Advice on Debt

On April 20, 2011, in News, by Lewis Alexander

Sleep better with advice on debt, knowing your debts are managed!

Personal debt advice in the UK has become an enormous issue for all kinds of reasons. Unfortunately it has had a stigma attached to it in the past which may stop some people dealing with their debt problems. This has the effect of actually making the situation worse when it would be relatively simple to get under control with the right advice on debt.

Advice on Debt

There are several signs that your personal debts have gotten out of control.

  • Are your monthly outgoings starting to outweigh your monthly income?

  • Are you scared to answer the phone and open your mail?

  • Do you have debt collectors chasing you for money?

There are many possible routes to take when dealing with advice on debt. Every situation is different and a tailored solution needs to be discussed. Any one of the following could be the solution for you to find help with personal debts.

  • IVA (or TRUST DEED in SCOTLAND)
  • DEBT MANAGEMENT PLAN
  • BANKRUPTCY
  • DEBT CONSOLIDATION LOAN

If you are a bit wary of committing to a fixed term financial solution like an IVA or Individual Voluntary Arrangement, then debt management online can help you restructure debts in the short term. A debt management plan constitutes an informal agreement between you and your creditors.

Loans to consolidate your debts– taking out a debt consolidation loan to pay off all your current agreements (loans,credit cards etc) is often the simplest option as it can reduce your monthly repayments.

  • REMEMBER ADVICE on DEBT SHOULD ALWAYS BE FREE
  • Do NOT Pay for advice calling HIGH rate phone lines.

Individual Voluntary Arrangements

With an IVA, all interest and penalty charges are STOPPED! You will be given one affordable monthly repayment to make and this should stop all the creditor phone calls and letters you may currently be receiving.

An IVA will prevent court proceedings and even stop bankruptcy and after what is normally 60 months (5 years). Read about a Trust Deed in Scotland as laws differ there for financial help and assistance.

Bankruptcy is the end of the road as far as debt management or debt help. Once you reach bankruptcy, your finances will be sorted out by the courts. In a nutshell, if you reach the stage where you need to become bankrupt, it will mean that you will get a fresh start and normally your debts will be written off, conditions and restrictions do apply though.

Let one of our trained professional advisors call you today to help give advice on debt and find a solution to your debt problems. Peoples debt problems are rarely unique and we may be able to help you clear debt.

  • Call 0800 018 6868 free from landlines, call charges from mobile phones may vary.
Tagged with:  
Find us on Google+
  • credit report UK from ExperianIt was interesting to see the BBC dedicating a large percentage of the Rip off Britain show on BBC 1 this evening, to how debt management companies can harm a consumers’ financial position rather than benefit their financial future.

As with any commercial profit making industry, there will be rogue traders operating and taking advantage of any vulnerable consumers.  These rogue traders do not follow not only sometimes the spirit of an industry if unregulated but also the regulations or guidance if there are any in place.

  • What was particularly interesting this evening was the way the show seemed to tar the fee charging debt management sector.

There are a few points that we would like to cover regarding a fee charging companies attitude to the free fee sector, this is in addition to what was broadcast.

  • Lewis Alexander is a compliant industry member celebrating 8 years of compliant trading.

1)      The first thing we have to accept is that the Office of fair Trading put in place something called Debt Management Guidance in September 2001.  This Guidance sets out what is expected of and what must be adhered to by any consumer credit license holder should they wish to offer fee charging or free sector debt management plans or services.  Without being offensive or finding fault in any authoritative organisation, the guidance to our knowledge was not heavily policed unless complaints were made about a particular individual company.

Therefore, a great number of rogue traders felt “free” to operate without much concern of being found or traced as long as they pacified any consumer, who complained for whatever reason, thus stone walling any escalation of the complaint to an authority. We were only aware of such companies and subsequent practices when certain clients would tell us of their personal experience when explaining how they wished they had found us first based on our honest responses.  This guidance is still in place and was updated in 2008 prior to the recent investigations over the last 12 months or so by the OFT and local Trading Standards offices.

2)      The first lady featured on the BBC show had a genuine complaint and was obviously not made aware of the free sector or charitable debt management services available when she was being advised by the particular fee charging debt management company. However, her attitude was that of surprise that she had chosen a fee charging company when she could have got something for free.  The show then later changed topics and discussed being aware of something that is free, is that not a contradiction?

The free sector is funded. The Citizens Advice Bureau is absolutely free and government funded.  Other operations such as Payplan, CCCS and National Debtline are all funded and we believe operate on a not for profit basis, however they are funded to enable them to say the service is free.

You can check who funds these free debt services, in some cases it can be the creditor who the consumer actually owes money to hence the fee charging sector selling against these operations, on the basis of who is actually working for the client? an independent source or an extension of the people whom the consumer owes the monies to?

3)      The second gentleman seemed to be a victim of IVA direct selling, something we reported on way back in 2006/7 when certain large Insolvency operations were floating their businesses on the London AIM stock exchange. In certain cases an IVA may be the best debt solution to clear personal debts but insolvency became the quicker fix direct sell against the already badly publicised debt management plan. Say no more!

4)      The 3rd lady was genuinely miss sold to and mislead from what we could gather but again, the free sector is there and funded apart from CAB citizens advice bureau which is governmental. This particular lady had suffered a bereavement and was very vulnerable, another reason why the free sector should have been offered at the point of advice.

We often ask why people have this attitude that they can go out and spend what they like or commit to loans and expenditure for certain changes in circumstance and then find a free service to get them out of the mess.  It is a strange attitude and we hope that this changes as the pressure and load coming to these FREE services will always create an overflow of cases that require immediate attention and private paid help.  If this was not the case, BUPA and NHS would not exist alongside each other in such harmony, one compliments the other.

All personal debt cases should be considered individually, at Lewis Alexander we have offered free debt advice on our free from a landline debt helpline (free from landlines, mobile costs may vary) for 8 years now and only when a consumer decides to take our debt management help does our service become chargeable.

  • We are proud to charge for what we believe is an excellent unrivalled service within a most competitive arena. We also refer cases to the free sector when we believe the client would not benefit from our fee charging assistance.

DEMSA got a final interview and they are a trade body that set themselves up to offer a “stamp of approval” to certain member companies that comply with their expected standards.  We approve of Demsa but there are other debt management trade bodies such as the DRF or Debt Resolution Forum.  Our only concern is that the fees that these trade bodies require for us to join are not (when last checked) offered on a pro rata basis to the member companies turnover, if it was we would join as we believe we operate in line with what they require from a DEMSA member.  It is just the fees we cannot justify or afford.  It is less of a cost for the larger companies as they have a greater turnover than Lewis Alexander.  Our clients would only end up footing an extra cost for these associated fees.

Whilst remaining politically unbiased we would like to clarify that we are well behind the Coalition Government with Mr Camerons plans for the Big Society.  We welcome the effort shown by the new government and credit where credit is due, people may knock the Prime Ministers attempts but at least he is trying when we all accept that broken Britain is a real and current dilemma.  We feel that our initial free debt advice (ongoing services are chargeable) and our commitment to retaining our free phone number from landlines can be our donation to the big society and long may we continue in our quest to do our bit for broken Britain.

Whilst wishing ourselves at Lewis Alexander a happy 8th birthday we dedicate this blog post to our celebrated event.

  • Should you wish to discuss your personal financial problems with a trained advisor please call our personal debt helpline in confidence using 0800 018 6868.
Find us on Google+

Reduction in Debt Advisors at Citizens Advice Bureau

On February 7, 2011, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • free credit report UK from ExperianThe government announced last week that the Financial Inclusion Fund will not have its £25million a year subsidy extended beyond March.
  • This could result in many debt advisors at Citizens Advice Bureaus across the country being issued with redundancy notices as local councils seek to reduce costs.

To avoid a bottleneck of debt cases building up, CAB has also responded by starting to turn away certain new debt cases, just as economic commentators forecast that consumers with debt problems would start to rise in the UK during 2011.

  • So what does this actually mean for the ordinary man or woman in Britain?
  • Well, not a lot if your finances are in order and you are good with google, so one could avoid needing the CABs advice on money matters.

If however your financial situation leaves little to be desired and the recent hike in food costs, fuel, VAT and general every day expenses are pushing you ever closer to financial Armageddon, then it may be you who is most affected by the closure of the Financial Inclusion Fund.

A BBC report last week quoted that 200,000 extra requests for free debt advice were expected in 2011, so with these additional cases and fewer debt advisors to go round, it may be significantly harder for people to get in touch with someone at a CAB office to help you with your debt problems.

Whilst Citizens Advice offer a free service, with the sheer volume of cases that their advisors attend to, it was already hard to provide a speedy resolution to those with the most acute debt problems.  Whilst the government may replace the Financial Inclusion Fund with a new web and telephone based service, there is no substitute for having a professional case manager to speak to regarding your personal circumstances.

  • At Lewis Alexander, we offer a free from a landline personal debt helpline, where you can speak to one of our trained debt advisors.

Our number is 0800 018 6868 and we are always happy to speak to new potential clients to see if we are able to help them with their financial difficulties.

Once we have taken your case we will appoint a case manager who will be your personal point of contact.  Your case manager will look after your debt portfolio and will work with your creditors to progress you towards a better managed financial existence.

As a long established debt management company we take pride in ensuring our staff offer a level of client service that is second to none.  We are also very proud of the results we obtain when negotiating with creditors on our existing clients behalf.

Being in debt can add to what is already a stressful modern lifestyle and is something that with a little bit of help and some good old-fashioned discipline can be managed, to lead you into a managed future.

At Lewis Alexander, we are able to help a wide variety of clients out of their debt problems as long as they have a regular income and a determination to meet a regular monthly or weekly payment.

So if you are struggling to contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau regarding UK debt advice or would like to hear the debt solutions that Lewis Alexander could offer you based on your current circumstances then give us a call on 0800 018 6868.

  • Our lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
Find us on Google+

My benefits are reducing and I am getting into debt!

On December 10, 2010, in News, by Lewis Alexander

From January 2011, the changes announced by the coalition government to the welfare state will start to take effect in phases.  In what has been described as the biggest reduction in welfare provision in peace-time, some of the wide range of benefits offered by the state are being held at current levels, whilst others are cut, or for some of the more complex benefits, the earnings limits to qualify are being stretched in order to include fewer UK households, individuals and families.

This has led to claims from those in this situation and action groups who represent those on benefits that this policy means ‘My benefits are reducing and I am getting into debt!’  Amongst the groups most worried are the working families, on low incomes, who rely on benefits to supplement their incomes from their hard-working jobs.

  • So is this necessarily true? And what can be done to prepare for this drop in benefits income?

The first step when there is any change in your financial circumstances is to understand exactly what these changes are.  The range of announcements made as part of the widely reported Government Spending Review are available in a variety of locations.

If you are not clear on how these changes may impact you, a telephone call to your benefits agency should help to put you in the picture or alternatively you could contact your local citizen’s advice bureau.

It may be that the changes announced wont impact you for a number of months, meaning you have more time to secure that extra overtime shift at work, have time to look for a new and improved job or simply have time to cut out some of those ‘nice to have’ items that have crept into your life (Is that gym membership really providing value for money?!)

Once you understand the new budgetary constraints that you will be working under, it is possible to sit down and assess how you can amend your personal spending habits in order to avoid slipping further into debt.   If having looked at all the new facts and figures you still believe that you there is no waste to cut, then don’t panic, the first stage in any financial change is identifying that there is a problem and starting to engage with your creditors to explain the changes to your personal and financial situation.

Whether it is a personal loan, car finance, or a straight-forward credit card bill, financial services companies will be getting used to the idea that many of their customers are about to experience a change in circumstances, or at least they will be if they have been watching any of the recent news articles on the subject!

Options available to clear debts include increasing the term of your credit agreements to reduce your monthly commitments, using up payment holidays where these are available under terms and conditions and sometimes pure and simple hard negotiation on the rate you are being charged can all make a difference to the amounts you need to repay each month.

  • If you are still uncertain on what to do, or would like to benefit from a financial health check, then call Lewis Alexander on 0800 018 6868.

Our team of professional and dedicated debt management advisors will offer advice based on your personal situation and capture some important details and will then be able to work with you and your creditors to develop a debt repayment plan that you are happy with.   This can help to provide peace of mind that your creditors are being managed confidently and carefully by our team of debt consultants.

At Lewis Alexander we understand the pressures that hardworking families are under in the current economic climate and how the recession is changing our villages, towns and cities.

As long as you have a regular source of income, together with a will and determination to improve your personal circumstances then we can help!

Our professional debt management consultants are ready to take your call now, so contact Lewis Alexander FREE on 0800 018 6868 and allow us to help you to change your financial life for the better!

Tagged with:  
Find us on Google+

Debt Help and Advice in Scotland

On November 27, 2009, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • Do you live in Scotland?
  • Are you in need of Personal Debt Help and Advice?
  • Is the difference bewteen debt assistance in Scotland and England confusing you?

For most people that live in Scotland, the differences between debt solutions that are available in England compared to those in Scotland can be some what confusing to say the least.  If you have previously taken advice from debt agencies and are still struggling to understand the various options available to clear your debts as a Scottish resident, please read this blog post further as we believe this will help you.

  • Trust Deed

Most people are now familiar with the term IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement), for those that are not, it is a legal agreement between you and your creditors in England ONLY, and is a form of Insolvency that allows you to pay back an amount of the money you owe within a set or fixed period of time, usually 60 months or 5 years.  The remainder of what you owe that has not been repaid is then written off by your creditors leaving you debt free.

  • The Trust Deed, is very simply the Scottish alternative to the IVA in England.  The difference is that in Scotland, the Trust Deed lasts for 36 months, not 60 months like an IVA in England.

Creditors are not duty bound to agree to Trust Deeds as they do need to make sure that they are obtaining a satisfactory percentage of the total debt to be repaid.  This is not always possible when the clients circumstances are investigated as the client sometimes does not have enough disposable income (the money left over after essential bills and living costs) each month to meet the financial repayments, in this case the client can then consider a debt management plan or Bankruptcy.

  • YOU SHOULD NOT APPLY FOR ANY FURTHER CREDIT ONCE ACCEPTED ONTO A TRUST DEED!

A Trustee will manage your Protected Trust Deed for you and Trust Deeds can only become protected if certain requirements are met by the individual, if the Trust Deed becomes protected, your creditors cannot take legal action against you and the interest or charges on your personal debt will become frozen.

You will NOT be charged to enter a Trust Deed arrangement, your creditors are responsible for paying your Trustee out of the contributions you make whilst the agreement is in place.

  • Bankruptcy in Scotland is sometimes referred to by some as Sequestration

Sequestration involves removing or seizing a persons belongings or assets, to a value of the debt owed with a view to being of financial benefit to the creditor owed the money or in some cases this can be for monies owed to the Scottish state.

Laws in Scotland that appertain to personal debt and finance agreements can vary based on what type of agreement you have signed and with which company or lender.  For an exact definition of different legal agreements, you should without question consider speaking with a Scottish Insolvency Practitioner or solicitor.

The above is a very basic explanation designed to give you a brief outline of the differences between, debt help in Scotland and that to the rest of the UK.  For a more detailed explanation you can contact our personal debt helpline which is open 24 hours a day.

Find us on Google+

Struggling with debt?

On November 25, 2009, in News, by Lewis Alexander

If you are struggling with debt in the UK, you must obtain personal debt advice as soon as possible.

  • Unable to manage monthly repayments?
  • Are you receiving letters and calls from credit card and loan companies?
  • Have you missed payments on any of your credit agreements?

If you answered YES to any of the above, you need personal debt information that will assist you in clearing debts without further loans.  Struggling with debt in the long term is not the way forward and the sooner you find away to end your debt, the better!

There are many different debt solutions which you can explore to find the one that suits you best, what you do need is the correct advice and this is not always available.  The reason for this is due to most debt companies wanting to take you down the route that is most profitable to them, not YOU!

The most usual ways to clear your debt without another loan are listed below;

Debt Management

IVA in England or Trust Deed in Scotland

Going Bankrupt

You may have already considered some of the above if you are struggling with debts and may not have received the correct advice based on your current situation.

At Lewis Alexander, we specialise in helping people every day who are struggling to clear their personal debts, we do this without the individual having to take on further credit or loan agreements.

We will be able to help you! All you need to do is call our personal debt helpline in confidence and have a brief confidential chat with one of our experts.  This way you are not paying for the advice and you can compare our debt help to other companies you my have spoken with, or are about to speak with.

  • Call free today, what have got to lose apart from ten minutes of your time?
  • You may even find that after our brief chat, your problem is not as bad as you originally thought, which in itself is a massive relief to most people.
Find us on Google+
Find us on Google+