Debt and Benefits Advice

The worst thing you can do when you owe money is to ignore the problem, hoping it will go away. The earlier your creditors are contacted, the easier it is to come to an agreement.

With your consent we can help you with the following:-

  • Check your benefit entitlement
  • Because the law gives different creditors different ways of getting their money back we will help you identify the most important debts and take the appropriate action.
  • Planning your personal and family budget
  • We will help you draw up a financial statement based on your income and outgoings
  • We will help you make an action plan to deal with your debts
  • Negotiate with your creditors

Initial Appointment Document Checklist

Please bring along to your appointment any of the following which are relevant to your circumstances:

  • Bank statements (3 months),Pay slips (3 monthly or 6 weekly), P60, Tax returns (if self employed), Audited accounts (if self employed), DWP letters to show benefit income, Tax credit award notices, Child benefit letters.
  • Mortgage statements, Rent book or letters, Council tax bill/statement, Gas bills, Electricity bills, Water bills/statement.
  • Car insurance documents, House insurance documents, Landline telephone bills, Mobile telephone bills, Sky/Cable bills/statements.
  • Loan agreements, Hire purchase agreements, Credit card statements, Catalogue statements, Doorstep collector payment books.
  • Details of money owed to family and friends, Details of any weekly or Christmas clubs, Details of any direct deductions being made from benefit/income, Any arrears and debt collecting letters.

Type of debt and what could eventually happen

Some debts are more pressing than others. The worst that can happen if you ignore a debt depends on what it is. Your priority debts are those with the severest consequences. Some of these are listed below.

  • Council Tax -Taking Control of Goods*; deductions from wages/benefit; imprisonment
  • Unpaid Magistrates Court fine -Taking Control of Goods*; deductions from wages/benefit; imprisonment
  • Unpaid maintenance/child support -Taking Control of Goods*; deductions from wages/benefit; imprisonment
  • Mortgage -Repossession of your home; eviction
  • Second mortgage/secured loan -Repossession of your home; eviction
  • Rent -Eviction from your home
  • Income tax/VAT/National Insurance -Taking Control of Goods*; bankruptcy
  • Gas/Electricity -Supply disconnected
  • Telephone -Disconnection
  • Hire purchase (not normal credit) -Repossession of HP goods
  • Unsecured credit card debts -County Court Judgement; impaired credit rating

* Taking Control of Goods is the seizure of some of your goods by bailiffs.

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