a repayment scheme.

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The country as a whole will benefit as there are many problems caused as a result of debt – not least mental problems for the individual concerned.

Northern Rail Chaos Compensation

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Northern Rail Chaos Compensation

A scheme to compensate customers affected by this year’s rail chaos in northern England has been announced. The scheme allows passengers to claim beyond the normal Delay Repay scheme. The amount of money you may able to reclaim varies according to how much the route travelled was affected.

Passengers must have evidence of travelling on at least 12 days in a 28-day window for the most disrupted routes, and three days in a seven-day window for the second tier of routes.

The scheme was originally limited to season ticket holders, but it has been brokered with Transport for the North to include anyone who travelled during this period (you need proof) and covers disruption before and after timetables were changed on May 20.

If you believe you have a cause for compensation, visit the rail company’s website for more information. Claims can be submitted from October 9 2018 for eight weeks.

Transport Focus chief executive Anthony Smith said: “We have long made the case that regular passengers – such as part-time workers – affected by timetable disruption deserve compensation.

“Widening compensation to non-season ticket holders who travel regularly is a welcome step in rebuilding passengers’ trust.

“It’s now important that train companies actively encourage passengers to claim and make it both quick and easy to do so.”

Katie Hopkins Files For An IVA

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Katie Hopkins Files For An IVA

Controversial figure, Katie Hopkins, has taken out an IVA to manage her debts, after losing a six-figure libel case. She applied for the IVA in May, as a way to avoid entering bankruptcy, and her application was agreed following a meeting of her creditors.

Ms. Hopkins seems to be struggling for money recently, after losing a libel case to food writer Jack Monroe, her lucrative Mail Online work dried up late last year, shortly following losing her job at LBC radio. She spent £1,000,000 on a luxury mansion earlier this year, quickly selling it at a loss after just three weeks.

Ironically, Katie Hopkins shared her (obviously idiotic) opinion regarding people in debt, stating: ‘The only thing people in debt have in common other than bad money management, is an ability to blame anyone but themselves. #debtdebate’

IVA - Individual Voluntary Arrangement

Hopefully, her current situation will help her realise that anyone can find themselves in debt or struggling with money, through no fault of their own.

Jack Monroe revealed that Katie has now paid the £24,000 in damages she was told to hand over after a judge ruled she’d caused “serious harm” to Jack’s reputation with a tweet she posted in May 2015.

She had written: “@MsJackMonroe scrawled on any memorials recently? Vandalised the memory of those who fought for your freedom. Grandma got any more medals?”

Hopkins’ tweet, Jack said, implied she had either vandalised a war memorial or “condoned or approved” of the criminal damage to the memorial – something that was clearly untrue as Katie had confused Jack with another campaigner.

Jack asked Hopkins to apologise on Twitter, but she refused – resulting in Jack consulting a legal team and filing a complaint of defamation against her.

The court case ended in March 2017 with a jubilant Jack – and a bill of £107,000 in costs that Hopkins was instructed to pay within 28 days.

What is an IVA?

An IVA (individual voluntary arrangement) is a legal procedure for people in financial difficulties with unsecured debts. It is a legal agreement between you and your creditors to only pay what you can actually afford to pay off your debts. The arrangement will stop any further interest and charges being added to your debts, and normally lasts 60 months (although occasionally 72). You will be legally required to pay the agreed monthly payment, and at the end of five years anything remaining (up to 80%!) will be legally written off.

Martin Lewis Money Show

By | Financial Help, News

Martin Lewis Money Show

Money Saving Expert’, Martin Lewis, is hosting his live show in Liverpool in September, and is looking for your questions!

On Tuesday September 25th at St George’s Hall in Liverpool,Martin Lewis is answering your questions LIVE.

  • Concerned about energy prices?
  • Worried about bills at Christmas?
  • Need to know how to switch and save?

Your Money Questions Answered

To apply to be on the show email your details and question to martinlewis@itv.com (Last date for application is 23.59 on Monday 24th September 2018).

Martin Lewis Money Show

Appear on the Show

If you just want to be in the audience, tickets are completely free and available from the Applause Store.

Debt Questions

In the meantime, if you have any questions about debt, why wait until September? Talk to one of our trained advisers today!

There is no charge for our help and advice, and absolutely no obligation to use any of the services we may suggest to you. So what have you got to lose? Just answer a few simple questions and we’ll call you back.

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Wonga ‘Collapse’

By | Financial Help, News

The well-known payday loan company, Wonga, is apparently on the brink of collapse according to reports.

Due to the large amount of compensation claims for misselling, Wonga’s shareholders had to invest £10 million to keep the company afloat. However, it is rumoured that the news of this simply encouraged claims management companies to claim compensation for misselling payday loans to their clients; the complaints being that Wonga targeted vulnerable customers and charged exorbitant interest on their short-term loans.

A spokesperson from Wonga stated. “The Wonga board continues to assess all options regarding the future of the group.”

I Have A Wonga Loan. What Does This Mean?

Wonga are currently not in administration, and therefore you should continue to repay them as you normally would. However, if you are struggling to meet repayments, you should contact our trained advisers who can help you with your financial situation.

Do not simply stop paying, Wonga are still up and running, and if you miss repayment you will be charged their missed payment fee of £15.

What If They Go Into Administration?

If Wonga should enter into administration, its administrators will almost definitely sell on your loan to another company, in order to try and make as much money as they possibly can to repay their creditors. In short, you’ll still have to pay, but it will be to another company.

What About Wonga Compensation Claims?

If you are in the process of making a claim against Wonga, then your claim will be processed as usual, however if you they do enter into administration, your claim be added to the list of creditors to be repaid. If Wonga does into administration, you will no longer be able to make new claims of misselling against Wonga.

If you have taken out a payday loan with Wonga (or any other payday loan company) and you are struggling to repay it, then contact us now, and you could possibly write off up to 80% of your unsecured debts.

There is no fee for our advice, and there is absolutely no obligation for you to use any of the solutions we may suggest to you. So what have you got to lose? Simply fill in the form below and we’ll call you back.

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Debt Levels Rise Across UK

By | Financial Help, News

Debt Levels Rise Across UK

Citizens Advice, have recently revealed that UK households are in debt on their essential bills, to a total of £18.9 BILLION!

These essential bills are things such as council tax, and non-payment of which can have serious consequences including seizure of goods, loss of service, or even loss of home. These debts have lead to an increase in the use of bailiffs in order to collect the payments, and in turn, have lead to an increase of complaints against bailiffs.

Falling behind in your household bills can lead to extortionate interest and charges from the service provider, which in turn lead to greater debt, greater inability to repay, and greater stress and worry. However, there is no need to worry, contact our trained advisers and see what they can do to help.

Bailiff Help

Citizens Advice particularly highlight the case of a man receiving cancer treatment who missed a £30 parking fine and then found that bailiffs had let themselves into his home and were removing possessions.

Cleaning Up The Industry

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) have announced a call for evidence on bailiffs and their tactics and will take necessary action to ‘clean up the industry’.

Russell Hamblin-Boone, chief executive of the Civil Enforcement Association has said, “A visit by an enforcement agent is always the last resort. Agents are highly trained and must follow a process set out in detailed regulations to ensure that they collect unpaid council tax and court fines fairly,

“The fees that are added to the outstanding debt are fixed by government and anyone owing money to the council will receive calls, letters, emails and texts and an opportunity to set up a payment plan.

“We work closely with the voluntary sector and under the regulations people are sign posted to debt advice, which accounts for the increase in numbers. But if anyone has strong evidence of bad practice we will investigate.”

Richard Watts, from the Local Government Association, said: “No council wants to have to debt collect from its residents, particularly from people on low incomes, but local authorities have a duty to their residents to collect taxes which fund essential services, such as protecting vulnerable children, caring for the elderly, collecting bins, and keeping roads maintained.

“It is essential that vital services are protected and that these funds are collected.”

Help With Bailiffs

If you are having trouble repaying any debts, or are having to deal with bailiffs, then talk to our friendly advisers now. All of our advice is without charge, and there is absolutely no obligation to use any of the services suggested to you, so what have you got to lose? Complete this simple form now!

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Scottish Personal Insolvencies Rise

By | Financial Help, News

Scottish Personal Insolvencies Rise

A recent report from Accountants in Bankruptcy (AiB) has shown that personal insolvencies rose during the the first quarter of the financial year (April – June).  AiB report that there were  3,208 bankruptcies and protected trust deeds during this period, a rise of 12% on the same period last year.

Protected Trust Deeds

Protected trust deeds made up well over half of these with 1,972 approved applications. This is a massive rise of 28% on the previous year. A protected trust deed is a legally-binding arrangement whereby you can repay your debts over four years. The rise in popularity may be down to the fact that a trust deed will clear you of debts, and whilst not an easy option, it has less harsh consequences than those of bankruptcy. This is shown by the fall in bankruptcies of 7%.

The debt arrangement scheme, which allows Scottish residents to repay their debts without insolvency action, rose again with 648 applications approved.

You can learn more about debt solutions for Scottish residents here.

Scottish Debt Help

Richard Dennis, AiB’s chief executive said, “While the numbers of individuals entering insolvency continues to be much lower than 10 years ago, these figures clearly illustrate personal insolvencies [in Scotland] remain on an upward trend from the first quarter of 2015-16.

“With consumer borrowing now surpassing the levels seen before the 2008 crash, we are leading an ambitious programme of reform to make sure the debt solutions offered by the Scottish government remain relevant in today’s society.”

Saving Poundstretcher

By | News

Saving Poundstretcher

As you know, if you are struggling with debts, then it’s a good idea to budget and try to make every pound go that little bit further. Part of this is shopping at places like Poundstretcher (and even if you’re not on a strict budget, everyone loves a bargain!). Now Channel 4 are screening a documentary that shows the difficulties in running one of Britain’s oldest discount stores in this age when big companies are going bust.

The program follows former Poundworld boss as he is brought back into the company to try to help save the struggling company. Unfortunately, this doesn’t quite go to plan…

Former owner, Chris Edwards, was brought in to boost sales by new owners, unfortunately, he only lasted 10 months in the role and blew over £1 MILLION in the process! Possibly as an explanation as to why the company was failing in the first place, and subsequently why it was sold on, Mr. Edwards overspent on the basics, and rehired his old staff, he spent thousands on stock for single stores in desperate attempt to make them profitable. When he was confronted with these facts, he threatened to quit, being completely unable to handle any form of criticism.

This just goes to show that a lot of people aren’t actually good with money and it takes real discipline to manage your money in a sensible way level – no matter how much you have!

Saving Poundstretcher is on Channel 4 on Mondays at 9pm.

Struggling with Debt?

If you are struggling with any kind of debt, contact our friendly advisers for no obligation debt help and advice – in some situations we can write off up to 80% of your debts! Simply contact the form below and someone will call you back. What have you got to lose?

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Back to School Debt

By | Financial Help, News

Back to School Debt

A third of parents in Northern Ireland have stated that they are getting into debt in order to cover the expense of sending their children back to school.

A new survey by the Irish League of Credit Unions has shown that, on average, parents of primary school children are in debt by £252, while parents of children at secondary school are £291 in debt! This isn’t even how much it costs to send their children to school, this is how much in debt they are after paying out on average £754 for a primary school child and a whopping £1,160 for a secondary school child!

If you are a parent, you know how hard it can be to deny your children what they feel they ‘need’; the latest equipment, branded clothing, school trips. This leads many parents getting themselves into debts to buy the things that they can’t afford, to ensure their child(ren) doesn’t feel left out.

But the debt is not all on ‘luxury’ items of branded sportswear and extravagent trips, the biggest cost for parents of primary school aged children is before/after-school care, followed by uniform costs and lunches. And I think we can all agree that care, clothing and food, can be considered essentials. Secondary school children’s biggest cost was school trips, which could be avoided, but this is followed closely by uniforms and lunches, again, essentials.

In order to meet these costs, many are getting in to debt with payday lenders, even though they simply can’t repay the lenders in the agreed time.

Another third of parents aren’t getting into debt, but are struggling to meet the cost of the new school year. They either cutting back on expenses such as household bills, holidays and food, or simply not buying what they can’t afford; things such as new shoes, spare uniform items and any extra-curricular activities.

We urge everyone reading this not to use payday lenders, many of whom charge massive interest rates and fees, and very often can lead into a spiral of debt that’s extremely difficult to get yourself out of. Whether or not you decide to use our services, we urge you to consider alternative solutions to payday or doorstep lenders.

Stigma Of Debt: Is It Still A Thing?

By | Financial Help, News

Stigma Of Debt: Is It Still A Thing?

You may recently have heard of the case of Jerome Rogers, the 21-year-old who took his own life over the inability to repay his debts, (recently reported on the BBC’s Killed By My Debt). It started with two £65 traffic fines, which the inability to repay quickly led to further debts. The pressure of this eventually led to him taking his own life. And while no one is arguing that this is a tragic case, sadly it is not unique.

The majority people who are in debt get into it through circumstances beyond their control; ill health, loss of a job, breakdown of a relationship. This then leads to a struggle to repay what you have got used to paying, and then the spiral of debt starts; The repayments getting greater each month until there is no way you can even repay the minimum amount. Despite the common view that people in debt should simply “spend less”, overspending on your credit cards ‘just for fun’ is very rarely the cause. And anyone can find themselves struggling to meet their financial repayments if the circumstances are right.

Consumer debt has risen by almost 10% in the past year, with unsecured consumer credit now over £200 BILLION! This means that the average adult in the UK is more than £600 in debt. Obviously, whilst this doesn’t mean that everybody in the UK is in debt, it certainly means that there are a lot more people struggling than you may think. So, knowing that debt isn’t a problem unique to you, why does it still have such a stigma attached to it?

80% Of People Suffer in Silence

Money Advice Service recently released a statistic that stated that just 20% of people struggling with debt actually reach out and talk to someone about getting some help. This leaves a staggering 80% of people who are quietly struggling, which can lead to situations like Jerome’s. This can only be because they still believe there is some kind of stigma, and they feel ashamed or embarrassed by their struggles. Debt Assist UK deal with many people struggling with their finances, and I believe that the number-one reason people are still ashamed to be in debt is due to the practices of the creditors and those they employ to chase the debts; the lenders can be offhand or even aggressive, and often make assumptions about the people in debt. The mass media doesn’t help either, often describing people in debt as ‘greedy’, ‘not thinking of the consequences of their actions’, ‘unable to manage their money properly’, ‘going on too many holidays’, ‘buying all the latest fashions’.

Anybody that stops to think for even ten seconds knows that this is simply not true, there are many reasons people are in debt, and it is rarely their own fault, and no one plans to get into unpayable debt. Most people must turn to credit at some point in their lives and a simple change in circumstances can make the difference between being able to repay the debt, and not. Divorce, loss of income, an expected bonus not being paid, or even an emergency vet bill or the need to buy a new oven, boiler, or refrigerator. All of these can throw off any financial plans you may have previously made. Living within your means, planning and sticking to a budget, is something that everyone must do at some point in their lives.

If you want to see just how many people are struggling financially, view the Guardian’s average-debt map, although most will never admit it, people are in debt everywhere and from all walks of life. And from our experience, those that hide it the most behind their big TVs and designer clothes, often tend to be the ones most in debt!

Struggling with your finances can be an extremely stressful time, and the stigma attached to debt certainly doesn’t help. However, rather than encouraging people to stay out of debt what this stigma actually does is stop people getting the help they need!

Ironically, there is no stigma in borrowing money. When was the last time you saw someone turn their nose up at someone because they announced they took out a loan, or they were in their overdraft?

A Problem Shared…

If you are feeling at all stressed, debt related or not, it always help to talk to someone, whether this is a partner (the amount of people who haven’t told their partner about their debt troubles is staggering), friends, or family members. Or call us. Here at Debt Assist UK we understand that everyone’s situation is different and completely personal to themselves. This is why our friendly advisers take the time to properly understand your situation before suggesting the correct solution for your particular set of circumstances. You won’t get pity and you won’t get charity. However, you will get an understanding pair of ears and the chance to talk to somebody with the knowledge and experience to offer realistic help and advice to get you out of your financial troubles.

Almost fifty percent of people who are struggling with debt consider suicide. If you are feeling suicidal then talk to someone immediately, you won’t be judged and talking really can help.

Debt Stress

Some of the more common symptoms of debt stress include feeling panicky, overwhelmed, upset, disappointed and even physically and mentally exhausted (although, ironically, it often leads to loss of sleep). Research by MoneySuperMarket found that over half of the adults questioned are regularly worried about their finances. Of this, 65% of 18-34-year-olds state that they are constantly worried about their finances, so you are definitely not the only one!

If you are suffering from debt-related stress, or any of the symptoms, then please consider going to see your doctor. They can help. They may also put you in touch with other people who can help, such as mental health charities Mind or SANE.

Talk To Someone – Anyone

If you don’t want to talk to a stranger, let your family and friends know how you are feeling, it’s not easy but they may be able to offer support. If you want someone between a complete stranger and your closest friends, your GP will also listen to any problems you are having, just ask for an emergency appointment.

Debt is never a reason to end your life. There are options out there. Contact Debt Assist UK now and talk to someone who can help.

  • Samaritans – For Everyone – 116 123
  • Campaign Against Living Miserably – For Men – 0800 585858
  • Papyrus – Under 35 Year Olds – 0800 068 41 41

What To Do Next?

We know from experience that many people contact us several times before admitting they need our help. These people contact us then get scared when we call back and come up with many different reasons why they definitely didn’t fill out our contact form, and they definitely don’t require debt help. Then a few months later, they find themselves in further debt and they contact us again for help. This time they have no option but to talk to us and they find that it’s not so difficult after all, and that it actually helps and wish they had talked to us the first time.

You have read this far, so you don’t need the sales pitch. You won’t need to unblock all of the phone numbers and you still don’t need to answer unknown number calls. But be realistic, the problem won’t go away by simply ignoring it, and all you are doing in the mean-time is getting into further debt. Open all the letters you have been avoiding (if you still have them hidden away somewhere), you need to know exactly what you owe and who you owe it to. Then get on the phone to us (0800 029 3992). We will listen to your problem and then suggest a solution. You have no obligation to use our services and we may even suggest using different companies if we believe it will be in your best interest. Everything will be fully explained to you before you agree to anything, and even then you get a ‘cooling off’ period. You can begin to relax. We will do all of the hard work. You will begin to repay your debts, your creditors will stop chasing you, and you can stop worrying every time your phone rings or there’s an unexpected knock at the door.

5* Felt like I was talking to a friend rather than a company. Sam & Kevin were so friendly & answered every question I had. Anyone who has money worries, I cannot recommend these guys enough! Thank you!

Richard
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