Has anyone used the Insolvency Helpline?

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Dear All,

I'm currently "in hiding" after being subject to the tender mercies of the Bradford and Bingley. For some time I've been intending to go bankrupt, but hate the thought of having this "black mark" against me for the rest of my life. However, after trawling through the Net, I've found a site called www.insolvencyhelpline.co.uk

The Insolvency Helpline say that they can draw up an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) between me and my creditors, which is a legal way of paying back a percentage of what I owe over a number of years, or by using a lump sum (which I don't have). Once this has been paid, the creditors can't touch me again for the debt.

Has anyone else seen or used the services offered on this site? Is it too good to be true?

Thanks for any thoughts on the above.

-- Catherine (catherine@bradford-and-bingley-suck.co.uk), September 06, 2002


Can't speak about Insolvency Helpline but can speak about IVAs generally.

IVAs are a good thing in a very narrow set of circumstances: where there is no dispute over the size of the alleged debt(s), where the lender can prove or evidence the alleged debt(s)(and is or actually has gone to court over it), where there are several lenders - all of whom are effectively fighting each other for a slice of your (presumably) small financial pie, and where you cannot and will probably never be able to afford to pay back the total *proven* loan.

If the above conditions do not apply - and it sounds like they don't - then an IVA is among the worse things you can do (next to making yourself bankrupt).

A better course of action is to sit tight and allow the lender to decide for itself whether or not it stands solidly behind its alleged debt claim (by issuing a court claim). If it decides that it does then sure, consider offering an IVA (before the case comes to court). If they do actually issue a court claim (as opposed to issuing threats of a court claim) you'll probably achieve more by making a 2,000 offer.

But all of this is irrelevant until Bradford and Bingley decides that it will stand behind its debt claim...


But you

-- Lee (repossession@home-repo.org), September 06, 2002.

I am a retired Citizens Advice Bureau worker and for 10 years I have referred clients in serious debt to the UK Insolvency Helpline.

They are specialists in IVAs and becuase they are funded by the credit industry they are free.

I have always dealt with a chap called Ian Richards, he is one of the senior debt counsellors at the helpline.

IVAs are perfect if you have debts over 20,000 pounds, you are working and you either rent, or have no or little equity in your home.

For IVAs advice visit your CAB or log on www.insolvencyhelpline.co.uk or just phone 0800 074 6918.

-- Tony Edwards (tonyedwards@adiva.net), November 03, 2002.

I actually spoke to Ian Richards at Insolvency Helpline. They are very helpful and calm you down. I got myself into an horrendous mess with debt. They put you in touch with an Insolvency Practitioner who then ask for all details of your debt. You come to an affordable arrangement and you then enter into an IVA for 5 years or so. I'm half way through mine and know that after 5 years, it's done and dusted. I know my credit rating has been affected but that is a good thing to keep me on the straight and narrow. Perhaps a year after the IVA has finished, my credit rating will gradually repair itself. For me, it was the best thing I ever did

-- Karen P (karen.pritch@btinternet.com), January 13, 2003.

IVAs arent something to jump into lightly. You need to find a practioner who doesnt charge up front fees. They generally look for a minimum of 25% total repayment. All of your creditors have to agree to it. But the biggest point is that if during the 5 or 7 years that it runs if you get into trouble and cant manage the repayments the practioner has to make you bankrupt anyway.

Payplan & CCCS are 2 free services who can offer impartial advice

www.debtquestions.co.uk is a very good site, the forum is run by a trained debt counselor. www.debthelpuk.co.uk has a friendlier forum with answers from people who've been in similar positions.

Good luck

-- Sue (bradfordandbingley_suck@yahoo.co.uk), January 13, 2003.

The problem with the debt advice industry is it is divided into two areas; Profit making and non profit.

I work for the office of fair trading central advice unit and we have a strict policy that we only recommnend people to call non profit advice centres.

As far as we are concerned there are 3 approved telephone helplines to get proper debt advice you can trust:-

The UK Insolvency Helpline - 0800 074 6918 www.insolvencyhelpline.co.uk

National Debt Line Tel. 0808 808 4000 www.nationaldebtline.co.uk

Consumer Credit Counselling Service 0800 138 111 www.cccs.co.uk

-- Sue Harvey (sue.harvey@oft.gov.uk), November 03, 2003.

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