2 Down, 58 To Go

July 25th, 2007

Well, I’m two months into my IVA now and it’s gradually sinking in now. I am starting to feel a great sense of relief and am more optimistic than when my IVA was initially approved.

I had been living off credit for a while so it was a reality shock to suddenly have to stick to a budget. However, I am managing on my budget and putting away what I need to every month for when the annual costs like car servicing and tax arise.

Saturday mornings usually spent clothes shopping are now spent shopping at the local market for meat and fruit & veg. Completely different, but it is alot nicer experience than the busy supermarket. More choice as well…….and cheaper of course!

I check my account online nearly everyday just to make sure I haven’t missed something.  I also have a standing order set up that transfers the money I need for annual expenses into my savings account. I find it’s easier to work out what you REALLY have and stops you spending money that you really need for something else a few months down the line.

I think so far the nicest feeling is seeing my bank account in credit (even if only a few pounds) the day before pay day!

So far, so good. Fingers crossed it stays like that…..

I look forward to the day I can write 58 down and 2 to go! 🙂

Bye for now

IVA Approved – How the Creditors Voted

June 17th, 2007

My IVA was approved on the 6th June, but was subject to some modifications. Here’s how the Creditors voted.

Firstly, creditors who didn’t vote were Additions Direct, Black Horse, Cahoot and Freemans. Combined they represented about 12% of my debt.

The major modifications that affected me came from The Insolvency Exchange who were representing Sainsbury’s Bank, Halifax, HSBC, Tesco, Mint and Style. The initial request was to raise my payments by £56 per month, reducing my house keeping and misc expediture. I requested a £30 increase and a £40 increase was agreed. This increases my monthly payment to £735. They suggested that other parts of my expediture could have been scrutinised as well, so I think what they were saying is ‘you got off lightly!’ I think if the increase had been more I would have seriously considered rejecting it and going BR. I wouldn’t have wanted to set myself up for a fall! Anyway, the £40 per month is managable, it just means working that little bit harder to make it work.

After modifications my IVA was agreed at 61p in the £.

My advice to anyone is if Creditors request more is to think long and hard about it. I spent alot of time working on my expediture and making sure I had it right. For someone then to want to change those numbers you need to think about the affect it will have on you and whether it is realistic. 

When I was intitally asked about the £56 per month increase I almost just accepted it. Because you want to get everything finalised and confirmed you perhaps don’t think things through as much as you should. Thanks to the great company that dealt with my IVA proposal I didn’t fall into this trap. They encouraged me to think about it throughly. Luckily negotiations were possible on this occassion.

Before I approched an IP I put together my own income and expediture spreadsheet. I would encourge anyone else to do something similar. Therefore, if you are faced with the same issue you can re-jig the numbers and see what it looks like in black and white. You will be able to see more clearly where the extra money could be realistically taken from.

I’ll be glad when I’m a few months into this, as at the moment I am still very frightened that I will fail.

10 Days to Creditor’s Meeting

May 27th, 2007

Just an update on letters and calls I have been receiving from Creditors over the past week….

I’ve received letters from both HSBC and Egg stating that following receipt of an IVA, all of my accounts have now been frozen. I have been advised to destroy any cards attached to the account and return any unused cheques. Not sure if this is a good sign or not that they will vote yes, I hope it is as they are my two biggest creditors.

I have only received calls and letters on missed payments from Sainsbury’s Bank and Halifax (I think these are both part of the HBOS group). I made a token payment of £5 to Sainsbury’s and the calls appear to have stopped now. Having my mobile ringing all day at work and then coming home to more calls was just too much.

I haven’t spoken to Halifax just lots of missed calls on my mobile. They phone alot during the day on my mobile, but I refuse to discuss my personal finance problems whilst sat at my desk at work! I get home and they have tried to contact me on the home phone in the middle of the afternoon when I am at work. They have never tried to contact me at home on an evening. Strange people……

I’m very busy at work so have plently to take my mind off things and the house has never been so clean and tidy! Who knows, providing the IVA is accepted, in 5 years time I will be debt free and also a domestic goddess! I’d be happy with just being debt free though.

How I feel

Right now I feel excited (or probably nervous excitment!). Probably sounds strange, but I am. If my IVA is accepted it’s a new start for me. I know it will be hard, but I’ve never been one to turn down a challenge! I’m happy with my expediture and budget and as long as I can afford to live the luxuries are just something I will have to wait for. The big time nerves will probably start creeping in next week. I’m still sleeping well, so hopefully this will continue. I’m ogre without sleep!

Bye for now…..

Date for Creditors Meeting

May 20th, 2007

The date has now been set for my Creditors Meeting – 6th June 2007 11am.

The process for me started on the 22nd April when I first spoke to the Debt Consultant of the IVA company. So if the proposal is accepted on the 6th June (FINGERS & EVERYTHING ELSE CROSSED!) then the whole process will have taken just over 6 weeks.

Now the countdown to the 6th commences! 17 DAYS TO GO!

The Story so Far……

May 12th, 2007

Hi, this is my blog which I hope to keep updated as I progress in trying to find a solution to my debt problems. I found the IVA Forum about 2 months ago and found it to be the final push I needed to take action and sort myself out. Reading about people who have ‘been there, done that’ or still going through it and still surviving made me realise that perhaps it wouldn’t be as scary as I first thought.

I first heard about IVA’s back in November last year and I spent alot of time doing research into them. Although I found a lot information about the ins and outs of IVA’s, I was struggling to find information from people who had been through the same process. Not only that, I wanted to find somewhere that had independent opinions on companies who offer IVA’s.

I was very wary of the ‘IVA Factories’ and personally some of the advertising put me off. Some made it sound too easy and I knew this wasn’t the case. Anyway, I found this site and in turn found an IP who I was confident in, which of course is Melanie Giles! All of her staff are excellent and I cannot fault the service received. The IVA process is a nerve racking time as it is, but having someone represent you who you have confidence in does make it that little bit more bearable. If I can offer anyone any advice (even though I am still a novice myself!) take the time to find an IP you are confident in to put your best case forward.


I am £67K in debt, spread over 12 creditors….

  • HSBC – £21.5K (Loan, Visa & Overdraft)
  • Egg – £15.0K (Loan, Visa & Mastercard)
  • Sainsbury’s Bank – £6.5K (Loan)
  • MBNA – £6.0K (Virgin Mastercard)
  • Tesco – £3.0K (Mastercard)
  • Halifax – £6.0K (Mastercard)
  • Black Horse – £0.9K (Loan)
  • Mint – £0.3K (Mastercard)
  • Cahoot – £6.8K (Loan)
  • 3 Catalogue/Store Cards – £0.8K

I am mortified by the amount of debt I got into, but that’s done and the mistake has already been made. Now comes the hard bit of trying to sort it out…..which I am determined to do!

My proposal is offering 58p in the £. 28 months @ £695 then increased to £885 for 32 months when Car HP is completed.

I have just sent back my signed proposal so I guess it’s just a waiting game until I get a date for the creditors meeting. I will keep you updated on how I get on.