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Shit load of debt - AIBU to think this can be sorted?

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justthesky Sun 15-Dec-19 09:47:57


The total is about £5000 which probably doesn’t sound too bad, but the issue is that it is priority bills I’ve fallen behind on and the companies aren’t prepared to wait, so huge interest charges are being added on top of the original debt.

I’ve contacted CAB who have just told me not to open the doors and to park cars away from the house.

Does anybody have any suggestions, at all?

fudgesmummy Sun 15-Dec-19 09:54:53

What absolutely ridiculous advice from the CAB
Ignoring the problem is the very worse thing you could do. Contact the organisation STEPCHANGE . They will negotiate with the companies you owe money to and help you work out a sensible repayment plan.

Andysbestadventure Sun 15-Dec-19 09:55:01

Yes. Speak to a debt crisis team, who CA will be able to point you in the direction of to get an IVA in place. Bit weird they haven't 🤷‍♀️

You have plenty of options. If you look for them.

CanISpeakToYourManager Sun 15-Dec-19 09:56:13

Christians Against Poverty may be able to help. Free debt counselling service with ongoing support. Not there to convert you or evangelise to you, just to support you.

Unusualusernames Sun 15-Dec-19 09:59:14

I worked at the cab for many years and some are a lot better than others, mainly now that they are staffed by volunteers due to funding cuts and the way that debt advice is funded means they can often only offer ongoing support to people with very high additional needs.

National Debtline's website has lots of useful factsheets about the different options available (such as debt relief orders) and they have w helpline and online chat facility.

Have you done an income and expenditure form and worked out what you can afford to pay off the arrears. That's a good starting point.

Good luck

justthesky Sun 15-Dec-19 09:59:59

No, really, it’s priority bills so step change etc can’t help. It isn’t credit cards and loans and so on.

macpumpkin1 Sun 15-Dec-19 10:01:02

Go on Money Saving Expert website and have a read.

IndecentFeminist Sun 15-Dec-19 10:03:11

Have you spoken to the companies in question?

macpumpkin1 Sun 15-Dec-19 10:05:05

Sorry that was quite abrupt, do a Statement of Affairs and keep a spending diary of everything you spend as it can be very easy to waste money. MSE is the place to go though as all the advice is there. Good luck I hope 2020 is a good year for you.

itsemily Sun 15-Dec-19 10:05:14

That’s ridiculous advise from CAB , not sure what I can advise but sending you lots of hugs and I hope things work out

RJnomore1 Sun 15-Dec-19 10:08:16

Can you define priority bills

You’d deal with say a mortgage differently from rent/council tax/utility.

Also where in the UK you are - things are a bit different in Scotland.

IndecentFeminist Sun 15-Dec-19 10:08:32

What priority debts are we talking?

justthesky Sun 15-Dec-19 10:10:50

Council tax, water are the two priority ones, the others I can probably sort but those two are a huge worry. England.

adaline Sun 15-Dec-19 10:13:45

You need to sort out your council tax debt - it's the one you really can't ignore. They can take you to court and you could end up with jail time.

IndecentFeminist Sun 15-Dec-19 10:15:35

Have you spoken to the council and water board? If the others aren't priority debts get them onto a Stepchange programme like a DMP to free up some change and then try and negotiate repayments with the priority debts

justthesky Sun 15-Dec-19 10:16:13

Yes, I know ada but can’t get blood from a stone etc

IndecentFeminist Sun 15-Dec-19 10:16:31

So not £5k of priority debts.

justthesky Sun 15-Dec-19 10:17:04

5k in total. Council and water comes to just over 2.

Cyllie33 Sun 15-Dec-19 10:17:37

OP, it’s still worth you contacting Step Change as they may be able to advise even if a plan with them isn’t right. The have an online tool here:

Have you approached the council to see if you can arrange a payment plan with them?

justthesky Sun 15-Dec-19 10:18:44

Yes, problem is it’s been passed to bailiffs.

Iggly Sun 15-Dec-19 10:19:01

How much are you earning and what are you spending your money on? Only then can you work out what you can repay and over how long.

Speak to the council and say you need a plan to repay the debt but show willing. Same with the water company. Unfortunately councils are running out of money so are being much more aggressive with their debt collection.

IndecentFeminist Sun 15-Dec-19 10:19:25

If you get the £3k onto something like a DMP and when doing the budget for it include repayments to priority debts then your repayment to the DMP will be very low, freeing up a little to pay to priority

Isleepinahedgefund Sun 15-Dec-19 10:22:53

I think it’s important to understand WHY you have fallen behind with priority debts. That will have a huge bearing on how easy this is to get sorted.

Why have you fallen behind with priority debts? Do you have an insufficiency of funds, or have you spent the money on something else?

Another council tax bill will be arriving fairly soon - will you be able to pay that as well as servicing the arrears?

By the way, although you CAN go to prison for council tax, it’s usually only if you’re deliberately not paying (rather than not actually having the funds to do so).

Pollywollydolly Sun 15-Dec-19 10:25:46

Council tax is the most worrying one. Have they taken you to court? If they have a CCJ then they WILL take a reasonable offer to clear the arrears. Do a spending plan and offer what you can afford to repay. It's better to offer a realistic amount and keep to it than to offer too much and find you can't pay it. Don't forget to take into account next years council tax starting in April, you will need to keep up to date with that. They can do an attachment of earnings or money direct from benefits so it's best to take charge yourself. The main thing is to keep to your arrangement. With regards to your water rates work out what your monthly amount for the water you use should be and offer that plus what you can afford to start repaying the arrears.

I have been in debt and managed to get through and i have worked with people in the same situation. You can always get out of it and the relief when you have a plan is indescribable. If your local CAB are ineffective try one of the christian groups. Someone will help you.

The advice from the CAB is probably a good stopgap until you can get this sorted. If the debts have gone to bailiffs try and get the companies to take them back. You'll need a payment plan for this.

One more thing, the companies shouting loudest for your money tend to be the ones who have least chance of getting it. Again make a payment plan and send it to them even if you are only offering £1 a month. Make it clear in writing that it's all you can afford at the moment. Offer to review in 6 months and ask them not to ring you for the 6 months. Make sure you make the payments.

You can do this OP.

justthesky Sun 15-Dec-19 10:27:08

I’m not too worried about the rest of the 3k. I can sort that by making minimum payments. It’s the priority ones I need to sort.

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