It’s OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!

July 28th, 2008

Yep, it’s all over now…. have finished, received my letter confirming completion and am just about to start the rest of my life debt free!

 Will post more when I have a chance but until then….. IT’S OVER!!!!!

 Sharon x

7 more payments to go…..

October 19th, 2007

Well… what can I say… it’s moving slowly along now…. how fast 4 years’ seems to have gone and the final year really seems to be dragging!

I have only 7 more payments remaining and after a bit of a gut wenching period (I convinced myself my IVA would be extended) I’m in the home stretch.

I’ve jsut received another letter confirming that I will be making my final payment in April… which means I’ll be£300 pounds a month better off…. it’ll be like a payrise!

Watch this space and I’ll let your know the final stages…

 Good luck to you all…


Years’ 2 through to 4…..

October 1st, 2007

It really has amazed me how well the IVA has worked.

I’ve had a few concerns over the years, mainly caused by the deep set thought that things were going far to smoothly!

 There have been a few hiccups, such as having to leave my part time job, meaning I had less income and therefore, problems meeting the £300 monthly payment… but I have learned to live within my means to such an extent that I find it easy to survive on the reduced income… and infact, it really isn’t reduced, when you consider the amount I have had years’ of robbing Peter to pay Paul!

And now… onto my final year……


Moving on up….. Year 1 draws to an end….

August 20th, 2007

Well… there I was…. coming up o the end of the first year of the IVA.

It had actually run like a breeze, I really can’t tell you how easy the first year was.

Sure I still got the odd call from the creditors for the first 6 months, but these slowly tailed off.

I was still working 2 jobs, but at leas I was given enough money to live and I wasn’t scrambling from one month to the next trying to pay my bills.

 The only hiccup in the first year was an unexpected bill for the car. I read the IVA documents and noted that I could miss one or 2 payments and as long as I didn’t get 3 payments behind, and paid the missed payments before the next review meeting I would be ok.

BUT… like an idiot I managed to get 2 payments behind and then had the scramble to make up the missed payments (brought back long forgotten memories of have things used to be). So after that little scare I swore to only use this option IF it was an absolute emergency.

 The review came around and I had to sell a few shares I had, which meant no actual gain for me, but it was worth it.

Sooo….. onwards and upwards to year 2…..

Shaz x

The start of the long journey…..

August 16th, 2007

It all started several years ago…. sounds a bit like the start to Star Wars….

 A long long time ago in a place far far away…

 Back in the late 90’s I slowly started to notice that my money wasn’t quite adding up each month. I had loads of credit cards… a couple of loans…. and was already doing 2 jobs to try and make ends meet.

 I started to miss the odd payment, then went into Debt Management Plans (DMP), but things just weren’t improving.

In 2000 (after nearly 14 years’ at my main job and 10 years’ in my part time job) I decided to really start trying to do something about things.

 Now I know this may sound crazy, but I had the offer of applying for voluntary redundancy, which sounds crazy in my debt ladden situation, but I had zero prospects in my job and just thought with the redundancy I could keep my payments up to an extent and get some qualifications behind me, so off I trotted and applied and was accepted, receivng enough money to get me through my first year at college and also keep paying my DMP.

I kept my part time job on (which was almost full time in it’s own right) and managed to struggle through the first year of college, and managing pretty good grades along the way.

This is where the problems started….

In January of 2001 I became rather ill and had to spend lots of time back and forth to the hospital, also 2 longish periods off sick meant I lost all my overtime at my job… and didn’t help me with my creditors!!!! I tried to explain the situation and they were all in all rather helpful, but the constant badgering telephone calls and letters really didn’t help my health.

I managed to get on my feet again to an extent and was starting to look for a job when low and behold, my college (finding out I wasn’t coming back for an advanced course in my subject, I was on an ILEX legal secretary course), found a £6,000 grant for me and also paid my fees, got me help wit my rent and council tax and did their utmost to help me along.

So now I started my 2nd year at college, far poorer, but still managing the DMP and keeping my head sort of above water, holding off the inevitable….

Well… I passed the 2nd year with a Distinction…. was given the academic prize and left on a cloud! For the first time ever things were relly looking up and I actually had a future….

I managed to find a job (not great pay, but a job that paid £4,000 more than the previous one) and started to look at the future with the DMP.

I was looking at the prospect of over 25 years to pay my debts off and I really needed to get them out of the way fairly sharpish, due to both health and my sanity. My career choice meant that bankruptcy was not an option, so the only other thing would be an IVA. I had never heard of this till I contacted the Concumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS – ) who advised me to go for an IVA. I was contacted by a representative of Grant Thornton (GT) and we had a rather clandestine meeting in a service station along the M4! By all accounts he does this all the time as it’s half way between London and his office in Bristol.

 He was extremely helpful and assured me that something could be done. Taking into account my illness, he at first advised on going bankrupt, but due to my career choice (legal sec) this wasn’t advisable. I’m not working as a legal sec at the moment, but I wanted to keep my options open for the future.

 I submitted my documents and supporting evidence to him, paid him my initial fee of £250 and was told not to pay anything else to my creditors as I was not to show any bias. I had no HP or anything that could cause any major problems and it was a fairly straight forward case.

I received instructions to go along to my local court and swear an oath. This consisted of me turning up, standing in a corridor and being asked “do you want a Torah, Koran or Bible?”, I’d missed hard him and stood there looking like an idiot saying “what?”. It was all a bit worrying, but only because I’d convinced myself that I was going before a judge or something, when in fact it was a court clerk and my oath was sworn in a cold corridor! And that was it. First stage complete….

 Next thing I heard was from Grant Thorton informing me that the creditors meeting would be on the 14th April and that I would have to attend… did I nearly mess myself…. But put your mind at ease, the guys at Grant Thorton said it wouldn’t be a problem and that I didn’t have to attend, just say that Grant Thornton would be acting in my stead.

So there I was, scared as hell… by the phone all day on the 14th April…..

And finally got the call….

“You’ve been accepted for the IVA and your payments are £300 per month”….

Open ended agreement (so they can charge me fees along the way), but it’s light at the end of the tunnel… ***** UPDATE – I’ve since learnd that they have to ask the creditors (with creditors having a 75% agreement) if they want to charge more fees… ***** 

This was back in 2003…. so keep looking out for my blogs as I tell the long and winding story of the way onwards an upwards to the (near) end of the tale.