Tag Archives: insolvency

Underestimated the admin!

Apologies for the quietness, been so busy!  Not just with work, but all the admin!   I knew I would have forms to fill in for the Insolvency but wow.

I had already completed a mountain of paperwork and forms, but then I received my ‘director questionnaire’ from the high court.  It is 48 pages, 46 of which are questions around your financial acumen and how you conducted yourself.  Most of them I could answer but some of the questions are so ambiguous that it is hard to know what to put!

Questions such as “Did you, or are you/have you been aware of, any directorship directly or indirectly linked to the “company” at the perceived date?”  what perceived date??  confused…so I put no!  Or did they mean the company that has gone Insolvent?  Who knows.

I did my best with it though, and was as honest as I could be.

In addition, I had the car accident back in July.  I finally received my medical report and proceed forms.   Again, 28 pages of reporting on a meeting I had ages ago, and then an expenses form for minor trivial expenses.   Again, all done and in the post.

As if my hand was aching enough, I attended my Driver Awareness Course and was handed renewal forms for my driving license as that expires in 8 months.  It feels like there is a mountain of paperwork that I have got through but luckily I have a huge backup of stamps to use!

Sometimes you have to get this stuff done, and things like my blog and entering competitions are forced to take a back seat.

But, all admin is done and out of the way, so back to real life.  Is that a good thing???

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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.

All done – Insolvent

Well, the meeting happened today and it’s official – My company is insolvent.   Loads of forms for me to sign but importantly none of my creditors turned up to the meeting, which made it really easy.

There were 4 creditors due, my bank, my accountant and the HMRC (2 debts) and none were interested in attending.  Although that is good news, it kind of shows how you are viewed.  The debt of £24,000 is massive to me but apparently not worth anybody else’s time!

What happens now is that all the forms and reports are sent to the creditors and Companies House, and I will appear in the paper next Thursday.  Coincidentally, I am in London next Thursday so may buy the financial paper out of morbid curiosity.   It is sad though, I worked very hard to set myself up but in the end, the HMRC and family related issues meant I could never carry it on.  Once you find yourself in trouble, you rarely get out of it.

With regards to the timelines, everything will be completed by 31st January 2015.  Any of the Creditors, before that time, can challenge anything they like but as my company has a total asset listing of NIL, the Insolvency Practitioner and I find it unlikely we will see that challenge as it is a waste of time.

I don’t feel great about it at all though, a lot of you will think I should be relieved but not really.   It’s still a form of giving up in my eyes but life teaches you that you cannot fix every situation.  Sometimes you have to stand up and say “I’ve done all I can, help?” and this is what happened here.

For anyone going through this, or planning on Insolvency, this is what it means to me personally.   The Insolvency goes against my company and not me personally, meaning I do need to declare it.   The Insolvency does not touch personal possessions so I won’t lose my home.  Finally, it stops brown envelopes.  The flood of them with the associated threats.

For that peace of mind, the decision has been the correct one.

If all else fails, go home

Where, assuming you have reached this age, do/did you think you would be at middle age?  Me, I hoped to be settled on a personal and financial basis.  Sadly, that is not the case.

I am out of options for raising the initial funds for the Insolvency, I have tried multiple options and my last option today has not panned out either.  This leaves only one way to go, a humiliating cap in hand walk to my parents.   Please don’t get me wrong, they offer to help me multiple times in a month so the shame is on my part.   Who would actually feel comfortable with asking your parents for a few thousand pounds?

It will be paid back, everyone I have ever borrowed money from has been paid back.  Except for the HMRC of course, but that is a very different matter.  I feel very uncomfortable with borrowing money from family or friends, despite the genuine offer it puts a different pressure on me.

This time it is important, this is not for personal debt clearance or to give me extra money, it is to draw a line under my company and it’s debts.  It looks like, until I clear this debt, that embarrassment comes hand in hand with it.   It is has been going on so long now I forget what it feels like to have wages and have zero to pay out.

I’ll go round this weekend and get it over with.  Believe me, I can’t look any more pathetic than I already look.

Raising the balance not going well!

By now you all know, I need to raise the £4500 in order to file my company insolvency.  This is not going well at all.

I have until the 21st November to raise at least half the money.  The usual options are not available to me so have applied for 5 householder loans.  As the loans are under 5K I don’t have to involve my ex, but declined on all 5.  Guess why??

Yep, because I am now involved in Insolvency!  Good grief, can it get any worse?   Yet another door shuts because of something else.  The world of finance is so deeply linked it’s scary.  So, it’s lie mode from now on then.

One other thing, every decline of credit is another black mark on your credit history.  Not that it makes a blind bit of difference any more as the chances of me ever getting credit again is pretty much zero.   But, it is annoying.

I still have 11 days though, 11 days to come up with other ways of raising the money.  Wish me luck.

HMRC just won’t let it lie

Long day today, stuck in traffic and it took a while to get home.  When I did, checked my mail and there it was – a brown envelope.  Avid readers will know I hate them, it takes me ages to open it as it creates fear and brings me out in a sweat.  They are never nice and they are always from the HMRC, so I knew this wouldn’t be good.

What a shock (sarcasm), they have totally ignored the letter from my Insolvency Practitioner and sent me a demand for Corporation Tax, £14663 payable immediately.  We expected this to happen, purely because they know they have threated me before and I have somehow raised the funds to pay them off.  Not this time, I have sent the letter over to my IP for them to deal with.  This was the point of going through business insolvency, to stop this.  One week after the declaration and the HMRC ignore it.

I cannot think of one good word to say the HMRC.  They are like a dog with a bone, they bully and harass you until you break and care not for your personal stories or strife.   They want the money you owe, the money they added on, and the money they will add on when you can’t pay after a month.   It stops now.

Before I started this blog, I read a lot of forums about to stop these threats and the amount of pages of broken souls desperate for some sort of a solution to stop the letters, phone calls and visits.   I felt for all of them, I was lucky that I could pay off such massive amount of money but it did me no favours.

The best advice I have been given is not to pay.  If you are in trouble, do not pay.  Most of us want to pay, including me, as it is the right thing to do.  However if that debt target continues to move then you are never going to catch up.  I thought I was doing the morally right thing but no.  I should have said years ago I couldn’t pay and stopped it there and then.

There are times in your life when right is actually wrong, and this is one of them.

At least I can pass this letter on, legally they cannot threaten me any more.   On a positive note, I found 21p today!  I continue to find small coinage.  Every little helps!

So much paperwork!

It is the Insolvency Meeting Thursday so still wading through all the paperwork I have to complete and provide.  Not a complaint as it is for the greater good, but there is so much information to provide.  Not surprisingly, my accountant has been none too helpful seeing as they will become a creditor.  Informed them what was happening, no reply!  However, I won’t worry as the Insolvency Practitioner will contact them to provide the documentation.

Work has also been the same, lots and lots of paperwork to do.  I am surrounded by paper and pens at the moment!  Also, my printer is low on ink.  But, a busy job is a good job as it means there is lots to do which ensures longevity of employment!

An added bonus tonight though, my daughter refused to go and stay at her mum’s.  This is only the second time this has happened, bless her!   I was all set for yet another night in with the dog, and I get the bonus of my angel!   It impacts my admin but who cares, who can moan when their little girl wants to stay with their dad?

With everything going on, I have noticed how fast time is going.  Somehow tomorrow is Wednesday already and that is another full day.   Sometimes time flying is good but right now I could do with it slowing down a little so I can catch up.

I will print and complete my final forms and statements tomorrow, then I am all prepared.  Just got to sort the payment and I am ready to go.  Keep an eye on those London papers for the Insolvency message soon!

Results of my meeting

Firstly, thank you to all the readers who have sent me messages of support and indeed asking me how the meeting went.  So, here is the summary.

Not sure why I was feeling nervous, possibly as the meeting was in a building that I had worked at 3 times so there was some fear I may see someone I know.  I had all my letters and evidence in a folder and felt prepared but why the nervousness?  In reality, I should have been excited but the wait in the reception room made it worse.  I also wondered if the 2 receptionists looked at me and knew I was another person who couldn’t pay their bills, another loser if you will.  But, I digress….

The meeting was an 85% success.  I cannot include ALL the tax debt, but most of it.  So, basically I can apply for Insolvency and in effect not pay £20,000 in tax debt.  I would need to pay the other £5000 as it counts as ‘personal tax liability’, but I can tackle that better than tackling £25,000.  The cost of the procedure is £4500 as well, which I need to pay up front but that may have been sorted if I can swallow my pride.

The explanation was really clear, my limited company will be wound up and not myself personally and the insolvency is only advertised (is advertised an appropriate word?  shamed would be better!) in the London papers.  I don’t live in London so that is not a problem.  I also received the clarification that it will not affect my job and I did not need to disclose it either.

Moving on to the plan.

I have to provide a mountain of information, all readily available from my accountant.  Interestingly, you need 2 creditors to apply for insolvency.  One is the HMRC, the other will be my accountant as I will no longer be allowed to pay them as the business bank account will be suspended.   I also need to provide a timeline of went wrong, but keep to the facts and resist the urge to state how the HMRC have made my life a living hell.  Some other documents and ID as well are needed, but all manageable.

I also have to type up a board meeting, with minutes, whereby the shareholders agree to wind up the company.  This is purely admin as I am the only shareholder/director so it just for show.

The person I met was extremely helpful, I think she could see how broken I was.  I am not putting this in here to give you all an image and to feel sorry for me either, this really has been a nightmare for me and I have a lost of lot because of it.  Both on a personal and health level.

The summary is that next Thursday I have my follow up meeting, pay the money, sign lots of things and it is taken out of my hands and into the Insolvency Act.   The whole thing takes 3-6 months but in that time the HMRC cannot contact me, cannot fine me and cannot charge interest.  I have handed over all my letters, that was a relief.  I have been hiding them away so I didn’t have to see them.  After that meeting, everything is in motion.

I was surprised how many meeting the team have, but for bigger companies than me.  Would you like to know the main reason these companies have had to ask for advise or apply for liquidation and/or bankruptcy?  HMRC FINES!!!   Oh how I understood, it is largely what made me unable to pay everything off.  I never imagined actual trading companies were in the same boat as someone like me.  Strangely it made me feel better, less like I was being singled out.

I feel a little better, but until I get the official letters I will remain guarded.  The fact is though, I should have done this ages ago.

Tomorrow is a very important day

Tomorrow I have a big meeting, yes another one.  However, this is life changing.

I have been speaking to an Insolvency Practitioner about keeping my tax debt separate from other debts, it transpires that I can do that as the company has no assets and I was the only employee.  I closed the company down in July, but the HMRC has kept it in their records as a trading company!. The company is unable to pay it’s debts, this it is insolvent.

Still with me?   good…

What works in my favour is the clear evidence I have made every single effort possible to pay back everything, which has been a huge amount of money.  I also pumped in £18,000 of my own money back into the company which left me unable to meet other demands.  It shows I have tried everything.

If I can achieve it, the insolvency will only go against my name as a company director and not myself personally.  But, it’s not cheap.

To set this up will cost £4000.  Wow you might say, but remember the outstanding debt is £25,000 so if you look at the 2 figures it is a small price to pay to finally stop this nightmare.   There will be some that now think, well hang on that isn’t fair so let me qualify it.

Remember, a quarter of the total money owed to HMRC is fines and interest.  The actual bills were paid, not on time I know, but paid.  The figures grew which were more of a struggle to keep up.  The more I missed, the more I got fined, the bigger the total was each month and so on.   And, from reading my posts, you will see I have been on my knees but still paid as much as I ever could.  But, I can’t pay what I do not have.

Additionally, I am not including my own personal debt.  I am totally committed to paying it off, and I will do.

Appointing an Insolvency Practitioner means they deal with the HMRC directly now too, so they can’t flood me with threats every single week.   I had to look at what this was doing to me, the dread of the unknown number on my phone, the constant fear of hearing the mail being delivered.  It is not healthy to be constantly worrying, and to be harassed to the point of no return.  I would rather be banned from being a company director for 5 years and walk away with the knowledge I paid back nearly £100,000 before I could do no more.  I think you will agree the effort has been there.

What I hope is the financial evidence review goes well, and that I am allowed to be separate the insolvency.  If it doesn’t, I am utterly doomed.

So fingers crossed please my beloved readers and followers.  I will update you all tomorrow night.