4th payment made! And my holiday!

April 25th, 2008

Well, the fourth payment has been made today, that leaves 56 to go.  I’m nearly half way through my first year, and everything seems to be going well so far.  It’s tight at the end of a month, but we get there.  We always have a little treat at the start of the month, be it a meal out or going out for a couple of drinks – nothing too adventurous, but it breaks the month up!  Sunday is my girlfriend’s birthday, so that will be our monthly treat.

I am just back from Pontins in Southport, having had a 5-day break there courtesy of the Sun’s £9.50 deal.  It was quite good, we just relaxed, without doing much – had a day in Southport, that was our little luxury, but the rest of the time we just relaxed on the site.  Went out for the entertainment most nights, but just had a couple of drinks (my girlfriend sneaked a small bottle of vodka in to top up her lemonade!!) – it’s something we would do again (the holiday, not the topping up the lemonade!)

I have heard in the last week that I might be coming in to some inheritance money, which would have helped us a lot, but unfortunately it seems like it will all be going in to the IVA, and therefore I won’t see any of it, which is a bit of a pain – but rules are rules, and I can see why I have to do it, if it is a little frustrating!

2 months in – feeling good!

February 29th, 2008

Just made my second payment in to my IVA this month – and I’m feeling really good.  A good bonus this month is really helping, and whilst I have paid an additional £120 this month, it still leaves me with £240 extra this month.

My health is a lot better – I’m sleeping properly, and I just generally have a more positive aura.  The letters have stopped coming as well, which is fantastic – there is no dread when I open the post box anymore!

I wasn’t sure how I would feel when I was in an IVA – guess I never thought about it much, but it’s a really strong, positive feeling.  I had a bit of a down time last month when we really struggled financially – but we got through it.  I am now managing to save each month as well, which will help towards these tough times, especially Christmas!  With a little bit of planning, I am happy, and confident, that things will be OK.

 I was a bit apprehensive at the end of January when I found out that Sian, the woman who had helped me so much compile my IVA and get it approved, was leaving where she worked.  I thought that things would go downhill, and perhaps I even thought my IVA would struggle without her support – but there is a new gentleman in charge of my case, and from what I have spoke to him so far, he is superb and has even managed to include a further creditor in my “portfolio” because of NPower’s sheer incompetence!

 I am also contemplating a second job – as a bingo chat host of all things.  My friend has been talking to me about it, and I had a look last night about what sort of things are involved.  I think it’s something I could definitely be interested in.  The only thing is to work out is how much of any payment I would be expected to contribute.  That’s one for my IP to have a look at I think.

April sees the first holiday of the IVA.  A Monday-Friday trip to Southport.  Dubbed as a completely relaxing week off!  We will probably hit Southport for a day, Liverpool for a day (I want to see Anfield!), and then relax the other one!  Spending the weekends either side at the in-laws as well, so it’s all going to be a good, relaxing week off work!

IVA Approved!!

January 15th, 2008

Well, it’s been 82 days since I first made contact with my IP and started on the road towards getting an IVA, but on Friday 11th January 2008, I am officially in an IVA.  It’s been a long road so far, quite a few sleepless nights, but I am now hugely relieved that I am in an IVA, and that I am “protected” from my creditors.  Yes, I have to pay £270 every month to achieve that, but within 60 months I will be completely, and once-and-for-all debt free.

 I was quite lucky that I found out the day before my IVA that I was almost guaranteed to be accepted, as HSBC and Halifax, through The Insolvency Exchange (TIX) had accepted, albeit with modifications, my IVA.  MBNA didn’t even bother to vote, despite them coming close to harassing me!  I don’t know how HMRC voted, but I aren’t overly concerned.

 My partner and I are looking for a hoiday through the Sun this year, hopefully somewhere over on the west coast (Blackpool, Southport, etc), which we can accumulate into a 10 day holiday by spending both weekends with her family – that will be a good break, and the first proper one I have had since June 2005.  We have also got a freebie holiday up in the North of Scotland in September, staying with my partner’s friends.

 I know I have a difficult 60 months ahead of me, but I am so happy that I am on the next rung of the ladder to becoming debt free.

2 days until my Creditors Meeting

January 9th, 2008

Well, here I am two days before my creditors meeting.  I have been going through a calm and nervous transistion.  Whilst I keep reading positive reports on IVA’s, and seeing which creditors are voting yes, and which are voting no, part of me is still really nervous that my IVA will be the 1 in 5 that apparantly get rejected.  My offer is almost as good as I can make it, with a small buffer built in that my IP suggested.  I can therefore look at my proposal, alongside any modifications that are forthcoming, and hopefully be confident that I can (or cannot) afford the revised proposal.

 I have my fingers, legs and everything else crossed, and I know that those who know (on the forum) are supportive as well.

Introduction

November 5th, 2007

It’s taken me a while to finally push myself into going for an IVA.  My problems started about 6 years ago.  I fell in love with a woman in Northern Ireland, and found myself making trips over there on a regular basis.  I wooed her with meals, etc, etc – putting it all on the dreaded credit card.  I was living beyond my means.  Making minimum payments, the balance started going up from £500, to £1,000, to £2,000, £3,000 etc – I was not worried though, I should have been, but I wasn’t.  Then we decided to get married, and move in together.  More debt accrued, the furniture was bought on the new credit card I had got.  I hadn’t missed making my minimum payment, so my credit was “good”.  Before I knew it, I had debts of almost £10,000.  I tried to make the minimum payment each month, but it was costing me £250+ a month just to pay the interest off.  I then tried to do some work on the side – this ended up costing me more money.  I stayed quiet and suddenly found myself unable to make the minimum payments.  It all seemed surreal, I thought no-one would catch up with me.  I ignored the letters, suddenly I got a £1,000 windfall just at the right time, and this shut the creditor I hadn’t being paying up.

 The marriage broke down (not through the financial difficulties I was in), and I was back with my parents.  Surely, I could make headway on my debts?  Well, yes and no.  I repaid my smallest creditor off (£2,000 within the space of 10 months), but I was always borrowing at the end of the month just so I could go out and socialise with my friends.  Add to the debts, I was verging on becoming an alcoholic.  But I knew that would spell the end of my job if I did, so I managed to curb it in.

 I met a new girl, and the whirlwind romance started all over again.  But this time it’s the real deal.  But, it was weekends across to see her again, more expense incurred – but I was unhappy being single, so I had to do it.  Sometimes it was a struggle just to get the train fare together to go over and see her.  But I did it every weekend.  Then we moved in together.  That’s when the problems started and became irreversible.  Nine months later and I haven’t made a repayment to 2 of my creditors (£14,500 combined).  I have managed to keep up with the (newest and) smallest creditor of £1,500.  I agreed reduced payment plans with the two largest creditors, but they inform me they are “temporary” and they will want, eventually, full payments to recommence.  That is something I could never afford (c. £450 per month).  The IVA, I felt, was my only way out of the problem I had put myself in.

 So, I approached a firm, and a very nice lady has helped me through everything I need to do so far.  The forms are coming out for signature today, so I shall be signing them, and sending them back.  Hopefully by just after Christmas, I shall be feeling like a huge, huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders.  It’s going to be a difficult 5 years, but I am confident I can find my way to the end of the tunnel, then I shall look forward to being debt-free FOREVER!!!!