Hello world!

January 11th, 2008


Here’s a positive IVA story for all you thinking about entering an IVA

I take home a standard £1260. £100 of that comes from being on call, and is guaranteed every month. I successfully convinced my IP that this money is overtime, and that as such it could not be included when calculating my monthly income. My wage therefore was taken to be £1160. I can keep that £100 as it’s been classified as overtime, and under 10% of my monthly wage. So, there’s spare money for me to live off, I have just moved house. Fortunately I rent, and was paying £600 a month out on a three bed-roomed house, very nice place to live, but as I’m sure you’ll agree, a little expensive. My IP asked me to send rent confirmation which I did, and I moved to a cheaper house about a month afterwards, this has freed up another £50. I’ve reduced my Council Tax by my girlfriend registering at living with her parents, she’s moved her post there, registered her bank there and does in truth spend a couple of nights there because her mother is unwell, so a 25% discount on that one. I’ve also called my mobile phone provider and told them I was thinking of leaving their network, in their desperation to keep me, they gave me a £10 a month loyalty discount and a free upgrade, even though I am still under contract. Also, and again, I am fortunate; I only live a 1.5 miles from work and my girlfriend has her own car, so I sold mine and now save on petrol and tax. I drive her car now instead, but the insurance on that is a lot cheaper compared to running my own.

Entering into an IVA is a difficult thing to commit to and should not be done lightly. But, with a wise head and some careful calculations, you can leave yourself a lot better off then you were pre-IVA.

Here’s my credit story, I owed a lot of money,

Lloyds TSB Overdraft/Loan/Credit Card :- 560/11400/5400

Lowell Financial :- 600

Lowell Financial :- 800

Thames Credit :- 1400

Swift Credit Services :- 1500

Littlewoods Catalogue :- 1950

These debts were frightening me beyond belief, to keep them all happy; I was paying out £608 every month, which was unsustainable. My thanks go to Lloyds Credit Card for keeping my head above water for so long. I am heartily sorry for letting them down as they have been amazing with me over the last 6 years I’ve banked with them for.

The final straw came when my long-time ex girlfriend left me, clearing out the house on her way. Everything was brought by me, and under my name, but I came home from work one day to find the house cleared out. To cut a long story short, she cheated on me, I let her stay and forgave her, and two months later, my house was emptied whilst I was in work. Obviously this had financial implications; I was forced to borrow from Lloyds to buy essentials for the house, and to amalgamate debts that my ex had left me in.

Then all these other debts kept coming out of the woodwork, Swift Credit (from Council Tax she had not paid). Thames Credit for a Credit Card bill (I gave her the money to pay for me because I had to work away for a few weeks).

Not only that but the lack of her income (although small, she only worked part time) hit me quite hard.

It wasn’t long before I realized I couldn’t pay it all and afford to live. I started missing payments on things, getting the odd phonecall from Littlewoods, the odd letter from Thames Credit reminding me that if I keeped missing payments then my payment plan with them would fail and I owe them the full outstanding balance, and gradually it all spiraled out of control.

In September, I e-mailed myVesta (found it on the internet) because I had enough, I just put my notice in at work because there was no point in me working – all my money was going on debts and I couldn’t afford to live. I had a call from them about 30 mins later and I had a nice chat with their staff. myVesta  told me at that point to stop paying all my debts, to open a new bank account (I chose Abbey National) and to relax over the next few weeks and enjoy the spare money (or to save it!) .  Suffice to say after explaining the situation my manager allowed me to retract my notice and also agreed to a change in my working hours. I worked Monday-Friday which gave me no free time to speak to financial institutions during normal working hours. I now don’t work Wednesdays, and work a Saturday instead, giving me time during the normal working week to speak to people who operate a 9-5 day.

Two days later, I had a home visit from them to talk about my case, take some hard copies of all my debts, i.e  bills, statements etc.. It was about 2 weeks after that I had paperwork through from my IP asking me to detail my income and expenditure, provide payslips to prove my income… This information took a while to collect, but remember at this point, I was saving £600 a month by not paying my creditors, I just passed all letters onto my IP and got no hassle, so the time taken to get the IVA together was really not a problem, it was nice being able to have the financial freedom for a while.

Now, my IVA was proposed mid December, It was suggested that I pay 26p /£ to my Creditors, obviously my IP taking some extra money for his own work. This meant my repayments would be affordable at £179 a month for 60 months. You can do the sums, £400 a month wiped off my outgoings, wow!

My IVA was approved early a week ago, in this last week, I have slept, for the first time in a long time – since I first started using Credit back when I was 18 (9 years ago). I have lost weight, I smile more and as mentioned in other posts by other people, the postman generally brings good news now, I no longer hate him.

Listen, what I’m trying to say is, just go for it. Take your time to choose your company, READ THE SMALL PRINT, learn what you can and can’t do with your money under every company you talk to. Do a chart and study which one leaves you in the best position with overtime/bonus/windfalls. All the IVA companies have different rules, some are more flexible then others. 5 Years is a long time to be in an agreement you don’t really like. Personally, I looked at 6 different companies before I settled on mine. Don’t be afraid to delay on your proposal – if you are going for an IVA, you’re already in debt, another few weeks spent studying the agreement, collating the paperwork and putting some money to one side from not paying your creditors should help ensure your IVA will be completed successfully.

I know I’m sounding like I know everything, and I know there’s a lot I don’t know. All I am trying to do is offer some advice for those who are going through the hardest part of the IVA process which is having the balls to go ahead and commit to it.