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Good Afternoon All!

 

I am new to the site, so apologies in advance if I'm in the wrong section, but need some advice about a Debt Management Plan that we have been paying for nye on 8 years now.

 

The Company we contacted all those years ago is Chiltern. We pay them £80.00 per month to manage our debts, but recently they contacted us to ask if we would like to take out an IVA as we have nine more years to go (paying £450 per month) on the current plan, and an IVA would be cleared in 5.

 

At the time of taking out the initial plan, we were not advised on IVA's, but instead were told that the best solution was to let them (Chiltern) manage the debt for us.

 

I am now extremely annoyed to find that their plan was essentially mis-sold to us as we were not informed at the time that an IVA may be a better option, they have not (it would appear) frozen interest on the larger loans (we have currently paid back over £43K, which was not the size of the debt in the first place), and now we will be paying back a further £48K before we are clear of debt!

 

Are these people regulated, as surely this is not fair practice?

 

Can DMP's use the same legislation in allowing Companies to "write off" debt in the same manner as an IVA? And if not, why not? We have been paying this for 3 over the 5 years given for an IVA.

 

Any advice anyone can throw at this would be greatly appreciated!

 

My best

Deedy :)

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Are you a homeowner with spare equity?

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Thanks Scaper - no we rent!

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In that case an IVA would sound the easier option. There are companies on the web who will advise you regarding this and your past probs, but look before you leap.

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That is a shocking amount of money to be paying them monthly. I'm with Payplan which charges nothing, and most of my interest has been frozen. I owed £23,000, pay £431 a month and my DMP was for 4.5 years, still got 2 to go. Get in touch with them or CCCS, both do not charge. They can be found on Free Debt Management company | Debt Advice | Payplan and CCCS - Free Debt Advice from the UK's Leading Debt Charity. I do not have any knowledge of IVA's, but I do know the DMP is working really well for us. No doubt someone will be along soon who can advise you better, but you should not be paying for a DMP, when you can get it for nothing. I found them through National Debtline.

Good Luck


Bank of Scotland account 1 - £2,666 WON

Bank of Scotland account 2 - £2,500 on hold

GE Capital charges -£30 won (hey, every little helps!)

Barclays Partner Finance £425 charges - £225 offer accepted.

 

Finally debt free after 4.5 years, thanks to my Debt Management Plan through Payplan. There is no better feeling :D

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What was the amount of the original debt?

Have you claimed back charges etc?

So far you have paid this DMP manager nearly £8k, you can get this free from Payplan or CCCS.

I wouldn't even consider an IVA at this stage, they are very restrictive and suit only a few people.

Have you considered bankruptcy?

Have you plans to buy your own property in the future?


Consumer Health Forums - where you can discuss any health or relationship matters.

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Thanks to everyone for your replies.

 

The amount of the original debt/s was about £30K. We do not have any plans at the mo to buy our own place, but we rent privately and are considering emigration to Perth in Australia at some time in the future.

 

My problem is that I believe we were wrongly advised from the outset, as if we had been offered an IVA initially, we would not be facing a further nine years at £450 per month, in fact I'd go as far as to say that we could possibly have struck a better deal with our creditors ourselves, as Chiltern appear to have done nothing in terms of freezing interest, and we still have the odd threatening letter from Cabot (who may now be using another name Fire) and yet we pay them religiously every month through Chiltern.

 

I feel that this company has profited from us at a time when we were most vulnerable and that they should be held accountable in some way as were were told that the DMP would run for 10 years and now they have told us it will be another nine. I don't believe that can be right can it?

 

Thanks all!

 

Deedy:)

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You would be much better off going through PayPlan or CCCS than a commercial debt management companies.

 

Frankly if you don't own your own home, bankrupty is generally a better option than a IVA (which is a specialist form of insolvancy).

 

Have you phoned all your creditors and found out how much you owe today?


i will be off site for the next month or so. if you have any problems, feel free to report the post so a moderator can help you.

 

I am not a qualified or practicing lawyer.

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Hi Tomterm8

 

No, we are trying to get Chiltern to give us the latest figures, and are going to seek professional advice, as Chiltern have not stuck to their initial agreement with us. The term of the DMP was meant to be 10 years. Also, we are going to look at getting all their charges back. Anyone know of any success stories in this area?

 

Bankruptcy does seem a bit severe, as we can afford the monthly payment, but its just that we think this Company has not acted appropriately and in our best interests, only theirs.

 

Thanks for your advice!

 

Deedy :)

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Hi Tomterm8

 

No, we are trying to get Chiltern to give us the latest figures, and are going to seek professional advice, as Chiltern have not stuck to their initial agreement with us. The term of the DMP was meant to be 10 years. Also, we are going to look at getting all their charges back. Anyone know of any success stories in this area?

I don't think you will have much luck getting Chilterns charges back, unfortunatly.

Bankruptcy does seem a bit severe, as we can afford the monthly payment, but its just that we think this Company has not acted appropriately and in our best interests, only theirs.

In practice, most people who go bankrupt seem to have far more success than those going through IVA's. IVA's are only really much use if you are prevented from going bankrupt because of your job or equity. They are pretty much nearly as severe as bankruptcy, and the process lasts longer. Miss a single payment, and the IP legally has the right to end the arrangement, take your payments, and still make you bankrupt.

I'm not recommending bankruptcy, since I believe with a free DMP you would probably clear the debt reasonably quickly. But I would bypass chiltern, and find out whether you have actually been repaying your debts, or merely chilterns fees.

Thanks for your advice!

 

Deedy :)

..


i will be off site for the next month or so. if you have any problems, feel free to report the post so a moderator can help you.

 

I am not a qualified or practicing lawyer.

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Thanks Tomterm8, you have given me something to think about. I agree that we maybe jumped in a bit quickly with Chiltern, as in those days we were pretty intimidated by all that was going on and saw it as our only way out, so I guess we have to accept responsibility for being naive at the time. We will not be considering an IVA, and hopefully we can avoid bankruptcy, but we will certainly look into getting rid of Chiltern and going with one of the free DMP's as mentioned, as at least ALL of the monthly payment will be clearing the debts rather than the management team lining their pockets from someone else's misfortune!

 

Many thanks for all your help, advice and kind words. They really are very much appreciated.

 

Deedy :)

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Thought I would add some input here if thats OK. My son seems to be in a similar situation although not for nearly as long. He has been paying a company called Hamilton Lock since 2006 at £64.00/week. (The DMP was set up by his now ex partner-they were not married btw & she cheekily included a couple of her own debts:mad: ) We have worked out that at least one of these weekly payments covers HL fees which we would rather went towards the arrears on his mortgage. We have cancelled this plan (they have just refunded 3 weeks payments) & are going it alone for the time being. But once we are fully aware of all the facts from each company he owes we may try CCCS who offer a free service. Am currently sending CCA's to the DCA's who he is paying:p but have yet to deal with the one's who are still with the OCs. Best of luck Deedy:)

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Hi Moggieb!

 

Thank you for your reply. It is awful isn't it that these Companies are leeching off our mistakes, although at the time, we just wanted relief from the pressure, and perhaps jumped in with both feet and our eyes shut!

 

If your son's partner has snuck a few of her bits into the plan, then your son is not responsible for those, and should not include them in the new plan if he decides to take one out. Our plan contains both my hubby's and mine, but if we split up, then I would take responsibility for my bits.

 

I feel the same about the agency payment going toward the debts rather than the management Company, but it seemed like a good idea at the time!

 

We are going to see a financial expert shortly, and will be finding out how a £35K debt turns into a £75K debt! I'll let you know the outcome!

 

This is such a great site isn't it? Awful as it sounds, it is sooo comforting to know that we are not alone, and that there are such lovely, kind people out there that actually care enough to share their own experiences with us to help us on our way. It has certainly resored my faith in humanity!

 

I hope your son works out his problems - I'm sure he will - I'm the eternal optimist and don't let it get me down, so pass that on to your boy - don't let the b******s grind you down (apologies for the blasphemy, but no other word describes the **** that make our lives hell for a bit of our hard earned!).

 

Take care, and all the best to you both - hope to speak again soon on these wonderful pages!

 

Deedy :)

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Hi Deedy, have to agree - this site is great, once you know you're not alone it makes a huge difference. I really hope you get something sorted out, you deserve a break. I can't believe a company that was meant to help,and got well paid for it, actually made your debt much worse. How they get away with it, i don't know. The good thing with payplan is you can view your DMP online and watching the amount go down every month is great. Please let us know the outcome of your meeting, things can only get better from here on in :)


Bank of Scotland account 1 - £2,666 WON

Bank of Scotland account 2 - £2,500 on hold

GE Capital charges -£30 won (hey, every little helps!)

Barclays Partner Finance £425 charges - £225 offer accepted.

 

Finally debt free after 4.5 years, thanks to my Debt Management Plan through Payplan. There is no better feeling :D

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Thanks Suzieblooz!

 

I will keep the site informed! Hopefully it will be a good outcome and maybe even an example to the many thousands of poor souls in the same predicament. I'm hoping that they won't get away with it, because my gut tells me it can't be legal somewhere along the line, and if there is a loop-hole, I'm determined to find it!

 

Thanks for your reply - glad to hear you see light at the end of your tunnel and things are easier for you. I am possibly more fortunate than most as I am not struggling with the repayments, its just the number of repayments I'm finding hard to swallow! Also glad to hear of the non-ruthless companies such as payplan, and if it all goes pearshaped for me and hubby, we'll certainly drop Chiltern like a brick and hop onto the payplan or cccs train for the ride, only wish we'd done that in the first instance!

 

Thanks again for your support, and I've no doubt we'll chat again soon!

 

Take care

My best

Deedy :)

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No, we are trying to get Chiltern to give us the latest figures, and are going to seek professional advice, as Chiltern have not stuck to their initial agreement with us. The term of the DMP was meant to be 10 years. Also, we are going to look at getting all their charges back. Anyone know of any success stories in this area

 

The OFT has published Debt Management Companies Guidance which is the code of practice which should be followed by companies offering DMPs ( strangely enoug! ). If they have not acted correctly you may be able to claim the fees back but you would initially need to put a complaint to your current provider in writing. Keep a copy 7 send recorde delivery and give them a reasonable time to respond; say 14 days.

 

If you get no reponse or an unsatisfactory response you could approach your local trading standards office, or complain to the OFT. National Debtline has a factsheet about changing DMP provider which includes a sample letter of complaint requesting fees back and an outline of the OFT guidance. It's not available on their website but if you call on freephone 0808 808 4000 they can sent you a hard copy.

 

The actual debt management guidance is linked below

 

http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/business_leaflets/credit_licences/oft366.pdf

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Deedy,

I'm not an expert on DMP providers,free or otherwise-first I knew of them was when I found out about my son's problems but I must admit that Hamilton Locke have been very helpful even when we cancelled the agreement with them. I was really annoyed when I found out how much they charged, but when I realised how much time & effort it takes to sort this on your own-well I wonder whether we're doing the right thing:o Like you he was glad of help at the time and didn't know that sites like this existed-but then neither did I until I started looking into unfair bank charges (for same son!!:)). There are obviously good & bad amongst them as you've found to your cost unfortunately. BTW, ex partners 'bits' amount to £2500 so far:eek: . Will follow your thread. ATB.

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Oh, Powelll, thank you so much for your link. Having just quickly scanned through it, it would appear that the DMP are in breach of many a guideline! I am just printing a copy to take along to our chappie next week, so thanks again for highlighting that information - it was just what I needed to see - you are an absolute star!

 

Moggieb, it is really frightening isn't it, but I would be inclined to follow some of the other wonderful advice posted here and maybe get your son to look into one of the free DMP's such as Payplan or CCCS if it is proving too difficult to manage on your own, and no doubt there are a number of people on this site that are currently using the free DMP's that can give you more advice on the subject than I, as I am unfortunately still fighting with my DMP at the mo. and will continue to do so as I think people are duped into believing that their problems are being sorted out, then 8 years down the line you find that you owe considerably more than you started with!

 

Watch this space as I intend to take this matter as far as it will go!

 

My best to all

Deedy :)

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You would be much better off going through PayPlan or CCCS than a commercial debt management companies.

 

I would whole heartedly recommend the CCCS. They are fantastic. I have been with them since April 2007 and there have been a couple of hiccups with direct debits but other than that, brilliant. I no longer get letters or snotty phone calls and I sleep at night! I called them once and felt immediately better:D


If you think I have been any help at all, click my scales, go on.... You know you want to! :lol:

LLoyds: (Husband) - *Settled in full* 20/12/06

Halifax: (Mum) - *Settled in full* 05/12/06

Studio: *Settled in full and more* 09/12/06

GE Capital - *Settled in full* 16/11/06

Barclays: - *Settled in full* 04/01/07

Capital One: - *Settled in full* 02/02/07

MBNA: - *Settled in full* 30/01/07

Yorkshire Bank (Friend) - *Settled in full* 30/06/07

LLoyds TSB x 3 in progress (Friend x 2 and Husband again)

Abbey National in progess (Friend)

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