Free Gift

November 9th, 2008

I’ve told people very little about this forum other than it’s been my lifeline. I sort of wanted to keep it to myself if that makes any sense.

Any way I spent 2 hours on the phone the other night to my friend who has been very depressed over various issues. One of the things causing her concern at the moment is her financial situation so I gave a something which I felt was the best gift I could and that was this forum’s details. I hope she looks in because I know if she does she’ll find support in abundance and friends for life x x


Feeling grateful for what I’m entitled to!

August 13th, 2008

Haven’t posted much lately – work is mad!

Been quite a difficult month financially just simply because it was my middle child’s 9th Birthday. I definately scaled it down but because we are only just getting ourselves sorted we didn’t have anything saved. They have parties every other year and you guessed it – it was party time.

On Friday after paying all the bills I was left with £92 to last us a week. My first instinct was that we were going to need to borrow about £100 from family to get us through the week but then I decided that we would try and manage without. I spent £62 at the supermarket but to be honest I knew that I hadn’t bought everything I needed to last to week, but I had bought the basic necessities for a sleepover party including a B’day cake.

We then needed £10 for petrol and £10 for the electric meter that left us with £10. The girls were going on a trip with the holiday club and needed £6 for that. By Sunday evening it became apparent that £4 wouldn’t last until the end of the week as we had no bread,milk, marg and so and so on. I also owed the holiday club £42.50 but I asked if they would mind waiting until I could get them set up on my Child Care Voucher system and pay them through that.

Anyway, Mum in law to the rescue with £20 (gifted) which meant that hubby could put petrol in his bike to get to work and we could buy some of the bits that we needed.

 Monday  eve we all sat looking at the remaining £10 and try to work out how we would stretch it to last another 2 days. By this time we are just eating what we can out of the freezer and the kids are taking jam sandwiches in there packed lunches and carrots rather than fruit. We weren’t feeling too down though and we pulled together.

Anyway there was a knock at the door and it was my ex bearing maintenance. He handed me £60 and I could have kissed him! (not sure his wife who was sat in the car would have been too impressed though)

When the excitment had worn off I sat down and realised that this money was owed to me last week and because he is so hit and miss with it I hadn’t even noticed that he’d not paid. When I think back to the money he should have and hasn’t paid over the years I could kick him rather than kiss him.

 When I had my eldest I had to have DNA tests to prove she was his and then he decided he didn’t want anything to do with her anyway. I was awarded 5p a year (yes you’ve read it right 5p a year) (it cost them about 13p to send the cheque) During this time I now know that he was working but because we had no contact at the time I wasn’t aware of what he was doing.

He started seeing her again when she was 9 after I pestered him a bit (he lived next door but one to my mother-in-law). Anyway when the CSA got involved I was eventually made an award of £70 a week. He felt this was too much and as we only paid £30 a week for my stepdaughter on the same income as him I agreed on a private arrangment of £30. I felt I was being really fair but that hasn’t stopped him from taking liberties with the regularity of his payments. He even stopped paying for 3 months last year and cut all ties with her over Xmas (meaning he didn’t need to buy her a present).

So why was I feeling grateful for something that I am entitled to – because life is too short and its only money and having my daughter’s love and respect and childhood memories is priceless and I wouldn’t swop them for all the money in the world.

Personal Statement

July 15th, 2008


I have noticed that people often wonder what to write in their personal statement as to their reasons for their debt situation. I know everyone’s circumstances are different but I thought by publishing mine it may give people a general idea of some of the situations which could arise to cause a debt problem.

When I was apply for an IVA this is the statement I wrote:

 We began borrowing money in 1997 when we got married and bought our first home. We borrowed money to furnish the house and have the garden landscaped. We were both working full time and had one child living with us and another that we paid maintenance for. In 1998 I became pregnant again and gave birth in 1999. I went back to work after 6 months part time. A couple of months after being back at work I became pregnant again. I gave birth again in 2000. We then needed a seven seater car to transport the family and a bike for my husband to get to and from work for which we took out another loan. Unfortunately I suffered with post natal depression after this child and had to take additional sick leave which meant that I went on to half pay. During this time my husband was made redundant from his job which he had worked at for 9 years. Although not fully well I returned to work full time to bring in extra money while my husband looked for another job. We found that due to the child care being so high for two children under two we decided that my husband would be a full time dad taking part time work and registering as a childminder. Unfortunately no one was interested in a male child minder and I was still having to take time off work suffering with panic attacks. My husband managed to find full time employment but due to my mental health I reduced my hours and my husbands salary was much lower than he had previously earned.


Over this period we relied heavily on credit cards to supplement our income always believing that things would improve.


In 2005 we realised that things were getting out of hand and because we were in a shared ownership scheme we were unable to secure the lending against our property. We were also in a position where we couldn’t even afford to buy the other half of the house. We decided to down grade to a house in a less popular area. We hoped to pay off a lot of the debt with the equity in our house but when looking for a mortgage they wanted a higher LTV and we had to go with a subprime lender via a broker. We have tried to keep our heads above water and my husband did manage to find a higher paid job. I have also changed my job to increase my income and we have both now worked full time for the last five years. We have consolidated where we can but for some time we have been using credit to pay credit. In May last year our mortgage came out of a discounted rate and went up by £200 per month then our electric went up from £30 per month to nearly £100 due to Npower not reviewing my account correctly. Then at the beginning of this year my bank decided to withdraw my overdraft and wanted us to pay it back over 18 months.


We are now in a position where there is nowhere else to turn and after looking at our options we feel that an IVA is the way to go as we feel guilty about not paying back what we owe so would like to pay back what we can.

When the IVA was no longer an option and we petitioned our BR, the question posed was:

“What do you think are the reasons for you not having enough money to pay your debts? You should provide reasons to support your answer. For example, it would not be enough to state “the recession” without explaining the effect on your affairs.”

To this my response was:

In May 2007 our mortgage went up by £200 per month, we were at this point already very heavily in debt only being able to make the minimum payments. We began to increase our cridit card balances to pay for day to day living expences. We also had a huge increases in our utilities, in particular our electric bills were estimated at £30 per month which dramatically went up when we were forced to have a meter fit to £80 per month. The increase in petrol has also been a factor in the increase in outgoings, along with the increase in our food shopping bills. At the beginning of this year our bank cancelled our overdraft facility and damanded the funds be paid back over a relatively short space of time. We then realised the severity of the position we were in. We have looked into the possibilty of an IVA but with the pending change in our finances which involve a decrease in our income we feel that we are unable to commit to a 5 year arrangement.

The pending change in our financial position is that my eldest daughter plans to go to University in September. The maintenance for her will cease along with her element of Child Benefit & Child Tax Credits. We will however need to support her as much as we can in addition to her loan, grant & part time salary.

The OR Interview – The End is Nigh

July 11th, 2008

10th June 2008

Good evening

I had my interveiw tonight from 5.30-7.00. Although we have both gone BR the OR’s assistant was happy to speak to just me with the agreement that I would advise my OH of the conversation.

First we did the assets.
He confirmed that I could keep my car – although I dont work too far from home I have to drive my children to the childminders before I go to work which would mean 4 buses a day and would increase my childcare costs due to the bus times. Its only worth £500. My husband can keep his motorbike as he needs to work odd hours sometimes that too is worth £500.
He said he would get back to me tomorrow regarding the house. We do have quite a high mort and sec loan but he figured the cost of renting would only save about £200 so he was happy to recommend that as it is in neg equity and we could get someone to buy BI then we could keep it (he’ll confirm tomorrow when he has spoken to his boss)

Then the Debt
Oh my word how hard is that to explain away when he estimated that we had consolidated about £60k over the last 3 years with nothing to show for it.He was really understanding though and said that he could see how it had happened (I’m glad he could cause I’m not sure I can). We went through the whole saga from my OH being made redundant to my PND causing longterm sick. We got there in the end and he said that he had built up a good picture as to how we had ended up today.
He included our Tax credit overpayment and said that they would continue to reduce our payments until discharge then they would have to cease the reduction. He also included our Elec Bill and said that as we were on a meter and paying in back as we topped up, we should call them and advise of the BR and ask for a recalculation and that the arrears be knocked off. (Thats one I dont feel guilty about


Income = salaries and tax credits ( not child benefit or maintenance)
Outgoings =
Mort/Sec Loan £920 (hopefully allowed)
Housekeeping £550 (allowed)
Gas/Elec £127 (allowed)
Water £44 (allowed)
Telephones £75 (allowed)
Travelling-work £213 (allowed after explanation)
Clothing £60 (allowed)
Council Tax £85 (allowed)
House ins/reps £40 (allowed)
Sky £38 (not allowed)
TV Licence £12 (allowed)
Family activ £35 (allowed)
Holidays £100 (£50 allowed)
Dentist/Opt £14 (allowed)
Prescrits £10 (allowed)
Hairdressing £19 (allowed)
Childcare £80 (allowed)
Kids Spending £30 (not allowed)
CarIns/reps/tax£101 (allowed)

Result = NO IPA and indication of early discharge.

Sorry for the long post just wanted to people know how I got on and hopefully it will help someone.

Glad its over and I have to admire those of you in an IVA (although I would have seriously considered it if it was an option), because having come out the other side such a short time after the reality hit home I feel blessed.

The guy on the phone was so lovely and it felt like a very informal chat. I told him what a star he was.

Thanks to everyone who has supported me including Melanie and her team when I was looking into an IVA.


 Well in hindsight that really was not that bad. We just have the house to sort out and I’ll post on that as and when. Hopefully our jouney will be over by the end of this year. At times I want to cancel out 2008 but when I really think about it it has been a fantastic year in which I took control of my life and gave my family a future.

The OR

July 11th, 2008

What a relief when I first received the phone call from the OR office. He was human and from that very first conversation with him I felt that I was in safe hands.

29th May 2008  I have just received a call from our official receiver to make an appointment for our interview.

He was lovely and very approachable and down to earth. He seemed to give the impression that he wasn’t out to make our lives a misery and that he would be accommodating where our house and daughters education was concerned.

I feel much better now and am actually looking forward to the 10th June when our appnt has been made for.


30th May 2008 Thanks guys. I really feel that once you have made the decision to go down the BR route (not that we really had a choice) things get easier from that point on. BANKRUPTCY is a very scary word but definately less scary in reality.

I wish we could pay back our creditors but if I’m honest it’s easier to justify to yourself when you have got into debt by robbing Peter to pay Paul rather than funding holidays and cars etc. I know everyone has their own reason for getting into debt and I would never judge but its important to me that I know I haven’t been living a lavish lifestyle.



July 11th, 2008

I have a funny relationship with my Dad and this year it all came to a climax and it was time to for him to know how we really felt about him not being around enough. He was completely shocked and had know idea that we had felt unloved by him most of our lives. He got straight on a plane and flew over to see us. We had a very overdue conversation and as difficult and heartbreaking as it was it transformed our relationship for the better. This phone call from my Dad is now one of many that proves to me how much my Dad loves me. (I love him loads too)

17th May 2008 NOt one from creditors! My Dad called me from Spain today (he lives there) I’d emailed him to update him about the br meeting on monday. He wanted to tell me how proud he was of me. He said that he was worried about me because I would always be his little girl but he said that I’d confronted my problems and dealt with them positively. I have to admit I cried when I came off the phone but there were tears of happiness. I have always strived to please my Dad but I never thought that this would be the moment that he told me how proud he was of me!

Families are such an enigma but I wouldn’t have them any other way!


The practicalities

July 11th, 2008

Still lots to sort out.

 16th May 2008


I called CO-OP tonight to find out whether my account had been accepted – it has. She gave me my new account number over the phone so my OH can get next weeks wage (and this weeks when its returned from A&L)paid into our new account. Just need to use my new found IT skills to create a mail merge to send to all my DD companies and monies in.

One step at a time!


July 11th, 2008

Things do at times just get on top of you and I suppose I had been through the mill a bit.

14th May 2008 I am feeling very hormonal today. I burst into tear at work this morning over something and nothing. I felt so ridiculous. I’m a bit of a joker at work and always act like I could take on the world and still be laughing. Things at home are a little difficult, my husband is struggling with the idea of being br and no matter how many times I try and explain things to him it just doesn’t sink in. He keeps asking me if we are going to be better off, and if not why we have gone bankrupt! I give up!
He is also stressed with my brother staying with us. We can’t use the living room in a morning because he is asleep on the couch and all his bags are in the hall. 5 of us all getting ready in the morning with just the use of the kitchen downstairs is a bit of a struggle but I’m worried about my brother getting any indication that his being there is a problem. He hasn’t been eating properly and he spent hours at his dad’s grave the other day. He went to a spiritulist church last week cause I think he feels he could get some comfort from believing that his dad is still around him.

I’ll just have to be extra nice to my husband to keep him sweet. Holding everything together can be a real struggle sometimes. But hey ho s**t happens and what doesn’t break us makes us stronger which explains why I look like Geoff Capes!!

Thanks for listening

PS can you tell from my posts that I never shut up

Thanks everyone for your kind words. I am being a bit sensative regarding my brother because he took an overdose a couple of weeks ago and part of his problems stem from not feeling wanted.

Thanks for the advise though it’s always nice to get a completely objective point of view and when you’re on the inside you can’t see the wood for the tree (just thought I would stick to the cliche’s theme).


12 May 2008 – Our day in court

July 11th, 2008

Here’s an account of the day we went Banckrupt.

Hi all

Well the deed is done. I wasn’t too worried this morning but I wish someone had told my stomach that! We had to go through one of those metal detector things when we got to court which in itself was a bit scary then there was someone I used to know and not get on with in the office where we were seen. I just pretended that I hadn’t noticed her. We went through the forms swore on oath and handed over the money. We were then sent away for 45 mins while the judge looked at our case. While we went for a coffee my mum was on the phone telling me that my brother was homeless again and could he come stay with me, of course I said yes. When we went back we were shown to a side office to speak to the OR office.

I knew the discussion was going to be fun when she had to have my name spelt to her several times, well Donna is a bit unusual!?! She had quite a heavy oriental accent and I was just worried about my husband speaking to her because I knew he would get fits of giggles, he always does when he’s nervous! All the time he is on the phone my brother is texting me about coming back to stay with me! Anyway it was really straight forward and she told us they had no interest in the bank account. We were free to go and everyone had been lovely.

I went to my bank who said that they didn’t think we would have our account closed. She was wrong, I called them tonight and they closed it there and then! My husbands salary will be sent back to his employers and once the OR confirms no interest we will need to go to the branch for the rest of our funds.

Called Co-op re a cashminder, they went through the app which was refered so I have to wait until later in the week to find out whether it has been accepted. The guy on the phone said out of the 25 apps he had put through in the last month most were refered and only 1 declined and that was because details weren’t correct so I think fraud was suspected. So fingers crossed.

Just need to write to the 2 courts where action is being taken for CCJ’s to confirm the br.

Glad that bits over, onwards and upwards!


PS I felt all your positive thoughts x

BR loomed

July 11th, 2008

Time flew and before we knew it the day of reckoning was hurtling towards us!

22nd April 2008

We have the money together for the bankruptcy and have just about completed the forms. I made the appointment at Court for the 12th May, which was the soonest they could do.

However, I received a call from Northern Rock today to advise that they intending to place a charge on the property. What happens now the house is already in negative equity but they said that they don’t care and that they will take the risk. Can I do anything to stop this or would it take longer to do this than the 12th????

Trying to stay calm but this is just another hurdle.

Dee 11th May 2008   Well tomorrows the day we go bankrupt. The court appointment is at 9.15. I realised today that had omitted something from my form and started to panic a bit – I answered no to the involved in any legal action question but just remembered that I put in a claim for bankcharges and the court date has been postponed twice and although I cant for the life of me find my latest letter from the court I’m sure the new date is for July some time. I have submitted my forms online so I don’t think I can just amend the paper copies but I figured if I just take the details along with me they can advise me on the best way to handle it.

Still a bit worried about the bank account cause my husband gets paid weekly so I might have a bit of running about to do on getting that one sorted.

I suppose the thing I’m most worried about is the OR interview. I keep in my mind trying to justify everything I have spent money on over the last 12 months. I know we have disposible income to pay into an IPA now but not from August when my income is reduced due to my daughter leaving 6th form college and going to Uni so I’m not sure how they will handle that.

Not too worried about tomorrow so hopefully I’ll get a good nights sleep. My husband has booked the day off work and hasn’t told any of his colleagues about why he is off. He works for a really small company with only 3 directors and 4 staff. I on the other hand have told all my colleagues and will be back at work in the afternoon invigilating an exam. Sometimes I think I’m as tough as old boots and nothing can break me.

Wish me luck!