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Hi All


Just thought I'd post this to get some suggestions (or at least help others know there are people worse off than them.....)


I currently owe about £69000 all unsecured mostly credit cards and loans. This disaster stems from the early 90's when, in my late 30's, with a young family, I took 3.5 years out to go to Uni. Survived as best as we could on maxed out cards and loans. Got a good degree and instantly into a great job and started paying it back quite comfortably.


Sadly within a couple of months I could hardly walk, goodbye job, hello benefits, hello growing debt - and it took the NHS 2 years to diagnose a heart condition. Major op and recovery then find out I unemployable! So I start something myself (in 1997) and have survived ever since and reduced the debt from over 100K to the 69K it is now. I'm mid-50's now, health deteriorating, sold twhe house and rent to use the small equity to pay bits off. Now earn £3k per month and debt payments are 2.2k. Barclaycard minimum payments are 500 per month and interest £485 - I think I will be 365 years of age when they are clear.


Bankruptcy means goodbye business but is looking really attractive. I tried phoning a couple of my creditors but I quickly realised this was a bad move and could result in more problems.... I'm sure you know what I mean


Debt management won't work as I'll be dead before i get things paid off on reduced payments


IVA - the payments would be too high - looks like my business wont last that long as without the opportunity to put some more money in I will just tread water.


Do a runner overseas?


Any thoughts people? By the way no savings, no property, car on HP


Hopefully, Some of you have looked at this and said - " well at least I'm not that deep in it!"

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I'm fairly new here but here's my suggestion. I'm sure someone more knowledgable will be along soon.


Have you requested a CCA (consumer credit agreement) for each of the debts? This would show which of the debts, if any, are enforceable in court. The owner of the debt would have 12 + 2 working days to supply a copy of the CCA. Failure to do so would mean you could send an 'account in dispute' letter and stop payments until the copy of the CCA is sent to you, if they can find it. Sometimes a CCA is never found in which case the debt would become unenforceable in court.


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Agree with above post. CCA all your creditors, if they are debt from the 90's the chance of any of them having a compliant agreement is more or less zero.


But do remember it is YOUR decision how much you pay your creditors, not the other way round.

As for paying Barclayshark £500 a month, I would tell them they are getting £50 take it or leave it, if they refuse let them take you to court, no court would order you to pay that percentage of your monthly income

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Ask your creditor for a copy of your credit agreement under the Consumer Credit Act 1974


Post recorded delivery to the current owner of the debt, enclose a £1 postal order and DO NOT SIGN, type your name instead.



1 High Street,



R21 4RH


June 28, 2006



The Loan Company

Company House,

Church Street,



R1 7HG


Dear Sir/Madam


Account/Reference Number 4563210025897412


This letter is a formal request pursuant to s.77/78 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. I require you to provide me with a true copy of the credit agreement relating to the above account, together with any other documentation the Act requires you to provide.


I expect you to comply fully and properly with this request, within the statutory time limit. You are reminded that should you fail to comply with my request, the provisions of s.77 will apply.


If it is your view that you are not the creditor, s.175 of the CCA 1974 applies in the case of a simple assignment, and places a duty upon you to pass this request to the creditor. In the case of an absolute assignment, you are a creditor as defined by s.189. If you contend that you purchased the rights but not the duties of any agreement, you are reminded that s.189 of the Act is clear that an assignment is of both rights and duties.


Your attention is drawn to ss.5(2), 3(b),6 and 7 of the Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading
Regulations 2008 (CPUTR).


I enclose a postal order in the sum of £1.00, which is the statutory fee. Note that these funds are not to be used for any other purpose.


If you are unable to comply fully and properly with this request, you should confirm this in writing at the earliest opportunity, and certainly within the statutory time limit for compliance, and return the fee.


We look forward to hearing from you.


Yours faithfully

Mr A N Other


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I forgot to add, if you do send CCA requests and receive replies. Scan the replies and use microsoft paint to remove all personal info, name, address, reference numbers and barcodes.


Upload the scans to this forum and someone can tell you if the CCA's are enforceable.


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Thanks everyone - I'm really glad I posted this as it is making me realise there could be a way forward. For the last ten years I have paid minimum payments, taken on more loans to survive, and dug my hole deeper! The Barclaycard stuff goes way back - I took the visa out in the 70's and the MC in the 80's - between them they account for around 21K. The other stuff is more recent because of trying to manage. I've never missed a payment on anything but income is dropping and it is getting much, much harder.


I did wonder if the BC stuff would be enforceable but then thought that as soon as you start something and throw your hand in about one then surely the others all get the jitters and I end up bankrupt? Really been considering this option


I did try one of the debt charities once but couldn't get an appointment to see anyone for ages and just struggled on - losing the will now though


Any further thoughts? To be honest I think i am trying to get to a stage when I have to accept that it can't go on rather than just continuing to pay out 75%+ of my income

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They will not make you bankcrupt, whats the point, you have no assets, so they would get nothing.

Like I say get the CCA requests off you only have to wait 12+2 working days from them receiving the request. If nothing back by then dispute the account a stop paying them anything until such time as they satisfy your request.


In the mean time if you cannot afford the minimum payment then write to them and tell them you can't. Don't waste your time speaking to any of them on the phone. Offer them what you can afford and ask them to suspend unincured interest and refrain from adding penalty charge.


Remember YOU are in charge, not them, they either except whats on offer or they they there luck in court, where without a compliant agreement they are on to a loser if you defend and even if they do have one the judge is not going to be best pleased they are wasting their time bringing you to court when you are already paying what you can afford,


Don't let debt rule your life. As the old saying goes, they can't get blood out of a stone, but they will try convince you otherwise with the intimidating calls implying they have some kind of power to demand you pay X amount, let me tell you they have no powers to tell you how, what, or when to do anything. You are the master of you own destiny,

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I agree with alfwithhair above, at post 3. I don't think a court would have you pay 75% of your income towards these debts.


The CCA request is your legal right. I don't think the banks, DCAs would tell each other that they have received CCA requests from you.


By the way, welcome to the forum. You will get alot of help here and by reading through posts made by others you will become more knowledgeable about your own situation, as well as gaining confidence to deal with your creditors.


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One other point you should be aware of is creditors do not play by the rules when you have them on the ropes.


So if your personal or business accounts are with the same banking group as your creditors, ie you bank with Barclays and have a Barclaycard debt, if it transpires that the agreement are unenforceable it would be a wise move to move to open new accounts with a banking group that has no connections with you creditors, other wise you could find your 3K salary suddenly vanishes to pay your debt under their right to off set.


What this mean is that if you owe money within that banking group and you fail to make the required payment, they are legally entitled to take it from one of you other account within that banking group without any notice.


I am not trying to frighten you, but want to warn you of the dirty tricks creditors will go to to get their money.

Paying creditors via direct debit is not a good idea either, as again you have given them access to your accounts and they can and will take what they want should the mood take them.


The same can be said for your debit card if they have the details


Fore armed is fore warned as they say, there are no holds barred in the debt collection industry, legal or otherwise

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Thanks Papa Smurf - it has been really helpful already!


I suppose I mention bankruptcy because I feel it would bring this nightmare to an end! In total I have probably been paying out most of my income each month fr the last 15 years - interest rates on my BC & MC now 35% so no chance of getting anywhere - my bank conned me into consolidation loans but they take up so much of what I earn you use the cards again and there you are back where you started but with another loan to fund.


At my age/health with no resources/assets would anyone think this may be a possible way (although I don't have a clue as to process or hassle involved)? Perhaps better than dragging things out with payment plans that I probably won't be able to meet if work does dry up (self-employment means every month is a real new challenge!!)

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Bankcuptcy is the last resort, consider it if all else fails.

Re- read my earlier posts

Don't throw in the towel at such an early stage


I agree with alfwithhair, bankruptcy is the last resort.


kermit56, you said in an earlier post that you would lose your business if you went for bankruptcy. Would you want to give up your business if you didn't have these debts? Probably not.


Sending CCA requests to your creditors will show which ones, if any, have enforcable credit agreements. Writing a few letters with £1 postal orders, isn't it worth a try? If you found out that only £10,000 of your debt was enforcable would you see light at the end of the tunnel?


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You have a real point there Papa Smurf - I would think that the 21K I owe Barclaycard would be unenforceable as the agreements go way, way back. The reason I consider bankruptcy as a viable alternative now is that my business has survived 15 years but it is just me - I provide a service to another business not the public and the work is now drying up... It is just things have changed and my part of the process is now being done by their own staff. I can't just find other customers - good when you start but in reality it sucks


This is what has prompted me to join CAG and look at my real options, not those that are peddled elsewhere - I have had more help in 2 hours on this forum than anywhere else in years


I think I could get 21K written off leaving 48K of more recent stuff - the results of "borrowing from Peter to pay Paul" just to make the payments each month. My real problem then is could I make a repayment agreement and if I could, could I actually meet it as if/when the work does dry up I am on the dole. My wife earns a pittance of just over £110 per month part time - no other work locally, village, no transport


I believe the time has come to do something to end this misery - I must have paid BC back ten times over but they just increase the interest and wipe out my minimum payments

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Hi Kermit,

I fully concur with everything that has been said so far.


Onr thing that hasn't been mentioned (so far) is that if any of the agreements are enforceable, it still isn't then end of the world.

CAG has got a selection of letters to negotiate with your creditors should the need arise.

They are here:




If you have been given charges on your account(s) and the accounts are loans or credit cards, you could reclaim them. If you haven't got all your statements then you could SAR them.


Just one other thought. If you did end up paying reduced amounts until your dying day, it would be highly unlikely that you would have much equity left which then would die with you and of course as your circumstances changed, you would be paying a lower amount anyway. It's only money. Debtors prison is long gone :)

If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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Kermit, if you did find out some creditors had enforceable agreements, enter into payment plans, then you become unemployed. You need only pay £1 per month to each creditor. Unemployment benefit is the minimum you need to live on and is set by the goverment. The courts know benefits are NOT for paying unsecured debts therefore if a judge issued a CCJ against you while you were unemployed it would be for £1 a month to each creditor.


As others have said, the creditors wouldn't make you bankrupt because you don't have any assets. They might threaten you with bankruptcy, just to intimidate so you carry on paying, but you are worth more to them while you're working. As unemployed and paying £1 per month to each creditor, to coin a phrase, captain janeway of star trek voyager would be exploring the delta quadrant by the time the debt was repaid.


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I like that last option Papa Smurf! It would save the hassle of bankruptcy although that would be short term grief and put an end to it... I have a bank account which is nothing to do with any of the companies I owe money to so it might be an idea to put some pennies in to keep it alive


I am definately going to CCA Barclaycard - chance of them having a copy of my agreement from the 70's must be slim so it is worth a try - thanks everyone - first positive thoughts I've had in a long, long time

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Have you been mis-sold PPI on any of your accounts or loans? You could reclaim them with Interest, for at least the last 6 years. Same with penalty charges. All the templates and spreadsheets can be found on this site.

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Do you have any Payment protection insurance that could be reclaimed under mis sold rules or default charges applied to any of the accounts ?

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Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **


Looking for a draft letter? Use the CAG Library

Dealing with Customer Service Departments? - read the CAG Guide first


1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy - HERE

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3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors? Read Here

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2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

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Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.



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Just a quick one - My partner and I both have debts with BC on payment plans (him more than me) I was paying xx per month and he was paying around twenty pounds less when we compared statements one month my interest was a lot more than his - when I rang to query they said basically the less you say you can afford to pay the less your interest is on a negotiated payment plan ! My rate is now down to something stupd like 5% p a I pay them 20 agreed and then pay them the additional xx as an extra payment - but you have to push them ! Now most of my payments goes off the debt not the interest which is what was happening.

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The Barclaycard stuff goes way back - I took the visa out in the 70's and the MC in the 80's


Do the CCA request. Barclaycard are notorious for failing to keep hard copies of agreements. If they have kept a copy (which considering the age, is very very unlikely), at best they may produce a microfiche copy which will be unreadable.

They will also send you a copy of there current T&C's, and probably a blank application form. Both of which are unacceptable.


Good Luck


Debs x

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This forum is great! It is helping so much and the advice is real common sense - IN case you are wondering - no PPI, I always refused being self-employed although I did have a loan with Alliance and Leicester with PPI - when I realised I called them and it was refunded without arguement - I bet Santander wouldn't be as simple...

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Kermit, I found a couple of reasons not to go bankrupt. I was reading an article on the BBC news website about credit reference agencies, the link is below. Bankruptcy could make it difficult to rent or gain employment. The following quote is from the BBC article.


"Some of the data held is in the public domain - for example whether or not you are on the electoral roll, any country court judgements against you and whether you have been declared bankrupt. The "public" information can also be seen by landlords and potential employers - though you must authorise this."



Edited by Papa_Smurf


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Thanks again everyone. There are obviously options which I had not thought about - just paid out most of my monthly income to service the minimums, yet again! I now realise I must sort something in the not to distant future.... To answer a couple of questions I don't have any PPI. I've been self-employed for years and I've always turned it down because it is rubbish. Ran a "Jobclub" once and the poor buggers that had been made redundent who thought the PPI lark was going to be fantastic all got rude awakenings. I can't really recall one that didnt have day after day of hassle - certainly made me think. I didn't know there were so many things an insurance company could dream up to avoid paying a claim!


Still not sure which way to go - inside I want to pay but that, in reality, is not an option. Businesswise I dont really care now if it survives or not - sick of 16 hour days just to pay back the bank. If I got CCJ's my suppliers would run a mile so I assume it has to close soon. That is why I almost "like" the prospect of bankruptcy as it is timelimited, I've got bugger all, live in a council house and would get a bit of pleasure out of the fact they don't get any more payments.. Any ideas what happens and how to goabout it, if that turns out to be my final choice in this?

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