Author Topic: Debt advice thread  (Read 3921 times)

ditchdwellers

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Debt advice thread
« on: February 17, 2012, 06:34:15 PM »
What do people think of having a debt advice thread on the new Welfare Rights board?

I know that a lot of disabled people are often worried about debt, particularly if you are newly disabled and find yourself not able to work or have to reduce your hours.  I'm not suggesting that we give detailed advice, as we are not qualified to do so, but act as more of a signposting service to other agencies who can help.  It could also be an opportunity for others to discuss their own experience of debt management.

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Debt advice thread
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2012, 07:14:05 PM »
I think it would be an excellent idea   >thumbsup<

Any member is welcome to start that thread - or indeed any other, they don't have to wait for me or Monic to do it  ;-)

Monic1511

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Re: Debt advice thread
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2012, 07:17:23 PM »
Hi
We would probably signpost users to the free debt counselling services, what we need to remember is that the law is different in Scotland.   
I can do basic debt advice with my customers and take great delight phoning companies to tell them that balliffs have no powers at all in Scotland and reassuring the clients that they can never be jailed for non payment of debt in Scotland.

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

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

http://www.moneyadvicescotland.org.uk/ this organisation tends to sign post you to a free debt advisor in your area.

There is also the Citizens Advice Bureau and check with your local council as they can also employ Money advisors.  I know Glasgow City Council, Renfrewshire & East Renfrewshire councils do this.
Monic

devine63

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Re: Debt advice thread
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2012, 12:00:29 AM »
Hi

I can personally recommend the Consumer Credit Counselling Service   www.cccs.co.uk 

this service is free and non-judgemental and most importantly they will advise which debts must be given highest priority and how.
regards, Deb

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Debt advice thread
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2012, 12:16:10 PM »
Thanks Monic and Deb - as this thread is now giving useful links and information, I've moved it to Welfare Rights.  Please continue to use the thread for further posts regarding debt  >thumbsup<

RococoSoul

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Re: Debt advice thread
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2012, 01:02:10 PM »
Great thread. I've just had an invoice off Welsh Water for 550, I know they can't disconnect me, but in the last year or so I've been struggling to pay the 26 a month off my meter. I just can't see how they translated 12 missed monthly payments of 26 into 550. I missed a couple of payments as I just couldn't afford them and was then hospitalised for quite a bit of 2011. I'm hoping to move soon, so I don't want to just run from the debt, not least because my mother is guarantor on the property.

What do you guys think?  >bighugs<
People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost.

oldtone27

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Re: Debt advice thread
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2012, 02:37:26 PM »
Not debt advice as such, but useful tips on money saving

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com

ditchdwellers

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Re: Debt advice thread
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2012, 03:17:05 PM »
Rococo,

I've just had a look at the Welsh Water website, and you may be eligible for assistance from them to help pay your overdue amounts:

http://www.dwrcymru.co.uk/en/Household/Help-Paying-Your-Bill.aspx

This is how their Customer Assistance Fund may be able to help you:

If you are experiencing severe financial hardship and are unable to pay your water charges (e.g. loss of job, illness or family crisis), you may be able to receive exceptional support.

We have created this fund for our household customers who are in water arrears to help reduce your debt and help manage your ongoing payments to us.

How does it work?
If you have water charge arrears of 150 or more you may qualify for the scheme.

Should you be accepted, the first stage would require you to make regular payments of your current years water charges for 26 weeks. If this is successful, we would reduce your arrears by half and you would progress to stage 2.

The second stage requires a further 26 weeks of payment towards your current years water charges and if successful we would clear the remaining arrears on your bill.

This is a one off opportunity for us to help you to clear your water charge arrears.



RococoSoul

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Re: Debt advice thread
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2012, 05:11:40 PM »
Aw ditchdwellers,

Thanks, that's brilliant. Thankyou so much. I think I'd be lost without this group at the moment...x


 >thankyou<

 >bighugs<
People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost.

ditchdwellers

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Re: Debt advice thread
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2012, 05:31:54 PM »
You're welcome!

Being in debt can be overwhelming, but there are ways in which it can be dealt with.  Half the battle is knowing what help there is and how to access it.

I hope you manage to reach an agreement with them.  It's the last thing you need with everything else you're going through at the moment.

RococoSoul

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Re: Debt advice thread
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2012, 06:34:04 PM »
It's a relief. I'll be calling them up Monday. It's one less worry. I'm so glad you posted this thread x

 >hugs<
People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost.

Monic1511

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Re: Debt advice thread
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2012, 07:54:38 PM »
Rococo Soul
just a thought - my own council adds a 10% charge if you don't make all your payments in the one financial year, they then wait to see if your going to make regular payments & it you don't it gets passed to the Sheriff Officers.  At that stage if the person is on income support or income based benefits I would suggest direct deductions at 3.90/week.  Obviously if you can afford more than that then agree to pay more but don't just pluck a figure out of mid air i.e. 10/week as folk on basic benefits can rarely sustain more than 5/week.

the 10% charge may be where the extra cost has come from,it can be waived but its at the councils discretion -probably water board where you are -

sorry water & sewerage are still collected via council tax in Scotland so I get mixed up if the person is in the rest of the uk.
Monic

devine63

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Re: Debt advice thread
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2012, 08:08:22 PM »
I would never suggest guessing how much an individual can afford: the best method is to complete an income and outgoings sheet and to see how much income is left once the the other basic utilities (plus rent/mortgage and food and council tax) are paid - only after all of those are dealt with should you start worrying about credit cards and any other debts.
regards, Deb

Monic1511

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Re: Debt advice thread
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2012, 09:14:39 PM »
Hi Debs
3.90 a week is the minimum deductions that DWP will accept for any debt - thats why I quoted that figure
As you say - creating the financial statement showing income & outgoings is the best way to work out how much if any spare cash you have.
Monic

devine63

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Re: Debt advice thread
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2012, 09:39:55 AM »
Hi Monic

thanks for explaining - I'm grateful not to have had to experience DWP rules recently!
regards, Deb