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debt nightmare - going back to England from Italy to face bankruptcy


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Hi everyone.

 

Never used a forum before so please bear with me.

 

In my mind I feel like my situation is the worst anyonecould ever hope to face...but I am trying to convince myself that this isn't the case.

 

A few years ago I started a business that just didn't makeit.

 

I borrowed £25,000 from a bank to start the business andafter the Company went into liquidation I was left with the bank loan.

 

I went to the bank to try to discuss a revised loanagreement to spread the outstanding balance over a longer (and more affordable)timescale.

 

After being told I did exactly the right thing in coming tothem for help, they subsequently froze all my accounts and demanded that I payback the total balance within a relatively short period.

 

I had another self employed freelance business with abusiness account at the same bank at this account was also closedpreventing me from receiving payments from clients.

 

Ultimately it had a negative effect on that business havingto inform clients to pay me personally into a newly opened cash account.

 

The financial ombudsman, after granting the bank numerousextensions, simply replied that the bank had acted in accordance with its termsand conditions.

 

My freelance business was only able to pay small amounts tothe bank and towards a £10,000 credit card debt.

 

I rented out my home as I was then living with a girlfriendand after a reasonably short while I found myself out of work completely...andthen single and homeless.

 

The tenants in my home started receiving lots of letters andknocks at the door and ultimately left.

 

At that time I didn't know what to do and I felt like Ineeded to keep pushing for work to attempt any chance of surviving and settlingthe debts.

 

I couldn't face the creditors and so didn't doanything.

 

I moved into a bedsit without telling anyone andstarted to rebuild a small amount of work to survive.

 

An opportunity to work in Italyarose with the possibility of making larger sums of money that I thought mightbe the key to paying back the debt.

 

After 2 years there is no chance of that and I am nowabout to move back to Englandto live with my parents, wait 6 months and then declare myself bankrupt.

 

I have no idea what the total level of debt is as I have hadno contact with creditors for about 3 years.

 

I tried to have my accounts prepared by an accountant butwas unable to pay his bill and so these were never completed...about 3 yearsago.

 

I'm pretty sure my home was repossessed although I cant findany evidence of this. I believe there are tenants in it now which Iassume is being handled by an agent acting on behalf of the mortgage company.

 

3 years later I am kicking myself for not going bankruptright there and then.

 

I did exactly the wrong thing and I have been living in fearand constant worry for so long and I have now come to the conclusion that Icannot resolve it by just working.

 

I have a job to go back to in Englandbut I am extremely worried about how to find out about my old bankaccount and re-contacting creditors for settlement figures etc because Iam really struggling to function with so much worry and stress.

 

I need to be able to work and I have to try andfunction until this is all resolved which seems impossible but has to done.

 

I have a bank account in Italyand a 5% equity stake in a small Italian Company which is still alive butbarely trading and doesn't really generate any profit.

 

My home was in negative equity for about £10,000 beforeI left.

 

I might owe about £4,000 in VAT.

 

I have no idea if I have any CCJ's or whatever but I don'tthink any of the creditors have forced me into bankruptcy.

 

It's time to face the music and sort it all out but I ambeside myself with worry.

 

12 hours sleep last WEEK!

 

I would really prefer to have an insolvency practitioner orsomething/someone help me through the whole process because I justdon't have the strength or knowledge to be able untangle the mess.

 

After 3 years, 2 countries and endless changes ofaddress I have very little information left about my state of affairs.

 

Can anyone offer any advice about how best I should startthe process and alert me to the kind of procedures and penaltiesetc I am likely to face?

 

I am not looking for sympathy - I know I did the wrong thingin not sorting this out 3 years ago.

 

I prioritised survival first and thought I could sort it allout later...it's 10 times worse now.

 

Thank you.

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I know exactly how you feel about the worry and lack of sleep. But you are going along the right path and trying to sort it all out. First of all are any of these debts statute barred? That is have you made no payments or acknowledgement of them for 6 years?

Next you need to find out exactly how much you owe, one way would be to get a credit report which is free from Noddle and £2 from both Experian and Equifax. You can then see if there are any CCJs or if you have been made bankrupt already.

I was discharged from bankruptcy 2 years ago now and it is like having a big anchor lifted from your neck when you go bankrupt. You don't have to worry about phone calls, knocks on the doors any longer. Now I am getting my credit files cleared up, it is surprising what they don't bother to do! But the boot is on the other foot now and I have them jumping to my tune instead. It is a really nice feeling! I have a bank account to pay bills that need such payment methods and very happy not to have any credit.. I don't want any ever again. If I can't afford it, I save up. Bankruptcy is made out to be dreadful but it can be the start of the rest of your life instead of millstones that the banks want you to keep for years if not decades instead.

But seek advice from citizens advice bureau or here too.

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You can find out if you have any CCJs by searching trustonline - link below. It will cost you £4.00.

 

http://www.trustonline.org.uk/

 

To establish the situation with your home you could send a subject Access Request to the Lender. There is a specific request which I will find and post up for you.

 

For all other debts you can send the generic Subject Access Request which is in the CAG library, linked at the top of each screen highlighted in green.

 

Each request will cost you £10.00 and the lenders have 40 calendar days to respond. You will be entitled to receive all information/data held in respect of your financial relationship with the company. That way you will be able to see what has been happening, whether they have sold debts on to new owners, what type of charges have been levied on the accounts (Charges you should be able to reclaim). If there was any Payment Protection Insurance on any of the accounts, this might have been mis sold, so you could probably reclaim that as well.

Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

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

2: Take back control of your finances - Debt Diaries

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

4: Staying Calm About Debt  Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated - Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

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

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

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.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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The specific SAR is only for mortgages where there might be a shortfall after repossession. So for your initial request. You can use the following for each creditor.

 

[Your address]

 

 

 

[Their address]

 

 

[Date]

 

 

Dear Sir/Madam

 

 

DATA PROTECTION ACT 1998 - SUBJECT ACCESS REQUEST

ACCOUNT /REF NUMBER XXXXXXXX

 

 

Please supply me with copies of all the data which you hold on me in relation to any matter and in any form and for any period of time.

 

Please note that I require disclosure of any personal data which you hold on me for the entire period of my dealings with you.

 

This Subject Access Request includes - but is not limited to any data you hold about me in respect of any matter and held in any form including notes, screen notes, recordings, internal correspondence and external correspondence. Please note that this Subject Access Request is not limited to the account/reference number mentioned above but that number has been provided purely as a starting reference for you.

 

For the avoidance of doubt, and as stated above, this Subject Access Request requires disclosure of ALL personal data which you hold on me for the entire period of my dealings with you

 

I enclose the statutory maximum fee of £10. You have 40 days in which to comply.

 

If there is specific information which you require in order to satisfy yourself as to my identity, please let me know by return.

 

If I do not hear from you then I will assume that this Statutory Request is satisfactory and that the 40 day timescale has started.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

 

[signature ]

 

 

[name]

 

 

Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

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

2: Take back control of your finances - Debt Diaries

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

4: Staying Calm About Debt  Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated - Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

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

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

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.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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I was reading about statute barred earlier on here but they are only relatively 'young' debts at 3 years so they wouldn't qualify.

Will the credit report actually show the value of debt as well as who it is owed to?

I am finding it very difficult to imagine the feeling of what it will be like once it's all sorted but I do take comfort in hearing about yours and other successes.

I don't even know how they would calculate the debt due on a repossessed property that hasn't sold? How on earth would I include that in my statement of affairs?

What is going to happen when I contact the creditors for information about my accounts? - I imagine that both I, and my parents, will quickly start to be harassed by every man and his dog!

The last time I went to citizens advice 3 years ago they put me in touch with an insolvency practitioner but I couldn't afford his fee and I was also told I needed to gather all the information or he couldn't help me.

I couldn't gather it effectively trying to manage to work and living out of a suitcase.

Now, 3 years later, with less information than I had before I think it's going to absolutely terrible.

I tried to avoid going bankrupt like the plague but now I'm praying for the day it actually happens!

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Go to http://www.noddle.co.uk as a first step, you can look at your credit file for free, you will see how much you owe to which company. But it may not be totally accurate and you may have duplication of debts on your file.. I have and I am trying to get them sorted out. The debts may have been sold on to a debt collector and then they put it on as another debt. Look for the amounts to see if they are similar will give you a clue. You can also see CCJs or bankrupty on there too.

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will the credit report also highlight account numbers/reference numbers too?

(sorry, I really have hardly any information at all)

Thanks for the letter template.

Just so I am clear - I send this letter to all creditors including the mortgage company or is there another, more specific, letter for the mortgage company?

(I did tell you I was struggling to function)

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will the credit report also highlight account numbers/reference numbers too?

(sorry, I really have hardly any information at all)

Thanks for the letter template.

Just so I am clear - I send this letter to all creditors including the mortgage company or is there another, more specific, letter for the mortgage company?

(I did tell you I was struggling to function)

 

 

As I explained in the earlier post, the generic SAR is the one you send to ALL creditors, including the mortgage provider. Until you know if the property has indeed been repossessed, then you don't know if there is a shortfall or not. I would suspect that you will obtain all the data required from the mortgage provider in that SAR anyway.

 

Yes, your credit files should show the current status of a debt - account reference - balance outstanding - last payment made - owner of the debt - date of default.

 

The link I gave you to trustonline will let you know if there are any County Court Judgments in your name.

 

Almost certainly if you have a lot of debts you will be deluged by letters as soon as you put your name on the electoral roll, apply for utilities or telephone in the UK. I would suggest you make every attempt to keep your telephone number private. So if you are going to have a landline, also get a PAYG mobile and put that number down where you need to provide a telephone number.

Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

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

2: Take back control of your finances - Debt Diaries

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

4: Staying Calm About Debt  Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated - Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

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

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

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.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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Thank you so much.

 

I actually feel ever so slightly better thinking that this will help gather the necessary information I need.

 

The PAYG phone is a good idea - I want to limit the amount of harassment at my parents home so their landline is a definite no-no.

 

Another question - if I have been living and working in Italy for 2 years as a consultant would it be at all possible to suggest that this was just a project based visit and that England has and always was my centre of interest...to avoid having to wait another 6 months before filing?

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Here are the websites of three good debt charities

 

http://www.nationaldebtline.co.uk/

 

the next two are funded by the banks and some people posting on these forums are wary of them

 

This one helped me to get debt free so it comes with my personal recommendation

 

http://www.stepchange.org/

 

and this one is currently running a debt management plan for my husband - he has no complaints.

 

http://www.payplan.com/

 

You will find a wealth of information on these websites which will supplement the excellent advice on this forum. The will also be able to provide you with free advice - phone calls are free too.

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