Archive for June, 2015

DEBT MANAGEMENT – WE DO THAT

At Bell & Company we deal with all forms of debt. We assist clients with outstanding debt of millions of pounds to individuals who are struggling with much smaller credit card balances. No matter the size of debt, it is very personal in its nature and Bell & Company understand the stress of any debt if it is not sustainable.

In cases where a client has credit card debt with a meagre income it is possible to arrange a Debt Management Plan whereby we can present your circumstances to your relevant lender and advise you are not in a position to maintain contracted payments but instead recommend a more manageable monthly payment.  It is likely agreed over a 6 month period when another review is performed and the payment altered according to any change in circumstances.

In some instances it is possible to negotiate a Full & Final Settlement with Credit Card lenders, but this is only lender specific and not all providers’ offer debt forgiveness. Bell & Company have represented clients against a large number of Credit Card providers and know how each works and if settlements can be achieved.

Many will say that they can deal with Credit Card lenders themselves. Although possible, it is far better to remove yourself from the emotion of the situation and understand that the lender will look to “trip you up” should you attempt to create a debt management plan yourself. Bell & Company have many contacts and understand their protocol and thus can tailor advice to your situation. It is important clients also know the effects on their credit file which could have implications for life in the future.

Again, we stress that we understand that any level of unsustainable debt is incredibly stressful and can put borrowers in emotional situations. We hear daily about people who are willing to go to extreme lengths to end their debt burden and it is horrible to hear the effects it has on individuals. We therefore urge clients to be open and pragmatic by contacting us today to arrange a free initial consultation to plan a route forward.

Contact Bell & Company today on 02890 517047 to discuss any form of debt. Our trained advisors will always offer independent impartial advice specific to your circumstances. All we ask is clients are open and honest and in most likelihood we can recommend a strategy to eradicate or relieve your debt burden.

Terry Bell – Director

Will an imminent rise in Interest rates make you a mortgage prisoner??

2016 – A Mini Credit Crunch?

We do not mean to spread doom and gloom, but feel it is essential our clients and subscribers are aware of the ever-changing economic environment. An earlier blog eluded to a likely increase in Interest Rates in 2016, not by a significant amount but they can only go one way moving forward and this will lead to concerns among many.

We have been at the point where a rate increase was first scheduled by Mark Carney for a year now. House prices in London continue to rise and unemployment is now under 7%. Mr Carney indicated the rate rises would be in “baby steps” and it is likely these first increases will occur in either quarter two or three of 2016.

Matthew Whittaker, Chief Economist at the highly regarded Resolution Foundation, states mid 2016 will be “crunch time” for the UK’s indebted households and in particular borrowers in Northern Ireland. As we have already addressed in earlier blog posts 2/3’s of mortgage borrowers will find themselves in difficulty and have expressed concerns over rate increases. Whittaker’s future predictions are also concerning with 1 in 3 homes in 2018 expecting to be suffering financial difficulty.

Deemed a Mini Credit Crunch 770,000 mortgage prisoners will be unable to remortgage and move to cheaper loans. Compared to the previous crunch where Banks felt the strain it is more alarming that this Mini Crunch will mainly affect consumers.

An example of the impact on rate increases would be a typical household with a mortgage balance of £100,000 on a variable rate of 3.6%. When the base rate begins increasing repayments will rise from £506pcm to £644pcm in 2018 according to forecasts. This is a significant rise when you consider other lines and forms of credit will likely see repayments increase also.

The big picture here is that three quarters of a million people in the UK will be unable to pay their way. The issue has been the build-up of debt during the boom as wages where not high enough. National Income grew, but this was disproportionate and only highest earners benefited and the rest fed on credit. During the subsequent bust period nothing was done to address the credit burden which was instead masked by ultra-low interest rates.

Bell & Company are advising clients concerned about future mortgage repayments to contact them today. Do not wait for rate changes to take place, you give yourself a better chance of resolving any issue if you deal with it head on and in advance. Call us today on 02890 517047 to discuss any issues you face and we can arrange a free initial consultation to move matters forward in a proactive manner.

Terry Bell – Director

 

Bell & Company Latest Blog – UK GOVERNMENT SPENDING CUTS

UK GOVERNMENT SPENDING CUTS

During the previous term Britain’s coalition Government cut Government spending as much as countries in the midst of the Euro zone crisis. In fact Government spending per person in the United Kingdom fell by more than in Portugal and Italy. Only Greece, Spain and Ireland cut public spending per person more than the UK, and all of these countries demanded financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.

Many complain of “austerity” in the UK, but realistically we are having it easier than many of our European counterparts. Osborne followed the route of cutting spending and not hiking taxes unlike others, whilst also managing a growing population due to numerous factors including migration. Pension and working age benefits have been protected as the coalition spent more on welfare and less in areas such as defence and housing.

The newly instated Conservative Government will continue to trim spending whilst attempting to maintain levels of spending on pensions and healthcare. Osborne aims to turn a budget deficit of over 4% of national income to a surplus prior to the next General Election in May 2020. However, there are questions of the sustainability of this continuing policy.

Julian McRae from the Institute for Government Think-Tank states, “Are we sure we can really do it again? Is it really possible to continue squeezing other services while protecting the NHS and pensions?”

Given spending cuts we must continue to be realistic that the UK economy is still in a recovering state and still not as strong as many think or desire. But we can be thankful we are not in the position of other developed economies in the Euro zone. It does look likely we will suffer Russell Brand and his austerity rally’s for some time to come.

Terry Bell – Director

02890 517 047

[email protected]

 

Northern Ireland Housing Market Recovery? You’re Joking!

We hear a lot of optimistic individuals in Belfast claiming the  Northern Ireland housing market is “recovering”. Recovering is definitely not the term, improving maybe. Recent figures from Debt Action NI however suggest throughout Northern Ireland there has been a 24% increase since 2013 of borrowers falling into negative equity and mortgage shortfall debt.

Mortgage shortfall debt is now at £44 million across Northern Ireland.

Alarming statistics, particularly for those with their heads in the clouds suggesting recovery.

Further concerns have been raised as a poll conducted suggested 68% of home owners in Northern Ireland will be unable to meet their mortgage repayments when interest rates rise. I’m afraid it is not case of “if” interest rates will raise but “when” with The Bank of England marking the third quarter next year for a rate rise.

With 41% of homeowners in Negative Equity and Northern Ireland accounting for 56,034 out of 120,511 UK Properties with Mortgage Shortfall debt, according to Council of Mortgage Lenders figures, this is an Economic and Social time bomb which does seem to pass under the nose of Politicians all too often.

Many charities offer free advice and are encouraging individuals to take up this advice but they do not deal with Negative Equity and Mortgage Shortfall debt on a daily basis, this is our “Bread and Butter”. Our Resolution team achieve fantastic results and are happy to discuss any case over a free initial consultation with the decision on proceeding completely in your hands. Bell & Company have a fantastic rapport with all lenders and understand specific lender processes and protocol.

Bell & Company pride ourselves on the quality of the advice given. We give clients practical and realistic options tailored to your situation. The Resolution team invite you call the office and discuss your options over a cup of coffee. Call us today on 02890 517047 or email [email protected].

Don’t forget to follow us on Social Media for updates!

Terry Bell – Director

 

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