I’ve been reading forum threads for a few days and would like to congratulate you all on amassing such a mine of information! I hope I am posting this in the right place.
I have a problem that I would like to ask for help with. To cut a long story short, I’ve run a business for over 20 years, initially in partnership with my wife until her death and then as a sole trader. I bank with Natwest and until a few years ago my relationship manager brought bottles of wine at Christmas and congratulated us!
The recession and losing our biggest customers hit hard and I reduced staff from six fulltime to one part time, closed a branch office, returned my contract hire car, re-mortgaged my home etc etc. There was a shortfall in funds so I used personal credit cards to fill the gap and got to the point just over a year ago when I thought bankruptcy was the only way out.
I contacted PayPlan who were very helpful and arranged a monthly payment plan for the £68k on my credit cards. I could breathe again and very slowly the business improved. The banks were still adding interest to the amounts and at the rate I was paying of £350 month it would never end! PayPlan suggested an IVA which was arranged and began in February this year.
With the IVA I could see a light at the end of the tunnel – 5-6 years. I can now pay all bills on time, business and personal, keep the business going and maybe even employ another staff member later this year.
Then it all changed! Last week Natwest stopped a charge card we use for buying stock even though it was always paid on time at the end of the month. I rang to ask why and was told there was not enough money in the account talk to my relationship manager. (who has never introduced himself or ever contacted me in the last two years). The mobile number they gave me was unobtainable. Then all cheque payments and direct debits on the account were returned even a loan payment to Natwest themselves. Then the outstanding charge card balance was taken from the account with no warning – even though it wasn’t due for another three weeks.
All of these things are not big problems – I have a ‘parachute’ business account and am now changing to this.
I suspect Natwest have discovered the IVA on my credit file and are taking action.
The major problem is that I have two business loans one from 2009 which was to pay down an overdraft and from 2010 for a smaller overdraft together amounting to about £75k. These are secured with a first charge on my business premises and a second charge of £10.5K on my home.
I have just read the loan agreements again and find that having an IVA puts me in default.
I am now in fear of what will happen next. I got my relationship managers proper number but he doesn’t return calls. I’ve asked in the branch what is happening and nobody knows. There is enough money in the account to have paid all direct debits and cheques but as I mentioned all have been returned except for one which is for insurance on the business premises! (how did they know?)
My questions are what is likely to happen next and what can I do about it? Under BCOB regulations surely Natwest is not acting correctly, but what can I do.
There is probably some equity in the premises but not in my home. But commercial property is just not selling with lots empty here in the north east. If they re-possess the premises I will have no income from the business and have no money to relocate anyway. I had planned to retire in four years – but not any more! I think it’s unlikely I could get a loan from another source with my IVA on file. If I default on the IVA, I will be made bankrupt. I don't know what to do for the best.
Sorry the short version turned out so long and now it’s Easter. Can anyone help after Easter?
Happy Easter everyone