We have seen an upsurge in the amount of people in debt in recent years. Although the effects of the credit crunch are still biting there are many people still in huge amounts of debt from obtaining credit when it was more readily available. The need for debt advice has never been so high.
The strain debt has on families, relationships and mental health can be catastrophic. There are several avenues people in debt can turn to in an effort to set themselves debt free. There has been an increased trend in people entering into Debt Management Plans (DMPs) and Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) in an effort to try and get themselves back in the black. These arrangements can be very useful and are a good way of managing a person out of debt in the right circumstances.
Prior to anyone entering into such arrangements though, I would urge individuals to ensure that they have their debts checked by a consumer credit specialist to make sure that they are actually enforceable. If they are not enforceable then there may well be other options to consider which could mean that they do not need to enter into any special arrangements with creditors.
I am particularly interested to hear from people who have entered into secured credit agreements which pre-date 6th April 2007. The agreements I am interested in are second charges on an individual’s property which have been taken out to consolidate debts or used for home improvements. They are also regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
If you have a loan which fits into this category which you are still paying off (either directly with the creditor or via an IVA or DMP) I would be delighted to hear from you.
By Liam Waine, Partner and head of the consumer law team
Stephensons has a dedicated team of specialist consumer credit solicitors with over 15 years of experience in challenging unfair loans. Call us on 0333 344 4772.