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Debt with utility provider - am I right to panic?

(6 Posts)
Zipadeedoodaa Mon 24-Feb-14 15:35:37

OK, we have had a hell of time over the last two or three years. We have gone through two children being diagnosed on the ASD spectrum, my mother being diagnosed with mental health/dementia problems and my sister has had a nasty marriage break up. So family have really been my priority over the last few years.

This has meant that my monthly budgeting and financial planning totally went out of the window over the last 18 months. I really have not had time with my own four children let alone balance my books. So, on Friday I logged onto my utility provider to discover that I owe almost four thousand pounds. I had failed to realise that my DD has bounced twice then cancelled itself over 18 months ago. I hadn't even done a meter reading for over 2 years.

So, luckily for me the estimated amount was only £200 less than the actual bill, I was worried that it would be a lot higher.

So, how worried should I be about this? Will it affect my credit rating when applying for mortage or finance? Do you all run your utility on near-nil balances or do some of you have high balances as well? Has anyone had this type of debt and how have you paid it off?

Thanks in advance,

*written from the naughty step*

StupidMistakes Mon 24-Feb-14 15:47:49

im guessing you haven't got the finance to just pay it all off at once <nor would I tbh> so phone them, explain the situation, point out it is in part there fault if you have not had a bill in 18months or any reminders I find that unusual. Explain you cant afford to pay it and set up a monthly plan that will cover your usage and pay a small amount off, this way they can take you to court, however if you are taking steps to pay the debt the court wont do much about it.

It sounds like you have had a lot to deal with, so you can come off the naughty step now grin flowers

JuliaScurr Mon 24-Feb-14 15:52:49

yes, do what stupidmistakes said

if you change provider, you can't take the debt repayment plan with you
<bitter experience>

what stupidmistakes said. phone them and ask for a repayment plan.
however, work out what you can actually afford to repay every month first and press for that amount.

specialsubject Mon 24-Feb-14 18:09:26

I'm quite staggered that they haven't been in touch long before this, and that you've had no meter reader round, or no letters regarding the debt.

get on the phone to them (some of them have a callback facility so you don't have to wait for ages) and do a deal.

TalkinPeace Mon 24-Feb-14 18:35:26

if they have not noticed or tried to rectify the account in all that time, I'd play pretty hardball with them

inform them what you can afford to pay

threaten them with the ombudsman and the press if they mess you around
and then set up the standing order (you control the amount) ASAP

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