The festive season is often a time to celebrate with friends and
family, but it's also an expensive period which can lead to long
term debt problems.
At Debt Support Trust we help people with a wide range of debt
and money problems. These money problems can be anything from
problems paying their rent, through to the most severe financial
The Christmas period is often a time for celebration, but come
January it can be a depressing and frightening experience being in
debt. If you're already in debt and want to wait until Christmas
has passed before dealing with your debt, then Debt Support Trust
can help you too.
The desire to meet Christmas expectations means people can
become indebted over the Christmas period. We notice an increase in
the number of people using payday loans to buy Christmas presents,
however they don't know how they will repay the loan in
When the payday lender - or any other company lending money -
doesn't receive their money back on time then they will continue to
contact you until they get their money. It can also impact on your
Our top 3 tips to help you have a great Christmas financially
1. Budget: Set a budget of what you can afford.
The budget should include extra Christmas nights-out and presents
too. This way you'll know exactly how much money you have available
2. Buy in advance (if possible): When you leave
shopping until the last minute you may know what you want to get
your loved ones, but the cheapest shops may have sold out. Buying
in advance means you can get the cheapest prices.
3. Shop around: You should shop around for the
best price. The high street is in competition with the internet and
often the price will vary. Look around and check if you're really
getting the best price.
The most important tip is not to spend what you can't afford to
easily repay. The majority of people in the UK use credit, but it's
whether that credit is affordable that really matters.
If you're unsure how you will afford to repay your Christmas
spending, or think that you may have debt problems early in the New
Year, then speak to a Debt Support Trust advisor.
You can phone Monday to Friday 8am - 7pm on 0800 085
0226. Alternatively, you can complete a debt test
questionnaire and get some online debt help.
New changes to the way Scottish Trust Deeds are administered
have been introduced for people with debt problems. For people
thinking of entering a Trust Deed in Scotland, there's good and bad
The Accountant in Bankruptcy is a supervisory body which
monitors the Trust Deeds registered in Scotland. The Accountant in
Bankruptcy has been working to change how Protected Trust Deeds are
The changes have meant the length of time a Trust Deed lasts is
often extended. Who can enter a Trust Deed and how much unsecured
debt is outstanding has changed too.
We mentioned in September about the impending changes to Trust
Deeds but there have also been some extra surprises.
We expected that Trust Deeds would move from a 3
year to a 4 year debt solution. This
excludes people who are entering an equity only or lump sum Trust
Deed. Protected Trust Deeds will now be assessed on the Common
Financial Statement too.
The AiB will have more powers to reject Protected Trust Deeds
which are not in the best interests of the person in debt. A 4 year
Trust Deed, when a 4 year debt arrangement scheme would be more
suitable, for example, would mean the trust deed would be rejected
by the AiB, even if the creditors said yes.
Similarly, a person who is suitable for a LILA
Bankruptcy will not be allowed to enter a Trust Deed, even
if they would prefer this route. A LILA should mean a person cannot
afford to repay anything towards their debt, so a Trust Deed should
not be appropriate.
Trust Deeds in Scotland are advertised in the Edinburgh Gazette,
however the changes mean there is no need to advertise the Trust
Deed any longer. Instead, a person entering the Scottish debt
solution will automatically be listed in the Register of
The fees for the Insolvency Practitioners will change too. An
Insolvency Practitioner will have to work on a nominee fee and then
a supervisory fee. The supervisory fee will mean they will receive
a percentage of what's recouped, instead of a flat fee. This should
mean the creditors get more of the money back.
If you're already in a Trust Deed you don't have to worry about
the recent changes, as it's only impacting people moving
Anybody entering a Trust Deed from today onwards will be in the
solution for 4 years, instead of 3. However, it's not all bad news
as people can enter a Trust Deed if they have £5,000 of unsecured
debt or more, instead of the typical £10,000.
The changes to Scottish Trust Deeds is an interesting
development and certain to allow increasing numbers to enter a
solution to resolve debt problems. There are also other debt
solutions for people in debt, such as a debt arrangement scheme or
We help people in debt across the whole of the UK with telephone
and internet based support. For debt help from Debt Support
Trust please call 0800 085 0226.
When debt problems occur people we help don't
want pity or sympathy, they want advice, guidance and above all
else, a debt solution which will help get debts resolved.
To resolve debt worries we start by introducing our debt
advisors. Our debt
advice team listen to financial problems so they can provide
debt solutions which can help you become free of debt. Everybody we
help with debt problems receives tailored debt support.
There are various routes to become debt free. There is always a
way out of debt problems, but the best route depends on your
personal and financial decisions.
Some debt solutions can help you become debt free within 1 year,
while others can take 10 years, or more. The route to become debt
free, which will be best for you, will depend on your financial
situation. Your income and expenditure will inevitably determine
how much disposable income you can afford to repay towards your
debt each month.
Borrowing money and repaying that money can be easy at first,
but if change happens, such as loss of employment or an over
reliance on credit, then it can be impossible to repay the debt on
time. When you speak to Debt Support Trust, we don't focus solely
on what you have to contractually pay but instead what you can
afford to repay.
Once we understand what you can afford to repay every month and
how much unsecured debt you have we discuss your assets. Your
assets can include a house, car, money in your bank, stocks, shares
or bonds, as well as other assets with value. We consider whether
there is equity in any of your assets. Equity is the difference
between the value of your asset (e.g. your house) and what's
outstanding (e.g. the mortgage). Depending on your debt solution,
your property may not need to be included. Your debt advisor at
Debt Support Trust will be able to explain what will happen with
your debt solution.
The first step to resolve debt problems is to seek professional
debt advice. You can speak to Debt Support Trust on 0800 085 0226.
Our charity debt advisors will help you resolve your debt problems
and regain control of your finances. We caringly listen to your
problems and offer practical advice. You can decide whether you
wish to proceed with our advice, or not.
To get debt help from Debt Support Trust, please telephone our
advice line on 0800 085 0226.
In the last year there have been 10,000 homes repossessed in the
Greater Manchester area. This is a direct result of debt
problems in Manchester people struggle with.
There are debt solutions which can help people in debt keep
their house and resolve debt, like credit cards and overdrafts.
Repossessions occur when the mortgage repayments are not met on
time. A secured debt, like a house is a priority expenditure and
should be paid before unsecured debts like a credit card or
The Council of Mortgage Lenders statistics reveal 7,700
properties were repossessed in the 2nd quarter of 2013
and that over 157,000 mortgages are in arrears too.
Repossessing a house is usually the last stage for a mortgage
lender. The mortgage provider will often refer you to a charity to
get debt help first, as long as they are aware of your financial
If your property is repossessed and then sold, the mortgage will
be repaid first, then the fees for repossession. If there is any
money left you will be given this back. Should your property be in
negative equity then any shortfall on the property will be passed
onto you as an unsecured debt.
Contact Debt Support Trust if you would like debt help from a
registered debt advice charity.
In Manchester, the bedroom tax is also impacting on people's
ability to live in rented accommodation too. The under occupancy
tax on social housing means people are receive 14% less housing
benefit for 1 extra room and 25% less for 2 extra bedrooms.
The shortfall in housing benefit for people claiming the state
support means arrears are rising. Housing associations and social
landlords are being forced to take action, including eviction.
The bedroom tax means debts continue to rise for people who
can't move property and don't have the available income to pay the
Whether you live in a rented or mortgaged property, Debt Support
Trust can help. We'll assess your financial situation to understand
what you can afford and provide a range of advice, tips and debt
You can receive support by telephoning 0800 085 0226 or
completing our debt analyser below and asking for a call back.
An IVA is a debt solution for people with debts above £10,000 of
unsecured debt to two or more creditors. Contacting an IVA helpline can
be a route to enter an IVA, however it can also mean you miss out
on other debt solutions, which may be more applicable.
Debt Support Trust and our UK charity advisors provide a full
range of debt solutions, from general debt and money advice,
through to IVAs and Bankruptcies.
Our advice team is trained to provide helpful tailored advice
regarding all applicable debt solutions you could be suitable
When you contact an IVA helpline, that only recommends IVAs,
then other debt solutions can be overlooked. Our not for profit
advisors focus on empowering you to make an informed decision so
you can decide which debt solution is best for you.
To do this you can complete a debt analyser to get in touch, or
call 0800 085 0226.
We don't solely focus on IVAs, although it is one option we discuss with
you. There is also debt management plans and other informal
arrangements. In some instances, bankruptcy is the best debt
solution, which our advisors can explain too.
Some IVA helplines solely focus on IVAs when other solutions may
be more appropriate. It's our intention to ensure you get every
available advice. Once you've received the advice you can ask your
debt advisor as many questions as you wish to help you determine
which debt solution is best.
There are 5 top reasons to speak to a charity before entering
any debt solution, such as an IVA
Our debt advice charity helpline provides support on every debt
solution including debt management, IVA and bankruptcy, among
You can telephone our charity helpline on 0800 085 0226, via
or with our debt analyser.
All advice is confidential and the final decision on your debt
solution remains your own.
A payday loan or short term loan can often seem like the perfect
financial solution to relieve a problem quickly. However, when the
situation changes then repaying the payday loan can be difficult
and help may be required. Payday loan help from our charity, Debt
Support Trust, is confidential and supportive to help you resolve
outstanding short term loan problems.
If you would like to speak to a debt advisor about your payday
loan, please call us on 0800 085 0226 or complete our debt
A payday loan is generally a high interest short term loan. The
interest rate can be as high at 5,000% APR. Failing to repay a
payday loan can mean the loan spirals out of control and a £300
debt can easily reach £2,000 - £3,000 very quickly.
If you are unable to negotiate with your payday loan provider
then speaking to a charity can often provide you with opportunities
to gain valuable advice. We will listen to your complete personal
and financial situation, including any other unsecured debts, like
credit cards, overdrafts and store cards etc.
Once we understand your situation we can provide you with all
your options and help you with your payday loan debts.
Our charity advisors are specially trained to help with payday
loan debts. The short term loans can often increase the quickest,
particularly when payment isn't being made.
Payday loan companies may encourage you to rollover your debt
into another loan, however this may not resolve the fundamental
problems. Our charity advisors will be able to guide you along the
process to resolve your payday loan debts. If you have other debt
problems then you may be applicable for a debt solution, or perhaps
a token payment agreement will be the best option.
By speaking to our charity advice team you can receive help and
support in dealing with payday loan providers.
All advice provided by Debt Support Trust is confidential and
qualified. It usually takes 15 minutes to understand your financial
and personal situation so we can give you specific advice tailored
to your situation.
Our advice team is available on 0800 085 0226 or alternatively
you can email our advisors on email@example.com
On occasion, a debt solution can change from its standard
approach and be adapted to meet a specific person's situation. It's
for this reason that a "one-size fits all approach" doesn't work
when giving debt advice. This can be demonstrated with a lump sum
Trust Deed or IVA.
This is also known as an equity only IVA or Trust Deed.
The lump sum IVA and Protected Trust Deed is a one off
payment plan when a sum of money is used to repay outstanding
unsecured debts. This usually involves offering creditors an asset,
like equity from the sale of a house or redundancy money to settle
A one-off payment is only suitable for people in specific
situations, such as people who may have an asset, but have recently
An IVA usually lasts for 5 years and a Trust Deed is typically a
3-4 year debt solution in Scotland. However, this is because a
monthly contribution is required for the fixed period of time. At
the end of the solution any remaining debt is written off.
Some people may not be able to contribute each month towards
their debt because of ill health or redundancy, however, they may
have a lump sum available. This money could be proposed towards the
creditors as a full and final offer.
For example, if £30,000 is owed to 5 different creditors and a
person were to be ill and unlikely to return to work, but they had
£10,000 in their bank, then a lump sum debt solution could be
proposed. The full and final offering would be similar to the
traditional IVA and Trust Deed; protecting a person from their
creditors, however it wouldn't usually last as long. Often a lump
sum IVA or Trust Deed would last up to a year before the solution
If you only owe one or two creditors then you could consider
writing an informal payment plan to each of your creditors. Your
creditors may be more willing to accept the plan because in the IVA
or Trust Deed the Trustee will take a percentage of the money for
managing the solution.
You should speak to our charity debt advisors if you would like
help putting a lump sum informal payment towards your
You should offer creditors a pro-rata amount of your lump sum
and agree to the plan once every creditor has responded in writing.
The payment should be confirmed in writing that it will be a full
and final settlement, with the remainder of the debt being written
There are some hot points to remember with an equity only debt
If you would like debt help on lump sum IVAs or full and final
Trust Deeds please contact our charity on 0800 085 0226.
Statistics released by the Insolvency Service show that
bankruptcies in England and Wales have declined by 21% compared on
the previous year. Year on year bankruptcy insolvency solutions
have declined including debt relief orders (a cheaper route into
However, IVAs increased in the last three months, compared to
last year by 5.7%. The number of Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) increased
The number of people deciding to enter bankruptcy to resolve
their money problems still remains high, however the figures do
continue to fall.
Bankruptcies in the last three months were 6,004 (21.4% less
than the same time last year) and 6,632 debt relief orders (14.7%
less than the previous year). The debt relief order is a route into
bankruptcy costing £90, instead of the usual £700.
To enter a debt relief order a person must meet a specific
criteria, otherwise they will have to enter bankruptcy via their
local court. The number of court bankruptcies are falling but the
debt relief order route is becoming more popular.
There are solutions which are alternatives to bankruptcy, which
many people may be suitable for. Debt management plans are informal
debt solutions and are not registered anywhere. It's thought that
there are 500,000 debt management plans active in the UK.
An IVA is an alternative debt solution for somebody to enter in
order to resolve debt problems. The IVA debt solution typically
lasts for 5 years and at the end of the solution the remaining debt
is written off. A bankruptcy will only ever last for 1 year,
however, if it's determined a payment plan is applicable then the
monthly repayments could last for 3 years. The official receiver in
bankruptcy will decide if a payment plan is suitable and how much
should be taken every month.
If you think you are suitable for bankruptcy then talk it over
with a qualified debt advisor. The money and debt advisor will have
the knowledge and experience to explain the full process and tailor
the advice to your exact situation. This means they can discuss
income, expenditures, what debts can be included and assets, like
houses, cars, stocks, share and savings.
The debt advice team will also explain if you would be suitable
for other debt solutions so you can become debt free.
You can speak to our charity debt advisor on 0800 085 0226 or by
completing our debt analyser and requesting a call back.
After receiving debt help you may decide an IVA is the best
option to resolve debt problems. The IVA will typically last for
5-6 years and at the end of the solution, any debt which has not
been repaid is written off. The best IVA companies can make the
process simple and straight forward.
If you need help with an IVA or wish to receive debt help you
can call our not-for-profit charity advice team on 0800 085 0226 or
complete our debt analyser.
An IVA is a legally binding contractual agreement whereby the
person in debt pays one monthly payment which they can afford. The
IVA will require any realisable equity to be released near the end
of an IVA. Usually this means the equity from a house, car, stocks
or shares. If the equity can't be released in a house through a
remortgage or third party payment, then the IVA will typically last
for 6 years and you will keep your property.
To propose an IVA, an insolvency practitioner is required. The
insolvency practitioner (IP) will work for an IVA company and will
propose the plan on your behalf. The IP will be responsible for
managing the IVA and will become the IVA supervisor once the IVA
has been accepted. There are many IVA companies able to propose an
IVA on your behalf throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Your IVA company doesn't have to be local, however sometimes it can
be beneficial if your insolvency practitioner is nearby.
If you enter an IVA the interest and charges are frozen. The
proposal usually takes 10 -14 weeks to gather paperwork and create
the plan. The creditors are given the option to accept, reject or
negotiate the proposal. Often creditors will accept the proposal as
long as they feel it's the best offer they can get.
If the creditors decide to modify the arrangement it doesn't
mean the proposal won't go ahead, however there is sometimes extra
information required during the creditors meeting. You don't have
to attend the creditors meeting as you IVA company will do this for
The IVA company will let you know what happens after the IVA
creditor meeting. If the IVA proceeds then you stop paying your
unsecured debt (credit cards, overdrafts, payday loans etc) and pay
one monthly payment to the IVA company. This payment continues
until the plan is finished. At the end of the solution any
remaining debt is written off by your Insolvency practitioner.
The other type of IVA is known as a lump sum IVA or full and
final IVA. Sometimes a person will want to enter an IVA and offer
what they can. However, if they are unemployed then they may not be
able to make a monthly contribution. But, if there is a lump sum,
for example a redundancy payment, divorce settlement or
inheritance, this could be used as a one-time payment towards the
For instance, a £10,000 inheritance could be proposed towards
the creditors to cover a £30,000 unsecured debt. The IVA company
would take their fees from the monthly payment, or in this case the
lump sum payment, then divide the remaining sum of money among the
creditors on a pro-rata basis. Usually a lump sum IVA will last for
a shorter period than a traditional contribution based IVA.
For advice and support on an IVA or help with IVA companies
speak to our charity advisors. We can help ensure the IVA is the
best advice for you and point you in the right direction to get the
IVA established. We'll take every care to guarantee you're given
every piece of important IVA help.
You can call our advice line on 0800 085 0226. This is a free
number from a landline. If you're calling from a mobile please let
us know and we'll call you back.
Our debt analyser can help you understand whether the IVA is the
best option for you too. It takes 5 10 minutes to complete.
There are some debt solutions where assets have to be realised
for the benefit of creditors. These debt solutions include
bankruptcy, an IVA or Trust Deed. When there is little or no
equity, then the asset doesn't have to be sold or realised. However
if the asset, such as a property, has value which can be returned
to the creditors, then this must be considered. Sometimes we get
asked whether the property can be transferred to another person.
This is called disposal of an asset.
If an asset has been transferred to another person in order to
hide it from a creditor, then it is the responsibility of the
insolvency specialist to decide how to proceed. Any asset
transferred unfairly within the past 5 years can be re-assessed.
The person who purchased the asset could be required to pay the
remaining balance until it reaches the correct value.
Alternatively, the asset can be transferred back and sold
For example, a husband may transfer a property with £50,000
equity to his wife's name in order to protect his 50% share
(£25,000). If this is done quickly before entering bankruptcy, an
IVA or Trust Deed then the insolvency practitioner can check the
land registry to see the asset has been disposed of.
The main option to protect your assets is to avoid entering an
insolvency solution. There are some informal debt solutions which
won't consider your equity in an asset, such as a debt management
To be sure about the best debt solution for you, get advice. It
can take 10-20 minutes to get debt advice but you will be given the
advice you require to understand what each debt solution would mean
Do not transfer assets to other people for an unfair value. It
may seem like the best option but in the long term it can cause you
If you would like advice from our charity on disposing of an
asset or what debt solution is best for you, then please call Debt
Support Trust on 0800 085 0226.
© Debt Support Trust 2010-2013