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Trying to clear debts - Need some advice?

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Hi all,


When I was 16-19, I was very stupid and childish and the only thing I thought about was spending all my money on going out at the weekend, and having no money to pay off debts which I had got myself into through completely my own fault, of course I just thought at the time that all the debt would eventually magically disappear if I ignored it long enough(!)...


I took out a credit card when I was 16 with Halifax for £500.00, I moved into my own place at 18 and therefore had council tax, television licenses, gas/electric etc to pay - all of course, which i didnt.


Im 21 (almost 22) now and realised around 18 months ago that I needed to sort myself out.


I moved back in with my parents,completely paid off an old mobile phone bill which was £270 in weekly installments, agreed a payment plan with Halifax and am paying them off in monthly installments (not missing a payment) and thats about where ive got up to.


I actually couldnt remember what debts i had/didnt have, so recently I downloaded a copy of my experian report and I basically had -


Halifax Overdraft - fine

Halifax CC - doesnt look too good, but shows im paying my balance off

Vanquis - To help my credit status - £0 balance

British Gas - £297


The problem I have it British Gas - Now I have had a number of phone calls from 'Wescott' who state I owe this amount, and I have simply asked for an Email with copies of my bills from the period on which they are talking (december 08 - november 09) as whilst I acknowledge the debt, I don't agree with the amount, and im unhappy to pay something without seeing it in writing. They agreed, but didnt send the email.


2 months later - same phonecall, I repeated what I told them, and they agreed they had a note to send this email but no one had and they would send one then.


This has been roughly 6 months ago and ive heard nothing - what should I do? I want to settle this but I want to come to a realistic agreement and I dont believe I owe £297, but they havent sent an email (even in junk!) :|


My second question is - what should I do about the outstanding utility bills on my old place? Call them up and explain the situation and make arangements to pay? I know I must have outstanding council tax/tv license etc. Solihull council showed they did a search for me in 2010, but no defaults on my report. I have a new place now, but I am under Birmingham.



The bottom line is I am keen to settle all my old debts and get myself back on track but I don't know what I owe in some cases and im not sure what to do about British Gas. Any help/advice would be appreciated!




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Well done for trying to sort this, you could a SAR to british gas for £10, they will then need to send you everything they have on you including charges,bills all paperwork. From there you will get some sort of idea.

Personally with regards to the other two, i would wait.......let lion's sleep and all that.............the could find you if they wanted, so just wait and see

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I'm almost in agreement with Matt. However, you have broken an unwritten rule - never speak to a DCA, always get everything in writing for the avoidance of doubt.


Before you SAR I'd e-mail or write a letter asking for a statement of account and basically asking them to prove that is the amount you genuinely owe as you think it is too high. If they reply as they have on the phone, then you've covered yourself and you sit and wait till they do what they've said and pay nothing. If they refuse then complain.


The one I'm a bit concerned about is the Council Tax. Do you recall exactly how long ago this was and how much the Liability Order was for? Do you still live in the same area? Depending on your answers to these, you may need to address that one as it could potentially be very serious. It is definitely still a priority debt. However, it is unusual for a CT debt to go so long without any contact about you owing it - is there a reason as to why this might be?

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