Tag Archives: debt

Debt – why you must speak up

Recently I have seen a spate of desperate souls make the ultimate choice when it comes to debt, they can’t cope any more and the world loses another poor victim.  I read this article recently, made me very sad for numerous reasons as some were the same as my own.  The debt and the refusal of an ex to sign divorce papers.

http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/12956887.Debt_troubled_dad_took_his_own_life_in_Southampton_woodland/?ref=fbpg

I remember all of this of course, the increase on your debt by the payment to solicitors to try and force a childish, selfish estranged partner to let you go.   But the key to all this, it is always debt.  Debt is the one thing that truly wont go away, there is always someone on your back.  This is where the world just does not help, there are many places who assist with the debt, but nobody truly is there to say “hold on there, just leave him be for a while, can’t you see he is in real trouble here?”  No…that does not exist.  Businesses want their money back, nothing wrong with that though, they are owed that money.

What I find unacceptable, and from personal experience, is when you take the time to try and explain you are not avoiding paying the debt, you are trying to explain that your personal circumstances are in such a terrible state that you need some space.  There is just no flexibility in the world, sadly a lot of the problems are caused by the people who don’t want to pay their debt.

When your world is collapsing, and you are fighting for everything and trying to hold a family together…the threat of the debt drops down the list.  Unfortunately, it only drops down the list for you.  The people who want your money look at you as avoiding payment.

I would not change how I played any of this, I did my absolute best.  There were desperate desperate times, times I was so low I didn’t know what to do.  The sick fear of the postman coming, the stomach wrenching moments when the phone rang over and over again.  The threats that got worse and worse, and then the fact you knew you had had enough.  I knew when that was, my kids kept me going.  You just want to get everyone in one room and shout “Enough, please, I have nothing to give you right now, just give me some time please”.

The one part I learned and I will always advise this – speak up.  Do not hide, I did and it got worse.  Debt brings shame, we all know this.  My blog has always been written in the hope someone, who is in the position I was, reads it all and knows they have a kindred spirit.  There is advise on where to go, who can and cannot help you, ways to reduce the debt and so on.  But, you cannot make someone ask for help.  I found it so very difficult to do it.

When I keep reading about people taking their own lives, swamped by debt, I wish they had read my blog.  I wish I could have spoken with them and told them how to gradually make it stop.  But, sadly it is always too late.

Not for the companies who hound you day and night though, or their debt collecting firms they pass the debt on to.  No, onto the next poor soul to destroy.

When will the companies learn, perhaps when the tables turn.

Until then, anyone out there, there is always a way out.  It may be a small way, but there is a way.  I have been there, there is nothing more valuable that your life.  If you lose everything, you start again.

If you end everything, you have achieved nothing.

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Misconception of Bitterness

Bitterness is a difficult emotion to describe, some would say you have to let go or be perceived as holding on to hatred.  But, I have to disagree.  Bitterness is not just about hatred and rage, for some people (like myself) bitterness is the blame associated to someone who has caused some of your issues.   Bitterness is more about envy.

April has been a tough month, a ridiculous amount of money spent out due to birthdays and bills.  So much so, I will be short this month but I have got completely used to that.   I am also well used to paying for everything as you know, despite my ex-wife coming after me for money.  A classic example is me being responsible for my son’s party and gifts, I paid 90% again.  So, how does this lead to bitterness?

My calendar is full, full of social appointments for work, myself and the kids (parties etc).  All of which have to be pre-planned and paid for of course.  I have 2 weeks off work in August but as much as I play around with figures, I cannot afford a holiday this year.  That is an utter waste and a tragedy, not all may be lost though as I am still awaiting a court case settlement for my car accident and a payout from the government for over-payment of taxes (oh the irony, see multiple previous posts).

Enter bitterness, my ex as always.  You will all know she walks on water, no Karma here people sadly.   But it seems to get worse, at Christmas when she was thrown out on the street I finally thought it could be her time.  Nope…

It seems that she has somehow talked ‘him’ around so much now that he is completely re-decorating again, but this time rooms for my kids.   At great expense too, whereas I scour auction sites for nearly new furniture for my kids rooms.   Not just that, she now gets a free holiday for “being down”.   Let me re-iterate, this is not jealousy here.  Envy yes, but mostly frustration.

I am not a religious man, I never have been but also have no feelings either way for believers on non-believers.  However, when I pass, and I do meet with whatever comes next I would like to ask the question of why some people are given an easy path whereas others fight tooth and nail to survive?  Does anyone else feel like this?

So it irritates me when people tell you bitterness is a waste of time.  That statement makes no sense, if your life is pushed downwards because of someone else you will always have bitterness.  How you quantify how much, is down to you.

I have said many times, when you struggle with debt and you throw in a divorce caused by an affair, it feels like you are always swimming upwards with a concrete block tied to your feet.

So yes, I remain bitter at her getting everything for free all the time.   Time tests my patience.

Helpful guest post

I chat a lot with Debt Therapy Scotland (@), sharing my experiences and reading some of their reader’s stories.  I have agreed to post something from them.  So many helpful links here, and I hope it helps some of you.  Perhaps if I have had access to some of this I could have progressed faster.

10 Best Personal Finance Blog Reads From Around The Web

We’ve been reading a lot of personal finance blogs lately and it’s high time we shared some of these excellent reads with you! There is so much useful information out there from UK personal finance bloggers on how to manage money, pay off debt and save money.

Here are our top 10 favourite blog posts in recent weeks:

If you’re looking for motivation to pay off your debt, check out how Ricky from Skint Dad is intending to kick debt’s butt. In this post, Ricky explains his financial situation in full and how he’s planning to tackle his debt.

If you’re living in Scotland and wanting to clear your debt, you might find Debt Therapy Scotland’s site useful. They provide all sorts of info on a trust deed in Scotland as well as Debt arrangement schemes and sequestrations.

Pauline from the Savvy Scot wrote about some ways to make money with what you already have. The great part about making money with things you’ve already acquired is that there is no risk or extra costs involved. Read Pauline’s post for some useful money making ideas.

Graham from Moneystepper wrote Britain’s Not Ready for Retirement! In this post, Graham takes a close look at statistics revealed by AXA Self Investor and explains why some people in Britain aren’t saving enough for retirement. He also provides a helpful formula for working out how much to save.

There was a helpful post over at Money Bulldog about what information doesn’t go on your credit report. Common misconceptions have been debunked about whether certain personal details are made available and whether council tax arrears and parking fines for example are included.

Abi from Bunny on a Budget wrote about cheap things to do at home with the kids. There’s no doubt that entertaining kids can be expensive, especially during school holidays. Yet there are many fun things to do at home with the kids which will not only keep them busy, but won’t drain your pocket either.

If you can relate to debt stress, you might like this post from Debt Spot on Dealing with the Stress of Debt. There are some good coping strategies in this article along with an important message about seeking help if needed.

Joe from Budget Breakaway highlighted some of the common reasons why you may not be approved for your mortgage. If you earn under £25K per year as an individual or are self-employed, you may be affected. Read his post to find out more.

Andy from Be Clever With Your Cash wrote about why you shouldn’t ignore spam text messages. He explained how he’d recently been caught out and lost money due to deleting spam messages without reading them. Please head on over to his site to read more.

Richard from Frugality Magazine wrote about 4 proven ways to accelerate your early retirement plans. If retiring early is one of your financial goals, check out this post to see whether these strategies could benefit you.

We hope you enjoyed these great personal finance reads as much as we did! Please check our blog again soon for more posts like this. In the meantime, you’d like to talk to someone about your debt, please get in touch.

Deluded friend

Hi all

Again been busy with work and travelling, this time Poland.  I admit I went with trepidation as I expected the worst but what a lovely city Warsaw is.  It was nice to relax for a few days.   The blog does get left a bit nowadays but things should settle soon enough, work has been ultra busy but that is always good.

So, I have managed some gym sessions recently and saw a friend I haven’t seen for a long time.  Nice guy but makes bad decisions, I mean my history isn’t amazing but this guy takes the biscuit.  Years ago we were working on the same sorting aisle at the Royal Mail, on my final week he was fired!   Fired for theft actually, for stealing money from cards.   When you heard why, you had to wonder how someone can let themselves be so controlled that they need extra money.  So why did he do it?  Well he met a girl who dreamed of champagne lifestyle yet he was on a fish and chip budget.  He went and promised her the world and had to steal to fund it, silly silly boy.  Inevitably, when the money stopped, she left him.  Sounds a bit like my ex actually!

So, back to the gym.  I saw him and had a good catch up and quite by chance we got onto finances where I explained what a nightmare I had had (without the finer details obviously) with the HMRC.  His eyes widened as he listened to how I managed to finally get out of it and then he butted it with “The HMRC are after me”.

Oh my poor boy, pray tell why?  So, he was self-employed for a while and then gave it up but didn’t factor in he would still have to pay tax.  He owes £15,000, which compared to what I owed them didn’t faze me at all.   He explained how he had ignored every letter and it didn’t matter as they all went to his parents address and he didn’t live there.

I tried to give him the words of wisdom needed, wisdom gained from personal experience as you all know.  They will find you I said, they will turn up at your parents address and so forth.   I felt sorry for him until I asked him if he had anything to sell, his reply was this:

“Nope, only my brand new Jag”.

Pardon me?   the brand new top of the range Jaguar sports car you are driving?   I asked why he didn’t sell the 40 grand car, pay off the HMRC and still then have enough for a top of the range car.  Sadly his reply is unprintable but along the lines of why should he.

You see, this is my big issue, why was I persecuted to the point of breakdown when I was actually making payments and had paid back an obscene amount of money yet this guy is giving them the middle finger and living the high life.  My issue is that the HMRC fails to treat everyone the same, I was once told they will target you more if they feel you have the money.  That is why they were on my case every single week.

My own ethics don’t allow me to tip them off, but I would love to.  I lost respect for him then and there, I struggled for years.

But, the poor deluded fool truly believes it will be this way forever.  It won’t…they will find you and they will take your car.

You cannot hide forever.

March brings a major milestone

Hello again all

Once more I have spent weeks being busy with work and home, all good again.  Work is going very well but I have been chasing endless paperwork to bring extra money in.   I have finally been successful in closing down an old policy which was deducting a minor amount from my account each month.  This was the fabled PPI claim, I have been successful before but not on this one however I have now been able to stop the money coming out.  No refund sadly but no more payments, so still a victory.

So then, onto big news.  The March payday (26th) brings exciting news for me!   Avid readers of the blog (although the blog has been somewhat quiet recently) will know how huge this debt was and what lengths I have gone to to get rid of it.   Well, on this payday, 2 amounts of money go out of my bank account which are the FINAL payments on TWO loans.   Yes yes yes…2 loans both finish on March 26th.

This means spare income of £375 a month.  That is huge to me, and justifies the decision I made NOT to lower my payments or move to a weaker payment plan.   I cannot tell you the joy I feel but there is more…so read on.

I qualified for my bonus, which also pays out in March.  Readers will recall I was leant some money by family members which I have paid back all bar £1500.   I can now pay that back in one go, yes in one payment.

I am in the unusual position of having a large payment coming to me in March but using my debt management experience I am paying it straight out.  No nice treats for me, they will come later I hope.  It is better to pay things when you get extra funds.

So, 2 loans finish and a family debt completed returned.  That family loan was £6500 by the way.

I am getting there my friends, slowly the clouds are clearing.   I read so many other blogs around this subject of debt, mine was made worse by the affair and divorce and other issues, but if you fight hard enough you can make it.

Always chase every penny, sell what you can, win what you can, be savvy and you can make it.  I am so very close, so close in fact that I can tell you that by the end of the year I should only owe £9000.   That’s still a lot you say?  Is it though, my debt was over £100K.

I honestly cannot wait for payday, so see those final amounts go out and the direct debits drop to ‘finished’ state.

The path to financial freedom is almost available my friends, and when it is, I will step onto it and help whoever I can.

Pawn shame

No not that type of pawn shame, get your minds out of the gutter now people!   This is my experience of something I never thought I would do.

It has been an extremely tough start to the year, financially.  I coped with Christmas as I budgeted, but January had 2 family birthdays so I knew it would be a struggle.  What I didn’t bank (ironic use of the word) on was a vet bill, a car repair and my fridge freezer breaking.

I have sold everything of value as you know, so what was left to do to raise funds?  It is 3 weeks till pay day, so I had one valuable item left but I didn’t want to sell it so I took the last path I could take, a pawn shop.  Not just any pawn shop, or back street “we buy your gold” vendor, this was a reputable high street one.

The item was high value and I knew I could get it back in May when I get my work bonus.  I did have plans for that money but needs must, so now it will be used mostly to buy back my item.  That’s my life though, whilst clearing debt sacrifices must be made time and time again.  Anyway, I digress…

I entered the shop, not sure what I expected really but it was small and unwelcoming.  The 2 other customers looked like they had been placed by some higher spirit, hell bent on changing my mind.  They were the local scum, dressed like garbage, poor grammar, and rough looking.  They pawned their items for meagre amounts of £30 ($42) and left.   My item was presented and examined and I was asked how much I wanted.

I wanted £800, this would cover the repairs totally.  It was just over 10% of the value of the item so a fair price, 35 minutes later after much investigation and checks by the assistant, an offer was then presented.   £700.

Sigh, really?   however, this was fine as I wasn’t being greedy at all.   I accepted and the ‘loan’ was set to 6 months repayment and I left with cash.  Did I feel relieved?  No…truthfully I felt cheap and very disappointed that my life had hit a new low.   Perhaps even lower than going insolvent, borrowing from my parents and so on.  Despite all my triumphs and the enormous amount of debt cleared, this felt horrible.

I suppose I can add this to life experience and again, I suppose, Pawn shops serve their purpose of emergency loans against valuable items.   I think I am irritated again that I simply cannot go more than 2 months without some sort of financial disaster, it makes my target that little bit further away.

I will still get there, I don’t think there can be many more shameful boxes to tick. Unless I take up Male Escorting!

Onwards and upwards, still hoping for that “one day it will all be a bad memory” moment.

HMRC are a total disgrace

Unbelievable, despite me filing for Insolvency 6 weeks ago the HMRC continue to harass me.  Not only harassing me but now at an increased rate.  Again, floods of those brown envelopes demanding immediate payment of corporation tax, then 3 phone calls in 1 hour.  I am not supposed to talk to them but I didn’t recognise the number.

10 minute heated argument with another unbelievable rude woman at the HMRC.  Here are the summary points:

1) Our department is not aware of the Insolvency – absolute and utter crap, they have had all the notifications and didn’t bother turning up at the creditor meeting.

2) You pay £18,000 by 8pm tomorrow or we begin legal proceedings – Good, do that.  Your solicitor will check Companies House and see the company is insolvent, thus proving my point

3) You MUST provide us with court reference numbers – no I don’t actually, the HMRC already has all of that, hence the creditor report.  “That department has not informed us so we want the numbers right now” – NO, talk within yourselves.

4) We will send debt collectors – Try it, you are breaking the law.

5) Sir, you are avoiding paying us by lying – Pardon me?  you have had no less than 15 letters, 3 invites and 2 meetings on the Insolvency.  The HMRC have already signed the forms and returned them.  “That isn’t our department”

now me…”You are not permitted to contact me, you must only deal direct with my Insolvency firm”. – rejected by the woman, we can only deal with you now are you paying us or not? – NO P1SS OFF.

** hung up **

What an utterly disgraceful call, just like I have said multiple times before.  They are utter bullies, rude, insensitive and totally unable to communicate within their own company.  You are constantly spoken to like utter garbage and made to feel like the lowest of the low.  How dare they?

I hate them, I hate them with an utter passion.   Everyone I have ever spoken to is vile.

This wil totally kick off in court very soon because if they continue to violate this agreement I will be taking them to court for prolonged harassment.

What a day eh?

Debt update

Hi all

I thought it was good timing to bring you an update on my current debt situation.  We have spoken often about what has  happened but I have never produced my results.  For anyone else in severe debt who has been following this debt, my hope is that it will serve as an inspiration.

What you need to remember is that however much pressure you are under, from fear and creditors, it is important to still pay what you can.  I have managed to do this all year, even if it meant a week of eating beans on toast!  Anyway, I digress, here below is the progress report.

Debt/Loan         Start of 2014                  End of 2014

Car loan            £3800                             £1700

Personal Loan  £1000                             £150

Personal Loan  £1200                             £740

Tax Debt           £39,400                         £3850  (this is non company tax debt, as in not what was written off)

H/owner Loan   £1800                            £0

Total cleared this year: £39,780

I think you will agree that is a superb effort, and it has left me with hardly anything but I am confident that 2015 will see me debt free.  Obviously I had to give up and go insolvent for the company debt, which is a separate £24,000 but I cannot take credit for clearing that.

Added on the debt is £1700, which is the amount left to pay for the insolvency.  This is not a debt currently, more of a bill to pay within the next 2 months.

When I read my own figures, it pleases me.  It is a hell of a struggle, getting out of debt.  It involves tears, stress, discipline, admin, shame etc.   The point is, I will get there.   I hope you all will too.

Odd but apt horoscope

Need to make something very clear right off the bat, I rarely read horoscopes as I think they are too generic.  However, I happened to log into yahoo and this was on the home page.  I am a Gemini, but how specific and apt is this????

Horoscopes Yahoo Celebrity

·         Gemini

21/5-21/6

It will be difficult to get a loan or additional line of credit. You’ll have to do the best you can with existing funds. Saving money will take time, so be patient. Fortunately, there are some exciting career opportunities ahead. By pursuing a high profile position, you’ll be able to earn the money for a hefty deposit. Working in a glamorous industry will bring out the best in you. You’ll enjoy all the creative challenges such a job affords.

Thought it was amazing that it mentioned loans, credit and savings and a good job.  Like I said, I don’t follow horoscopes but this was worth sharing.  Of course it is only apt to me, to most other people it would mean nothing.  Shows you how you read into things.

For me, getting a loan or credit is not just difficult but impossible!  My credit history is shot to pieces but that is a blessing in disguise as I don’t want any loans.  I am doing well to clear my debt, managed to pay off another £600 this month.  Soon I will be back to zero and start again.  I say soon, about 2 years I think.

That will be a good day, the day I am ‘debt free’!

Each day is another step forward

A major part of being in major debt and dealing with an affair, and the subsequent split/divorce, is that you are always looking to make improvements.  When my life was stable, as in I was happy and with manageable standard debt like credit cards, I just took life as it was.   Having your life largely controlled by external factors doesn’t just change you emotionally, it changes your whole way of acting.

A large part of every week is looking for improvements that will lead to a saving of some sort, small and large savings all help.  Sometimes I get a result, this week I have saved 25% off my council tax yearly bill after the local council conceded that I do in fact live alone.  I have been trying for 2 months to prove this, made difficult by the fact my ex is still on the mortgage and electoral role.  A fact that is changing next year by the way.   A fantastic saving though that will help me enormously.

This is another example though of a saving that helps not just me, but my children.  Every extra penny gives us a better life, or as better a life as I can give them.

My competition entering continues to go well, another 3 kids prizes won this week.  Makes the effort worth it.

I often wonder where my week has gone.  I spend the week working, being a dad, entering competitions, following up ways to get in extra money (PPI claims, Financial Ombudsman are 2 good examples), and online shopping around.  Oh and Ebay, a way of making money and finding things you want at a fraction of the cost.

I do hate it though, I would love a life of not having to do this.  It takes a lot of work, but the rewards make it worth doing.  Perhaps I miss out some things I like but not all, and at least I get my children 4 nights a week.

I read a lot of other debt related blogs, and I know they read this one.   The biggest fact I had to learn quickly was not to sit and break down.  It is unlikely you will ever get out of it by sitting and praying for a miracle, so look for ways to make it better.   Savings and advice will always help.  You might not like some of things you have to do, for example my Insolvency decision, but if it can you through the other side then never worry about people’s opinions.

You can never stop feeling ashamed by your situation, just don’t dwell in it.