Tag Archives: debt

How does it work then, free money?

So, I follow another blog.  I am not going to name the blog or link to it, for the main reason that I don’t want to drive traffic to it!   Why am I going to speak about another blogger’s blog?  Well, stick with it, I have some questions.

I have not been blogging very long, but I am aware of the different reasons for having a blog.  I started mine purely and simply to act as a window, a window to my inner happenings so that I can give, and receive, advice.  I do not review anything, or test freebies, or ask for anything.  But each to their own, their are some brilliant review blogs.  Some have made me buy things!

But, this blog I read.  It is purely to get people to give him money to clear his debts.  Do you know what though, people do!  So, here is my question – why?  I am big and bold enough to admit I got myself into the majority of my mess, not helped by the HMRC obviously, but I expect nobody else to clear it for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I hope for a lottery win weekly or cash award, or even to meet a rich lady who just happens to love me!   No, if you met me in person I am a very closed book.  On here, I can be open because nobody knows me, but in real life you would know nothing is wrong.

Back to this blog, every new post updates the readers on how much people have contributed and how much has been paid off.  There is an up to date contributions counter (currently at $768) and link to his paypal address.   How is this working?  why are people paying money into this account?   I have read all his posts, the debt appears to stem from student debt so why are people obliged to help him and not others?  I have no clue.  The one difference is it is an American blog, so perhaps people in the U.S. are more generous?

As an experiment, I added my paypal to the About Me section.  Guess how many contributions?  NONE!  But, that is exactly what I expected and nothing more.

Hence, I am confused.  How do some blogs achieve ‘free money’ over others?  I would be more inclined to contribute towards worthy causes such as severe illnesses or family trauma, but a blog about asking for help to clear debt.  No clue how that works.

What about a Pay it Forward idea?  Let’s say, for every five pounds contributed I would do a good deed as dictated by the donor? eg, help someone across the road.  Would people go for that?  Again, I think not.  And why, because those should be everyday deeds, and that is how Karma is born.  Or, the concept of Karma although I have never seen much evidence of it personally.

Rarely do I actually invite comments but, this time, I would love to know people’s opinions of why random strangers are contributing money.

Advertisements

Utterly exhausted

Well, it happened, I collapsed.  Not literally in the street, but when I got home.  I think my mind and body had had enough and decided it was time to take a break.

As you all know, the worry of debt and trying to run a house/looking after my children whilst doing my job has been hard.  Made even harder recently by the constant demands from my debtors.  I do not sleep very well, I rarely do in fact.  I wake far too early and cannot sleep, something I have to resolve one way or another.

Yesterday though, I had to drive over 500 miles in a day for work.  Did it but 100 miles from home I knew I was in trouble, my head was thumping and my eyes hurt.  Stopped for a while but couldn’t wait to get home, which seemed to take an eternity.  The additional hazard of torrential rain didn’t help either as I was forced to concentrate even more.

Finally got home as darkness was setting in, quite literally stumbled through the door.  I think my dog knew I was in trouble as he came straight up to me and nudged me.  It was evident a migraine was coming, only my second ever one.  I could barely stand up.

Made a decision to go upstairs for a lay down, didn’t even bother to get undressed.  The dog followed me, turned the lights out and lay down.  Woke up at 2am!!!  I had laid down at 7.30pm…what the hell happened?  My suit was creased to hell, and the dog was licking my head.  My body was aching and I was utterly exhausted.

I think there comes a point where all the front, effort, and upset takes its toll.  I am glad it happened when I was in on my own too.  Clearly it shows that you need to take time out from everything and relax.  It also demonstrates how constant hounding from people (hmrc) can push you to this brink of shut down.

It’s also very evident that if you are on your own, as in not in a full-time relationship, nobody looks out for you.   I’ve taken it as a wake up call, I need to find a way to recharge although I fear I will never truly relax until my debt is clear.

how do mum’s know????

Weird isn’t it?  I have done absolutely everything possible to hide this nightmare from my family, and I mean everything.   Largely due to pride and the fact I desperately tried to fix this.

We all know my reasons, I hate being the black sheep of the family.  I am the only one who is divorced, who’s wife had an affair and ran off, the single parent struggling…….I could go on.

The thing is, it is down to pride but also I have always been able to fix things.  By hook or by crook I have paid so much money back and even this month I have paid off another £700 from other debts than the HMRC ones.  But I think it has been obvious from my demeanour something is dreadfully wrong.  I know I have been very quiet and generally downtrodden, and I haven’t meant to be, but when you are beaten you are beaten.

Weirdly, I spoke to a financial specialist today about IVA’s.  It is the ONLY debt solution that will allow tax debt to be included, so I was considering this and thought maybe, just maybe, I would be able to keep this a secret.

Then my mum rang tonight.

It doesn’t matter how old you are, they always know.  The normal conversation then cut short with “can’t you tell me what is wrong?”.  tried to get away with it but then she countered with “tell me about your tax debt and how I can help?”.  How did she know you wonder?  Well, my mail was redirected, she kept a couple back and opened them and was shocked at the content of the letters, or more to the point “the disgusting wording of the letters”.

However, I haven’t told the whole truth yet, I have told her I am still looking at options but I immediately felt better.

How did she know eh?  I don’t mean because she read the letters, but how did she know there was something seriously wrong?  You see, part of me is never to have a breakdown, I just go quiet and look at options myself.  I don’t think I have been massively different but obviously I was.

Perhaps, this is life telling me I have tried every option and now to go with the obvious one and get help from my family.  And I have tried everything as you know.

Decisions still to be made but a door has been opened, so if I come clean it won’t be a complete shock.

oh NOW you care??

Today was an odd day, decided to spend a lot of moving money around, looking for better deals etc all for a united goal – clearing debt faster.   Some moderate success but then came the mail….

For once, no threatening letters.  Always nice to not receive threats, but what was this little white envelope?  Oh it’s a ‘helpful letter’ from my bank offering me financial advice and assistance as they have ‘noticed’ I am experiencing financial difficulties.

But hold on one minute there, do any readers remember this post about being doomed?   Is this the very same bank who refused to give me my bank charges back?  The same bank I have reported to the financial ombudsman?  Why yes it is.

You will notice this post is laced with sarcasm, sadly this is utterly unavoidable.

My favourite part of the letter was “we have noticed that you are constantly paying bank charges and we would love to organise a meeting to go through your options.”   Hmmm yes, now would that be the meeting I asked for many times and I didn’t qualify?

It’s amazing isn’t it?  Genuinely ask for assistance from the “big guys” and get told to do one but report them, well then you are the most loved customer in the world.

So, I will leave the complaint to run it’s true course AND accept the offer a meeting to plough through my bank account.  That won’t take long.

Let’s see what happens.

christmas fear begins

Anyone else worried about Christmas yet?

I have always loved Christmas, nor really sure why, it is just a happy time of year.  Prior to this year, I always managed to keep a little bit of money back in a Christmas savings account so that my children had what they wanted.  But this year…

I have not managed to save anything obviously, due to the constant demands for my money.   I have been lucky enough to win a couple of gifts for them, but the lists arrived yesterday.  Handed to me by two excited children to hand to Santa.

I read that note to Santa and felt that instant dread, as I can barely afford any of it.  However, I have never been a father who won’t do anything to provide for them.  So, it may be the time to sell one of my beloved possessions, which forms a large part of my ‘secret hobby’.  An expensive item but something I have managed to hold on to, but it may be that I have to back down and get the cash.

I haven’t stopped entering thousands of competitions in the hope I win some toys.  But it isn’t just for my children, I have nieces and nephews too.   For the first time in my life, I am not looking forward to Christmas at all.

The sceptre of Debt affects every walk of your life, it is always there.  You now constantly worry about major events, events like Christmas, birthdays, celebrations, school trips and then your own household bills, social life and so on.

I still have 2 months but I am expecting more brown envelopes soon.   Whatever happens, I will do my absolute best to make this Christmas wonderful for them.

Sometimes doing the right thing may not be the right thing

Today was an odd day, odd that someone asked me a direct question that nobody has asked me before.  Although I have asked myself the question many many times.  What is the question?  well it is this:

“why didn’t you go bankrupt and start again?”

well, let me explain.  I wanted to pay back the tax debt, and I mean the whole lot, the whole 100K.  A ridiculous as it sounds, it was pride.  I wanted to do the right thing despite not a lot of the tax debt being my own fault (see other posts), and I was confident I could do it.  I didn’t count on how difficult the HMRC would be, or the amount of additional fines.

Anyway, that has been discussed many times.  The point is though, why didn’t I go bankrupt, it wipes all your debt and you have a clean sheet.  But, it comes with a lot of disadvantages too.  I was earning really good money so I went for the repayment option, and it has gone reasonably well, until now of course.

Only now do I regret the decision, not completely, but enough to wonder why I didn’t follow the logical exercise.  The thing is that thousands of people go bust, or become insolvent.  I didn’t want to be a statistic, but ironically I have become one in that I am now one of the millions in debt.

Interestingly, I have seen a few articles in the newspapers recently whereby people who earn 100K a year can’t survive.  People scoff, but I can totally relate to that.  In effect, the more you earn when self employed, the more tax you pay so you are always behind.  So my plan for continual payment plans was flawed from the outset.

It depends on what type of person you are, whether you can hold your hands up and say “that’s it, I’ve had enough, take it all” and begin the clean slate.  Or, like me, you constantly find ways to pay things back or maintain your game face.  In effect, your pride stops you looking like a failure.

But, I’m not a failure yet.  Yet, being the key word here.  I definetly believe in what comes around, goes around.  I figure I have actively paid back an enormous amount of money and have done everything possible to achieve that, so I must be due a break soon?

We shall see, was the decision the right one or not?  Only time will tell, but the time is running out.

If I fail anyway, I hope I maintain my pride.

selfless act

Another couple of days spent hunting for answers to the financial predicament, but in a lot of cases of seemingly lost causes an answer presents itself.

I can’t accept this offer/answer though, on account of pride, but this act does highlight that people do a) care and b) want to help.  The reasons were so genuine, they didn’t want to see me down and struggling.  You can guess, someone offered to get me a loan.

Yes, it would fix the smaller issue and push the HMRC back for a few months on the larger outstanding debt but….I could not accept.  I had to be completely honest, I would be in no position to pay it back for 8-12 months which is completely unfair.  Why should someone else put themselves into debt to bail me out?

No, I had to be an adult and decline despite every bit of screaming do it!  But, you wouldn’t put a plaster on a wound that required stitches would you?  Nor can I paper over a temporary crack.  It would be a quick fix only, and then the threatening letters would start again and I would already have an additional loan to pay back.

What makes this more remarkable though is this person is not in any way affluent.  The loan offer was made because they have excellent credit history, and thus would get a loan.  How selfless is that?

It shows as well, don’t hide yourself away, open up and see who wants to help.  Some people will stick their nose up in the air (and they do) but others will want to help.  Perhaps I need to swallow my pride and open up to my family.

We will see…

that’s it then….doomed

What a shocking day this has been, 2 calls and 1 letter later and I am in worse trouble.

If you have been reading previous posts you will know the attempts I have gone to to get empathy and help with no avail.  Today pretty much summed it up.

Mortgage Company – 2 month holiday declined, equity release plan declined

Barclays – repayment of account charges and interest declined

HMRC – another fine.

Yes, that’s another fine from the HMRC.  So in the course of 7 days my debt with the HMRC has increased by a further  £1100 in fines and interest.  What can I do here, the debt increases and I can’t pay it.  Inevitable, next month, due to non payment I will be fined again.  This is a constant never ending cycle of pain.  How can I ever get out of this if the figure keeps moving?  I really have no chance do I?

And no institution will help me.  I have been a customer of my bank for over 25 years, they could see I was struggling but not say tough luck.  And you know why the mortgage company won’t help.

That’s society then people, love you when you are up, won’t help when down.

So what now?  If I am honest…nowhere.  I really have nowhere else to go now except the obvious one, so it’s time to sit my family down I think and explain what is going to happen.

If I am ever in a position of extreme wealth, I will make sure I own a company that people can come to with similar stories who just need help because there sure isn’t anywhere right now.

Not a happy blog today I am afraid but it’s a very low point for me.

I knew I was above average!

Interesting newspaper statistic today:

20140922_083641_resized

source: The Metro, 22nd September 2014

I note the “typically lose 11 nights worth a sleep a year”.  I lose at least 2 a week, there are 52 weeks in a year meaning I lose 104 nights sleep a year!  I am WAY above average.

But, on a serious note, no matter what you do debt is on your mind.  Even if you have a couple of good days, typically your money worries and financial concerns will either keep you awake or give you a nightmare.  It has happened to me many times.  I often wonder how many people lay there during the early hours just worrying about what is going to happen?

Debt is a serious problem, it doesn’t matter how or why you got in the position either, it changes your whole persona.  I don’t think I go more than a few hours without thinking about my own situation.  From my perspective, I think it makes it even worse when you have a family to support as well.

Nobody wants to fail, but you worry you will.  When you worry, you don’t sleep.  It’s that seemingly never ending circle.

Brown envelopes always mean bad news

I knew they would be coming, aside from the fine last week I haven’t received a threatening brown envelope in a few weeks.  Of course, the envelope isn’t threatening, but the content is.  The HMRC may as well send poison in it.

So, when you are self employed you have 4 areas to pay:

1. PAYE/NIC

2. Self Assessment

3. VAT

4. Corporation Tax

Happily for me, I can pay off number 1 next week, but this still leaves 3 areas that I now owe.  I owe them as I closed my company but, if you recall from previous post about the  hmrc my negotiations were a waste of time and I got fined anyway!  This letter is about debt number 2.

Debt 2 has seen some success, you see you pay half at the beginning of the year and the second half later on.  That second half is based on your projected half yea earningsr, but as I closed the company in June I successfully managed to negotiate £5600 off that bill as they agreed I wouldn’t owe it.   But, I do still owe some….hence the letter!

If I am truthful, I am not completely worried about this one (yet).  I think I can pay it off via selling some things, careful budgeting, and try getting permission from my mortgage company to take those 2 accrued payment holidays.   But, one envelope always brings others and the others will be debts 3 and 4, and those debts will have no traction at all.

So what would you do in my position?  I think I am going to request a personal hearing with a judge and try and negotiate something.  When you are in debt, all you do is negotiate.  Perhaps I should have worked in sales!

The concern for me though is that this may go the same way that put me in this trouble, that all the separate entities demand payment at once.  That is normally how the HMRC works.

I guess we wait and see, whatever happens this time I won’t panic.