The truth behind the top 20 debt myths

Written by Payplan Ryan on 15 August 2012

In the 21st Century it is easy to use the internet to get answers to important debt questions. However, it is also easy to come across incorrect information which can have dangerous consequences.

Look no further – here we answer 20 of the most common debt myths:

  • I have to pay for debt advice. This is a very common myth with many people being told that impartial debt advice can only be delivered by a Debt Management Company that charges a fee. This is in fact false as impartial debt advice can come from a variety of sources without it incurring any cost to you. Payplan is one source of free advice, but you could also visit: Citizens Advice Bureau, National Debtline, Debt Advice Foundation and Christians Against Poverty.
  • Bankruptcy is the quickest way out of debt. Bankruptcy is a very complex route and it should not be seen as a quick and easy way out of debt. To file for bankruptcy you must complete paperwork, attend a court hearing and meet with an Official Receiver who will go through your finances and assess your assets. In bankruptcy you may be ordered to pay any surplus income as an Income Payments Order (IPO) to your creditors. You may have to pay this for up to three years.
  • I will lose my home if I go bankrupt. If you are to go down the bankruptcy route then your home, as well as your other assets, are at risk of being sold to recoup money for your creditors. However, if your home has little to negative equity then it may not be worth selling as it would not provide enough funds to make any significant difference. It is always worth taking advice with regards to your home before looking at bankruptcy to find out what risks are involved.
  • Bailiffs can force entry into my home. Bailiffs collecting on behalf of unpaid County Court Judgment CANNOT force entry into your home. The only time that a bailiff CAN force entry is when they have entered peacefully before, they’re collecting unpaid fines, they are entering a commercial property or they are collecting income tax, or VAT.
  • Bailiffs can take any item from my home.  A bailiff can only take items that belong to the person who owes the money and they cannot take any item that belongs to a family member or your children. In addition to this, they cannot take items such as clothing, bedding, household equipment or anything that satisfies a basic domestic need. The Bailiff may need to see proof of ownership if you are stating the goods are not yours.
  • Government legislation can write off debt. Unfortunately, there is no such legislation from the government that can write off 100% of debt. The only way of “writing off” any debt is through an Individual Voluntary Arrangement or bankruptcy, but you are still required to make payments towards your debts and only a percentage of debt is written off once you have made all of your payments into the plan. It may also be possible to do a full and final settlement on your debts but this would need to be agreed by the creditor.
  • My bank cannot take money from my bank account without my permission. If you owe money to your bank or an associated company they are entitled to take funds from your account towards what you owe. This is often referred to as the Right to Offset and it entitles your bank to take funds directly from your current account. If your salary is being paid into an account and you have debts with the same bank then you should look to changing to one that is not associated to any of your creditors.
  • Bailiffs are instructed by creditors to collect debts. Bailiffs cannot be instructed by creditors directly. The only people that can instruct bailiffs to visit your home is the Court due to you falling behind with payments towards your CCJ. If a creditor tells you that they have instructed someone to visit your home and you do not have a CCJ this will only be a debt collector/ local representative.
  • If I ignore my debts, they will be wiped off after six years. Unfortunately, ignoring your debts does not mean that the debt will disappear. This myth may have come from the Limitations Act, which states that if you do not admit to the debt, have not made any payments and your creditors have not chased you within a six year period then the debt becomes Statute Barred.
  • Making minimum payments is a suitable way to clearing my debts. Minimum payments are possibly the worst way in which you could repay your debts. This is because you will find that by making minimum payments you are barely covering the interest. For example, if you owe £1,000 on a credit card, with an interest rate of 17.9% and make minimum payments of 2% it will take 25 years to clear, with £1,782 in interest alone. * http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/cards/minimum-repayments-credit-card
  • If I have a joint loan I am only responsible for half of it. If you took out a loan with your partner, a family member or a friend, then you are liable for the full amount that was borrowed. This is called Joint and Several Liability. Therefore, if the other person enters in an IVA, goes bankrupt or they fail to pay then you will be chased for the full outstanding amount.
  • All interest and charges will be frozen when I enter into a DMP. No one can give any guarantee that interest and charges will be frozen in a DMP. All reputable companies such as Payplan will do all they can to encourage creditors to freeze or reduce interest and charges, however no one can make a promise that this will happen.
  • A student loan can be added into Bankruptcy, a DMP or an IVA as a creditor. If you have a student loan then this is classed as a Priority Creditor, which means that it must be paid outside of any agreement or plan for your debts. If you are entering into a plan you must set this as a priority creditor and you are solely responsible for making sure all payments are maintained.
  • Credit cards can be in joint names. You cannot have a credit card in joint names. One person will solely be responsible and liable for the debt, however you can have an additional card holder. The additional card holder will not be liable for any debt built up on the card.
  • Creditors and debt collectors can contact you anytime of the day and as many times as they feel suitable. Fortunately this is not true as creditors and debt collectors cannot make excessive contact with you as this is deemed as harassment by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and according to the Administration of Justice Act 1970. If you feel that your creditors are harassing you then you should report them to the OFT and write to them requesting that they only contact you in writing.
  • My bad credit rating will affect people that I live with. You credit rating is personal to you and your credit history, any bad credit that you have is not reflected on the household.
  • Debts will need to be paid by my family when I die. When you die, as long as you have no savings or assets to sell, your debts will pass on with you. However, if you have a home or other assets your family may be forced to sell them to release money to pay your creditors.
  • Debt Consolidation is the same as a DMP. Debt Consolidation is where you take out a new larger loan to cover all of your borrowings. A DMP is a plan, supported by a third part such as Payplan, where you make one regular payment and this is distributed to all of your creditors.
  • I must be a homeowner to take out a Debt Consolidation loan. You do not have to be a homeowner, however generally homeowners may find it easier to obtain a debt consolidation loan as they can be secured on the home. This is not always the case, however this is fairly common.
  • I will be sent to prison for not paying my debts. You cannot be sent to prison for failing to pay your unsecured debts. However, if you fail to pay fines, community charges, business rates or council tax then you do risk a Magistrates Court using its power. If you are unable to maintain these payments it is always in your best interest to remain in contact with them to avoid any unnecessary action.

I am sure that there are many, many more myths out there. If you have come across any we would love to hear from you.

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This article was checked and deemed to be correct as at the above publication date, but please be aware that some things may have changed between then and now. So please don't rely on any of this information as a statement of fact, especially if the article was published some time ago.

43 thoughts on “The truth behind the top 20 debt myths”

  • Samuel

    May 7, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Hi Lana,

    The answer is yes. The debt has to be paid in full as with any debts that you incur.
    If you are struggling with debts and would like further advice, please call us or make enquiries online (http://www.payplan.com/debt-help/index-variation.php)

    Kind regards,
    Samuel

    Reply Report comment

  • Samuel

    August 23, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Hi Mark,

    Thank you for your question.
    Consulting with the Insolvency Practitioner they have said:
    It is treated the same as it is in bankruptcy and is not classified as an income stream.

    Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require any further information.

    Regards,
    Samuel

    Reply Report comment

  • Jessica

    November 20, 2014 at 10:23 am

    I have a debt for royal bank of Scotland credit card for £1452 . I cannot remember when I got into difficulties with this . But I think about 9 years ago . I did iniatially try to pay instalments in this after they froze the interest . This situation didn’t lady long as I became long term sick . Which I still am and don’t have enough money to live on . This debt as been passed , passed to various creditors . The lastest one is Marlin who are now threatening to take me to court . I really don’t want a ccj and all the extra costs on top of what I owe . Shall I contact them ? Is it possible that thus debt is statue barred ? Really would appreciate advice on this 🙁

    Reply Report comment

    • Rich Wells

      November 26, 2014 at 9:35 am

      I would advise you contact our helpline on 0800 280 2816 or 0207 760 8980 via a mobile who will be able to provide advice on this. Alternatively you can fill in our online form https://www.payplan.com/debt-help/ and we shall ring you back.

      Reply Report comment

  • tim

    January 22, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    I’ve been paying a dmp for nearly 6 years and still gave 8 years left, Im wondering if there’s any other options avaliable to get out of debt ?

    Reply Report comment

    • Rich Wells

      January 27, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      Hi Tim,
      There are a range of debt options available – if you want to talk to someone who can advise you please contact our helpline on 0800 280 2816 or 0207 760 8980 via a mobile. We will be able to give you some advice. Alternatively you can fill in our online form https://www.payplan.com/debt-help/ and we shall ring you back to discuss. Thanks Rich

      Reply Report comment

  • Jo

    January 25, 2015 at 1:32 am

    I had a current account overdraft 2 years ago with the bank. I paid this off with my mortgage. I recently checked my credit score to see that I had defaulted my current account by £196. I contacted the bank to see why it said this. They said I owed them it but they “chose” to write it off in 2013. I never had any contact or consent about this! I believed the whole sum was paid off – which receipts say it was. Where do I go from here? It’s affecting my credit score every month.

    Reply Report comment

    • Rich Wells

      January 27, 2015 at 2:19 pm

      Hi Jo,
      Please contact our helpline on 0800 280 2816 or 0207 760 8980 via a mobile.We will be able to give you some advice. Alternatively you can fill in our online form https://www.payplan.com/debt-help/ and we shall ring you back to discuss. Thanks Rich

      Reply Report comment

  • Christian

    May 28, 2015 at 9:33 am

    Can little woods sell my debt without my permission

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      July 14, 2015 at 7:48 am

      If you have defaulted then they can sell on your debt or pass it to a debt collector for collection. They do not need your permission to do this but they do have to let you know they have.
      You may find it useful to give our helpline a ring on 08002802816 where they will be able to explain things further

      Reply Report comment

  • Tim

    June 27, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    I had a balif that came to
    my house broke my door window and
    Put is arm in and turned the key to unlocked door. He has never been before. How can I prove this? His word against mine

    Reply Report comment

    • Rich Wells

      July 2, 2015 at 7:58 am

      Hello,
      To ensure we give the best possible advice, I would advise you contact our helpline on 0800 280 2816 or 0207 760 8980 via a mobile. A trained adviser will be able to give you tailored advice.
      Hope this helps

      Reply Report comment

    • Rich Wells

      July 14, 2015 at 7:33 am

      This is a criminal offence, have you reported this to the Police as the Bailiff has caused criminal damage to your property?
      You should have had notification of the bailiff/enforcement officer coming. A bailiff can only enter a property the first time by peaceful means. They can open an unlocked door but cannot get in through window. Please ensure you have a photograph of the damage and first of all contact the police so you get a crime number and then contact the court who sent them. This cannot have been a county court bailiff as they are salaried court employees and do not behave in this manner. Please give ur helpline a ring where you can explain further and therefore get best advice.

      Reply Report comment

  • Sharron Dickson

    September 14, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    My house was repossessed and there was a shortfall of £35,000 on the mortgage. I also have other debts totalling £10,000. If I declare myself bankrupt will the mortgage and other debts be included in the bankruptcy.

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      September 21, 2015 at 6:28 pm

      Yes, if you have no other assets then this is a solution which will rid you of all your debts. However, if you have a reasonable disposable income there may be other options to avoid bankruptcy. Contact Payplan on 0800 280 2816 or 0207 760 8980 via a mobile. A trained adviser will be able to give you tailored advice.

      Reply Report comment

  • Elizabeth

    September 28, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Cutting a long story short.
    I severed my original payplan I had with my ex and started a new one some 3 years ago..we have a house that has been on market (Fair amount of equity- enough to pay off my debts with my half) however he left property some year ago (he failed 6 months of mortgage payments in first year of split) He got back on track but now only half mortgage payment being met and i am worried about repossession. I am a student nurse and my income is tight, I managed to get a credit card 3 years ago as an emergency and maintained it fine however this year got stuck for money and lived off it for my children and I for a few months..its now up to max and im struggling with the minimum payments..can I add it to my plan if i increase what i usually pay? What happens to my debts if the house gets repossessed? I had hoped it would have sold and I could have cleared the lot but I feel now im on shakey ground..i still have 2 years left in my degree.

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      October 1, 2015 at 4:16 pm

      I am sorry to hear of your struggles and hope things improve soon.

      Of course you can add it to your plan as you now realise you cannot manage to pay this – you also need to discuss with your case officer the amount you can afford to pay as if you needed another credit card it was because your budget was unsustainable. It is important that mortgage payments are made to stop the threat of repossession so you need to discuss this too as there may be other options. If the house is repossessed then you will be liable for any mortgage shortfall – if any. Is the house on the market – priced for a quick sale? Is your lender aware of the situation. Give your case officer a call and ask for a review of your case – do not be frightened to, it is their job!

      Reply Report comment

  • chelle

    October 4, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Hi I am just looking for some advice as it’s the weekend no nothing is open.me and partner had a car accident last learn and I’m the eyes of the insurance I’m was the other person right of way so our insurance paid out a year later I got a later Friday saying our insurance has not covered us said we used the car in peak time they have sent me a invoice for £10,56.00 to be paid in 14 days.i am in shock and worried what is going to happen we have not got that kind of money we only rent and it would take us a life time to pay this debt off please any advice would really help thankyou

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      October 5, 2015 at 9:54 am

      The first thing to do is not to panic. The second thing is you need to see whether you are liable for this. Please seek advice from your local Citizens Advice Bureau or Legal Centre. We can help with debt solutions but cannot comment on the law as this is not a legal site. If it is true that you are now liable then please come back to us and I would strongly suggest you contact Payplan on 0800 2802816 as calls are free to this number even from mobiles. A trained adviser will be able to give you tailored advice.
      You can write to them and state you are taking legal advice as it is impossible for most people to pay out that amount of money within the time scale they are suggesting.

      Reply Report comment

  • Tony

    October 14, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    If the creditor/ owner of the CCJ is ill /elderly , how can they transfer it to family member , so they, the new owner can apply to enforce the debt payments from the debtor.

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      October 14, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      Is the CCJ owner too ill or elderly to enforce the debt themselves with your help – otehrwise you would need a power of attorney?

      Enforcement can include charging orders on the debtor’s property if they own it, bailiff action, attachment of earnings or third party debt orders. It does however cost money to do this and debtor may not be in any position to pay so you need to weigh up any advantages to doing this.

      If an CCJ is over 6 years old and has not been enforced then the owner would need to go back to court to say why it had not been if they wanted to enforce it. If the owner/creditor dies then the money owed forms part of the estate they leave behind so you will need legal advice.

      I should say that the question facility here is really for people who want to repay their debts rather than creditors trying to seek repayment.

      Reply Report comment

  • Laura

    October 20, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    Can council tax and business rates debt be included in bankcruptcy?

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      October 21, 2015 at 10:13 am

      Yes council tax arrears can be included and if in arrears in the current year and a claim has been issued then the whole of the current year goes in too.Business rates too.Also councils can make someone bankrupt for non payment of these.

      There may be alternatives to bankruptcy if suitable such as a self-employed IVA if you wish to continue trading under the same name. Please phone Payplan for further advice on this.

      Reply Report comment

  • Paul McVeigh

    October 23, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Hi. I have a small piece of land (0.2 acre) that without planning permission is worth less that £3000. If I went for an IVA would banks ask for this to be sold?

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      October 25, 2015 at 6:41 pm

      It all depends on the wording of your IVA. Things can be excluded but need to be mentioned to your IP when being set up as to withold information could cause an IVA to fail and you be made bankrupt when they would take it. Basically if this land gets planning permission there is a substantial asset. However this is something to discuss with the Insolvency Practitioner. If you contact Payplan a trained adviser will be able to give your more tailored advice. It basically depends on the offer and other assets.

      Reply Report comment

  • Kevin

    November 14, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    I have just been given a letter by the tennant of a house I used to live in, it’s a statement of means from the county court given me 8 days, which have passed , to complete and return for an unsecured debt , the letter thrusting so me with been sent to prison if I don’t complete the form in time .. Can I be sent to prison?

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      November 16, 2015 at 1:57 pm

      The simple answer is yes for contempt of court but in fact this is going to be highly unlikely because you will contact the court immediately explaining that you only received this letter by accident as you no longer live at this address. It is surprising that the tenant did not give you the previous correspondence to this and I do not know whether it was for an unsecured debt with a county court judgment, old council tax or a fine. Let them know asap – this will not remove the debt but will give you the opportunity to either ask for it to be set aside if you do not know it or arrange for payment at a rate you can afford.

      I would strongly suggest you contact Payplan on 0800 2802816 as calls are free to this number even from mobiles. A trained adviser will be able to give you tailored advice.

      Reply Report comment

  • Sarah

    November 19, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    My house was repossessed and I am also in an IVA. The IVA does not have a charge against my house (nothing on land registry) There is surplus equity in the house. Will the solicitors still have to send that to the IP, or will it come to me for me to sort out. The IVA never registered a charge against the property as there was no equity at the time. Ideally I don’t want it to go to them as I want to contact my creditors individually and offer amounts to them directly as full and final settlement, and ideally avoid the IP having anything as they will take full amount and not lesser offers for full and final.

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      November 24, 2015 at 6:58 pm

      This is a very simple answer I am afraid. You are in a legally binding arrangement with your creditors and this works on both sides. You do have a duty to declare any assets which come your way which this equity means you do and also your budget will change as I assume you now have different bills to pay. There may not be a restriction against your property but if the IP were to find out rather than you inform him, he can take further action. Also the creditors have agreed to the proposal and you making full and final settlements during this proposal is not possible but your IP could and you could find that your IVA is able to be satisfied early. We cannot give you any stronger advice than to keep your supervisor informed.

      Reply Report comment

  • maz

    November 23, 2015 at 1:53 am

    my partner is moving in with me, we have nothing joint together but he wants to be added to the tenants agreement but he has ccjs will this effect my good credit history?

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      November 24, 2015 at 6:51 pm

      That depends on whether you would be looking for more credit. Once his name goes on the tenancy agreement you will have a financial link. Although his details will not appear on your credit file, the link will allow a creditor to look at his credit file. You can put a disclaimer on there however. If you need more advice then contact Payplan on 0800 2802816 where a trained adviser will be able to give you tailored advice.

      Reply Report comment

  • Adrian

    January 2, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    Hi, I completed my a year early. The end of December 2015 marked 6 years since the start of my IVA. During the IVA my home went into negative equity and as my wife and I had split we voluntary surrendered the property to the bank. I was told by my IVA supervisor that the short fall would be included in the IVA. However the house has now sold and the shortfall is still showing on my credit record. Is there anything I can do to sort this. The bank never responded to my IVA supervisor and never claimed their share of the agreement. I’m worried that they will try and recover the short fall from me and that it is still showing on my credit record. There has been no contact from the bank except from me trying to contact them but getting nowhere with it.

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      January 4, 2016 at 11:45 am

      It would depend how much the shortfall was and what was stated in the proposals or any variation. You were told it was included by your supervisor and from what you said the monies have not been distributed completely yet. If the mortgage company issued a default when you stopped paying the mortgage then that will sit on your credit file for 6 years anyway and if it was after the commencement of the IVA it will still be there until its 6 year anniversary as that is how it works. However, to put your mind at rest I think you should go back to your supervisor and ask for written confirmation that the shortfall was included.

      Reply Report comment

  • Kat

    February 2, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    Very troubled times meant house repossessed 3 years ago. Shortfall mortgage & other loans and cards £50000.
    Also got CCJs. Was unable to deal with all this so have regretfully avoided. Will this all go away if I declare self bankrupt?

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      February 8, 2016 at 4:22 pm

      I am sorry to hear you have had such a bad time. Bankruptcy is an option to clear it all if you have no disposable income and if you did there would probably be three year income payments arrangement. or some of us this is the best possible route.If you have there may be another less drastic option called an IVA which could allow you to pay back a proportion of your debt over five years and the rest would be written off.
      I would strongly suggest you contact Payplan on 0800 2802816 as calls are free to this number even from mobiles. A trained adviser will be able to give you tailored advice.

      Reply Report comment

  • Geoff Wilson

    March 4, 2016 at 5:20 am

    Sunday gone a bailiff turned up at my door with a magistrates court warrant to seize payment or goods for the amount of £400 for an old TV licence fine of my partners from around 4 yrs ago that went to court. She received a letter the Friday 2 days before the bailiff arrived at my doorstep saying she must pay £50 per month but he dismissed it saying it takes a while for the courts to send out letters because of the amount of people they have to deal with weekly, anyway the Bailiff said because the warrant is from the magistrates court he had more power than a county court sheriff and if we didn’t let him in he would just call out a locksmith to drill the locks and enter my property where we would incur the costs. I went outside were he showed me paperwork backing up his claims as well as the warrant, We had really no choice to let him enter in that case, He claimed he could actually take anything he wanted if we couldn’t pay up this included settees,dining table and chairs, including any electronic equipment i own and the children’s but not toys and it didn’t have to belong to my partner who’s debt the name was in because she lives in the household.We are a Family of six members 2 adults 4 children, I am the only working person in the household and we rely on my wage and working tax credits, we pay full rent and council tax and by the time we pay the bills out and food we barely have enough to last, So we were scared he was going to take everything mostly including the children’s electronic equipment that we saved very hard for so they could have a good Christmas and forced into an agreement to pay £400 in one week that . We told him we couldn’t really afford this amount. He said we must and wouldn’t negotiate further or he will start taking items out of our house, He has left us enough for the week for gas and electric , £20 for a weekly bus pass for my two children in high school and so i can get to work as i work 10 miles away from home and hardly anything for food not enough to last a family of six a week, and missed rent and council tax.He did say if anyone got on our case we owed money to that week, he would speak to them on our behalf by giving them his phone number but this warrant had to be payed instantly and took priority over anything because its came from the magistrates court and was doing us a good dead by giving us a week to pay it as my partner had plenty of warning over the debt in the past!! and was only here originally to collect full payment or lift our belongings. This worries me now as we have other debts, from previous council tax to over-payment in benefits due to my last job as it was a zero hour contract and couldn’t give an accurate figure to earnings with other debts owe round about £10,000 with my partner, is it worth us both going bankrupt as we are barely getting by from week to week and also what the bailiff told us, is it true that piece paper from the magistrates court gave him more power than any other to retrieve the money owing?

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      March 9, 2016 at 9:56 am

      It did not give him rights to break in on that occasion but it is a magistrate’s court fine as not paying your TV licence goes through the criminal courts and thus is much stronger than a county court bailiff warrant. Similarly, if the council tax goes to court it is in the magistrates court. He would have been able to get a locksmiths. However, you should not be in a position where you do not have enough money to eat.
      As you have other debts it pays to have them all looked at together so would strongly suggest you contact Payplan on 0800 2802816 FREE as calls are free to this number even from mobiles – they can help with the debt issue. A trained adviser will be able to give you tailored advice and put your mind at rest as there are things which can be done.

      Reply Report comment

  • Les

    August 12, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Hello
    I had an apartment repossessed approximately 20 years ago and today a guy came and asked me who I was and to fill in an expenditure form. I refused and he didn’t even say who he was ?

    If you do live in England or Wales and there was a shortfall on the property and have not made any payment or acknowledged the debt in writing in the last 12 years and no-one else has paid anything towards it and the creditor did not go for court action – as capital on a property has a longer period of time to be live – then the debt would be statute barred. This does not mean the debt has gone just that the creditor cannot take legal action to recover it.

    What is my legal position here please

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      August 13, 2017 at 10:46 am

      This site is for people in England and Wales – you would need to find out the position in your area as you use the word apartment.

      Reply Report comment

  • Jay

    January 3, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    I was paying a debt via direct debt monthly .then no payments have been taken for 5 months .so i rang quiering this.the company said the original company took it back but either company has never contacted me.what do i do sit and wait.but i am worried about balliffs

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      January 5, 2018 at 8:23 am

      Bailiffs can only visit if you have been issued with a county court judgment to which you have not adhered if of course this is a consumer debt and not a priority debt such as council tax. You could sit tight but if you owe the money, someone else will try to collect it. You could contact the original lender and explain what has happened and say that you are happy to resume paying at the previous rate as you have just realised the debt was not being collected.

      Reply Report comment

  • Julie k

    June 10, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    I got divorced 4 years ago having been married for 20 years and two children , me and my ex had had a joint account which was originally his from young and I put my name to it when we got wed to pay the bills as his wages went into it as he earned more than me however after the divorce and final bills had been sorted we both agreed for my name to come off the account by this time he had met someone else and moved in with her with our son this being quite a distance away , however on contacting the bank and filling out a signed form from both of us the bank refused his signature at this time stuff happened we fell out and my son came back to live with me, I approached the bank on at least two more occasions but refused to help me get my name cleared off the account saying it was my responsibility even though communication between me and my ex had broken down now 4 years on hes run up a bill of 1300 in the overdraft and debt collectors are chasing me for the money , how is this fair while I was struggling financially he was spending on his new partner now I hear hes seriously ill anyone got any advice please

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      July 4, 2018 at 5:59 pm

      I am sorry to hear this. You are not liable for his debts – however, the fact you are still on the account makes you jointly and severally liable as you know to your cost. Why did they refuse his signature if you both went in to close the account especially as he was the major earner. You say you have contacted them several times to do this – I am afraid you either need to contact your ex. You do need to contact the bank anyway as what if he runs up more debt on the joint account. Do you have letters etc – do you know his new address? The bottom line is you are still on the bank account. I know it is not fair but unless some arrangement is come to you will continue to be pursued. What bank is it as banks do have an obligation under Financial Conduct Authority rules to treat people fairly. If he is seriously ill and the prognosis is not good, they could still pursue you.

      Reply Report comment

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