Debt news – DMP problems, CCJs increase and more – May 24


A wide variety of news caught my eye last week, from Wonga to a 20% rise in CCJs, via a couple of important court cases and articles on individuals battling with Sky, HSBC and the now-banned home income plan form of equity release. 19/05/15 Happy 15th birthday to the Financial Ombudsman and here is its 2014/15 annual review showing how much PPI dominates its current workload. "We answered … [Read more...]

Regulator warns about 3 debt management firms

best solution debt management scam thumb

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) which regulates debt advice in Britain has issued a warning to customers of three debt management firms: Sterling Financial Security Limited, Haydon Associates Debt Management Consultants Limited and Clear View Finance Limited. These firms are no longer allowed to offer debt management services.  The three firms were all owned by the same person and … [Read more...]

Is your pension safe if you go bankrupt?

Is your pension safe if you go bankrupt?

If you have gone bankrupt or are thinking it may be necessary soon you may be worried about whether your pension will be safe. The new pension changes in April 2015 made it possible for many people to take money from their pension from age 55, even if they are still working, and there were concerns that this would change the protection for pensions in bankruptcy. The Insolvency Service has … [Read more...]

Debt news – rent / mortgage arrears, homeless, scams etc – 17 May


Most of my selection of articles seem to be about housing this week - low levels of mortgage repossessions and record evictions for rent arrears, Local authority duty to rehouse etc. 11/05/15 Uncatchily-titled FCA review: Provision of premium finance to retail general insurance customers - how customers paying monthly for car and house insurance are often not given the right information to … [Read more...]

Avoid insurance rip-offs if you pay monthly

monthly car insurance

In May 2015, the Financial Conduct Authority published its Thematic Review of Provision of premium finance to retail general insurance customers. That sounds incredibly dull but read on if you are one of the millions of people in Britain who pay for their car and household insurance monthly. The FCA report concluded that many of these people may be being misled about the true cost they are … [Read more...]

What is a realistic DMP payment for £10,000?

What is a realistic DMP payment?

A reader asked what a realistic monthly payment would be to a Debt Management Plan (DMP) covering £10,000 of debts. I think she was hoping for a simple answer, but there are three different aspects to consider and to be truly realistic a DMP has to tick all three boxes. 1) How much can you afford? A realistic DMP payment has to be genuinely affordable - if it's too large for you it simply won't … [Read more...]

Debt news – foodbanks, CAB cuts, Liability Order fees etc – May 10


This week isn't going to be remembered for the news about debt... but the election and its aftermath have dominated reporting so you may have missed some of the other interesting items. Here is my personal selection. One from last week that I missed: Pensioners target debt repayment as equity release grows "Around 31% of customers – compared with 26% in 2014 – used some or all of the money … [Read more...]

Grant Thornton PPI letters after IVA completion

should you sign

Grant Thornton (GT) are sending letters to some people who have completed their IVAs asking them to authorise new PPI claims. Some of those receiving the letters completed their IVAs and received their completion certificate several years ago. Some are sure that any PPI claims have already been completed. If you have received one of these letters, you may wondering why you have been sent it and if … [Read more...]

Is your pension safe in a DRO?

Is your pension safe in a DRO?

In April 2015, pension changes mean that many people over 55 can now withdraw some or all of their pension. You may be worried about whether your pension will be safe if you are already in, or have finished, a Debt Relief order (DRO), or if you are thinking about applying for a DRO. The Insolvency Service has published a summary of its guidance on how Debt Relief Orders will be affected by the … [Read more...]

Debt news – credit cards, mortgages, insolvency etc – 3 May


Last week there were a pile of statistics showing savings are falling, personal debt is rising and insolvencies are falling. Here is my selection of the personal debt news in Britain. First one that I missed from last week - John Perry from Chartered Institute of Housing on Five ways low wage-earners are being banished from central London. 27/04/15 One in 20 over-70s are still working … [Read more...]

What happens at the end of a DRO?

What happens at the end of a DRO?

A Debt Relief Order (DRO) lasts a year - this is sometimes called "the moratorium period".  At the end of this year, the debts that were included in your DRO are wiped out. Most people expect to get a certificate from the Insolvency Service or an official letter  from the Official Receiver at the end of a DRO, but nothing arrives! This is normal - the letter hasn't got lost in the post and it … [Read more...]

Refused a mortgage – is this reasonable?

refused a mortgage because of "affordability" rules?

With mortgage rates so low, this should be a great time if you want to remortgage or move house. But there may be four million "mortgage prisoners" in Britain - people who are refused a new mortgage deal and who are trapped paying a higher rate, or not allowed to port their "portable" mortgage. "Affordability tests" In April 2014, all mortgage lenders had to start using new and much stricter … [Read more...]

Debt news – payday loans, fuel vouchers, mortgages etc, 26 Apr


Wonga's dreadful results made the headlines last week - but did you miss some of the other personal debt news? From food banks starting to provide fuel vouchers to mortgage affordabilty there was a wide variety. 20/04/15 The Archbishop of Canterbury on lifting 1 million out of poverty by paying the Living Wage,  including quotes from mad lefties such as Adam Smith "No society can surely … [Read more...]

Should you help your son or daughter with debt

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It's natural to want to help your children if they are in difficulty. But if your son or daughter has debts, can you afford to help them? Is paying the debts the best thing to do or are there other alternatives? This is a topical problem because the pension changes in April 2015 mean that some people over 55 are thinking of dipping into their pension to help their kids. I've written before … [Read more...]

What to do if you are refused a payday loan

The good alternatives to payday loans

It's becoming harder to get a payday loan. The payday loan regulator predicted last year that many more people in 2015 would be unable to borrow the money they wanted. Now the evidence is mounting up that this is happening: Wonga results were published today - they showed that Wonga borrowers dropped from from one million in 2013 to under than 600,000 last year; one of major high street … [Read more...]