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?