Author Topic: Advice with utility debts  (Read 26155 times)

davidrichards27

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Advice with utility debts
« on: Sep 01, 2017, 03:05:06 PM »
Dear all


I am in a real mess and would like to seek some honest advice / feedback.


Currently we live in a shared ownership home (100% in my wife's name. Currently just paying rent to the housing company).
Over the past years, due to some mental health problems ( anxiety and depression ) and this has have a marked effect on the family and my ability to work,  there are now some £20,000 of debts (Gas, Electric, Water and Council tax).


All of these are in my name ONLY and I am considering a debt reduction order or alike, but I have been led to believe that even if I do this, the debts will still 'exist' in my wife's liability?


I do not really understand this as I thought if I 'owned' the debt,  it would go after I have it written off?


I am in a real mess and would be grateful for any advice that can be given.


Thank you all in advance


David

Lisa Thomas

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Re: Advice with utility debts
« Reply #1 on: Sep 04, 2017, 09:19:28 AM »
Hi David


Usually I would say that a Debt Relief Order (DRO) might be the best option for you and that a DRO would wipe out your debts but I am unsure if there is anyway the utility companies could deem your wife as jointly liable.


However I haven't heard of this happening before.


I know that only one person can be on the name for a utility bill so can't see how any other parties can be held responsible.


Where did you hear that your wife would still be responsible?
www.Nevilleco.co.uk 01752 786800

davidrichards27

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Re: Advice with utility debts
« Reply #2 on: Sep 04, 2017, 09:43:39 AM »
I was led to believe that as she lives in the home,  they would still go after her for the debt.


Do you know if I can get assistance with a DRO as I am unemployed at the moment?


Thanks
David

Lisa Thomas

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Re: Advice with utility debts
« Reply #3 on: Sep 04, 2017, 09:48:52 AM »
Not that I am aware of - the debt is in your name, not hers.


The DRO is currently £90 but there may be charities that can help you with the cost.


Look at the government website for guidance - I'm afraid I can't add a link on this forum, sorry.
www.Nevilleco.co.uk 01752 786800

Scrooge

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Re: Advice with utility debts
« Reply #4 on: Sep 20, 2017, 04:49:32 PM »
Gas and electric, phone companies etc can only chase the account holder. Doesn't matter who else lives there. If your wife is registered at your address living with you, I believe you are both liable for payment of Council Tax. What's best for you depends on your income/circumstances. If you have some disposable income you should at least address the C.Tax problem because there are powers in place to recover that, more so than utility debts. I'm not sure why they haven't already taken action regarding the C.Tax? If you have gas/electric arrears, I'm unsure why you haven't been disconnected yet?


Regarding utility bills and joint names. It's possible to have joint names on those, it depends on the company. Virgin Media only allow 1 name on the account but I know of energy companies who allow joint account holders.


If you don't own this house and have no assets you should consider bankruptcy/ IVF or in Scotland the equivalents......self sequestration/Trust Deed for which you would be best to get advice from a registered Insolvency Practitioner.

Lisa Thomas

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Re: Advice with utility debts
« Reply #5 on: Sep 20, 2017, 04:51:09 PM »
Useful post, thank you.


As far as I am aware self sequestration only applies in Scotland.
www.Nevilleco.co.uk 01752 786800

Scrooge

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Re: Advice with utility debts
« Reply #6 on: Sep 20, 2017, 04:59:36 PM »
Hi yes, sequestration is Scottish. I've updated the previous post adding the term bankruptcy just to be clear.


Thanks.

Lisa Thomas

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Re: Advice with utility debts
« Reply #7 on: Sep 21, 2017, 09:27:52 AM »
I presume you meant IVA instead of IVF?  I don't think IVF would improve someone's debts - probably increase them!


Gave me a chuckle.
www.Nevilleco.co.uk 01752 786800

Scrooge

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Re: Advice with utility debts
« Reply #8 on: Sep 21, 2017, 09:28:45 PM »
That was an unfortunate typo the IVF lol. Well spotted ! ;D

ERF

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Re: Advice with utility debts
« Reply #9 on: Sep 22, 2017, 09:14:07 PM »

Hi David,
It the matter relates to utility bills you are in no debt and you have no method of paying a bill in a fiat currency system. For evidence of this I suggest you look on companies house for free in respect the articles of association of the respective billing agents which quite clearly tells you that utility billing agents cannot demand payment, it's illegal. Since 1882 nobody in Britain has paid a bill. If that sounds odd please advise what you've paid with.


davidrichards27

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Re: Advice with utility debts
« Reply #10 on: Sep 22, 2017, 09:22:43 PM »
Thanks for the last post, but that has totally confused me.


As it stands, I am getting some debt counselling from CAB with a view to applying to EDF and British Gas Energy Trusts.


Let's see what happens?

Scrooge

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Re: Advice with utility debts
« Reply #11 on: Sep 23, 2017, 12:50:18 AM »
I'm not surprised :o . To keep it simple, it doesn't matter if you've got 36 people living in your house, the person responsible for paying the gas and electric bills is the account holder......not his wife, granny, Uncle or mother-in-law. If the account holder is YOU only, YOU are responsible for paying the bills. If you don't pay or make an arrangement to repay, you risk disconnection and the debt being passed on to a debt recovery agent.


If anyone else is named on the account like your wife, she will be jointly responsible for the bills.