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Byquidproquo
#472188 I've been on a DMP with PP for about 6 years now with just over £40k outstanding and paying just over £100/mth towards it. The debts are all in my name except for a joint overdraft debt of about £3k which is also recorded against my wife, and because of that a charging order was put on the property 5 years ago for that amount.

Me and my wife are in our early 60's so there's no chance of paying the debts off any time soon in view of the above; however, my wife's sister may soon be able to try and help us when an insurance policy matures in a few months.

She is only able to pay up to a max £25k towards the debt, and even then only if it is on a Full & Final Settlement basis. i.e. Not to just reduce the outstanding debt - and I can fully understand and appreciate her reasoning on that as she wants to know that her generous contribution would settle the matter for good. She also suggested from her own research (with which I concur) that the creditors never agree on a first offer and so a lower figure should be offered initially.

However, having spoken to Payplan late last year when I became aware of the prospect of this future lump sum, the person that I spoke to flatly stated that they would refuse to negotiate any settlement lower than around 80-90% of the outstanding debt! So totally unhelpful and I find it hard to understand why they take such a stand - I thought that they of all people would look at the full circumstances and realise that my available offer is reasonable and pragmatic. Obviously not!

As such, it would seem that my only avenue now will be to try and negotiate directly with the creditors myself or try another DMP company (Cleardebt looks like a possibility - anybody know if they're any good?) who might be willing to negotiate a lower settlement figure.

Whilst much depends on current attitudes of settlement figures by creditors, taking into account the fixed amount of the cash on offer, size of debt, length of DMP, our ages and low monthly payments, surely creditors would be willing to settle for a 40-60% reduction rather than accept pitiful amounts for another two decades or so? I understand that most, if not all, of them will have bought the debt at around 15-30% of the original amount, so it would be well worth their while to reach a cash lump sum settlement from what I understand?

If anyone currently on a DMP has had a recent similar experience with Payplan, direct creditor negotiation or other DMP company, I'd be most grateful to hear about it. Most of what I've discovered and read dates back several years so I'm not sure if things have changed significantly?
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ByJaneClack
#472193 As you probably know I work for Payplan as my day job as a money adviser.

They are correct in that creditors often are unwilling to accept full and final settlements for less than 80% of the amount owed unless they can see there is little chance of them getting it.
A lot will depend on the equity in your property and whether they feel they would get it all back sooner or later.

That does not mean they cannot try before - if you are sitting on tens of thousands of equity and one creditor has already gone for a charge then others could go for the same thing.

There may be other options available - a lump sum IVA (although the charge would have to be paid in full as it is secured on your propety). Has this been considered or discussed as your credit rating has already been affected - a £22,000 lump sum would make a reasonable dividend in an IVA (not £25,000 as you would need to use £3,000 to pay off the charge)?

I really do suggest that you contact your case officer again and put the question to them again as, of course, you would be able to offer short settlements yourself.

I am also going to pm you.
Byquidproquo
#472199 Thank you for your response although I was addressing members of the forum, not Payplan, and in view of the previous unhelpfulness, including the content of your own reply, PP is still not offering the sort of solution (or helpfulness) that, to me, seems most appropriate. I may not be a "money adviser" like you, but I am sufficiently intelligent to research and calculate the best possibilities based on available information. I am simply trying to find out more before taking appropriate action - if indeed I can in this instance! Also since this forum is provided to allow anonimity I think it highly inappropriate that you PM'd me asking me for my case reference number! Are you on commission for resolving cases, in a similar way that PP is when selling financial products to its customers like insurance and energy?

In response to the points in the order that you have made them:-

Firstly, you will know that IVA would have already been discussed with my case officer, and it was confirmed as unsuitable in my case. Also the lump sum IVA solution that you propose ignores what I clearly stated about my wife's sister only being prepared to advance the money on the basis of the debt being written off completely.

You appear to confirm and suggest that less than an 80% offer would be unacceptable by creditors with Payplan. Whilst PP are therefore supporting creditors in this respect, lesser percentages are definitely possible through other sources outside Payplan, which is why I was asking for alternative options to PP.

There may well be equity in the property sufficient enough now to pay back the debt, but the equity is shared by my wife who only has the smaller £3k debt, hence the charging order is only in her name as it was granted by the judge due to it being the only joint debt. From what I was told - by PP I hasten to add although I have also read this elsewhere - then a charging order cannot be put on a jointly owned property in these circumstances. Even if the property were sold therefore, she would be entitled to half of the equity, particularly as she has provided the lion's share of our income for many years. Further still, if we were to separate or divorce (which is a real possibility if our family home were then lost and we would undoubtedly become homeless and unable to rent with a bad credit rating) then she would get at least 50% of the equity and then there would be insufficient equity to pay off the full debt as you suggest.

Hopefully, you will now see why I have posted on this forum - as I see this as the only real possibility for my wife and I to return to any sort of "normality" for the remainder of our lives. Also that I am intelligent enough to have discovered and considered just about all of the other available options as far as I can see.

Again, I invite any forum member to respond to my original post if they have recent experience of reduced F & F settlements whilst on a DMP.
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ByJaneClack
#472202 I am sorry you feel like that. I did only want to help and private messaged you to preserve anonymity. I also want to make it clear that I do not receive any commission for the work I do on this site and you will notice we recommend all the non fee-charging providers.

I was only responding having looked at the information you had given. If you had discussed an IVA and it was inappropriate for you, I apologise. I had mentioned it as it was a way of making a full and final payment to your creditors. I still think you should speak to your case officer again as Payplan has negotiated full and final settlements for clients at much less than 80% - it is just that as a general rule creditors want more. As you also know you can do it yourself and there are template letters showing you how to do it.

I would repeat your invitation to any forum member to respond to your questions as I know some have done this very successfully themselves.
Byquidproquo
#472204 I, too, am sorry to have offended you, particularly regarding my accusation about commission - so perhaps I was a bit harsh and appreciate that you may have actually been trying to help, but my previous experiences with PP have made me rather cynical and skeptical about whether my best interests are truly at heart.

I also fully understand that whilst PP is, in principle an advisory organisation, that they are also under pressure from creditors expectations too, along with other guidelines which have to be followed. As such this does not necessarily mean that people like me always achieve the best possible solution within said drawn guidelines. Again, my apologies for my cynicism, but life has taught me to trust my instincts when dealing with such matters.

It was heartening to hear though that PP do negotiate "settlements for clients at much less than 80%" ( although it would have been even more useful if you could have indicated the minimum settlement level that might be achieved in individual cases, but I also appreciate that you may be prevented from doing so less they are misconstrued by some).

I also understand that "as a general rule creditors want more" - exactly the points that I have already made and hence my post about this in the first place. I'll admit that I was unaware of the template letters available on the PP website, and I shall refer to these (for legal guidance only since I feel that such a standard format is likely to receive a similarly standard response) but I will compose my own letters which, I am sure you will realise by now, I am more than capable of doing, and I am confident may provide a stronger and more convincing case, achieving a more successful outcome for my own individual situation.

Following your suggestion about a "lump sum IVA" solution, I have done a little research (although I may need to do a lot more as it seems to be virtually the same as the F & F settlement that I am proposing?). I believe that I may have not fully understood how this works and think that this may be worth your commenting on generally for myself and others, particularly in regard to whether this can be achieved directly from a DMP?

In summary, your comments have helped to clarify the position for myself somewhat (and hopefully any others requiring information relating to their own situation). This now only leaves the remaining two subjects of lump sum IVA open for comment by yourself, and reduced settlement figures by forum members

It also seems clear that everything comes down to individual circumstances and (unfortunately for many) how good a negotiator you are.
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ByJaneClack
#472208 If you look on the main page of the Payplan site and go down to the green shaded view on IVAs you can click on "View all examples"

I shall write a piece for this thread over the weekend on IVAs including the "Lump Sum IVA" sometimes known as a "Full and Final IVA" or "One day IVA".

I have also asked where the templates are - we certainly had some.
In the interim National Debtline do have a factsheet on full and final settlements with templates as this might be useful for others.
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