How many DMPs succeed and how many fail?

How many DMPs work and how many fail?

There are a lot of uncertainties with a Debt Management Plan (DMP) - will your creditors agree to freeze interest, will the debt be sold on to a debt collector, how likely is it that you could get a CCJ etc. So it's understandable that people often ask how many DMPs actually succeed? But this is a surprisingly difficult question to answer, for two reasons. DMPs are not recorded The Insolvency … [Read more...]

How much should I offer to settle my IVA early?

Do you want to settle your IVA early?

An Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA) is a formal, legal contract for a set period, usually five or six years. To finish your IVA sooner and have the remainder of your debts written off, you need to talk to your IVA firm, say how much you are offering and where the money is coming from.  How much you should propose as an early settlement depends on your situation and why you are making the … [Read more...]

Scotland takes the lead!

scottish flag

This is a guest post by John Baird, Insolvency Director at Scotland Debt Solutions. He argues that Scotland has a more comprehensive and accessible range of insolvency options than England and Wales. Debt Camel doesn't cover Scottish debt matters, but I thought this comparison of the Scottish and the English approaches would be good for Burn's Night!  Should Scotland’s range of insolvency … [Read more...]

Payday loan compensation – can you claim?

Payday lenders' logos

When Wonga agreed to refund over 300,000 people in October 2014, I asked if more than a million people should get payday loan compensation. Wonga only refunded the people who had outstanding debt, but what about: borrowers from Wonga who paid off their loans, perhaps by borrowing elsewhere? borrowers from other payday lenders? These loans may well have been given without proper checks … [Read more...]

Eight bad excuses for not budgeting

unexpected expenses

You have debts but you don't think you need to budget? Very few people can tackle a serious debt problem unless they budget, so don't kid yourself that you are one of them. Here are eight arguments I have heard used to justify not budgeting - are they all bad excuses, or do you think some of them are good reasons? 1 "It's too complicated at the moment, I'll start next month" I'm writing this … [Read more...]

Debt Relief Order limits to increase – good news!

dro-max-debt-20000 thumb

Yesterday, 15th January, the Insolvency Service announced increases in two key Debt Relief Order (DROs) limits : the maximum level of debt in a DRO will be increased from £15,000 to £20,000, and the asset limit will be increased from £300 to £1,000. The new levels will be implemented on 1st October 2015. This decision follows the Call For Evidence on DROs issued in August last year, when … [Read more...]

Statute barred debt – common questions

Have you been contacted about an old debt?

Statute barred debt is a complex subject and many people find it even more difficult because it can get confused with questions about credit records. This article answers the most common questions people have about it. What does "statute barred" mean? Statute barred debt is not enforceable because the creditor hasn't gone to court within the time limit set out in the Limitations Act 1980. For … [Read more...]

Lose lbs without spending £££s

couch to 5k logo

If you have 'lose weight' or 'get fit' as one of your 2015 New Year's resolutions, perhaps you are thinking about joining a gym? Don't! All too many people join a gym with good intentions that fade away, leaving them with an expensive monthly commitment. Look at the free or really cheap alternatives instead. Start running If you have never run before or not for many years, Couch to 5k aims to … [Read more...]

2015 pension changes – a new option for paying off debts

Pensioner with glass of beer

In March, George Osborne announced major changes to pensions from April 2015 and more details about how this will work are now being published. These will enable many people to access the money in their pension pot from aged 55. So if you are wrestling with a debt problem and you are over 55 or coming up to that age, you may soon have a new option - but is this a good idea? The proposed … [Read more...]

Bad credit loans to avoid

debts to avoid

Logbook loans, guarantor loans, buying at BrightHouse - these may sound attractive if you are short of cash but have a poor credit rating. But this sort of debt can end in disaster if you have money problems. This article looks at bad credit loans and what alternatives might work better for you. Logbook loans If you have a car, logbook loans may seem like an easy way to borrow money quickly, … [Read more...]

How can an experiment help with your debts?

How an "experiment" could help you out of debt

The Hawthorne Effect is the name given to the tendency for humans to change their behaviour simply because they are being studied. This is usually a nuisance for social scientists, who have to try to eliminate it from their experiments. But I'm interested in the psychology of debt -  what makes it harder or easier to tackle a debt problem - and I think  you may be able to make use of the Hawthorne … [Read more...]

Overdrafts – a hard type of debt to clear

Overdrafts - a hard type of debt to tackle

Overdrafts aren't the worst kind of debt. They aren't as bad as Amigo loans or logbook loans, and if you don't have a debt problem at all, an overdraft can be useful. But the interest and charges on unauthorised overdrafts can be horrendous - in some cases worse than payday loans. And even if you stay within your overdraft limit, they can feel impossible to escape from. The dog on this … [Read more...]

Make 2015 the year you take control of debt

A step-by-step approach to  clearing debt

What are your financial ambitions for the next few years? Maybe you want a big wedding or to take a year off to go traveling. Do you want to save a house deposit, or do you already have a mortgage and want to clear it before you retire? Or perhaps you are just sick of seeing so much of your salary vanish in interest payments. Whatever you want financially, it is going to be easier to achieve if … [Read more...]

Debt in 2014 – the winners and losers

Trussell Trust logo

Who on New Year's Eve will be opening the champagne to toast a successful year? And who would rather forget all about 2014?  Here is Debt Camel's completely opinionated round-up of the debt world in Britain -  the winners and losers in 2014 and what's coming up in 2015. The winners Bailiffs - the knock-on effect of 2013's council tax benefit changes is now being seen by every debt advisor. … [Read more...]

Bankruptcy & pensions – important new case

bankruptcy & pension - new ruling

On December 17th 2014 the judge in Horton vs Henry determined that an Income Payments Order (IPO) in bankruptcy could not be based on a pension that was not yet being paid. This was the reverse of the judgment in Raithatha vs Williamson in 2012. These are important cases for the interaction of bankruptcy and pensions. At present they only affect a small minority of bankrupts, where someone of … [Read more...]