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Anyone heard of an IVA ?

(21 Posts)
sostupid Fri 14-Jan-05 19:10:00

I have changed my name as I feel soooooooo stupid for getting myself in to this mess!

Basicly I am about £40k in debt and I am struggling to repay, so I have been looking at my options and one of those is an IVA has anyone else done this ? it a good or bad idea?


MrsBigD Fri 14-Jan-05 19:17:59

HI SOSTUPIS... I'm not changing my name can't be bothered... anyhow trust me you're not the only one in debt according to debtsfree direct they've got heaps to do...

we're plannibg to go for an IVA ourselves as several years of bad employment luck and baby breaks have taken their toll...

my mum has a point when she said we should have kept track better, but hindsight is always easier isnt it

nutcracker Fri 14-Jan-05 19:28:44

Sorry what is an IVA ???

MrsBigD Fri 14-Jan-05 19:55:46

It's an

Individual Voluntary Arrangement

as far as I understand it a mediator takes down all your debts and sees if he can facilitate an agreement with the debitors for them to write off some of the debt.

Amanda3266 Fri 14-Jan-05 19:57:51

Hi there,

Firstly - you're not stupid. Circumstances change etc and sometimes you're in too deep before you realise it. The vast majority of people who get into debt do so because they're robbing Peter to pay Paul all the time and before you know where you are - you're 40k in debt.
Firstly, don't panic. Sit down and look at all your outgoings - what is essential and what isn't.
Rent/mortgage (especially any arrears)
Council tax
Water rates
Travel/petrol costs
Food (you have to eat and feed your family)
Work expenses
TV Licence
Nursery/childcare costs

Any non-secured debts such as overdraft, credit cards, loans etc etc....

You may not need an IVA - try the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS)(I'll check for their number and post it in a bit)
They will give you immediete advice free of charge and if they can help you then they will work out a budget with you and how much you can afford to repay each month towards your debts. You can then make a payment to them and they send it on to your creditors and liase with them.
Also they do not take any commission/make any charge for doing this. They are a charity who get funded partially by the credit industry.Try and avoid any debt advice agency (Baines and Ernst for example) who take a proportion of the repayment.
Secondly, don't worry (easy for me to say I know). I've been there too thanks to my husband being out of work for a year and can really recommend CCCS who helped us when we were really down. The trouble is most people (us included) get further into debt before facing the problem - don't worry - you would not be their biggest owing client by any means.
Finally, check out
This is a really good site with lots of infor and advice about avoiding further problems.

HTH a bit


Amanda3266 Fri 14-Jan-05 20:01:14

Telephone number is 0800 138 1111

Promise me you'll ring them first thing tomorrow or at least go to Citizen's Advice. Whatever you do - don't waste another second worrying about this. It's only money - nothing that can't be sorted out eventually.


sostupid Sat 15-Jan-05 15:31:12

Well I have made the 1st step I have contacted debt free direct and also left a message at CCCS for an adviser to contact me.

I am definately robbing peter to pay paul at the moment but luckily have managed to not incur any arrears................yet !

From reading the info CCCS looks better as there should be no IVA involved, I just am amazed that I have managed to build up unsecured debts of £40k so easily, I know it's entirely my own doing but surely companies should have tighter controls they would of known how much I owe and yet still keep giving me more!!!!!!!!!

Well thanks for your advice I do feel better knowing that I am not alone and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Thanks again

MrsBigD Sat 15-Jan-05 16:13:42

we've contacted debt free direct as well and they were very helpful. But what they've told us 40k isn't all that much!

I agree that there should be much tighter checks on how much one already owes before being given more money... o.k. our own fault for overspending, but if they wouldn't have made the money available to us... we did sort of get asked by the loan company how much alltogether we've got sitting on various credit cards etc. but I don't think they ever bothered checking the actualy amounts!

Good luck ost

eeyore123 Sat 15-Jan-05 16:19:49

we are with debt free direct too. hope you get it sorted. We have an IVA and it has made life so much easier and everything more manageable. CAT me if you need any help with it. take care x

tribpot Sat 15-Jan-05 16:34:54

I would try to avoid an IVA if you can, this tends to involve the arranger taking a fee out of the money you owe. CCCS may well be able to sort you out a debt management plan which will freeze interest but without taking a fee - please don't make a decision until you've heard back from them! You might also want to give Payplan a ring: 0800 085 4298 or here

One of the best sources of help on debt that I know of is the Get Out of Debt Centre at the Motley Fool. Well worth a look. 40K is - perhaps sadly - not that an extreme amount of debt these days, but best of luck to you whatever decision you eventually make.

sostupid Mon 17-Jan-05 18:31:23

Well I contacted CCCS and have booked an appt to speak to someone qualified ref a debt management plan, but I can't get an appt till 10th Feb
The advisor on the phone did tell me to switch bank accounts (as my bank are one of my largest creditors) and go to a bank that I don't owe money to...........not a lot of choice out there then lol and to just make token payments to the credit cards etc.
Working from my essentials and giving myself an ample shopping budget of £400 per mnth that should leave approx £400 to be split between the many creditors, a massive difference to the 1k+ that I have been paying. Do you think a food and household budget of £400 per mnth is realistic to include all food, deoderants, shampoo, nappies (x 2 kids) & formula milk etc etc

Fingers crossed that they can help me and that my creditors accept the debt management plan.

But I do feel better after talking to someone ...and thanks again to you all for letting me know I'm not the only one and for some VERY (sorry not shouting) helpful sites.


Surfermum Mon 17-Jan-05 18:34:27

There is another thread today where there are tips for keeping within a household budget of £300. Sorry can't do links! Good luck and hope that doing something about it has made you feel better.

Amanda3266 Mon 17-Jan-05 18:47:10

Hi there,

Glad you've made that first step - don't worry - you are now on the road to a peaceful life again. Get the next salary paid into a new bank account and just treat the bank as another creditor - they won't like it but tough. And remember that all these banks and loan company's have done very well out of you and everyone else in the past. They charge a higher interest rate for non-secured stuff to cover situations like this.
Don't worry about the budget too much - CCCS (or whoever you deal with) will know what is acceptable to creditors and what isn't. Things like nappies, formula milk etc are essential.

Just a bit of advance warning - your creditors will initially bombard you with letters and default notices etc. Try not to let them concern you or worry you - it's just part of the process. If anything gets passed on to a debt collection agency then just remember that they have no more rights than your creditors (no matter what they tell you). They cannot send anyone round without a court order - just letting you know this as some are not very scrupulous about how they go about recovery and will try and kid you that they'll send debt collectors round when they know that they cannot.

Basically, without a court order the creditors or their agents (debt collection) cannot do anything but accept your payments (whatever they may be). If they contact you and say they are declining the payment offer just tell them there is no more money on the table and if they don't like it then they need to go to court. Trust me when I say that they are unlikely to - firstly it's expensive, secondly with CCCS involved the court will side with you (know this from experience), thirdly, if it goes to court and they get a CCJ the first thing the court weill do is freeze any further interest repayments. It's not in their interests to go to court if they can avoid it.

I had alot of stress during my pregnancy due to creditors and debt collection people phoning and writing etc. If I'd known then what I know now ......

Anyhow be aware that if you do get bombarded with letters and calls just remember that it won't last forever - nobody ever contacts us now.

HTH (sorry it was so long)


sostupid Mon 17-Jan-05 19:33:28

Hi Mandy ...Thanks for that
Can I just get you to clarify that even with a debt management plan in place they will still contact me or is that just until the plan is up and running ?
That is the only thing that drew me to the IVA is that because it is legaly binding unlike a debt management plan they have to leave you alone, like I said before at the moment I am not in arrears with anything but come the end of the month that will be another story!...
I had so many questions I meant to ask when I was on the phone but she was only an adviser, If I change bank accounts in the very near future then loan payments will be due from the old bank account and when they are not paid in the run up to the DMP taking effect I take it that this is the time I am likely to hear from people chasing me for money...

At least I know it will get better !
The phone queue for CCCS was so long that I know I'm not the only one ! The only thing the advisor sounded shocked about was that I have over 10 different creditors and alot of them are recent debts to get me through matternity leave for dd2 and the previous debts are from my mat leave for dd1.
I will just have to change my phone no ignore the door and hide in shame from the postman as he brings all those red bills, nothing can be worse than lying awake all night wondering how I am going to feed my kids or buy nappies my priorities were all wrong and paying the debts came before my families welfare and I now know that it should definately be the other way round! (oh that came across a bit heavy!)Not that my kids were wearing rags or anything but if it wasn't totally essential we did without just to pay the interest on a stupid credit card.
Thats why I asked about the household budget as we have had to manage on what has been left over and it hasn't been much. Luckily dp works in a supermarket so we get 10% discount off the groceries, so I realy don't know what a realistic (normal) budget is!
Thanks again x

Amanda3266 Mon 17-Jan-05 20:40:15


Yes, even with a DMP running you can expect some contact initially - it usually settles down within six months or so. We weren't in arreaers with anything initially either - just knew we would be though. With us some creditors accepted our offer of payment and some didn't. Of those that didn't only one went as far as taking us to court and they were our biggest creditor. It made no difference to them that my hubby was out of work and I was only working two days a week and pregnant. Anyhow - the court agreed our payment offer immedietly and froze all interest so they lost in the end.
Believe me your debts are small in comparison to some - and most people have their debts spread over several creditors when you consider bank loans, overdraft, credit card, other loans, storecards etc.
Don't worry about next months payments - just draw up a letter to all creditors and send it with a token payment of whatever you can spare, even if it's just a £1 and tell them that your circumstances have changed and you are currently working with CCCS (or whoever)to come to a sensible offer of payment and will let them know what you can offer each month as soon as you've had your interview with CCCS (whoever) - you may get one or two letters but most creditors will accept the reduced payment and wait to hear from you again.
Changing the phone number is a good idea or you can ask BT to block all "caller with-held" numbers (most creditors use these for some reason).
Don't worry about the postman - he won't notice what you're getting it'll just be "that's for No 1, that's for No 2" he won't look beyond that at what he's delivering.

One final thing - if anything gets passed to debt collection agencies on no account give them your telephone number - tell them all correspondence must be in writing and send everything recorded delivery so they can't deny recieving anything. (Learnt from experience). This is a good idea with all the creditors - especially initially so they can't deny that you informed them of your difficulties.



MrsBigD Tue 18-Jan-05 10:11:38

Thanks for all the good tips and advice in this thread.

We tallied everything up and I'm not going to divulge how much we collectively owe, but be assured 'sostupid' we'd be happy if it only were 40k...

Off now to sort out our life

Freckle Tue 18-Jan-05 10:40:21

If you feel that your appointment with CCCS is too far away, do check to see if your local CAB has a Money Advice Specialist. These people really do know their stuff and can get things sorted quite quickly. No charge either.

sostupid Fri 18-Feb-05 09:38:50

My god its no wonder we are in dept......went to set up a new bank account and they offered me a 5k overdraft !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! its totaly mad, The woman said she has only ever seen two other people offered overdrafts of that ammount before.

She also offred me a 5k credit card on the spot too, dont worry I turned them both down !
How am I supposed to get free of debt when the lenders keep wanting to throw money at me lol

spacedonkey Tue 22-Feb-05 14:49:15

I'm in a similar boat at the moment, I'm going to give the CCCS a call (thanks for posting the number Amanda). Do keep us posted SS, I hope you get everything sorted soon. Debt-induced sleepless nights are the pits aren't they!

sostupid Tue 22-Feb-05 15:24:38

Just filling in all the forms now god its soooooo scarey to actually put in to writing how much I owe! I've had to wait ages for a letter from my letting agents which has held the job up but soon I should have a great weight lifted !

sostupid Mon 14-Mar-05 18:19:48

Come wed I am in the crap !!!!!!!
This seems to be taking ages to sort out, my case hasn't been assesed yet ( calling me wed ) The only thing is that on wed 2 loans will not be paid, I had been managing to pay them...just! but this month its all gone to pot and I am shafted so now my bank will be after me too. It was bad enough when it was the credit cards, I am absolutely crapping myself I darent answer the phone anymore thank god for 1471.

Someone please tell me I will be out of this mess soon !!!! Once I have had my assesment they should contact the creditors within 48 hrs.
sorry if I am rambling on and not making much sence but I am so stressed out at the moment I just wanted to share my worries.
thanks x

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