Author Topic: shocked... advice appreciated  (Read 2814 times)

Amaryllis

  • *
  • Posts: 1
shocked... advice appreciated
« on: Dec 22, 2010, 04:00:23 PM »
Hi everyone. I need some advice. I'm so stressed. It's aboutmy student loan from my 1 year of university in 95/96. Outstanding balance ofjust over 2000 pounds. Forgive my long post!

Firstly, I have to say that I have unbelievable problems managing my finances,to the point of it almost being a disability, but over the last two years Ihave started to follow a financial recovery guide and am getting slightlybetter. I still have major debt problems with 2 credit cards – one about 800pounds, and one about 1000. I also suffer from severe mental health issues.

I had a CCJ many years ago for the student loan, but a few years ago Inegotiated a repayment of 20 pounds a month, even though I was on IncapacityBenefit. I pulled things together and about 4 years ago trained as a TEFLEnglish teacher and moved to Europe to work. I notified the Student LoanCompany. Even though I was working I had less money than on benefits. I wroteto them 2 years ago with an expenses breakdown and asked to pay 4 quid a monthinstead.

They said 'no'; we want 80. I wrote another letter explaining my situationfurther. I was explicit. I told them 80 a month would break me. That I had beensleeping on a blow-up bed for 2 years, had no sofa and no fridge (I had to payabout 300 a month public health insurance in Germany and some months onlyearned about 400 quid. I was really broke and explained about my mental healthproblems and that I'd rather work than be back on benefits anyway because ithelped me). I offered 6 pounds a month.

A few weeks later I received a letter with a '0' balance and a repayment of'0'. I cried with relief. STUPID ME! I genuinely thought that they had writtenoff my really old loan! I heard nothing else, was just so happy and relieved. Ican laugh about how silly I was now.

Fast forward 2 years later. A few weeks ago I borrowed some money from a verygood old friend to help me move back to the UK, just me and my books - a ferryjourney - no furniture. My brother (who I became legal guardian of when I was18... I'm now 39) has Down's and is experiencing some health problems. I wantedto be near him. My friend gave me a place to live even though I have no job,and am looking for one. I am caring for my brother too.

I get a voicemail message today asking me to urgently contact some companynamed Links. They got the number from my aunt (who I lived with before; she isdisabled and I was her carer for some time... what a funny life I've had!) Icalled back, no idea what it's about.

Surprise! I owe a 2000-odd quid student loan! They are about to take me tocourt! I must come up with the money right now! I wanted to sort it out andgave them my address. She then informs me that a bailiff may come to the houseto recover the sum.

I have some books. That's it. My friend, who has worked all her life, has aproper home with things like a computer, TV etc. I am pretty stupid but not sostupid to realize the bailiffs will try to take her stuff! I feel I need tomove from her place now as I have put her in danger. But where to go?

I have heard NOT A WORD from these people in 2 years. Not a word. I didn't knowwho they were or what the call was about. She said they have recently sentletters to my German address. I haven't been there for a few weeks and did notinform the Student Loans Company as I thought it was over. In the move I threwaway that 2 year old letter with the '0' balance.

The woman informs me that SLC gave their business to Links, and that everyonereceived a '0' balance letter with SLC! That I haven't made any payments for 2years. I said that I have not heard a peep from them in these 2 years at myGerman address which they had. But now.... I'm facing court... a CCJ.... andwhat is worse, the bailiffs at my friend's place.

I told them if they (Links) had responded to my offer of payment I could havebeen making payments for 2 years! She said that they had a letter from meoffering 5 pounds (I have a copy of my 6 pound offer letter) but had notreceived the monthly payment. I had no letter of acceptance of that offer. Justthe SLC '0' balance.

Combined with a severe down-turn in my mental health, which I am trying tryingtrying to face every day, including starting volunteer work here in the UK as away to help myself and 'pay' for the job-seekers allowance I get from thegovernment, and I'm having to deal with self-harm and suicidal feelings everyday, which I do fairly successfully, there is this!

Does anyone know what I can do? I am tempted to be taken to court... As I amterrible with money I no longer have a credit card or buy anything on creditbecause I must stay away from such things. A CCJ will do me no harm. I will paywhat I can to this company but she told me they will not accept an offer.

I can't pay my friend back yet but do all her housework and ironing to helpbalance things out with her. I use my JSA to pay for groceries for both of us.I sound really goody-two-shoes but I am aware of what people do for me, andhave certainly done loads of stupid things to make a mess of my life and myfinances.

I will never have a career and will never earn the current threshold forstudent loan repayment. But I WOULD pay them something small, as I want thedebt gone sometime in the next 50 years.

With many thanks for any advice,
Alison

James Falla

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 655
Re: shocked... advice appreciated
« Reply #1 on: Dec 22, 2010, 05:32:50 PM »
Hi there Alison
 
Sorry to hear about your situation. Given that you have an outstanding debts of about £3800 in total with your credit cards, my suggestion is that you do a debt relief order. It is a special solution for people with no possessions and very little income. Once you go through the process, all of your debt will be taken away from you. It will cost you about £90 so well worth getting that together to write off what you owe and become debt free.
 
More information can be found about debt relief orders on the [** sorry, no personal contact invitations allowed **] or feel free to post further questions here.
 
Debt Expert & Author
beatmydebt.com

AshleyPark

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 63
Re: shocked... advice appreciated
« Reply #2 on: Feb 09, 2011, 11:24:04 AM »
Hi Alison,
 
Did you look into the Debt Relief Order?
 
Lee
Ashley Park Debt Solutions Ltd
 http://www.ashleypa

shocksoc335

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 86
Re: shocked... advice appreciated
« Reply #3 on: Feb 10, 2011, 07:17:46 AM »
I read a book recently that said if you have mental health issues you can ask for the debt to be written off. I can dig out the details if you want. The book also talks about debt relief orders and it seems you might fit the criteria? Also if you do have a CCJ and your debts are less than £5k you might be able to apply for an administration order?
Supporting 'Practical Debt Advice' by Elizabeth Mc

James Falla

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 655
Re: shocked... advice appreciated
« Reply #4 on: Feb 22, 2011, 03:15:19 PM »
I think that a debt relief order is going to be better for Alison than an administration order Shocksoc335. The reason is that no monthly payments are required for a Debt Relief Order whereas with an Administration order the debt still has to be paid and the court takes 10% of each payment for an administration charge. Give Alison has little or no income, the DRO would mean she is debt free in 12 months. This would not necessarily be the case with an Administration Order.
Debt Expert & Author
beatmydebt.com

shocksoc335

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 86
Re: shocked... advice appreciated
« Reply #5 on: Feb 22, 2011, 05:59:25 PM »
Depends the fee for a DRO is £90.00. No costs for Admin Order except 10p in each pound she pays and as long as she can get a composition order she will pay back poss £1.00pcm for a 3 yr period  as on very little income meaning she will only pay £36.00 over that period of time.

However yes I agree DRO does mean debt discharged after 12 months as long as her circumstances don't improve for the better, for her DRO to be revoked!

Shocksoc335
Supporting 'Practical Debt Advice' by Elizabeth Mc

James Falla

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 655
Re: shocked... advice appreciated
« Reply #6 on: Feb 22, 2011, 06:16:47 PM »
I agree that the initial £90 could be a hurdle but if it can be paid, then having no further payments and being debt free in 12 months is a powerful arguement :)
 
As you say, with a DRO there is always the possibility that it will be revoked if circumstances improve but often this will not be the case. As a bit of an aside, I personally feel this rule is counter productive as it actually dissuades people from trying to earn more and improve their circumstances rather than doing the best they can to pay more back to their creditors.....
Debt Expert & Author
beatmydebt.com

shocksoc335

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 86
Re: shocked... advice appreciated
« Reply #7 on: Feb 23, 2011, 09:10:18 AM »
I agree James totally!
Supporting 'Practical Debt Advice' by Elizabeth Mc