Posts Tagged ‘borrowers’

How you can beat debt

How you can beat debt

Debt is a problem that affects millions of people all over the world. In the UK specifically, over 8.3 million families are currently living in debt, with this often causing people emotional stress and anxiety as well as financial problems. The good news is that no debt is unbeatable. Even if you’re laden with massive sums of debt that seem impossible to pay back, there are ways you can combat it and services out there which can help give you some space to breathe again. Read on for our tips on how to beat debt and get your finances back on track.

Budget

This one may seem obvious but being aware of what you’re spending and how to minimize your outgoings is the first step towards beating your debt. Sitting down with a pen and paper and determining how much of your weekly outgoings can be cut down against your total income will give you a true reflection of your finances. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be aware of how much you can begin paying back.

Tackle your most important debts first

If you’re dealing with multiple debts, then the first thing to do is work out which ones are the most urgent. Finding yourself in mortgage arrears can lead to you losing your house, and not paying debts owed from parking fines can result in bailiffs seizing goods from your home, so working out which debts need to be prioritized is imperative.

Find out what you’re entitled to

If you don’t ask you never get. You might be entitled to range of finances such as working family tax credits which can give your finances a boost. We advise that you get in touch with the Government to work out what you’re owed as this can bolster your monthly income and help you to pay off your debts quicker.

Seek professional help

Sometimes people are faced with truly insurmountable amounts of debt that are impossible to pay back with their own income alone.

That’s where we come in.

We know the laws around debt like the back of our hands and have helped hundreds of clients beat their debts since we were formed in 2011.

In fact, our settlements with mortgage companies, banks and lenders have saved our clients over £130 in debt repayments over the years.

The reality of debt is that, depending on your circumstances, you might only have to pay back a fraction of what you owe. Why not call us today on 0330 159 5820 to see if we can help get you back into the black?

 

My home has been sold and now I have received a letter chasing an outstanding balance. What are my options?

As the various lending institutions work through their ‘delinquent’ mortgage books, more and more people are approaching us at the end of the sale process, when the lender and their agents, usually solicitors, chase and seek recovery of the outstanding amount due, after the disposal of the asset(s) involved.

If a property was purchased pre property crash, then inevitably there will be a significant price variation after a sale based on today’s property values. Negative Equity is an extremely prevalent issue in today’s property climate in Northern Ireland and across the UK.

Invariably this balance will be a lot higher than you thought but will include the following additional information:

1.       All the interest since the last payment made.

2.       The property would have been sold ‘In Repossession’. Recent DSD figures show that these properties yield as little as 59% of the market value.

3.       Costs of the necessary action to recover the property through court.

4.       Any other associated costs

 

The balance left after the sale, I.e. ‘The shortfall’ is relative and the route which is taken is dependent upon two key factors

1.       Do you have significant surplus income? And/or

2.       Do you own other assets?

 

Inevitably, the balance is irrelevant. If a client cannot afford to pay a £70,000 shortfall, then they most certainly will not be able to afford a £100,000 shortfall.

Therefore, If the answer is no to both of the above questions then the options open to you firstly and the lender secondly are:

1.       A choice of formal insolvency, be it bankruptcy or IVA, subject to your individual circumstances.

2.       An informal insolvency option to settle with the lender on a full and final basis for a reduced amount.  

 

As ever we would implore you to be proactive as these things will not just go away.  By this stage the lender and their advisors usually want the matter resolved, one way or another, as does the client. 

Bell & Company have developed a specialised team who work with a wide variety of lenders and situations and resolve issues like these on a daily basis with excellent success.  If you find yourself with any of these issues, please get in touch with us here at Bell & Company. To discuss your case with us please call Karen on 02895 217373 to arrange your free initial consultation at a time and place to suit you. We look forward to assisting you.

Bankruptcy- What can happen?

Bankruptcy, the “B” word, is feared by many and has negative connotations associated with it. Sadly, we see many Creditors petitions in Court for borrowers being made Bankrupt by their Lender. Perhaps the stigma surrounding Bankruptcy has been reduced since 2008 due to the increase in numbers filing for Bankruptcy but it is still something that many fear and want to avoid at all costs however It can prove to be a useful tool for borrowers whose debts are so significant that there is no route to negotiate with lenders.

Aggressive Creditor’s Petition? What’s the worst that can happen?

You can be made Bankrupt by your lender. It is a lengthy process for the Creditor and does involve cost but nonetheless many will pursue this route to non- responsive debtors. Throughout the process a Creditor must take action to declare the debtor Bankrupt, the debtor will be given every chance to respond. Amicably liaising with a lender can vastly reduce the chance of you being made Bankrupt and also bring about a positive outcome for all parties involved should this be the best option for you.

Should a Creditors Petition be followed through you could find yourself in increased financial difficulty. You may be called for a meeting in the Official Receivers to discuss your finances and they may decide to implement an Attachment of Earnings Order. If this is put in place funds could be taken directly from your monthly salary and distributed to the relevant Creditors. Furthermore, if made Bankrupt your assets could be in significant danger for example, if you have equity in home this asset is in severe risk. Other matters to consider include vehicles, pensions, life insurance policies etc.

Is there such thing as a ‘best case scenario’ in Bankruptcy?

Providing the Client’s circumstances align, Personal Bankruptcy can “clear the decks” allowing the individual the opportunity to start again. We regularly assist individuals going through Personal Bankruptcy and help to alleviate the pressures involved.

Dependant on your personal situation Bankruptcy may not have a serious effect on your day to day life for example, if your home is in negative equity there may be a a high possibility that you can retain this in Bankruptcy once mortgage payments are maintained. Furthermore, an income payment order may not be applicable if there is an undisputed deficit each month. There is also a possibility that you will retain your vehicle, life insurance and pension.

Regardless of best or worst case scenario, Bell & Company can assist in providing the appropriate advice tailored to the debtor’s personal circumstances with a view to establishing your best case scenario.

Contact the team here or call 02895 217 373 to discuss your circumstances and take the first steps towards your fresh start in life.

 

My Loan Has Been Sold to A Third Party – What does this mean for me?

At Bell & Company, we assist individuals whose original loans have been sold to a third party.

Vulture Funds

An initial reaction from Borrowers whose loans have been sold is that of trepidation.  This attitude is likely brought about by reading articles wherein these third parties being called “Vulture Funds”.  Some firms have outlined the likes of Cerberus and Lonestar as being vulture funds. There is without question the opportunity to resolve defaulted debt accounts and Personal Guarantees.

Many clients, that we are currently assisting in this field, have seen that a loan sale has given them the opportunity to address the issue. The case with many lenders, who sold loan books, is they were previously inundated with cases. These cases required resolving without having the personnel or resources to resolve the matter.

Conversely, a loan purchaser will be looking for a quicker turnaround and a return on their initial purchase which will be a significantly reduced price when compared to the outstanding loan balance, dependent of course on the Borrowers’ surrounding position.

Benefits for the Borrower

Considering this, the benefit for the Borrower is they are dealing with an entity that has the appetite to address the issue and are looking for a return which is significantly less than the overall liability. Essentially, a loan sale gives the borrower a chance to finalise a problematic loan default, Personal Guarantee or debt.

Your third party will be requesting proposals and Bell & Company have the experience on how to structure, present and negotiate any proposal tailored to your current circumstance. Our Corporate department work in this field daily and are changing both the lives of individuals as well as business prosperity. Many successful businesses have been subject to defaulted debt and once resolved the fabric of a successful business can remain.

If you or anyone you know has a personal or business loan, sold to a third party and want professional independent debt advice.

Please call the office today on 0330 159 5820.

Bell & Company always offer a free initial consultation and we look forward to meeting you to outline all the options available.

INTEREST RATES – ARE YOU READY FOR THE RISE

The Bank of England will soon need to rediscover its trigger finger and fire the gun on as interest rates rise in the near future. We have enjoyed 7 years of ultra-cheap rates and “cheap money”, however any rate change is set to have a significant impact.

Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee meets on 8 October and though they are expected to vote to keep rates at 0.5% there is a consensus one more member may vote in favour of a rise. Furthermore, members have conceded a rate rise in the near future is inevitable.

What the committee is weighing up is the sharp rise in disposable household income and the effect global uncertainty will have on the UK economy, this uncertainty is caused by the ongoing Eurozone crisis and China’s struggles. Mark Carney, Bank of England Governor, has said the rise in household disposable income is the next step towards a rate rise although economists have argued the economy may be unable to handle a rate rise come Spring and Summer 2016 due to global economic uncertainty.

When I research the interest topic the literature rarely focuses on Northern Ireland. The fact is a high proportion of borrowers here are “mortgage prisoners” and many simply will not be able to sustain mortgage payments. When you couple rising mortgage payments and increase in general in credit commitment payments many will find themselves in a dire financial position.

Bell & Company are advising borrowers concerned with mortgage payments to contact them today. It is important to “act” and not “react” to the proposed changes in interest rates. We cannot stress enough the inevitability of this rate rise, we have had our time utilising cheap credit and many will now feel the pinch. Even if you are in Negative Equity our expert team can assist. Please call the office on 02895 217373 to arrange your free initial consultation.

The team look forward to taking your call.

 

Loan Sold to Cerberus? Act Now!

In a recent blog we discussed the sale of Ulster Bank loan books to Cerberus. Since then things have moved a pace and at Bell & Company we are pleased to report we have had constructive meetings and discussions with Cerberus thus far.

Cerberus are now starting to initiate contact with borrowers whose loans have are in their book and are looking to arrange meetings with Advisors and their client. Although working through these gradually their turnaround time in negotiations seems most efficient and without doubt more efficient than Ulster Bank previously.

Capita make a decision on initial submissions and they make it relatively clear from the outset and give the following options:

  1. Write a cheque for full amount or,
  2. Submit a proposal within 28 days, or
  3. Debt Enforcement/Recovery

Capita has a number of ex Ulster Bank employees who then report to Cerberus, we have an excellent relationship with staff here.

To date Cerberus have been open in their approach and Bell & Company have found we can talk to them quite openly. They are keen to come to settlements and believe it is in the best interest to do this on behalf of the borrower and their stakeholders.  They seek fresh settlement offers, and any previous settlements put forward to the Bank should be used for reference only.

Cerberus too seem to wish to avoid any acrimonious proceedings and therefore clients who had issues with the Bank in the past can look to move past these and drive negotiations.

Although many have expressed concern about their loans being sold there is an excellent opportunity to be had to negotiate a reduced Full & Final Settlement or re-finance elsewhere. We have noticed some advisors telling their clients to be aware of these “vulture” funds, but in Bell & Company’s experience to date providing you enter amicable dialogue and understand the protocol’s Cerberus work within then meaningful results can be achieved.

If you have been contacted by Cerberus or Capita, or expect to be contacted in the near future then call Bell & Company today on +44 (0) 2890 517047 to arrange a free initial consultation to discuss your circumstances. We look forward to working with you.

As ever being proactive and appointing people you can work with and who understand and know the processes involved, “warts and “, is vital …. So call us today.

Terry Bell – Director