Are you in Negative Equity? We can help!

There is a considerable amount of misinformation surrounding property debt and negative equity. The aim of this and subsequent articles is to provide an overview of how we have been assisting homeowners and landlords with property debt issues since 2012.

CD Fairfield was formed by Philip Davison (MD), and myself as a reaction to the fallout from the unprecedented property crash in Northern Ireland in 2008. At the time it was estimated that approximately 60,000 properties had mortgages greater than their value. The Council of Mortgage Lenders estimated the negative equity total to be circa £2.5billion.

Of course, this isn’t an issue for everyone in negative equity, but for those who need to sell for financial reasons or otherwise, many found themselves in a “bad debt” situation for the first time in their lives, and through no fault of their own.

The “party line” from Lenders and Government Agencies was to speak to your lender. I can tell you from significant experience that in many cases that is the last thing a borrower should ever do!

It was clear that a bespoke mediation service was required to take borrowers by the hand to not only guide them through this minefield but provide full representation, an end-to-end solution.

As well an being authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority we have an in-house Insolvency Practitioner, Edward Walsh, a member of the Chartered Accountants of Ireland and R3 (The Association of Business Recovery Professionals). We also have Senior Management who holds membership of the Insolvency Practitioners’ Association.

With these associations and levels of regulation, we have the full suite of debt solutions under one roof which includes:

  • Mortgage re-negotiations (with the existing lender)
  • Mortgage Mis-selling Claims
  • Informal/Negotiated Settlements
  • IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement)
  • Bankruptcy

We also recognised that there were a number of distinct differences based on whether we were helping homeowners or Landlords in Northern Ireland or in mainland UK. This being the case variations in brand were created as follows:

Negative Equity UK

Negative Equity NI

Landlord Debt Advisory

Get Help With Debt

What sort of results does Negative Equity UK achieve? This is a snapshot of some settled cases: Settled Cases

Our independent Client Review show an approval rating of 4.89/5.00

Securing successful outcomes for clients is front and centre in all that we do. How do we do this?

  • Developing and maintaining excellent working relationships with lenders
  • Recruiting highly competent staff from the legal, accountancy, insolvency, banking and financial services sectors
  • Continual investment in systems and people
  • We listen to our clients and implement constant improvement based on feedback

 

(up to April 2018)

In my next articles I’ll provide specifics; the mechanics of a case, the process that followed and the outcome for the clients.

 

UK house price growth to remain flat in 2018.

House price growth across is to remain essentially flat in 2018, according to the latest Nationwide House Price Index, which predicts growth of only 1%.

According to the report, modest annual growth in the wider economy of 1-1.5%, combined with stagnating household finances will act as a drag on house prices, holding down growth and keeping activity in the housing market subdued over the next 12 months.

The report also notes that house price growth already slowed over the last year, with prices up by only 2.6% annually in 2017, compared to 4.5% in 2016.

Despite this modest growth in 2017, property prices ended the year down slightly month on month, recording a fall of 0.6%, according to the Halifax.Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide, said; “Low mortgage rates and healthy employment growth continued to support demand in 2017, while supply constraints provided support for house prices. However, this was offset by mounting pressure on household incomes, which exerted an increasing drag on consumer confidence as the year progressed.

“The impact of previous policy changes, including additional stamp duty on second homes, changes to tax deductibility of landlord expenses and lending criteria, meant that demand from buy to let investors remained subdued in 2017.”

In 2017, London house prices were hit hardest by the slowing market, falling by 0.5% over the year.

We can help.

These figures will be worrying for homeowners already struggling with negative equity. With prices stagnant across the UK and some areas even seeing prices fall, mortgage borrowers with negative equity will have no hope of seeing their property gain enough value to overtake the shortfall.

So, if you’re struggling to sell a home you can’t afford, or you’re trapped in arrears or negative equity on your property, then we can help.

At Negative Equity UK, our team of property debt specialists offers a range of possible solutions based on your individual situation. Whatever your circumstances, the process starts with a case review. We will obtain all of the original documentation on your mortgage from your lender so we can assess your needs and work out the best way for us to help you.

We don’t adopt a one size fits all approach to helping our clients. Instead, we offer bespoke solutions based on your specific needs and circumstances.Many people need to sell their house in order to deal with their debt. In this case, we can arrange a shortfall sale and negotiate with your lender in order to write off as much of the remaining debt as possible, leaving you with a much smaller amount left to pay.

If you’re in arrears on your mortgage, or you’re trapped in a property in negative equity and you need to move on take a look at our reviews and contact us on 0161 631 2727 or fill out a contact form on our website and we will arrange a call back and start the process of dealing with your property debt.

What is Negative Equity and why is it a problem?

Around the UK, many homeowners have found themselves trapped in negative equity since the property crash and recession ten years ago, but many people don’t know what negative equity is or how it can affect them and their finances.

Put very simply, ‘negative equity’ means that the value of something against which a loan was secured is now less than the outstanding balance. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, it is a term applied almost exclusively to property debt.

In the past, bricks and mortar were popularly seen as a safe investment, guaranteed to gain in value.Similarly, it was accepted that other things depreciated in value, often quite significantly. The market value of a car might drop by 20-30% as soon as it is driven out of the showroom. People understand this and factor this loss of value into their calculations whenever they decided to make an expensive purchase.

But property? That was different. Or, at least, so most people thought.

The recession which hit the UK in 2008 saw the value of many properties plummet. This left those who had taken out loans based on the pre-recession worth of their homes, with debts greater than the post-crash value of their property.

If, in 2006 to ‘07 when the British and Irish property booms were at their peaks, a buyer took a mortgage of £210,000 for a house, today valued at £140,000, they have a problem as selling their home will still leave them with a significant shortfall, which they will still have to pay back.

This is the main problem with negative equity, in addition to this significant loss, the amount raised from a sale at this stage would be insufficient to clear the outstanding debt to the bank of building society.

In the current climate those who have suffered are the borrowers who, in the days of ‘easy money’, took out loans of 90%-100% of the property’s value. From the outset, they were most at risk in the event of any fall in the value of property.

We can Help.

There are a number of possible solutions we can offer to resolve your property debt problems, depending on your circumstances, but for many of our clients a sale and settlement is the only solution to their problem.

We have successfully negotiated hundreds of cases every year where we have arranged the sale of our clients’ homes and reached an affordable debt settlement with the lender.

For other clients remortgaging might be their best option and, in some cases, we might pursue an individual voluntary arrangement, or IVA. This is a legal agreement between you and your lender and is suitable for people who have debts with multiple lenders.

Whatever your circumstances, the first step to dealing with your property debt is to contact Negative Equity UK for an initial free, no obligation consultation with one of our advisors.

Take a look at our reviews and call us on 0161 631 2727 or go to our website and arrange for us to call you at a time that suits you.

We offer solutions for unaffordable property debt.

At Negative Equity UK, when we meet our clients for the first time, they often tell us that they believe their situation is hopeless and they do not think there’s any way out of their debt situation. Many are worried that their debts will inevitable force them to go bankrupt.

There are, however, a range of solutions that can be pursued in order to deal with a property in negative equity. Once we have completed an initial consultation with our clients, we can begin to plan the best course of action for dealing with you problem debt.

Informal settlement.

For the majority of our clients, the best option available is usually a negotiated settlement with their lender. This involves the borrower selling the property and our team negotiating with the lender to write off as much of the shortfall from the sale as possible. This leaves our client with an agreed, affordable amount to repay either in instalments or as a single lump sum payment depending on what makes the most financial sense for them.

We often find that our clients are sceptical that a bank would agree to write down debt, but there are good reasons for them to do this. Repossessing a property and then paying someone to sell it for them is a long and expensive process for the bank and they rarely get the full market value for the house, so agreeing a settlement is often the best option for both parties.

An Individual Voluntary Arrangement.

An individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) is a legal agreement between you and your creditors. IVAs are a possible solution we would examine where a borrower owes money to multiple creditors.

Most types of debt can be included in an IVA, including mortgage debt, credit card debt, unpaid council tax or money owed to HMRC. An IVA might also be worth discussing if you own multiple properties with mortgages from different lenders, or you have unsecured debt from several creditors.

Once a settlement is agreed with your lenders it can be paid as a five year payment plan, known as a contribution IVA, or, if you can afford it, as a single lump sum.

Remortgage/restructure.

For most of our clients, it won’t be a good idea to try to resolve their debt problems by taking on more debt, in a few cases, however, it can be possible to deal with property debt by remortgaging.

While not suitable for everyone, restructuring your mortgage is an option that we might consider with clients who are struggling financially due to unexpected changes in their circumstances, such as a change in your work situation, if you have been made redundant, retired or had your hours reduced, or if your family is growing.We have successfully negotiated with many of our clients’ lenders to extend their mortgage term, allowing them to stay in the home they had worked so hard to secure.

What do our clients say?

One of our recent clients, Kerry, said this after we completed her case; “The service provided by Negative Equity was excellent. Despite all of my concerns and fears about the process they really went out of their way to provide excellent guidance and advice. They took their time explaining in detail the process, no question was left unanswered. My negative equity of £97,000 was reduced to £14,000 final payment. I can’t thank them enough.”

Contact Us Now.

We have successfully negotiated hundreds of cases every year where we have arranged the sale of our clients’ homes and reached an affordable debt settlement with the lender. Whatever the situation we will offer you a bespoke solution based on your own personal circumstances. The first step to dealing with your property debt is to contact Negative Equity UK for an initial free, no obligation consultation with one of our advisors.

Take a look at the rest of our reviews and call us on 0161 631 2727 or go to our website and arrange for us to call you at a time that suits you.

Struggling with mortgage arrears and negative equity? We can help.

Taking out a mortgage and buying a house is the biggest financial decision most people will make in their lives. No one makes this decision with the intention of falling behind on their payments or not paying back the loan, but sometimes situations arise which make it impossible for borrowers to meet their mortgage costs.

This situation is even worse when the value of your home is less than the outstanding value of the mortgage on it. This is known as negative equity and it compounds your problems with arrears.

If left unresolved, mortgage arrears could ultimately lead to your property being threatened with repossession. Negative equity gives you less scope for dealing with your debt because selling your property will not generate enough to pay off your mortgage or arrears, leaving you burdened with the shortfall.

Negative equity has become quite common in the UK since the financial crisis ten years ago, when house prices collapsed, forcing down the value of many peoples’ homes and leaving them owing many thousands of pounds more than their property was now worth.

At Negative Equity UK, we’ve seen hundreds of clients who can’t pay their mortgage and have fallen into arrears for a range of reasons. Some people have lost their job or had their working hours cut. Others bought their house before having children, only to find their costs becoming unmanageable once they start a family. In some cases, an illness has forced them to leave work or make changes to their home.

Whatever the source of your mortgage problems, the consequences of falling into arrears can be serious. In the worst case scenario, you could potentially lose your home and damage your credit rating badly enough you may struggle to borrow again.

With arrears mounting and your property already in negative equity, you need to take steps to deal with your debts. Holding out for your circumstances to change is not going to help and waiting could make the problem worse.

At Negative Equity UK, our team of property debt specialists offers a range of possible solutions based on your situation. Whatever your circumstances, the process starts with a case review. We will obtain all of the original documentation on your mortgage from your lender so we can assess your needs and work out the best way for us to help you.

Rather than take a one size fits all approach, we off bespoke solutions based on our clients’ specific problems and financial circumstances.

Many people need to sell their house in order to deal with their debt. In this case, we can arrange a shortfall sale and negotiate with your lender in order to write off as much of the remaining debt as possible, leaving you with a much smaller amount left to pay.

In September alone we wrote off a total of £1,287,323 of unaffordable mortgage debt for our clients.

If you’re in arrears on your mortgage, or you’re trapped in a property in negative equity and you need to move on take a look at our reviews and contact us on 0161 631 2727 or fill out a contact form on our website and we will arrange a call back and start the process of dealing with your property debt.

 

I Need A Debt Management Plan

I Need A Debt Management Plan

Debt debilitates people. It affects their physical and mental health, robs them of their self-respect and slowly, gradually, ultimately takes away their sense of well-being having first ended their hopes and dreams.

American financial author and television/radio personality Dave Ramsey advised: “You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.”

As advice goes, it wasn’t too wide of the mark.

It has never been easier to accumulate debt. We are encouraged to do so all the time with the entire capitalist economic system now appearing to run on tick. As a result, tens of millions of people spend tens of millions of pounds, dollars, euros or whatever else buying what they want when they want it.

Profligacy was anathema to earlier generations, of course. Our grandparents used to warn against this lifestyle, their motto having been, “If you don’t have the money to buy it, don’t buy it.”

But somewhere or other along the road we turned off away from that simple straight and narrow route and instead began to do things another way. Many have lived to regret that change, having discovered for themselves the wisdom of Mr Micawber’s oft-quoted, recipe for happiness as cited in Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield: “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds, nineteen shillings and six pence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds, nought shillings and six pence, result misery.”

As long ago as 1732 physician and preacher Thomas Fuller warned: “Debt is the worst poverty.” Prophetic words.

And in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Polonius cautioned: “Neither a borrower nor a lender be, for loan oft loses both itself and friend.”

There is an even older proverb which urges, “Before borrowing money from a friend, decide which you need more.”

We really ought not to be too surprised, then, to find just how cripplingly undermining debt is; over the centuries – the millennia, even – the warnings against succumbing to it have been numerous, after all.

But at some point some person or group of people, who stood to make an awful lot of money from the process, decided things would be much better if we were all to start borrowing money – from them, of course – and spending it like it were our own. Never have the results of that philosophy been more obvious.

On January 13, 2016, a report by Simon Read appeared in The Independent beneath the headline, ‘Is the UK facing a debt disaster?’
It was a rhetorical question given that the opening paragraph read: ‘Shock new figures published today reveal that household debt has soared by two-fifths in just six months.’
It continued: ‘Aviva’s Family Finances report found that average debt now stands at £13,520 – a climb of £4,000 from £9,520 last summer. It is the highest levels seen in the quarterly survey for two-and-a-half years.

“It is concerning to see that household debt has grown to such levels,” said Caroline Siarkiewicz, head of UK debt advice for the Money Advice Service.

‘The rise in the figure – which doesn’t take account of mortgage debt – means the average amount owed is 24 per cent higher than in winter 2011 when the data was first recorded.

“The alarming levels of rising household debt, along with a recent reduction in income and savings levels, paints an uncertain picture for the family purse in 2016,” said Louise Colley, managing director, protection, Aviva Life UK.

‘Aviva’s reports makes for sobering reading. It suggests average credit card debt has climbed by more than a fifth in the last six months, from £1,960 in summer 2015 to £2,370 now. The amount owed on overdrafts has increased even more quickly, rising by almost two-fifths from £870 to £1,190.

‘Meanwhile, one in four families now owes money on a personal loan – that’s a rise of almost a quarter from a year ago – with an average outstanding balance of £2,080. Over the last five years, mortgage debt has also risen by a more than a fifth.’

So there, in those few paragraphs, you see all the problem areas identified – mortgages, credit cards, overdrafts and personal loans. Add payday loans to that quartet and you have a full house of debt in its various guises.

Benjamin Franklin once said: “Creditors have better memories than debtors.”

But the problem isn’t with debtors’ memories – it’s with their inability to pay, not least because we insist on spending money which we should instead be using to pay off what we already owe.

We borrow too much too readily in living beyond our means. And that translates as more going out than is coming in, resulting in misery as per Micawber.

If we are to escape it, debt must be managed. And almost certainly that will require help from an outsider with a lot of knowledge.

The good news is that such help is available from experts who know exactly what debt resolution entails and understand fully what, under the law, is required of a debtor. That’s a level of expertise most of us just don’t have.

Debt management is the answer to the question of how to get out of debt. So too is our commitment to the belief that debt relief is realistic and therefore can be achieved. Mortgage debt, credit card debt, unsecured loans, overdrafts – there is a solution for all of these.

There are different ways of achieving debt relief, though ultimately each will involve negotiation with creditors. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO THE NEGOTIATING. There are others who will act on your behalf.

But before they can do that, they and you have to sit down and have a very honest, to-the-point, no-nonsense, tell-it-like-is meeting to reveal the full extent of the problem and how it has come about.

Then, armed with that information, your adviser will come up with what amounts to a rescue plan designed not only to ensure your fiscal survival but to liberate you from the hardship in which currently you are entrapped. Getting free of debt isn’t so much a case of beating the wolf back from your door – it’s about making sure it never comes back to imprison you again.

Lenders listen to advisers, negotiators and facilitators they respect. If the debtor’s case is made to them by professionals of proven knowledge, they will do business.

Get Help With Debt certainly ticks those boxes. Typically they achieve 80% to 90% debt write-off for their clients, many of whom had feared  that they were beyond help.

Lenders know that a GHWD settlement proposal is only made after a thorough examination of all the facts – the size and nature of the debt, the circumstances whereby it has come about, income, outgoings, resultant ability – or inability – to pay, the precise type of loan(s) and the small print of the contract.

Their respect for GGHWD stems from experience of having negotiated with them in the past, plus the fact that they are Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)-licensed and regulated. In bankers’ eyes, that gives GHWD real status. It is also the client’s safeguard.

Loans can be re-negotiated. Loans can be written off. Banks know that attempts to recover debt take a lot of their time and money so they do the sums in weighing up how much of both they might have to spend pursuing something that ends up being irretrievable.

Loans are re-negotiated or written off every day of the week, with creditors ‘providing debt forgiveness’ to give the process its legal and technical title.
Get in touch now to speak to an expert!

Personal Debt, Do You Need An IVA?

Personal Debt: Do You Need An IVA?

Personal debt is a growing problem in the UK – and many financial forecasters are predicting that things could get a whole lot worse.

Earlier this year Louise Colley, managing director, protection, Aviva Life UK, warned:. “The alarming levels of rising household debt, along with a recent reduction in income and savings levels, paints an uncertain picture for the family purse in 2016.”

Personal debt has grown, in part due to record-low interest levels. Those have meant low-cost loans, with many having availed of the opportunity for so-called ‘cheap money’.

For many the day of reckoning has yet to come.

For others, however, it has arrived or will do so in the very near future. The number of ‘hits’ on the Get Help With Debt website confirms the level of public anxiety at this juncture.

And with so much uncertainty following the June 23 vote to leave the EU, a lot of UK citizens are keeping their fingers crossed that some of warnings as to what may happen a few months or years down the line fail to materialise.

The truth is that no-one knows for sure at this stage. It really is a ‘wait and see’ moment.

The likelihood is that personal debt will continue to be a major problem in the UK, leading to an increase in the number of Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) between those entrapped and those to whom they owe money advanced as unsecured loans.

An IVA is a formal debt solution enabling a debtor to pay back what he or she owes on unsecured loans – personal loans, credit cards and overdrafts – over an agreed period of time. This requires acceptance by 75% of the creditors.

And while an IVA is the best solution in certain situations, there are others in which a different course of action would be more appropriate and beneficial.

Get Help With Debt’s team of experts know what works best, where and when. For that reason they provide guidance best-suited to particular any given set of circumstances.

A typical IVA scenario is one in which money is owed to a number of creditors. That number may range from three to dozens.

If those debts are insurmountable, or if it is unrealistic for that debtor to continue to service an unfeasible volume of debts whilst trying to provide for their family, an IVA may well be the best solution to that problem.

An IVA can be a lump-sum settlement. Usually that money is raised through the debtor’s family or friends.

More typically, however, an IVA runs for a five-year period.

To qualify for an IVA you must be completely unable to repay your unsecured debts in a reasonable time, but able to make a reasonable monthly repayments towards clearing them.

.If  the IVA proposal is accepted  by the creditors, the borrower is required to meet all the repayment obligations to which he/she has committed himself/herself.

In negotiating an IVA, the whole premise is that it is both reasonable for you and affordable to you whilst acceptable to the creditors. But that means there is no wriggle room; it must be adhered to, without fail, from start to finish.

Provided the debtor keeps up his/her end of the bargain, creditors will do likewise. That means they will leave the debtor alone, so no more letters, phone calls or hassle.

And at the end of five years, provided the debtor has honoured the agreement, the creditors will write off any remaining debt. This can amount to a huge percentage of the original debt.

Because they know the law inside out, Get Help With Debt’s highly qualified personnel are equipped to negotiate best-case solutions to your debt problems.

In any given situation, they know what will work and what will not. So if an IVA is not the best solution, they will examine the other options to find which one is.

Always they start by contacting all of a client’s creditors to point out that the current situation is unaffordable, providing proof of why that is so.

At that, they will propose an interim arrangement to demonstrate willingness to pay what is affordable.

Meanwhile the team will work on a more permanent solution – an IVA, a debt management plan or bankruptcy.

The bottom line is that creditors are realists who know that they cannot get money where there is none. That is why they are willing to work with people whose knowledge, ability and integrity as negotiators they respect.

If, therefore, your case is presented by those your creditors recognise as being experts, it will be viewed much more favourably than would otherwise be true.

Use the contact details on the Get Help With Debt website to get advice on how best to solve your personal debt problems.

I Have Unaffordable Debt, Who Can Help Me?

I Have Unaffordable Debt, Who Can Help Me?

I have unaffordable debt, and I need help!

Debt debilitates people. It affects their physical and mental health, robs them of their self-respect and slowly, gradually, ultimately takes away their sense of well-being having first ended their hopes and dreams.

American financial author and television/radio personality Dave Ramsey advised: “You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.”

As advice goes, it wasn’t too wide of the mark.

It has never been easier to accumulate debt. We are encouraged to do so all the time with the entire capitalist economic system now appearing to run on tick. As a result, tens of millions of people spend tens of millions of pounds, dollars, euros or whatever else buying what they want when they want it.

Profligacy was anathema to earlier generations, of course. Our grandparents used to warn against this lifestyle, their motto having been, “If you don’t have the money to buy it, don’t buy it.”

But somewhere or other along the road we turned off away from that simple straight and narrow route and instead began to do things another way.

Many have lived to regret that change, having discovered for themselves the wisdom of Mr Micawber’s oft-quoted, recipe for happiness as cited in Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield: “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds, nineteen shillings and six pence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds, nought shillings and six pence, result misery.”

As long ago as 1732 physician and preacher Thomas Fuller warned: “Debt is the worst poverty.” Prophetic words.

And in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Polonius cautioned: “Neither a borrower nor a lender be, for loan oft loses both itself and friend.”

There is an even older proverb which urges, “Before borrowing money from a friend, decide which you need more.”

We really ought not to be too surprised, then, to find just how cripplingly undermining debt is; over the centuries – the millennia, even – the warnings against succumbing to it have been numerous, after all.

But at some point some person or group of people, who stood to make an awful lot of money from the process, decided things would be much better if we were all to start borrowing money – from them, of course – and spending it like it were our own. Never have the results of that philosophy been more obvious.

On January 13, 2016, a report by Simon Read appeared in The Independent beneath the headline, ‘Is the UK facing a debt disaster?’

It was a rhetorical question given that the opening paragraph read: ‘Shock new figures published today reveal that household debt has soared by two-fifths in just six months.’ It continued: ‘Aviva’s Family Finances report found that average debt now stands at £13,520 – a climb of £4,000 from £9,520 last summer. It is the highest levels seen in the quarterly survey for two-and-a-half years.
“It is concerning to see that household debt has grown to such levels,” said Caroline Siarkiewicz, head of UK debt advice for the Money Advice Service.

‘The rise in the figure – which doesn’t take account of mortgage debt – means the average amount owed is 24 per cent higher than in winter 2011 when the data was first recorded.

“The alarming levels of rising household debt, along with a recent reduction in income and savings levels, paints an uncertain picture for the family purse in 2016,” said Louise Colley, managing director, protection, Aviva Life UK.

‘Aviva’s reports makes for sobering reading. It suggests average credit card debt has climbed by more than a fifth in the last six months, from £1,960 in summer 2015 to £2,370 now. The amount owed on overdrafts has increased even more quickly, rising by almost two-fifths from £870 to £1,190.

‘Meanwhile, one in four families now owes money on a personal loan – that’s a rise of almost a quarter from a year ago – with an average outstanding balance of £2,080. Over the last five years, mortgage debt has also risen by a more than a fifth.’

So there, in those few paragraphs, you see all the problem areas identified – mortgages, credit cards, overdrafts and personal loans. Add payday loans to that quartet and you have a full house of debt in its various guises.

Benjamin Franklin once said: “Creditors have better memories than debtors.”

But the problem isn’t with debtors’ memories – it’s with their inability to pay, not least because we insist on spending money which we should instead be using to pay off what we already owe.

We borrow too much too readily in living beyond our means. And that translates as more going out than is coming in, resulting in misery as per Micawber.

If we are to escape it, debt must be managed. And almost certainly that will require help from an outsider with a lot of knowledge.

The good news is that such help is available from experts who know exactly what debt resolution entails and understand fully what, under the law, is required of a debtor. That’s a level of expertise most of us just don’t have.

Debt management is the answer to the question of how to get out of debt. So too is our commitment to the belief that debt relief is realistic and therefore can be achieved. Mortgage debt, credit card debt, unsecured loans, overdrafts – there is a solution for all of these.

There are different ways of achieving debt relief, though ultimately each will involve negotiation with creditors. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO THE NEGOTIATING, HOWEVER. There are others who will act on your behalf.

But before they can do that, they and you have to sit down and have a very honest, to-the-point, no-nonsense, tell-it-like-is meeting to reveal the full extent of the problem and how it has come about.

Then, armed with that information, your adviser(s) will come up with what amounts to a rescue plan designed not only to ensure your fiscal survival but to liberate you from the hardship in which currently you are entrapped. Getting free of debt isn’t so much a case of beating the wolf back from your door – it’s about making sure it never comes back to imprison you again.

Lenders listen to advisers, negotiators and facilitators they respect. If the debtor’s case is made to them by professionals of proven knowledge, they will do business.

Get Help With Debt certainly tick those boxes. Typically they achieve 80% to 90% debt write-off for their clients, many of whom had feared  that they were beyond help.

Lenders know that a GHWD settlement proposal is only made after a thorough examination of all the facts – the size and nature of the debt, the circumstances whereby it has come about, income, outgoings, resultant ability – or inability – to pay, the precise type of loan(s) and the small print of the contract.

Their respect for GHWD stems from experience of having negotiated with them in the past, plus the fact that they are Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)-licensed and regulated. In bankers’ eyes, THAT gives GHWD real status. It is also the client’s safeguard.

Loans can be re-negotiated. Loans can be written off. Banks know that attempts to recover debt take a lot of their time and money so they do the sums in weighing up how much of both they might have to spend pursuing something that ends up being irretrievable.

Loans are re-negotiated or written off every day of the week, with creditors ‘providing debt forgiveness’ to give the process its legal and technical title.

Get in touch now if you need help with unaffordable  debt!

I Need To Get Out Of Debt, Can You Help?

I Need To Get Out Of Debt

How Can I Get Out Of Debt?

Anybody can get into debt. It really isn’t difficult; we can do that all by ourselves, no assistance needed.

But getting out of debt is altogether different. Here the help of others who understand the numerous and often highly complex laws on borrowing, lending, debt, repayment, contracts, non-payment penalties,  the rights of creditors and borrowers alike et al,  is almost certainly going to be essential. There is a maze to be navigated and only those who know how to do that emerge from it intact.

The assistance of experts is vital in speeding up certain things in the debtor’s favour – and, equally importantly, slowing down other disadvantageous elements in order to keep the wolf from the door and buy time in which to resolve matters.

Debt relief is the goal and debt management is the route to achieving it. It’s a step by step process in which the knowledge and negotiating skills of an expert in debt advice play the key part. It’s a simple fact that some areas of life require the input of those who, by virtue of their know-how, are best equipped to cope

The numbers of daily hits on ‘how to get out of debt’ sites confirm the scale of the problem and underline the stress to which indebtedness evidently leads.

Millions of people in this country are up to their eyes in debt, much of it of the credit card variety, witness the endless volume of on-line traffic heading to sites offering advice and help on that particular subject. The ‘spend now, pay later’ lifestyle comes at a price. Ask any financial adviser or doctor as to the cost when people start to realise they are in over their heads.

In such cases credit card consolidation with 0% interest is an option – and a very good one. Provided, that is, you are scrupulous in maintaining the repayments. Because f you aren’t – if you default by even one day – you move from enjoying 0% to being hammered with an interest rate in the region of 30% in the blink of an eye. And at that moment you are right dragged back to square one. Think worst case scenario snakes and ladders. These guys take no prisoners…

That totally derailing change in your status can be as a result of something as simple as the loss of a few days’ wages as a result of illness or a reduction in those overtime hours on which you were depending.

So if you are in debt, of whatever kind, you need help. Your first port of call must be to consult advisers with a proven track record.

Possibly the most important question you can ask of any company or individual offering debt relief, debt management or debt solutions is this: “Are you FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) licensed and regulated?”

If the answer to that question is ‘Yes’, then you are in good hands. If it is ‘No’, thank them for their time, bid them farewell and make your exit.

Knowing that you and your interests are being represented by people of integrity as well as ability is another ‘must’. You need to know that those to whom you are entrusting your future don’t only know what they are doing, but that they are completely trustworthy in terms of how they conduct their business.

Why is that? Because while knowledge in itself is impressive, without the integrity which transforms it into wisdom, it is hollow.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer hit the nail on the head when he said: “The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential. To recognise the significant in the factual is wisdom.”

Obviously the nature and amount of debt – and of those institutions or individuals to whom it is owed – varies from person to person. So, too, does the simplicity or complexity of the overall picture.

Experience shows that few people with debt problems owe to just one lender. Ill-advised, uncontrolled borrowing is a downward spiral in which the borrower ends up taking on more and more debt in the hope of staying ahead. The end point in this comes when they realise it has become impossible to pay what they owe.

At that point there are salient questions to be asked and answered. Who is applying most pressure? To what extent, if any, have they been willing to accommodate you to date? Are their court rulings against you? Do you ‘own’ your home and, if so, what is the nature of that ‘ownership’? What type of mortgage do you have? Are your mortgage repayments up to date? If not, what is the extent of your arrears? What other loans/debs do you have?

Good, conscientious, legitimate, professional advisers will sit down with you to examine your circumstances fully in order to construct a debt management plan that is (a) workable, (b) realistic, (c) acceptable to the creditor(s), and (d) goal-achieving. Then based on your income and outgoings – which determine what you can and can’t afford – the law and their negotiating skills, they will attempt to come up with a proposal which you will be able to afford and which will see your legal obligations are fulfilled.

Different loan types come with different rules, terms and conditions attached. A pay-day loan – make that ‘debt’ – is not the same as a mortgage, nor is an overdraft the same as a HP agreement. There is all manner of small print, minutiae and detail to be sifted in the course of extricating a debtor from the mess in which he or she finds him-or-herself.

The role of the debt adviser – who is on your side and is acting with your interests at heart – is to go through the problem with a fine fiscal and legal tooth comb to discover the exact nature of the problem and then decide on the best way of addressing it. If they are experts, they will know things most others do not, be they legal nuances or escape clauses which can be activated by extenuating circumstances.

If you have put off seeking help in the hope of a scratch card win or a blinding light revelation as to how to make a fortune overnight, maybe the time to stop kidding yourself has come, not least because you certainly aren’t kidding your creditors.

So get real and start taking action now on the road to recovery. You might just be pleasantly surprised to learn just how quick and pain-free it can be. As for the sense of relief, you can’t put a price on that.

I Need Debt Help

I Need Debt Help!

Do you need debt help?

Do you need expert and trustworthy debt help? Rhetorical question really, isn’t it?

It’s a bit like asking if someone with a toothache needs a dentist, or somebody with a broken leg needs a doctor? The words ‘stating the obvious’ spring to mind.

We would not dream of asking anyone other than a qualified dental surgeon  to treat a dental problem, nor would we ever suggest that an enthusiastic but untrained amateur should be entrusted with tending to our shattered femur or tibia. So why on earth would we entrust anyone other than an expert on debt and its many convoluted ramifications to counsel us on that subject? Bizarre idea.

Debt is a complex matter to which a number of separate but related issues contribute. In view of the problems it is going to create for them, there can’t be too many, if indeed there are any, who would knowingly and wilfully choose indebtedness – and all of the misery, worry and despair  that flows from it – as their preferred economic status.  One would imagine that almost certainly they will have slipped slowly but ever-deeper into debt rather than having jumped gleefully into the quagmire.

There will be plenty of well-meaning, would-be Alvin Halls happy to let you have their tuppence worth of advice on debt issues. Relatives, work colleagues, that bloke next door, your man in the pub, that other guy whom you know who will tell you that he “had a problem just like yours.”

You wouldn’t listen to them if they were sharing their views on any other important matter which, if it is to be properly understood, would entail a lengthy period of study followed by examinations designed to confirm knowledge of it, would you? So ignore them.

The noun, debt, incorporates a wide range of versions and sub-divisions. Any borrowed money constitutes debt, be it of the secured or unsecured  variety – mortgages, overdrafts, credit cards and loans in whatever shape of form they come including those from friends, relatives, pay-day outfits or pawn-brokers whose re-emergence and proliferation on the main thoroughfares of our towns and cities underlines the seriousness of the plight in which so many now find themselves.

In 2015 more than 9,000 people in Northern Ireland sought debt help from Citizens Advice. And research into the Northern Ireland debt problem, conducted by the Money Advice Service last year, found that 217,000 people – roughly 15% of the adult population – were over-indebted, that is in over their heads.

In January 2016 a Belfast Telegraph report by Claire McNeilly stated: ‘Almost 250,000 people in Northern Ireland are facing a debt time bomb – but are doing little or nothing about it.

‘Families account for 62% of those currently in serious financial difficulty and, in over half of these cases, both parents are working.

‘New figures obtained by the Belfast Telegraph from Citizens Advice have laid bare the shocking extent of the problem, and the agency has said it expects the crisis to escalate in the coming months following the Christmas excesses.

‘There are also concerns that the level of reliance on debt to make ends meet is beginning to increase again as the economy slowly begins to recover.

‘Money Advice programme co-ordinator at Citizens Advice, Kathy McKenna, said people should get help sooner rather than later.

“The Bank of England’s Money and Credit report for November revealed that the amount of cash borrowed by consumers ahead of Christmas was the highest that it has been in any month since February 2008, at the height of the credit crunch,” she said.

“Many households, particularly those on low incomes and those vulnerable to income shocks, may not be able to handle the extra borrowing. Citizens Advice is expecting an increase in debt problems in the new year as a result of this.

“Our experience shows that people generally wait a year before seeking out debt advice. However, waiting means their financial situation can spiral even further out of control, leaving them deeper in debt.”

It is significant that Citizens Advice’s Kathy McKenna urged people to get debt help sooner rather than later. It is significant, too, that she did not advocate working it out yourself. That suggests the agency’s Money Advice programme co-ordinator recognises the need to seek assistance from those who, as a result of having encountered them on a daily basis. are familiar with such problems.

That is because debt does not just go away. It does not shrink, diminish or disappear. It remains and while it does it grows, grinding people down by virtue of the fact that although they feel its grip on them and their families tightening, they imagine themselves to be powerless.

They are wrong; they are not powerless – there is debt help, there is advice, there are options and there is a real possibility of a return to better times.

It is important you realise  that a good, caring, qualified debt adviser is not going to judge you but is going to help you. Know, too, that whatever your problem and whatever the size of your debt it is highly unlikely that your adviser will not have dealt with something that dwarfs it.

Negotiating a route out of debt requires co-operation and trust on the part of you and your adviser. Together you must agree on a route, a structured plan and a commitment to seeing it through.

Exactly how it can be tackled and the length of time it will take from start to finish depends on the scale and type of the debt(s), the nature of the contract(s) into which you have entered – and with whom – your income and the essential outgoings (food, fuel, clothing, transport, energy, phone, rates, insurances, car tax) for yourself and your dependants. Who are those dependants and what are their ages?

Are you a home-owner and, if so, are you in negative equity? If the answer to that question is ‘yes’, that too is added to your debt. What is the nature of your mortgage and from which bank or building society did you borrow? What is the state of play with your mortgage repayments?

When the answers to these questions are known, the possibilities will be assessed in order to decide  how best to set about rescuing you. A proposed solution can only proceed with your agreement; your advisor cannot go ahead without your signed consent. The plan must be acceptable to you.

There are four main methods of dealing with personal debt – debt consolidation, a debt management plan (DMP), an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) and bankruptcy. In each case there are pros and cons so the aim in working alongside your adviser is to choose what is the best option for you in your particular circumstances.

After much experience in this field, Get Help With Debt – Belfast-based financial advisers – believe IVA to be the best solution to the problems presented by most of their clients.

Why? Because it is a negotiated settlement and because it stops your debt growing by freezing interest and penalty charges on each of your unsecured loans. Ultimately it writes off debt you are unable to pay and, importantly, it means you avoid bankruptcy.

This is done via a settlement proposal which, acting on your behalf, GHWD will present to your creditors. Your representatives set out the facts and figures and in almost 100% of cases – last year they failed in just one – they achieve a write-off of 80 to 90% of their client’s debt.

If that sounds like the sort of help and advice from which you would benefit, contact GHWD now.