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'Stepchange' as an option?

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  • #16
    Re: 'Stepchange' as an option?

    Originally posted by charitynjw View Post
    @Diana M

    I think so, Scotland that is.
    (From post #8 info).

    I think so too (it was post #8 which I quoted).

    If the OP can provide a breakdown of the £20k debt mountain then suggestions can be made on how to climb it.

    Paying it off without question (and with ongoing interest) may not be the only option.

    Debts go Statute Barred in five years in Scotland



    • #17
      Re: 'Stepchange' as an option?

      For others who may find themselves in a similar but possibly rare situation - I have struggled with debts 15 years ago when my undiagnosed mental health condition took a grip. I was working for a well -known law firm at the time & even when I consented to seeing their private psychiatrist, the condition was managed but not diagnosed for a further 5 years. Before 'austerity', I received DLA at the highest amount & used that to help clear debt stress through charities like CCS (sponsored by Lloyds amongst others should I say) and Harrington Brookes. Interest has been frozen on these debts long ago due to genuine hardship! After being hospitalised & after an assessment in 'austerity' times, my DLA has been cut after appeal to a minimum even though my condition is more difficult to manage & I am on a higher than average medication dose.
      Since I have struggled paying hundreds if not thousands with no visible impact, I would like to pay these debts off to the best of my ability. Diane - you mention statutory barr after 5 years? This was never accepted as an option but I would like to know the statute you refer to & if valid in Scots law. I do live in Scotland btw.
      I should say that my condition severely affects my ability to hold down full-time employment & impacts with depression, fatigue & perception although my academic facilities remain in tact. I made a commitment to pay off a number of large private debts inc a graduate account where there was only the underlying idea of depression, which was not going to stop me having a brilliant legal career. Well, hindsight is advantageous - I am slowly working my way back into the job market whilst coping with a mental health illness that leaves many in their grave. What I can say is I have noticed the utter callousness & indifference to illness unless a line can be drawn, someway over these debts taken in good faith. Please remember I have used a good portion of my DLA to pay these as well as various temping positions, working when I can although this is not always sustainable and quite risky.

      - - - Updated - - -

      Statute please!!!???


      • #18
        Re: 'Stepchange' as an option?

        Just to confirm that these debts were taken out around 2001 and I have had a company verify all paperwork on them is in order. However, this company went ballastic when I took out a doorstep debt to survive. Remember that the bulk of this 'debt mountain' was to finance a Law Diploma which I passed with flying colours & a traineeship that I maintained for 1 year.


        • #19
          Re: 'Stepchange' as an option?

          Originally posted by Ripleykatz9999 View Post
          these debts were taken out around 2001 and I have had a company verify all paperwork on them is in order..
          What sort of company checked all the credit agreements to verify they were enforceable?

          (Well done on getting your Law Diploma )



          • #20
            Re: 'Stepchange' as an option?

            Hi Di, the company I used to check the paperwork did it for free & were a sort of debt advisory company whose name I could probably dig out if I weren't zonked with flu! Thank you for noticing I did get my Diploma & I can only thank my lucky stars for the experience of challenging & practical higher education. Debt Camel mentioned the problem of paying off debt with a low income yet surely that is specified & provided for by an 'MAP', particularly if you rely on benefits. I still have to accurately outline account numbers & amounts for debts so hopefully my debts will be closer to the £17000 limit.
            One thing I should say is that debt collection cold-callers don't like it when you confront them with their misconceptions & often downright untruths yet this seems difficult to pursue by the Telecommunications Act. However, thankfully they have left me much alone after hospitalisation & regular token payments & updates.


            • #21
              Re: 'Stepchange' as an option?

              Statute barred is irrelevant for you unless there has been a 5 year gap in which no payments were made. It doesn't sound as though that happened.


              • #22
                Re: 'Stepchange' as an option?

                There have been long periods where I am unable to work ranging from 4 & 7 years where only token payments of £1 monthly could be made. Would this be relevant to statutory barr?


                • #23
                  Re: 'Stepchange' as an option?

                  I should add there is a whole minefield of misunderstanding about mental health, debt & the ability to work &/cope. I would urge readers of this thread to spend time on the MIND or SAMH websites that can be googled. My condition is lifelong and may take decades of medication & therapy like CBT to be able to work to a full potential. It is also one that strikes those with a genetic predisposition as well as taking into account life-stresses. I have found much input from this thread to be very much like the attitude of debt-collection agencies, presumptive of ill-intent, uninformed & hiding any real solution until you beg your vulnerability & for mercy!!!!


                  • #24
                    Re: 'Stepchange' as an option?

                    Even a token payment will prevent a debt from becoming statute barred, sorry this is an option that isn't going to be possible for you.


                    • #25
                      Re: 'Stepchange' as an option?

                      Debt Camel, thank you for clearing that up although the name of the statute for others who need it's protection may be appropriate? I'm sorry if I seem defensive & over explanatory about my condition but it was met with the most viscous & underhand tactics by Creditors when I could not maintain full-time employment & their payments stopped. Next port of call is Stepchange for a hand esp with the exact level of debt & how best to manage. An improvement in circumstances is what I ultimately work towards.
                      Update soon!


                      • #26
                        Re: 'Stepchange' as an option?

                        Originally posted by Ripleykatz9999 View Post
                        I have found much input from this thread to be very much like the attitude of debt-collection agencies, presumptive of ill-intent, uninformed & hiding any real solution until you beg your vulnerability & for mercy!!!!
                        I'm hoping I've misunderstood this comment, but just for reassurance, everyone contributing here is a volunteer and is only offering their honest and supportive opinion. Mental health and debt have a dreadful co-dependent relationship and we see and assist with this combination on many threads regarding debt. I can assure you no one on LegalBeagles assumes any ill intent from you, far from it, we'd love to see you conquer the debt and discover some financial freedom for the first time in a long while. xxx
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                        • #27
                          Re: 'Stepchange' as an option?

                          Thank you for the assurance Celestine & I am VERY grateful to be able to discuss my issues with debt & also the accompanying hardships of mental health. Indeed it is very much a part of my condition that I struggle to trust others, especially in the cut & thrust of the debt-collection game. It is great to have this voluntary discussion & support & for others to know that there ARE solutions. I hope to get back to this thread once I have even more information & advice!!!!


                          • #28
                            Re: 'Stepchange' as an option?

                            MenuToggle navigation
                            Debt Therapy Scotland Blog > Key Facts You Need to Know About Statute Barred Debt in Scotland
                            Key Facts You Need to Know About Statute Barred Debt in Scotland
                            Written by Brian Hemmings , Debt Therapy Scotland, on Tuesday July 21st 2015
                            Have you ever been chased for old debts before, perhaps debts that youíve long since forgotten about or never even knew that you had? It can be a frightening prospect, to receive a letter or phone call from a debt collector asking you to pay up for a debt completely out of the blue.

                            This situation can often happen in the case of small debts owed from old mobile phone bills that have been forgotten about as you moved service providers. Or catalogue debts that continue to build through high interest being added on, even though you thought youíve paid such debts off in the past. In fact, many different types of debt get forgotten about for various reasons. Old debts can also crop up if youíve been a victim of fraud or someone has taken out a credit card or loan on your behalf.

                            Luckily though, if youíre being chased for debts that are more than 5 years old (and you live in Scotland), they may have become ďstatute barredĒ and if so you wonít need to worry about them.

                            What are Statute Barred Debts in Scotland?

                            Statute barred debts are those debts that canít legally be enforced because of a significant lapse of time where the debt has not been acknowledged by the creditor or debtor. This is governed by the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973 in section 6.

                            Unlike the rest of the UK, statute barred debts in Scotland come into effect if the debt is 5 years old, rather than 6 years.

                            There is a set of conditions involved in statute barred debts as follows:

                            1) There must be no outstanding decree against you.

                            2) There must be no record of payment made towards the debt in the last 5 years.

                            3) There must be no written communication between the creditor and you to say that the debt has been acknowledged.

                            All three conditions must be met in order for the debt in question to be classed as statute barred. If a debt is statute barred, this basically means that it no longer exists and creditors or debt collection agencies have no right to hassle you.

                            What debts canít be classed as statute barred?

                            There are some debts that the legislation doesnít apply to. Debts that canít be classed as statute barred are council tax debts, income tax and VAT, mortgage shortfalls, student loans and any debts owed to the Department or Work and Pensions (e.g. benefit overpayments).

                            If you have a Sheriff Court decree against you, the creditor will have up to 20 years to enforce the decree. In this case you wonít be able to dispute that you owe the debt.

                            What do if youíre being chased for old debts?

                            If youíre contacted by a debt collector for old debts, under no circumstances should you acknowledge the debt unless you know for a fact that itís your recent debt and you do need to pay it.

                            Youíll probably feel put on the spot or a bit shocked at receiving a phone call or letter demanding payment for old debts, but donít let your emotions get in way of the fact-finding mission that youíll need to embark upon at this point.

                            Look through your bank statements and any other records to see if the debt is indeed yours and whether itís more than 5 years old, before officially responding to the debt collector. If you have no record of such debt or you know that a debt is more than 5 years old, you can then take the following steps:

                            1). Make sure you donít have a decree against you. You can check this on your credit report if youíre not sure.

                            2. Write to the debt collection agency or creditor and ask them to give you the information they hold about you in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1988.

                            3. Once you know the details the debt collection agency or creditor has on you, you can write to them again to let them know that the debt in question has become time barred and remind them of their obligations under the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973.

                            There are some very useful sample letters you can use for steps 2 and 3 on the Debt Watchdog website.

                            Keep things official - in writing
                            - See more at: https://www.debttherapyscotland.co.u....53Ycwi0N.dpuf


                            • #29
                              Re: 'Stepchange' as an option?


                              StepChange Debt Charity receives FCA authorisation
                              CAVEAT LECTOR

                              This is only my opinion - "Opinions are made to be changed --or how is truth to be got at?" (Byron)

                              You and I do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.
                              Cohen, Herb

                              There is danger when a man throws his tongue into high gear before he
                              gets his brain a-going.
                              Phelps, C. C.

                              "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance!"
                              The last words of John Sedgwick


                              • #30
                                Re: 'Stepchange' as an option?

                                im with Stepchange and have been for 2 years couldnt recommended them highly enough. They put me on a DMP (Debt Management Plan ) and I havent looked back, 100% go for it FANTASTIC


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