Debt Questions forum. General questions on debt issues.

Moderators: TalbotWoods, JaneClack

By red24
#334023 We have been paying a DMP since 2005, we will never ever repay what we owe.
I work full time and could have retired 3 years ago, hubby hasnt worked since 2008 due to ill health, not retirement age yet.
We have paid exactly the same amount to DMP since 2005 although our income and outgoings have changed a lot in that time.
Due to my own ill health I could retire soon, I dont know!!

I really want to say Im not paying any more, its not worth much a month, but it could be to me and the actual amount our creditors get is next to nothing.
I dont want to go BR, not for any particular reason, have no assets at all.
Would it be worth the aggro of the creditors contacting us etc
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By TalbotWoods
#334073 If you are on an organised DMP through PayPlan or StepChange, then I woudl suggest calling them and talking the options through, but if not then you must decide.

Remember once you stop they can get very nasty, such as CCJs, Attachments (which can be attached to benefits), Bailiff Action, Door Step Calling, constant stress from the hassle, both physiological and physical .........

If you are goign onto state benefits only, then they may (and it is only a may) look at write off if the debt is small enough.

Just stopping is a dangerous action to take, and is certainly not one that we would suggest!!

If you have no assets, and if your debts are under £15K why not consider a DRO? One difficult year and you have your life back along with a steady retirement (without money hassles)
By nomlas
#334123 Hi red, I am doing my own DMP and like you it will never be paid off. I frequently miss the monthly payments and have no hassle whatsoever. Unfortunately I owe far more than the DRO threshold.

If a DRO is not an option for you and as you have been on a DMP since 2005 I would hit each creditor with a CCA request (recorded delivery) and dispute each debt, then even if they produce what seems to be a valid CCA you could argue that it is`nt. Several years ago one of my creditors, LloydsTSB, refused to accept my offer of monthly payment and carried on charging interest I hit them with a CCA request and ceased all payments, they produced a copy and I told them that I did not accept that it was a true copy. They sold the debt on but I still have not paid anything more and the DCA, after being informed that I dispute the debt, does not contact me. The chances of them going to court, if they think you will fight the case, is, in my experience, very low. However make sure they know you have both no assets and health issues. I would also tell them you are saving up for the fees to go Bankrupt. When you write to them tell them you can discuss the matter in writing only and if they harass you on the phone you will report them to the OFT, this does work with most DCAs, again just my experience.

It might be wise to offer to pay them £1 per month, if you can, and then simply miss a few. Just my opinion. Regards and good luck. -- nomlas
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By TalbotWoods
#334703 Hi Red

Been going back through some of your older posts, and do have to admit that there are times that were gotty, but you did persevere, which is pretty much why the creditors and DCA are leaving you alone, and that is alos a lot of credit to you.

I see from your past posts you appear to be with a DMC and I beleive it may be PayPlan (please correct me if I am wrong), so yes definitely give them a call, as they will know how each of your creditors will react to a reduction in payments. OK I know you were something like £70K in debt over nearly 20 creditors, and with the help of the PayPlan you have done really really well, and with that under your belt, I would think some other options may be open to you, but realistically only your Case Officer will know.

But I woudl STRONGLY suggest that you dont just stop, as that will cause problems well into your retirement, some of which may have further consequences.

By red24
#335433 Hi TW, I have asked my case officer with Payplan, said if we were only on benefits what would the options be.

He said they would look at what the disposable income was and ask all creditors to accept a change in payments.

Which to me means a reduction from benefits, this doesnt seem right as benefits would be as low as possible anyway, not as if the government gives you extra for being a good girl and paying creditors all these years!

I know its not a good idea to just stop paying, but unfortunately it is going to happen one day, one way or the other.

Thanks Tim
By chandjay
#335493 Hi Red24,
As you know, I was on a DMP for over 5 years, and then - due to redundancy - I decided to go bankrupt.
I have said many times on here it was the best thing I ever did. I paid £700 and wiped out all my debts at a stroke. I got to keep my car and paid NOTHING back, as no IPA/IPO was made, even though I have a private pension and my wife works full time.
Since my bankruptcy two years ago(it's flown), I have got myself a credit card(don't worry, it's only £500), and all the pressure of my debt has been lifted off my shoulders.
For most of the time, I completely forget that I am a discharged bankrupt. My past debts and my bankruptcy just never enter my head any more. It's only when I come onto this site that I am reminded.(I wonder whether that is why a lot of posters disappear from the site when they have gone bankrupt - maybe they just want to forget and put the past behind them).

Red24, I would seriously ask you to consider your option of bankruptcy, in view of the fact you have no assets, your husband is in ill-health, and you may retire soon.
You don't want to go into retirement with oodles of debt hanging over your head.

Speaking for myself, freeing myself of my debts improved my life immeasurably.(although I didn't see it quite like that when I first went bankrupt - I was distraught for weeks).
I've said it before, and I'll say it again - knowing what I know now, and seeing how "easy" bankruptcy was, I regret being on a DMP for five years and "wasting" all that money and having five years of hassle and worry.

I have to agree with TW. I think stopping payments could bring problems. You will go down as a "won't pay" debtor with your creditors, which may have consequences.
At least if you got your payments down to £1 a month(and can show you can't afford more), you will be classed as a "can't pay" debtor.
By red24
#335503 Hi Chandjay, lovely to have your kindly advice again.

I understand fully what you say about BR, Ive not really thought about the whole thing.
We have joint debts so it would have to be a joint BR, thats £1400 which is a hell of a lot of money.
What do I gain from being BR, apart from being debt free!
What does that mean to me?

If I reduce my payments to £1 per month, how long will my creditors accept this for?
I will be £1400 better off! I never worry about the debts I have, dont think about them really.
My credit file is clear, I also actually have a Tesco Club Card Credit Card, I pay it back immediately online as soon as Ive used it and only use it in Tesco for the points.

I dont know when I will retire, but it has to be one day and I cant see my hubby working again, what a dilemma!!!!!!!
By chandjay
#335563 Hi Red24,
Sorry Red, I never thought about joint debts, so yes, you'd have to fork out 1.4k to clear it all, so the extra £700 is a lot to find.
My initial thought was for you to pay the £700 and then get on with your life and to put all the debts of the past behind you. I accept you can't do that with joint debts unless you stump up double.
It's just that sometimes the debts(or the thought of them) just grinds you down and wears you out. The thought of the debts still being there in your 60's, 70's or even 80's used to turn my stomach.
My wife has 7 creditors and the phone still rings regularly, letters keep coming demanding more money, and the creditors are always wanting a new Income/expenditure sheet. It just becomes a pain in the a*se for her.
She doesn't go BR because she works full time and she's afraid she will get lumbered with an IPA/IPO for 3 years, so instead she keeps trying to negotiate favourable F/F settlements, but as yet, none of the creditors will soften enough(she's trying for 10% - 15%).

I worry in case the law is changed in the future, which may tip the balance in favour of the creditor over the debtor, and my wife may have to cough up more to the creditors than she would want to.

Already, "unsecured" debts can be turned into "secured" debts and then CO's put on houses, something which was unthinkable only a few years ago.
Who knows what daft laws may be brought out in the future. I would rather my wife be debt free(like me), and then any daft laws passed in the future wouldn't affect her.
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By JaneClack
#335703 Do you belong to a union as often they have benevolent funds which can help with the bankruptcy deposit. I work closely with several that do so if that is your only concent then please private message me.

In Payplan they can make temporary reductions in payments to £1 per month to all creditors but it would only be temporary as really it is not suitable for a long term debt management plan as it is never going to repay the debts as you know. So if you have no assets and nothing to risk then you can reduce your payments to whatever you like and do your own informal - again if you private message me I can help you with that. Chandjay was the master at this so listen to his wise words but if you can go bankrupt -as you have been trying to repay for a long time then it is a valid and sensible alternative.