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GonzoGirl

Natwest/Shoosmiths forcing increased repayments...please help!

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Hello all,

I hope someone can give me some advice. I have been repaying natwest through shoosmiths for a student debt for some years now, paying roughly the same amount for this time, during which I've paid regular as clockwork and never defaulted. After completing my latest expenditure form I have been told that the amount I pay isn't enough and they want me to almost double it for 6 months then "review" the situation....hmm, that means more money after that I think! Plus they've given me multiple Q&A's over the phone as to my job, what I'm studying etc.

 

I can't afford what they're asking; my circumstances haven't changed for a few years (I work 30 hrs a week in retail) and I'm also doing a degree. I've told them that the payments will be increased when I graduate but suddenly they want the extra now. They've seen my payslips and my bills but still want an unaffordable increase. I don't know what to do...I don't want to go bankrupt or do an IVA as I want to emigrate which wouldn't look good! I can't take on an extra job as this would mess up my degree.

 

I don't know where I stand legally or anything. Can they do this and if so, how can I get them to stand down? I'm starting to worry about it and quite frankly have enough on my plate. If anyone could help I would be very grateful...thank you.

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I am not precisely sure who Shoosmiths are, but can only assume that they are a collection agent. Try compiling a detailed financial statement using the Bank of England trigger figures relating to living costs. These figures can be provided by your local CAB. Never ever provide such companies with financial information on the forms they send out as they never take full account of expenditure.

 

Once this information has been provided, if they refuse to accept a reasonable offer remind them of the Office of Fair Trading rules regarding unfair collection practices

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Ps Make sure everthing is done in writing. From experience collection agents don't like letters, it makes their brain hurt.

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Shoesmiths are solicitors... I dealt withthem briefly around 2 years ago.

 

They are piling on the pressure for you to increase payments... but that doesn't mean you have to do it. You are also not obliged to tell them anything about your financial situation and certainly NOT OVER THE 'PHONE. The financial industry loves getting people on the 'phone.... simply because they can spout out idle threats that they wouldn't dare put down on paper.... Shoesmiths were going for a charge on my home (via Alliance & Leicester) when I dealt with them, but dropped everything once their position was challenged.

 

My advice to you would be to continue paying what you are now. Write to them (by rec. delivery); pointing out that you are unable to meet the payments that they're asking for, but will continue to honour the existing arrangement. State that you are also no longer prepared to communicate by telephone and that any further communication needs to be in writing only.

 

How much is your debt and how much are you currently re-paying?

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