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Les Graham

Hello and need help please.

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Hi everyone

 

I’m not sure if I’ve posted this in the right section so please forgive me if I haven’t. I desperately need debt help and a friend suggested this forum.

 

I am self-employed and until 10 years ago had a very successful business.

 

 

Over the last 10 years my trade changed so much that I could no longer compete

and have had to change direction and do bits of all sorts to try to make ends meet.

I am still trying to add new things but to be honest I feel as though I am swimming against the tide and I am in a terrible mess.

 

When I say a terrible mess I mean that at 60 this year I feel a complete failure.

 

 

A couple of months ago I was so low that I was seriously considering suicide.

A friend talked me into seeing my GP and I am now on tablets for severe anxiety, stress and depression.

I have never taken pills in my life and the thought of my situation is so overwhelming that I still have suicidal thoughts.

 

My hands shake and tremble occasionally, which makes my work impossible at times and my wife, now has to help me.

When I get the shakes she even has to help me with basic tasks like buttoning my shirt

and I can no longer help her with things like peeling and chopping vegetables.

Although my wife has been wonderful I still feel I am a failure.

 

 

When I went to the GP I actually cried and sobbed like a child.

I am on the edge of tears most of the time, which doesn’t help my wife who has been on anti-depressants for some time now.

 

I didn’t use my credit cards or overdrafts for anything other than trying to get through the winter,

hoping that things would pick up. I feel totally sick, writing all of this down.

 

I’m terrified that I can’t afford to pay my bills next month.

 

 

Apart from my mortgage, these bills include things like all my direct debits, council tax, motor trade insurance, NI, one or two other insurances etc.

 

 

I have so far never missed a payment on any of them but I know that for the next two to three months, unless thing change suddenly I can just about afford to live.

 

I’m maxed out on my business overdraft of £5000 plus about £400 in charges and interest

and my private account of £1000 plus about £100 in charges and interest.

 

Sorry for waffling but I just wanted to give you an idea of the mess I’m in.

 

Regards.

Les

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Hello Les, welcome to CAG and I'm sorry to hear about your problems.

 

It's good that you've come here for guidance and I'm sure the forum guys will know what to suggest to help you resolve your problems. They should be along later, but I'll keep an eye on your thread to make sure people have found you.

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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HI there

Sorry to hear how you are feeling. First thing to recognise is there are indeed a lot of points there that need tackling. BUT they do not need tackling ALL at the same time.

Peeps here can help you.

 

First stage would be to quickly list here the following for each debt.

 

Original Owner of the debt.(Company name)

Current Owner of the debt (If different)

Rough Amount

Type of debt : EG Credit card, Business Loan, Personal Overdraft

When the debt was taken out. Roughly.

 

Some other information that may help people offering advice.

Business info: What sort of company. EG Sole Trader?

 

Please be aware that noone is going to be coming to your house any time soon to take things. There are processes that have to be followed first which we can help you here with.

 

I understand that when things are not going well, even for a long time it is often impossible for you to see things clearly and in a impartial way.

You claim you are a failure. Yet in your post I see evidence of current and previous sucess!! You are married. You have a family. THAT achievement alone is a shining one. 10 years AND MORE of being self employed. Wow! The skills and knowledge you have mean there is no way you can be a failure. Sure things have changed. Yes at the moment things are far from being rosey. Remember what you have achieved and remind yourself that actually you have done a hell of a lot!

 

You are more than just a business, You are a Husband and a Father and also a Friend. You are valued! Do not let financial issues remove those facts form your mind.

 

Now hopefully with peoples help here its time to fight back :]


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The SabreSheep, All information is offered on good faith and based on mine and others experiences. I am not a qualified legal professional and you should always seek legal advice if you are unsure of your position.

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What type of mortgage do you have and is it with the same bank who you bank and have credit with ?


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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.

 

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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What type of mortgage do you have and is it with the same bank who you bank and have credit with ?

 

My mortgage is with Halifax, not with my private bank account.

Sorry, forgot to say it's a re payment mortgage.

Edited by Les Graham

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keep that roof over your head secure and the things like CTAX

and electric and gas

 

 

the rest, particularly the likes of mobiles, credit cards etc need to be dropped to

 

 

we'll await the list of things.

 

 

not entitled to any benefits help are you or your wife?

have you ever done the survey on http://www.entitledto.co.uk/

 

 

 

 

dx


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WE CAN'T GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU SEND ME A LINK TO YOUR THREAD - I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER HELP THERE

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HI there

Sorry to hear how you are feeling. First thing to recognise is there are indeed a lot of points there that need tackling. BUT they do not need tackling ALL at the same time.

Peeps here can help you.

 

First stage would be to quickly list here the following for each debt.

 

Original Owner of the debt.(Company name)

Current Owner of the debt (If different)

Rough Amount

Type of debt : EG Credit card, Business Loan, Personal Overdraft

When the debt was taken out. Roughly.

 

Some other information that may help people offering advice.

Business info: What sort of company. EG Sole Trader?

 

Please be aware that noone is going to be coming to your house any time soon to take things. There are processes that have to be followed first which we can help you here with.

 

I understand that when things are not going well, even for a long time it is often impossible for you to see things clearly and in a impartial way.

You claim you are a failure. Yet in your post I see evidence of current and previous sucess!! You are married. You have a family. THAT achievement alone is a shining one. 10 years AND MORE of being self employed. Wow! The skills and knowledge you have mean there is no way you can be a failure. Sure things have changed. Yes at the moment things are far from being rosey. Remember what you have achieved and remind yourself that actually you have done a hell of a lot!

 

You are more than just a business, You are a Husband and a Father and also a Friend. You are valued! Do not let financial issues remove those facts form your mind.

 

Now hopefully with peoples help here its time to fight back :]

 

Thank you for such a warm and comforting reply, most appreciated. :-) I will provide the information you suggested tomorrow.

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My mortgage is with Halifax, not with my private bank account.

 

That is good news :)


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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Hi everyone and a quick intro from me as it's my first post. I am the friend Les mentioned in his opening post :-)

 

For 4 years or so I gave advice and help on a debt help forum but this was quite some time ago, a lot has changed and I'm pretty rusty. I do help people here and there in various Facebook groups but it's generally by offering support and directing them to CAG :-)

 

There are a couple of things that I thought worth putting up for discussion:

 

As Les is concerned that he can't afford next months direct debits what about cancelling them all and sending a letter to each creditor explain why. Something very simple like:

 

I regret to inform you that due to circumstances beyond my control I cannot afford to make my regular payments for the next 3 months. In the light of this and to avoid further charges I have had to cancel my direct debit.

 

I should be grateful if you would confirm that this meets with your approval and I will contact you at the end of may to discuss paying the arrears and re-instating the direct debit.

 

Please accept my sincere apologies but these are circumstances I neither foresaw nor could control.

 

Plus a similar letter to the bank asking them could they also freeze the interest and charges on the overdaft.

 

This would give Les some breathing space to put things into place and hopefully ease the anxiety and stress. Some of them may say no outright but if they do this by phone I would ask them to put it in writing so he can check back on here for further advice ... things like insurances may just cancel the policies :?:

 

My other thought was at the mention of entitledto.com and working tax credits but also being familiar with that site as well as CAG I know there is a section on there about Disability Living Allowance. That particular section is a bit of a minefield at the moment what with the introduction of PIP and I know from various groups that even severely disabled people are being turned down for Personal Independence Payment.

 

I know Les' condition at the moment is very debilitating and wondered whether it was worth making an appointment with Citizens Advice Bureau who have specialists to help with applying for DLA/PIP.

 

I'm so glad Les has come to you as I now know he is in excellent hands. This is a wonderful service you provide and I have made a small anon donation on Les' behalf :-)

Edited by Chainey
typo :)

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Chainey, if Les is unable to make next month's Direct Debits, then yes they should be cancelled and the companies advised. He should obtain at the very least a free proof of posting from the post office for any letters that are sent.

 

Council tax and mortgage company are serious priorities so Les needs to deal with them immediately.

 

National Debtline have some fact sheets dealing with Council tax and Mortgage arrears - the sooner he speaks with the Halifax who I understand holds the mortgage, the better.

 

https://www.nationaldebtline.org/EW/information/fact%20sheet%20library/Pages/default.aspx


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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

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'd change that letter to 6mts not 3

 

 

dx


PLEASE DONT HIT QUOTE IF THE LAST POST IS THE ONE YOU ARE REPLYING TOO.

MAKES A THREAD TWICE AS LONG TO SCROLL THROUGH!

please do not post jpg images directly to a topic..USE PDF ....READ UPLOAD.

 

WE CAN'T GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU SEND ME A LINK TO YOUR THREAD - I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER HELP THERE

Single Premium PPI Q&A Read Here

Reclaim mis-sold PPI Read Here

Reclaim Bank Account, Loan & Credit Card Charges Read Here

The CAG Interest Tutorial Read Here

spreadsheets 

 

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Chainey, if Les is unable to make next month's Direct Debits, then yes they should be cancelled and the companies advised. He should obtain at the very least a free proof of posting from the post office for any letters that are sent.

 

Council tax and mortgage company are serious priorities so Les needs to deal with them immediately.

 

 

 

Hi CitizenB

 

Les has stated that he has NO arrears with anyone so far ... would you please advise why he should speak to them asap. I have always been taught that it it better to deal with these matters in writing :).

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I'd change that letter to 6mts not 3

 

 

dx

 

Hi dx ... thanks for that. I too think 6 months would be better for Les and did actually see one of your standard letters last night, after I'd posted which used the 6 month period :)

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Definatly keep proof of postage and a copy of letters informing creditors of financial hardship. There are regulations the banks have to follow in regards to helping people in financial hardship. Those letters remove the "We were not aware" bull**** they will try and use.

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PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

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The SabreSheep, All information is offered on good faith and based on mine and others experiences. I am not a qualified legal professional and you should always seek legal advice if you are unsure of your position.

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Chainey, if Les is unable to make next month's Direct Debits, then yes they should be cancelled and the companies advised. He should obtain at the very least a free proof of posting from the post office for any letters that are sent.

 

Council tax and mortgage company are serious priorities so Les needs to deal with them immediately.

 

 

 

Hi CitizenB

 

Les has stated that he has NO arrears with anyone so far ... would you please advise why he should speak to them asap. I have always been taught that it it better to deal with these matters in writing :).

 

Chainey, Les will need help in sorting out a restructuring or forbearance plan with the mortgage company so it really is a good idea to make an appointment to see and speak to someone about this.

 

As for the Council tax - I think it wont be long before the new Tax bills drop through the letter box - so again best to deal with this at the earliest opportunity - it might be they will let him spread any arrears over the next tax period !

 

Any conversation had on the telephone can always be confirmed in writing.


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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Chainey, Les will need help in sorting out a restructuring or forbearance plan with the mortgage company so it really is a good idea to make an appointment to see and speak to someone about this.

 

As for the Council tax - I think it wont be long before the new Tax bills drop through the letter box - so again best to deal with this at the earliest opportunity - it might be they will let him spread any arrears over the next tax period !

 

Any conversation had on the telephone can always be confirmed in writing.

 

So what do you think about stopping all of the DD's in the meantime CB :)

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So what do you think about stopping all of the DD's in the meantime CB :)

 

If there is not going to be any money in the bank to pay these, or it will leave Les short for essentials such as food, then he has to stop the Direct Debits.. because he will end up with charges when these are bounced !

 

IMHO, Les needs to speak to somewhere like National Debtline who will help him produce an income and expenditure form that will be acceptable to Bank/Mortgage company/Council Tax. I will ask the ST member who helps mostly on the mortgage repossession side of things who will be able to offer advice on how to approach the Mortgage company to look in 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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Hi, you say the mortgage is with Halifax , it might be an idea to ask for a payment holiday until you sort out your finances - I know someone who did that.


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My advice is based on my opinion and experience only. It is not to be taken as legal advice - if you are unsure you should seek professional help.

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Thanks for all the support, I will go online and cancel my DD, thanks to Chainey I have spoken to someone and feel a lot more confident after the talk, thanks again Chainey.

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No problems matey. The IP you spoke to is second to none but I would strongly advise that you still post your details on here (even if only approximate) just to see what advice others have to offer. You never know there might just be something that he's overlooked ;)

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Hi Les,

 

Please keep going, nothing is worse than worry over debts. I know from first hand experience.

 

I have had wonderful support on here, and from StepChange who have been a lifeline and as long as you are honest with them they will be very caring and considerate when they speak with you.

 

When I first got into trouble I stopped all the Direct Debits from my bank account for all regular payments, things like insurances, etc., but also Council Tax, Water Rates, and other utility bills.

 

I find it easier to go online and pay them when I KNOW I have the money in my bank account to pay them.

 

That way, the date of the payment is under my control and not theirs, plus it avoids paying possible fees with the bank if there's not enough in there when the DD is due to go out.

 

You can also pay by phone with most of the utility companies, and even Council Tax in your local Council Offices in person.

 

After a long struggle, all other Creditors, i.e., non-secured debts, I sent a letter and told them I would only pay what I could afford to them each month.

 

They accepted this with a Budget prepared with the help of StepChange. They are also NOT allowed to phone me, or call at my door. Most also froze the interest and charges.

 

How much do I pay them each month? £1 to each of my Creditors! And, they have left me in peace for the last year or so.

 

This is a short term solution, but it does work and once I had it in place I could sleep at night for the first time in ages.

 

There is always an answer, there is always a way, just never give up. Fantastic help here, and with other Debt Charities. So never feel you are doing this on your own.

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Couldn't agree more Word-Soup (love your name by the way :) ) I wish you so much luck with your own situation too :)

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Couldn't agree more Word-Soup (love your name by the way :) ) I wish you so much luck with your own situation too :)

 

Aw, thank you.

 

They have done enough damage to so many people; our banks etc. We have to fight back.

 

The documentary film on BBC called Bitter Lake, highlights that BANKS worldwide have had far too much power over people for far too long, and they are still trying it!

 

They won't get anything more out of me.

 

I confess the naughty side of me desperately wants to stick a pin in my finger and put some blood on the page of my next letter to them.

 

Probably not wise though.... lol

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It is with great sadness that I am updating this thread and asking for help and advice.

 

My good friend Les died suddenly of a heart attack last week. leaving his wife and daughter traumatised and his wife with no income, no insurance and the balance on the mortgage to pay (as it was joint.)

 

I have been speaking to his daughter who is desperately trying to hold things together and look after 4 children and her Mum, who as Les said has been suffering with serious depression for years. The first advice I gave her was to get get herself and her Mum to the GP and then to the CAB to see what benefits her Mum may be entitled to and to try to get her into the mental health system in order to get some support.

 

Her Mums kneejerk reaction is to sell everything as quickly as possible including the house. Her Mums brother has spoken to the mortgage company and bought them 3 months but I'm sure this could be extended.

 

Les' daughter is beside herself with grief and the thought of selling the house after her Dad literally worked himself to death to try and keep it isn't helping.

 

My thought was this but I don't know if it's possible/legal etc:

 

The Brother has a good job and could, I imagine, get a buy to let mortgage. Could her Mum sell the house to either her brother or someone else for just the outstanding amount which I understand to be in the region of £40k.

 

Once in the benefits system could she then rent the house from the buyer with housing benefit paying the rent to cover the mortgage, at least for the time she is on benefits? Who knows what's in the future.

 

My own thoughts are that say the mortgage term was 5 years. After 5 years the Brother (or other investor) could gift the house to his daughter and allow his wife to continue to live there for as long as she wanted.

 

This would also leave plenty of time for Les' personal and business assets, which are few and mostly sentimental to be kept or sold.

 

As far as I know his few other debts were all unsecured and in his name only (things like credit card debts etc)

 

Any comments or advice would be really appreciated. It really would be a crying shame for the family to lose the house after Les tried so hard and for so long to keep it.

 

Thanks very much.

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