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Just about to make the first payment for a DMP - please hold my hand!(17 Posts)
Last year, after 2 years of finding every excuse possible to delay taking my name off the mortgage we shared after I left, Bastard ExP decided to stop paying the mortgage altogether the month after I gave birth to my DD (not his). The property was repossessed earlier this year and was sold a few months ago with a shortfall of £15K - Bastard Ex has run to ground (think to his family, but I have no confirmation of this). In addition to this, I had £10k of other debts, about 30-40% of which were directly due to him (silly me borrowed money in my sole name or bought stuff on my credit card to loan him money when we were together). So, in total, £25k of debt with no way to be able to pay off that amount without a lottery win.
Basically, my outgoings were well over what I could afford after returning to work and paying for childcare, so a couple of months ago once I had the final shortfall amount for the mortgage, I started the ball rolling to set up a DMP through StepChange debt charity (was originally going to go for an IVA, but after talking to a friend who's had a similar situation re. debts & mortgage shortfall, I opted for the DMP due to the fliexibility). The first payment is going out on September 1st!
Along with the million & one other things going on in my life at the moment, I feel sick and keep waiting for someone to turn around and say "Sorry, tough shit. We want all the money now". Can anyone with any experience of a DMP reassure me that this isn't going to happen?
In Feb 2008, I was £18,000 in debt. My dh didn't know as I felt too ashamed to tell him. I had credit card debts, loans etc.
I was struggling to cope and feeling really miserable.
One day, I decided to phone Consumer Credit Counselling services (now step change.) I explained everything, told them all my debts and they sorted it all out and came up with a DMP.
I now have just £1218 left to go. It has made my life so much easier and I have not worried since I started the plan.
I have had a review every year, sometimes my payments increased slightly, other times decreased. The most important and reassuring thing is all the phone calls stopped almost immediately. I had a couple of letters in the months after setting up my DMP but they did stop too!
Step change are a highly respected organisation.
I don't know where I would have been if I hadn't contacted them!
January 2014 will be my final payment! 🎈🎈🎉🎉
Thanks for the reply Nancy. My estimated time to pay everything back is nearly 15 years due to my low spare cash amount at present (A DP, 2 DSSs & DD don't come cheap!), but once DD starts school in 2 years time I won't have her CM fees to pay so my spare cash will be over 3 times higher than it is at present.
I'm also pressing the mortgage company hard to trace Bastard Ex, especially after I looked him up on FB a couple of months ago and found he was trying to sell the collection of retro games & consoles he'd built up after I left for £10K cash (more checking seemed to indicate that he was after the money for a new car), and he was saying that with a bit of paitience the buyer would probably triple their money!! Cue a lovely selection of screen prints sent to the mortgage company and a nice chat with the case manager. The sooner they catch up with him the better. Bastard Ex is self employed, so I don't see him wanting to declare bankruptcy to land me with the full bill unless he loses the plot entirely.
Glad to hear that someone else had had a positive experience dealing with Step Change. I have to say that so far I've found them to be really patient and helpful, not pushy like another debt charity I approached for advice at the same time (daily attempted phonecalls when I was in or about to leave work for a fortnight was annoying to say the least!). Am just looking forward to getting on with things now.
a DMP can be very helpful. You probably already know this, but it's best to open a new bank account ASAP, I got one with the Co-operative bank called cashminder. It's been great.
Hi Orange. Already sorted and moved to a new bank account - was part of the spiel when arranging the DMP. It's been a busy month rearranging a couple of direct debits to a more convenient time of the month (gave me the kick up the arse to sort them out - one of them I thought I couldn't change the date of until I complained to them ).
Have also been looking more into a money saving program offered through work - can save 5% on money put onto a reloadable card for the supermarket we do most of our shopping in, so have discussed with DP putting a lump sum on one at the start of each month so the majority of the food shopping budget is accounted straight away. To steal Tesco's slogan, every little helps, right?
Hi that sounds good. I found it very good to open a new bank account as the other one was so overdrawn. Mentally, it was good to be 'in the black' so to speak and no more charges for going overdrawn as the new bank account doesn't let me- it just rejects the card. One of the best things about the DMP is the interest gets frozen in most cases so you can actually see the dent being made as you pay it back. I'm with Payplan and it has a website where ou can look and see your payments and the amount going down. Don't know if yours is the same but it's helpful. Good luck with the DMP hope you find it as helpful as I did.
Yeah, I've had confirmation that the interest & charges on the 2 largest debts (£15.6k & £7.5k) have been frozen and am just waiting to be brave enough to check out the other 3 accounts (all with my former bank account provider). I went with StepChange and can check mine online aswell.
The thought of this little nightmare playing out for possibly over a decade is horrific, but I'm trying think positive in the way of, part of my annual bonus (if I get one) will go towards it to pay it off faster, in 2 years DD will be starting school so no more CM fees to pay so I'll be able to at least double the payments, keep pushing the mortgage company to chase Bastard Ex, have just sent out feeler letters about PPI on ld loans I had while I was with Bastard Ex (worth a try), etc. Just got to keep on with it all...
Well done! That sounds really positive.
How are you doing with budgeting your income now?
Budgeting has been out of the window this month (too many unexpected payments). However, I have now managed to line up all of my direct debits to all be paid within the first 3 days of the month by the start of October and am planning on using reloadable cards offered by the discount scheme I get use through work to set aside a large part of the food shopping budget at the start of the month as well. Also have nearly £50 of Nectar points saved up towards Xmas, so I'm not freaking out about how we're going to afford that. It's not so bad when I break it down - it's just the big picture that's scary.
I found it helped with budgeting once it gets started- it makes things easier in a way especially if like you say you get the direct debits and the DMP payment out the way at the start of the month. You then know exactly how much you've got left for the month to live on. Remember that in the future as well as thinking of paying more off like you say, if necessary if you get in a position where you are struggling it's possible to decrease the payments for a while too, it is flexible. Well done with the points BTW!
Well, first payment goes out today! Had to do a massive spend over the weekend though (cashed in some shares from work to make sure I had the funds) - DD's first shoes, new washing machine (old one is broken and wouls cost a fortune to repair), and a big shop in the supermarket to make sure there was a stock of stuff in the freezer for towrads the end of the month. Am a bit scared to see my balance this morning! Sure it'll be fine though.
Can I suggest you have a look at You Need a Budget?
"Am a bit scared to see my balance this morning! Sure it'll be fine though."
Is a sentence heading to disaster. It's likely why you're in a DMP. I'm not being harsh, btw, I speak from experience as an ex-bankrupt.
If you can embrace a model like YNAB, you'll only budget money you actually have. For example, making sure there is a stock of stuff in the freezer for towards the end of the month is only wise if you have the funds to do it. Otherwise, you're overspending.
Is it easy to get another bank account if you are overdrawn, don't they do credit checks? I was advised to do this but I thought no bank would touch me. Also is it easy to get direct debits etc changed over if you are overdrawn and would they give me a debit card?
There are certain banks that will give basic accounts to people with bad credit history. The Co-operative Bank will give a basic bank account (although not to currrently bankrupt customers any more) as will a couple of others.
It was ok - about what I was expecting to be left after all the bills had gone. I had money set aside for the extra spending I had to do (the washing machine, a new car seat for DD because she's outgrown the old one, school things for the DSSs), but it's still scary to see it gone in the space of one weekend.
deliasniff - I looked for a basic account with no overdraft because I was starting a DMP. I got application packs/info from Halifax, Nationwide & Lloyds TSB, and picked one of them. From the research I did, apparently Barclays are the only bank in the UK who will provide bank accounts to undischarged bankrupts. If it's just a case that you go into your overdraft each month, you'll probably be fine.
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