Author Topic: Help Please?  (Read 2505 times)

SallyUK

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Help Please?
« on: Jul 14, 2010, 08:30:39 PM »
Hello Everyone
 
I've only just found this forum, although have had my problem for years, as you'll read about. I'll try to keep it as short as possible.
 
2001/2 - my husband left me and my two children when we lived in Scotland. He worked abroad (and still does, as it transpires), but when he left initially there was no further contact and no one could trace him. He left lots of loans and debts behind, as I wasn't working at that time. I did visit a lawyer in Scotland who advised me that I'd need to go to court to try and get some maintenance, which happened and I was awarded £1150 per month - that was on 2003 - but not a penny has been paid of that. He was very violent, when he was at home and forged my signature on a lot of documents.
 
Eventually our marital home was repossessed and to save the children seeing that happen, I moved out and into rented property for a few months. After four months, I had the opportunity to move to England and start afresh, which I did.
 
Roll on to 2010 and I'm still being sent letters from debt collectors - I have never contacted any of these people by phone or letter, as I wasn't sure if I did that, that it would mean I was acknowledging the debts.
 
During the time of the separation, I wasn't able to get a divorce from him, due to the fact he couldn't be traced and the legal experts kept telling me I'd need to be able to give an address for him in order for the petition to be served on him. They also said I'd need to take out an advert in national newspapers to prove to any judge that I'd taken every step possible to try and trace him and it would cost around £5000!
 
However, during the past few months, he suddenly appeared and sent a friend request to my daughter and son on Facebook, just out of the blue after all these years - no message at all, just a friend request! I got a friend to add him to their Facebook, and it transpires that he's working and living in the Middle East and has a new wife and children!
 
My lawyer was all set to presume him dead, however this has now changed everything as regards the divorce! She said it would be best to try and deal with the divorce side of things first and get him to agree to it, then try and get some of the outstanding maintenance from him. There's also an amount of £3200 due to us from the sale of the repossession, however the mortgage company wouldn't let me have it, as they needed his signature, but no one could find him at that time!
 
Today, another 4 letters arrived - this time from a company in Edinburgh, and it was for four Sheriff Court Summary Warrants, apparently for outstanding council tax. Some of the other letters that I've had are from various other companies, which I'm not sure I can mention on here. They've also started hassling my by phone, although I've never answered their calls, they do leave messages on the answer machine.
 
I didn't go for bankrupty before now, partly becausse I couldn't afford it and partly because I'm so scared of it all.
 
I wonder please if anyone could offer any advice on my situation as it now stands?
 
Sorry if I've not explained things in enough detail, but I will be pleased to answer any questions.
 
Sally
 
 
 

desperate dan

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Re: Help Please?
« Reply #1 on: Jul 15, 2010, 02:23:22 PM »
hi sallyuk
seems you have been through the mill a bit but at least you can hold your head up high and say you have brought your children up with out there real farthers help  :D  . couple of questions, do you own your house or are you still in rented ? and have you acknowledged the debts within the last 6 years whether they are yours or his or joint ? the reason why i ask this is because if it is coming upto 6 years and you haven't acknowledged them they will be trying to make communication before they become stature barred, this mean i think they can't chase you any longer after 6 years. steve jackson who posts on here is a wonderful guy and may confirm these findings he i'm sure will try and help. no wonder your ex has kept him self under the radar for all those years. as regards the farther what sort of bloke clears off leaves his 2 kids and starts up again, does his new wife know what he has done, it would be intresting to see if she is on facebook and drop her a note via your friends facebook page and letting everyone know what a loser this bloke is and if anyone can locate where he is in the middle east as his 2 children have missed thier farther compaionship for the last 8 years >:(  good luck chick with the debt thing...  DD

Steven Jackson

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Re: Help Please?
« Reply #2 on: Jul 15, 2010, 04:25:52 PM »
Hi there SallyUK
 
Sorry to hear about your situation. I do have a couple of additional questions. Do you know approximately how much debt you have outstanding now and what is your current income?
 
Unfortunately Desperate Dan's comment about your debts becoming statute barred after 6 years is not quite correct. A debt is only statute barred effectively no longer collectible) if the creditor themselves does not try to contact you and collect the debt for 6 years. If they have tried to collect and you have ignored them, unfortunately this does not count.
 
Depending on the amount you owe and your income, you may be eligible for a debt relief order. This works in the same way as bankruptcy but only costs £90. Otherwise bankruptcy might well be the right thing - if you are not a homeowner, it really is not as scary as you might think.
 
Lets me know on the above questions and I can help further :)
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SallyUK

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Re: Help Please?
« Reply #3 on: Jul 15, 2010, 09:29:32 PM »
Thank you DD and Steven for taking the time to reply.

I am still living in rented property. I have two part time jobs and receive a little bit of Working Tax Credit. I receive Child Benefit for one child, as the other one is in college.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure how much debt there was altogether, as I no longer have any of the paperwork, due to me moving away quite quickly. I was afraid to check with a credit reference agency, in case this caused all of the other creditors to start hassling me too? I know that when the mortgage wasn't being paid, and there was a secured load on the property, plus the loans, credit cards etc, that it must have been near to around £100.000? I can't be certain though.

DD - I'm not sure if his other woman knows about what he's done, unfortunately I don't know her name to check if she's on Facebook, unfortunately.

Can you offer any advice about the Summary Warrants at all?

Thanks again,

Sally

Steven Jackson

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Re: Help Please?
« Reply #4 on: Jul 16, 2010, 12:07:54 PM »
Hello SallyUK
 
Given you are renting, are on a low income and you think your total debt may be up towards £100k then Bankrutpcy is definitely the right solution for you. You can not use a debt relief order as your debts are too large.
 
Because you receive some benefits you may well be able to get a reduction of the court fee bringing the cost down to £340. I know that sounds like a lot of money. However, all of your debt including the scottish council tax will be written off.
 
In terms of the Summary Warrants you have received. If you have not paid outstanding council tax in Scotland, after two reminders, the sheriff court will issue such warrents automatically.
 
The summary warrant should state the amount due and who to contact to arrange to pay this. You now have to make payments to the sheriff officers rather than the council. The amount due will have increased as there is an automatic penalty of 10% if a summary warrant has been granted against you.
 
You should contact the sheriff officers and come to a repayment arrangement to keep them at bay until you are comfortable that you are going to proceed with the bankrupty. Have you completed an income and expenditure statement showing what if anything you can afford to pay? You should do this even if it shows a negative figure. You can use this as evidence why you can not pay and thus suggest that you make payments of say just £1 a month.
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Steven Jackson

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Re: Help Please?
« Reply #5 on: Jul 16, 2010, 12:10:03 PM »
By the way, many thanks for your kind comments Desperate Dan. Hopefully the advice given on this forum is really making a difference to people who are struggling with debt problems :)
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Ouch68

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Re: Help Please?
« Reply #6 on: Jul 19, 2010, 03:32:42 PM »
Hi, I've found it helpful to read SallyUK's problem - I suppose it's convention to start a fresh thread to discuss my problem, but it's not entirely dissimilar to Sally's, so hope you don't mind if I continue it.
My position.....
Relationship with former partner brokedown, and so did I...
Lost my job, in the end we lost our house too - lots of reasons why, but I've left the blame game behind me.
I've always seen my kids and when working I've always paid towards their support.  I'm currently starting a new venture, so income is very low for the moment, I don't need credit at the moment and don't want it frankly.  I'm living with my new partner, in her home, I have no assets of my own to speak of, clothes and keepsakes but nothing valuable.  Even the PC I'm using has been lent to me by a family member.

I have substantial debts....£50k owed to Paragon on a second mortgage, £5k owed to Abbey - the balance outstanding after they sold my house (they don't exactly push for a good deal when the repossess do they?!)
I owe £6,200 to various others - all in the hands of collection agents, £1200 of which is now enforced with a CCJ.
None of these people can be 100% of where I currently live - I've been very bad at staying in touch and paying them, I feel awful about all of this, I've spent the last four years being either very depressed, very drunk and/or at all times totally ignoring the problem......which is crazy as I have been a very succesful person in the past and have the capability to be totally self sufficient etc in the future....debts are such a horrid burden though....I want to do something about them.
It seems like bankruptcy is a logical solution, from what I can see and learn from a bit of snooping about online.
Can I have your suggestions - apart from growing a pair :) - that's the bit I've just managed to do again!
thank you




desperate dan

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Re: Help Please?
« Reply #7 on: Jul 19, 2010, 03:59:15 PM »
hi there ouch68
firstly being in debt and struggling to pay isn't a criminal offence in this country. at some point in our lifetime we stumble and fall what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. it does seem the br route could be an option i'm not qualified to advise on the ccj and br someone will be along in a bit to help on that one. just make sure if you go down the br route that your partners home is n't attached to you ie you pay for the rent and bills as you would if you were renting privatly make sure you check in the ins and outs with a proffesional when it comes to that good luck matey and things will improve in time i'm sure.

Ouch68

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Re: Help Please?
« Reply #8 on: Jul 19, 2010, 06:11:08 PM »
well I've taken the first step and got in contact with someone this afternoon, I have some things from them to read and will chat again tomorrow - they just happen to be round the corner from me too, didn't realise that at first...

Steven Jackson

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Re: Help Please?
« Reply #9 on: Jul 19, 2010, 06:22:33 PM »
Hello Ouh68
 
Sorry to read about your problem. As Desperate Dan says, debt it is not a crime. Just an unfortunate problem that needs to be resolved.
 
From what you have said, it sounds as though bankruptcy would be a very good option for you. If your income is very low and you can not afford to pay much towards your debt, something like a debt management plan would not work for you because the debts would just linger on for ever. In addition the CCJ you have could not be overturned as it would be in bankruptcy.
 
I would not be too worried about living in your partner's home. Given that you simply contribute towards the bills and have not paid for any significant improvements there would be no question of you having any interest in the property.
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Ouch68

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Re: Help Please?
« Reply #10 on: Aug 10, 2010, 05:16:08 PM »
Thanks for the chat last week Steve, my forms are all done and I'll be heading over to County Court in the not too distant future.  Bit nervous, but I think this is the best thing to do.  Have signed up on the [** sorry, no personal contact invitations allowed **] too - see you there no doubt
 :)