Tag Archives: harrassment

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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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?

It’s no using hiding, we’ll find you – Part 2

This part is specifically about the HMRC I am afraid.  Of all of the debtors, of which there were several, none were so aggressive and oppressive as Her Majesty’s finest.   I could control all of the other debtors, and we will cover this in later chapters with the methods I went to, and how it panned out.  But this lot…oh what a real eye opener.

Let me be honest up front, every advice on the web about owing them money states do ANYTHING you can to pay them back as they will hound you in every way possible.  And boy do they.  Let’s set the picture though about how bad it got, and continues to do so.

The way the HMRC work is they are not one entity, so if you owe more than one department you deal with them separately.  So, I was late with VAT and Corporation Tax.  I found this out when I phoned and was put on a payment plan for the VAT, payable over 3 months.  Result, not an issue.  Phoned Corporation Tax department, NO!  That must be paid in one go or the payment plan must be for that bill only.  So hold on here, the lower bill is now nicely spread out but the outstanding monster bill must be cleared in 30 days?  Cue the usual patronisation of the highest order about how I should be able to manage my finances etc and so on.

You are on your own here guys, it is no good trying to explain your circumstances, they just want their money.   Obviously I couldn’t pay so this is where the harassment started, and it escalated.

One brown letter a week, which moved to three a week.  Add in voicemails on my phone demanding I ring them back too and the stress starts to rise.  You enter panic mode,  At the time of the first set of hounding by the HMRC I was separated so I had redirected the mail, this helped as my parents never read the mail so nobody had a clue.  What that meant was I could still hide that from my soon to be ex wife.  I wanted it to stay hidden.  How else was this achieved you ask?  Well I told them I had moved out, backed up by the Royal Mail redirection so they never rang the home phone.

I ignored the letters as long as I could, largely so the other payment plan could complete.  That plan actually went quite well until the day I got a call from an Inland Revenue inspector who had been sent to catalogue my home.  By some miracle nobody was in, so he couldn’t get in.  I spoke to the guy, no humour at all, I had to pay £5000 by the end of the week of they would enter my home.

Does anyone believe in miracles?  One was about to happen…

After the call I sat in my car for an hour in silence, in stunned shock.  I was going to get exposed now, in front of my family.  I barely slept a wink that night, and arrived at work the next day on the verge of tears.  And then the miracle happened, I had been in a  car crash 2 years prior and had been quite badly injured but it had been ongoing every since.  An hour into work my phone rang and I remember the words “Hi, it’s your solicitor, we have just been asked if you would settle for £5,500.  What are the chances of that?   I was saved, I paid off the £5,000 and nobody knew.  However, it was a brief miracle.

When you take a payment plan, the HMRC still fine you and add in daily interest so you pay quite a lot of extra money.  The minute you take the first plan, you are always behind.  You are now in a circle, you pay one bill but can’t afford the other one.  You pay that one, you owe another.  Like I said before, I actually managed to to live on peanuts and clear a massive part of the total owed.

You will never be left alone, you will be continually hounded non stop.  Your interest rate on payment plans is set to 15% by default as a previous defaulter.  You will receive no sympathy at all.   My total desperation to hide what was happening was wrong, I should have asked for help earlier from family and friends but pride is a powerful emotion.

I still owe them money so the letters and cycle will start again soon, this time it will be different…