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This isn't working.(16 Posts)
Time to take my head out the sand I think. Any advice/thoughts you have would be much appreciated.
I've been sahm since my mat leave coincided with VR 4 years ago. We'e since gone on to have another who is now just over 12m.
A few years back when I had a reasonably good job and salary I was spending money like it was water and racked up some cc debt. I had a breakdown soon after and basically just stopped reading the letters when they came. I've moved a couple of times too so had just about forgotten about that part of my life and was concentrating on looking after the kids and trying to be frugal.
My DP earns enough to cover the day to day bills but we do without pretty much everything else. A choice we made if it meant I was home with our children. Except we
just aren't making ends meet anymore. We're really getting to the point where we have no money at all for two-three weeks of the month.
Last week letters dropped through the door for the cc debts I thought I'd escaped. I have no income and can't claim any benefits as haven't worked for 4 years and have no national insurance payments.
DP is already stressed out and I think when I have to tell him about these debts it's going to be the straw that broke the camels back.
I just can't get my head around how I'm going to bring some money in. I've looked and looked at local jobs but I just can't earn enough to cover childcare. I'm unqualified, unskilled and been out of it for years.
Sorry for the big pointless moan. I want to try and clear this mess up but I don't know where to start.
How old are the cc debts and how long since there was any action on the credits cards. If you have not made a payment or acknowledged the debt in six years it may be statute barred - see moneysavingexpert here
Thank you for responding thereinmadness, I think from my adding up its about to pass the 6 years mark.
Need to chat to DP later about evening work maybe. He's not going to be pleased.
I'd recommend that, once you've had chance to talk, you book an appointment to see CAB, CCCS, National Debtline or one of the other free debt advisory services. They are very good at helping people with unmanageable debts and they'll have some options for you. How much do you owe in total?
Thanks cog- about 8-9k prob. Written down that doesn't seem a lot but DP's wages have actually gone down in the last few years and realistically I can't work out how we'd clear it.
We literally only spend money on rent/bills/food/energy. I need to get into work somehow.
If the debt is still classed as current, if there's no realistic way of clearing it and you don't have a property or other assets to lose, then you may even be pointed in the direction of bankruptcy. Do make that appointment rather than worrying.
You should be able to claim something if money is that tight, especially childcare if you starting working again. Register with JC and look for any training opportunities, govt is keen to fund entry level courses for people such as you. Realistically it sounds as if you need help facing these and managing your budget anyway then you may be in apposition to offer a small repayment each month. Could you tighten your belts/downsize for example. Personally I doubt the debts have expired yet.
do you own your own home?
may the flames of hell strike me down but... if you are nearing 6 years and there has been no communication then i would be inclined to not respond to the letters for the little time left.
My friend was given this exact advice from the CAB.
She was told to look at it like this...if you don't own anything of any value and have no income there is nothing in it for the cc companies. Also, it costs them a lot of money to make someone bankrupt, as before, if it is not worth their while and the debt wont be recovered then there is little chance of it happening.
I can feel the flames coming my way already!
Can you start looking for a job with hours that fit around your husband's job ? Perhaps evenings or weekends so that you are not having to pay childcare. Of course it can't be done if he works shifts or late finishes.
Hi thanks for replies.
Lizs- When I finished work we cut back on things we knew we didn't really need. We sold our car, we've never taken a holiday or even a day out I'm becoming quite a good cook from just having to learn how to budget and make meals from nothing!
There's always more we could do, I'm going to try and keep a really close eye on things.
No more wine
I'm going to risk a flaming too and say at that I'm extremely tempted to not respond to the cc letters. It's my credit record it'll hit but the chances of me ever having a mortgage are minimal anyway. The letters I got advise that the debts have been reassigned to another credit agency so it could be one last try to get a response? The last use of the cards would've been over 6 years. I've never sent anything in writing to the issuers.
I enquired with the jc a couple of years ago, when I couldn't afford to visit the dentist. Was really surprised that I seem to have fallen into a black hole as far as the dwp are concerned.
I'm ready to be back in work, I want to be useful and I really want to contribute financially to our home.
Hi babyroobs- I think I'm going to try that. I feel a bit guilty asking DP to be in charge of the kids in the evenings. I know that sounds ridiculous. He's a fab dad but very tired.
Thanks for your suggestions, feel much better than I did this morning. Have a few things to try now
Oopla, is there any work you could do from home? Or occasional work? What was your previous profession?
Wouldn't not responding just be a continuation of why you're in this mess in the first place? You're stressed, worried, panicking about getting a job etc and ignoring things, hoping they go away, could backfire badly. Wouldn't it be more constructive to get advice as to how to properly get the monkey off your back for good?
God imagine if everyone did this
You borrow the money, you pay the money back. You don't bury you head in the sand and try to get away with never paying. It's theft.
If you think the debt is statute barred, you can use this template letter to send to creditors:-
(Your name & address)
(Insert name & address of the company
that has written or called you )
Dear Sir /Madam
Reference: (insert account number and name of lender pursuing)
This letter does not admit liability nor does it acknowledge the alleged debt.
I / We write following your recent contact with myself /us regarding a debt that you claim I / we owe.
I / We would point out that under the Section 5 of The Limitation Act 1980 whereby an action founded on simple contract shall not be brought after the expiration of six years from the date on which the cause of action accrued.
I /We would also refer you to the Office of Fair Trading, (OFT) Debt Collection Guidelines (updated October 2011) whereby it states under statute barred debt that it is unfair to pursue the debt if the debtor has heard nothing from the creditor during the relevant limitation period.
The Debt collection Guidance also states that it is unfair or improper business practice for the debt collection business to misrepresent its legal position when seeking to recover statute barred debt.
It continues to state that it is false representation of authority and/or legal position for business to contact debtors misrepresent their authority and/or the correct legal position with regards to debts or the debt recovery process.
The guidance also gives an example of unfair or improper practice as falsely implying or stating that action can, or will, be taken, when legally it cannot be taken.
Under Annex B6 it states;
A relevant claim will normally take the form of the creditor raising an action for payment in court. Simply sending a default notice or a letter demanding payment will not constitute a relevant claim.
The OFT Debt Collection Guidance further states that by continuing to press for payment after a debtor has stated that they will not be paying a debt because it is statue barred may be an unfair or improper practice.
I note from my records that the last payment / correspondence / or acknowledgement of this debt was made over six years ago and no further acknowledgement or payment has been made since that time.
As you have failed to provide evidence under Section 5 of the Limitation Act or the OFT updated Debt Collection Guidance then I / we suggest that you are no longer able to take any court action against me / us to recover the alleged amount claimed.
If you subsequently cannot prove I /we owe this debt and if you continue to act in this irresponsible and unprofessional way then I / we will have no other alternative than to report you to Trading Standards and the Office of Fair Trading. I / we will also lodge a complaint with the Financial Ombudsman Service and your trade association, if appropriate, the Credit Services Association.
If I / we receive any communication from another debt collection agency then it will be evident that you have sold this debt on with the knowledge that it is statute barred. Should this occur then I / we will report you to the government bodies and trade association detailed above.
I / We now await written confirmation that this matter is now closed, you are not to contact me / us by telephone, instead by letter only.
I / We look forward to your reply by return.
(Insert your signature)
(Insert your name)
You now need to post this letter if you send it recorded delivery to guarantee postage then you can trace the letter at the following website:
I'm afraid it will be easy for the cc company to show it has sent letters to addresses you have been resident in within the last six years. So I doubt it is time-barred. Get in touch with a charity that offers free debt advice -google step change debt charity or citizen advice.
Put everything to them - all the debts, gather copies of bills, pay slips, bank statements, benefits
They can help you arrange a payment plan with the cc company that is affordable. Sometimes they can get the debt frozen so no new charges and interest is added.
Talk to your dp - he needs to know.
It will be crap for a bit but you will get through this
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