That 6th Anniversary …….

Well, my IVA started in December 2010 and I have just gone through the 6th year barrier — rather painlessly, to my surprise.

I signed up to Noddle, powered by Call Credit and have been checking progress since completing the IVA early a few years ago.   Right up until the beginning of December my score has been in the 300’s and credit rating of 1/5, with the IVA and all the defaults showing, ranging from the 10th December through to 17th January — as they were all so close I decided to let the dates ride. About half were marked as satisfied or partially satisfied, the rest still active and all in default.  My ex-wife was in the report as an associate.  I wrote to Noddle early in the month to get the ex removed from my report and, in a friendly email exchange, just mentioned what I was doing — cleaning up after the IVA and that some defaults were incorrectly dated. They replied by clearing my file there and then!  All defaults completely vanished, as did my IVA and the ex wife!  My score went to 630 out of 710 and credit rating to 5/5.  The lower score is, apparently due to the low credit limit (£1000) on my only credit card.

In the last year I also signed up to Clearscore, powered by Equifax. These also had my ex — who was removed with an email. But they had no IVA shown and about half my defaults, all shown as satisfied or partially satisfied. They gave me a score of 435 out of 700 and a “Good” rating.  My new report came through today and is also, now, as clean as a whistle, albeit one default should have another week to run. I now have a score of 497 out of 700 and a rating of excellent. They also say my score is reduced due to that low credit limit.

Experian, I have just discovered, also provide a scoring service –  Credit Matcher.  They also do the usual report subscription service. To be honest I hadn’t bothered to check them previously and only signed on to the website this afternoon to order a statutory report — I won’t have the details from that one for a few days, but they gave my score as 999 out of 999 — can’t get much better than that!  By that I am assuming the defaults and IVA have gone from that one as well — I will update later if this is not the case.

So,all in all, from a messy set of credit files in November to a full set of squeaky clean reports in January with not effort on my part at all — apart from removing the association to my ex, which isn’t really IVA related.

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Going … going … gone ……

Well .. things, as ever, are a’changing. In December I become a pensioner — albeit an early one !  Due to changes at my place of work I have decided to take up an offer of early retirement.

My initial thoughts were that I would spend more time on the forum … but I spend enough time there already ! Then, after another change foisted upon me from elsewhere, I thought maybe I had better venture into the REAL world, and maybe earn some pennies at the same time ….. I will work on that 🙂

So — final thoughts:-

To those thinking of going into an IVA …ALWAYS chat to a few firms. It is a long financial association and you need to be comfortable with your choice. Specifically ask if you are able to chat to your IP ( Supervisor) direct if needed. I have found that, in those firms that allow contact with “Ye Gods Above”  ( the IP) , you rarely actually need to. Also, if you are a home owner, ask for a written example of how they calculate equity, come the time. Some firms are distorting a badly written clause to their advantage using alternative interpretations.

I would advocate using the small to medium firms, where you are an person, and treated as such, rather than a mere grain of sand on a very large beach. You can either go direct, or you can use a firm that introduces clients to IPs. The only introducer I would recommend would be Vincent Bond — not because I have anything against the others, but because I have spoken to several members of staff and management at Vincent Bond and admire their ethos and genuine desire to assist and get the best result for the client, rather than feed the creditors. In the smaller firms you are also more able to build up a good working relationship with an individual, rather than having to deal with whoever in the call centre picks up the phone.

Once in the IVA, if that is the best course of action ( don’t forget Bankruptcy and Debt Relief Orders do have their place, as well as the old fashioned Debt Management Plan, for more modest debt levels) …. try to adopt the mindset of working WITH your IP, rather than battling “against the system”. Things will run much smoother. Keep lines of communication open and  tell your handler everything, as and when, that might be pertinent. I always preferred emails — to provide a paper trail and, when documents were required, I scanned them and emailed them  … easy to resend if they do get deleted at their end.

Don’t dwell on the IVA every day — get into the budgeting mindset and the IVA will take care of itself. If you hit a blip …DON’T PANIC.  Speak to your firm, ask questions on the forum and stand your corner. Most blips are, I feel, caused by misunderstanding and bad communication …. both ways!

Follow the road and learn from the experience … be happy, be successful and be DEBT FREE  🙂

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Wow — another 7 months gone …….

Well .. it has been 7 months since my last entry.

I finally did succumb to getting myself a Vanquis card. Not for the credit ( they gave me a £500 limit, which is more than adequate) but for the ability to feel nearly normal again. There is also the added consumer protection afforded when buying larger items using a credit card. Of course the trick, as ever, is to pay the balance off in full each month so the high interest rate never becomes an issue, and all the time you are earning green ticks on your credit report.

It might also be worth noting that, among their standard card designs, is a little blue number with a globe design on. This has no reference to Vanquis on it’s face at all, so you are no advertising to the shops that you are a bit “iffy” credit-wise, which is a concern for some.

Since coming out of the IVA my savings pot, mentioned in my last entry, remains healthy and I have been able to, with careful budgeting, get some “real” furniture made to my own designs .. which is all …. get this … PAID FOR :-) Another by product of life in an IVA ….. rather than get crap on credit, I saved up and bought something that will last a lifetime.

The IVA has given me a whole new perspective on many things. Debt free and financially rehabilitated :-)

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Onward and upward

Well, it is coming up to the first anniversary of my IVA completing and life is, surprisingly good 🙂

As said before, the completion certificate arrived almost 6 months to the day after the final creditors meeting. It then took 3 months to the day for my details to be removed from the darned Insolvency Register — but, the entry went and I am, once again, Mr Anonymous in the Insolvency World.

Naturally I still have to wait until the 6th anniversary for my IVA to drop off my Credit Reference Agency files ( December 2016 ). But, I am in no need of credit — haven’t even felt a twinge about deleting those credit card invites ( which, coincidentally I am sure, have increased in number).

I am still living ( and spending) as though I was in the IVA and feel no discomfort … we eat well, afford modest holidays (paid for up front — which is a first!), and are happy with our lot. It’s still great to know all essentials are covered and I no longer “run out of money before I run out of month”. Indeed I have been able to make modest savings and so have, if needed in emergencies, the “Me non-credit card” (savings account) to call upon.

Since becoming single my power bill has dropped, but I have kept payments at the IVA level and, so, am building up a healthy credit during the summer months ( can’t say warmer, yet). This means I don’t have to worry and scrimp on heating over the winter. I appreciate those who think that money would be better in my pocket than with the electricity company … but I prefer to know my power is, effectively , all paid for in advance (and can’t be squittered elsewhere).

Life IS good —- and even better being debt free !

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That darned Register ………..

Well, the Insolvency Service have insisted that I stay on the Register for the prescribed three months from the issue of my certificate. Despite numerous instances to the contrary, they stae categorically that everyone remains there for three months —- the very same afternoon I was told this a friend disappeared within days of theirs being issued. It wod seem that the IVA Gods are not on my side with this one.

To be honest, I am being a little churlish about this, after all, what is another three months ? I am debt free, living comfortably post IVA and do not intend to be seeking credit any time soon.

I do, however, feel that (especially in this day and age) there is much to much personal information publicly available to all and sundry on that site and feel, if we HAVE to be there for our “public flogging”, it should be by name only!

Rant over, I shall now get down from this high horse ……….

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Finally … it has arrived ……..

Well, me hearties …… 6 months ago the IVA finished with a full and final, based on payments made to date.  At the time I was promised closure ( that oft sought after, almost mythical condition, signalled by the issue of a Notice of Completion) within the projected 6 month timescale allowed for in my proposal.

To be honest I did expect to have to wait a little longer. Throughout the process I kept in touch with the closures department to head off any glitches. I asked if all was on track and told them not to hesitate to get in touch if anything arose which I could help with. I guess I wrote short, friendly, emails at month 1, month 4, month 5 and again  yesterday, as we approached the end of month 6. So not a “bombardment”, but enough to keep me in mind 🙂

Anyway, I wrote, as I said, yesterday, to ask if all was in order and to say I was looking forward to my Certificate. Naturally I got the auto-response right away, saying a reply would be forthcoming within 10 days. This morning I received an email happily advising me that the Certificate of Completion was issued at the end of last week and copies had been sent to the Court, the Registrar (Insolvency Service) and my creditors. They included pdf files of the Certificate and the Final Report with the email and tell me hard copies are on the way.

I have to say that my IVA experience with GT has been all good (even closures). Due to personal circumstances the journey was neither smooth nor easy, but GT have been more than helpful and supportive thoughout, and Karol has been an absolute Angel.

I am still on the IR, but have used the feedback box to inform them of the CC being issued and will watch that space.

Onward and Upward  … debt free .. financially rehabilitated … and staying that way 🙂





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One month on ….

Well it has been a month since our Full & Final. I am eternally grateful to GT for no longer having to part with nigh on £400 per month in IVA payments. However, I am, of course, still in the grips of the IVA until such time as I get a completion certificate, so cannot “breathe easy” and get on with rebuilding our (little Foggy and I ) new lives until then.

Due to the circumstances I am not a lot better off each month as the F&F was on the premise that I had no disposable income … which is still the case. However, due to the disciplines of the IVA budget I can live in the comfort and knowledge that all of my essential outgoings are budgeted for and paid. I still use two accounts: One from which all my bills are paid by direct debit or standing order and the other, into which I transfer the “surplus” from my salary each month, upon which we live. Again, having been used to the rigours of budgeting under an IVA, we live quite well. And, more importantly, everything is paid for … no loans, no credit 🙂

As I said, being still under the grasp of the IVA, I don’t yet feel any relief at having, technically, finished — I think that will arrive along with the Certificate of Completion!

Would I do it again ? Well … if I was stupid enough to fall into the old trap ( which I am not!) … to be honest I would give more weight to bankruptcy, but only because of the higher degree of certainty that comes with it. I still prefer the ethos behind the IVA : To pay back as much as possible and to learn ( or re-learn) a sensible fiscal attitude.

Was it worth it?  Yes!  It has cost me my marriage — but, who is to say that the constant worry and juggling of ever increasing debt wouldn’t have done the same thing? In monetary terms it has saved me tens of thousands. In emotional terms it has probably saved my sanity !!

Would I do anything differently?  Again, yes! With the knowledge I have gained from the forum at I would definitely go for a smaller, more caring firm. Of course, there is always the risk of being “bought up” by one of the big boys …. but that’s life: You take a risk every time you cross the road!

What did I do right?  I built up a relationship with the staff at both of the companies I dealt / am dealing with, kept them informed and communicated. Maybe I was fortunate in that all of the staff I dealt with were good at their jobs and cared (even if they work for a faceless, uncaring conglomerate!). If they are kept in the loop and you are pro-active with managing, what is, after all, YOUR IVA, they are a great source of advice, information and support.

Five months to go before the promised CC deadline ….. and counting …….

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A quick Update

GT got back to me this evening — they have been working late in the office !!

As my PPI investigations are well on track they can see no reason for me needing to agree to the MVM paperwork (spotty letters for those that know). My file has been passed to closures and, although they expect closures to take 6 months, they can see no reason to expect any undue delay.

I shall keep you, dear reader, updated ……

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Hello Me Hearties

Well … it has been, what?, 6 weeks since GT decided that a full and final, based on payments to date, was the way to go.  A couple of days ago the votes were in and the creditors meeting convened. Our original proposal estimated a return of 32 pence in the pound. This variation was predicting 31, so not much of a loss for the creditors, over and above what they were initially willing to write off.

The votes were all YES and the variation was accepted, with minor modifications, mainly affecting GT and their fees.  One modification was the capping of the variation meeting fee at £500 — GT actually charged £300 — so it goes to show that they are not all out for the money!!

I have taken the bull by the horns, perhaps unwisely, and already written to the closures department, setting out my reasoning as to why completion and the issue of that all important certificate should not be unduly delayed — hope I haven’t upset them 🙂

Basically, my arguements are:

1) Full and Final was based on payments made to date, so, technically, no more moies, from whatever source, are required. However, I am happy for any further monies recovered from PPI be paid into the IVA.

2) There is no need for a mass variation to allow the IP to deal with PPI. By virtue of  the decision in the case of Re N T Gallagher & Son Limited [2002] 3 All ER 474, the supervisor has a continuing trust to deal with such matters.

3) I am happy to provide a Deed of Assignment if required.

The mail has been acknowledged, but I have yet to have a full response.

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Here we go ….

Well .. after recent discussions with GT about my new I&E we had a long chat with the variations Guru today. After re-examining the figures it seems we have, as near as makes no difference, negligible disposable income. So .. we have decided to put forward a variation for a full and final based on payments made to date.

GT were very helpful and thorough in going through the process. Of course, as we were warned, it is possible that the creditors would try to re-tweak my figures to produce a modest D.I., so might come up with a counter proposal of reduced payments. We shall have to see .. in the meantime GT said they would support out variation and try to get it accepted —- fingers, toes and eyes all crossed 🙂

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