Knock knock, who’s there? Oh NO, it’s the Sheriffs!

A visit from a Sheriff Officer is one of the things that people in debt fear the most. But you can take away some of the fear by understanding the powers they hold and what you can do if you are expecting a visit from a Sheriff Officer about unpaid council tax debt.

Sheriff Officers are officers of the Sheriff Court and are appointed to enforce court orders. It means they hold considerable powers. It also means those powers and what they can and can’t do are strictly regulated.

Despite being officers of the court, Sheriff Officers are in fact private companies. There are lots of firms of Sheriff Officers in Scotland. Two of the biggest companies are Stirling Park and Scott and Co. Sheriff Officers can also be self employed.

A Sheriff Officer is appointed to carry out the orders of the Sheriff Court by the individual, business or organisation that asked the Sheriff Court to give the order. The Sheriff Officer that is appointed has the authority to act on behalf of the individual, business or organisation that has appointed them.

Councils may appoint a Sheriff Officer to enforce a court order from the Sheriff Court to collect unpaid council tax, non domestic rates, housing benefit overpayment or former tenant arrears. Companies may engage them to collect unpaid consumer debt.

How will Sheriff Officers try to collect unpaid council tax debt?

Sheriff Officers will try to collect the money that is owed in several different ways. The first thing they will do is ask you to contact them to put a repayment plan in place. They can request information such as employer details, National Insurance number and bank account details to help them with this.

If a repayment plan is not put in place, the creditor can return to the Sheriff Court to ask for a formal charge for payment. This gives the Sheriff Officer additional powers to collect the money. It means they can arrest your wages (take money directly from your pay packet), freeze your banks accounts and take money from your bank accounts. They can also carry out what is known as exceptional attachment. This is when the Sheriff Officer visits your home to collect your belongings and sell them to repay the debt.

If you are expecting a visit from a Sheriff Officer to collect unpaid council tax debt, here is what you need to know.

Sheriff Officers cannot enter your home at any time of the day or night

If a Sheriff Officer is visiting your home to collect your possessions to sell them to recover the unpaid debt (or, to use the official term, carry out exceptional attachment), they cannot enter your home at any time.

They must come between 8.00am and 8.00pm on Monday to Saturday. They cannot come on Sundays or on public holidays such as Christmas Day or Boxing Day.

The Sheriff Officer should write to let you know when they are coming. You must also have received a Debt Advice and Information Pack from your creditor (in the case of unpaid Council Tax, this is your local council). Read More

Consolidate Your Debts With A Debt Management Plan

What Can Debt Consolidators Do For You?

The term debt consolidation is often misunderstood, or at least not fully understood. Too many people think that it simply refers to the process of taking out a big loan to pay off all your debts. This is one way to consolidate your debts, but it is rarely a wise thing to do. The other form of debt consolidation is achieved using a debt management plan to consolidate all your debts into a single payment. This is generally a much more effective solution and is the main process we will be focusing on.

What Is Wrong With Taking Out A Loan?

When you are struggling to keep up with payments on your debts, the last thing you need is to take on even more debt. When you pay off your debts with a loan, all you are doing is transferring your debts to a different creditor. They do not get any smaller and in reality they usually get bigger. This is because the new loan is usually spread over a much longer period. In doing this it means you keep on paying for much longer and ultimately end up paying far more than you would under your original debts, even though the size of your monthly payment may be smaller.

Most people who take out this type of loan end up paying more in the long run. There are a few situations when this option can be the most sensible thing to do, but they are relatively rare compared to how often they are actually used. If your existing debts are at a very high interest rate and you are able to get a new loan at much lower rates, then it may be a reasonable solution.

The key is to not be drawn into automatically including all your debts under the new loan. You should only borrow enough to pay off the debts which are at a higher interest rate. If some of your debts are at a lower interest rate than the new loan, you will just be costing yourself more from the start if you borrow money to pay them off.

Debt Management Plan

How Does A Debt Management Plan Work?

In contrast to a loan, a debt management plan is all about bringing down the amount of your debts from the very start. An advisor from the debt consolidator that you choose will talk to all of your creditors to set up different terms for paying back your outstanding debts. They will seek to get interest rates cut and even reduce or eliminate any extra fees that have been added on for late payments, etc.

When they have reached agreements with all your creditors they will be able to set up a payment plan where you just make one, smaller monthly payment to them instead of dealing with all your separate creditors. As well as being much simpler for you to organise, and keep on top of, the actual amount you are paying out will have gone down too.

Will I Qualify For A Debt Management Plan?

Professional debt consolidators operate all over the UK so you can get a debt management plan whether you are in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. Exact requirements will vary from company to company, but in general you will need to be over 18 years of age and be struggling to keep up with payments on your debts. The money you owe will need to be to a few different companies, usually two or three as a minimum and the debts will need to be of the unsecured type. This includes most of the standard things like credit cards and personal loans, but you cannot include secured debts like mortgages in a debt management plan.

You will also need to have some source of steady income because you still need to be able to afford to make a regular monthly payment towards your debts. The consolidator will be looking for evidence that you have a salary or wage that is enough to leave you a certain amount spare to pay into the plan after covering your essential household expenses. Read More

Debt Freedom is For Everyone – No, Really!

Everyone benefits from being out of debt. Debt is something that really does wear you down. You just can’t think straight when the bills are piling up, the creditors are calling your house, and it feels like every other envelope coming in is filled with warnings about the damage to your credit report from too many unpaid bills. But when you don’t have the money, just what do you do?

You build a plan that works on the money that you have, not the money that you wish to have. Sure, everyone dreams about winning the lottery. But the reality is that the lottery just isn’t likely for many people. You might get lucky, but what happens if you don’t? As you can see, you’re going to need to have a better plan than just the lottery or some distant uncle leaving you a massive inheritance. It’s something that really means that you’re going to have to figure things out for yourself, but you don’t have to necessarily do it alone. This general guide can help you get moving in the right direction.

First and foremost, you need to make sure that you’re thinking about where you ultimately want to go. You should spend some time visualizing this because this is the image series that’s going to keep you going.

Debt Freedom

When we’re down and depressed about our finances, it feels like we’re never going to get out of debt. But then we look at all of the visuals of where we actually want to be and it tends to make things feel like they’re coming together. You just need to believe in your own power to get out of debt. A lot of people probably aren’t speaking to you about your own inner power. They want you to believe that things have to be difficult. But you’ll eventually find that when you give into your own ability, you get stronger over time. Think about it this way — the world exists to tear you down. Why help them out with that? Believe in the best ability you have and let the rest go. You can blame yourself, or you can just push for higher and higher goals.

You need to make sure that you’re trying to save as much as you can. And we’ll be honest — at the very beginning, you might find that you just aren’t able to save a lot of money. That’s okay. It’s not like you’re going to have to be in this position forever. Just try to save what you can. Some days, you might find small victories in skipping the soda and choosing to drink water. The less money that you spend in the store, the more money that you will be able to put aside for a “rainy day”, as it were.

You want to set up your budget so that you have a little bit of both worlds. Trying to get too restrictive with a budget will backfire. This is very much like a diet. If you get too strict with a diet, you’ll eventually find yourself eating a lot more than you planned. As you can imagine, humans really don’t deal well with being deprived of anything.

You want to separate the emotion out of money as much as possible. It’s tempting to get too worked up about money, but that’s not something that you want to get too attached to. It’s perfectly okay to see money as a tool. Just as you would keep a saw sharp, you need to make sure that you’re keeping your money as sharp as possible. This means getting out of debt.

Believe that it’s possible. We know plenty of people that have honestly gotten out of debt one step at a time. Why wouldn’t you want to get out of debt and get things together? Check it out for yourself!

Debt Consolidation

If your debts are beginning to overwhelm you, there are solutions and one of those solutions is debt consolidation. Although getting a loan so that you can consolidate your debt isn’t easy, there are ways you can get a loan, even if you have a bad credit history.

The debt consolidation loan is often one of the best solutions to get out of debt and to help you avoid bankruptcy or other serious financial problems. With debt consolidation you will exchange several payments for one payment. The loan you get will go toward paying all of your debt, you will then be left with your loan to pay and that is all, aside from your monthly living expenses. This is one of the best ways available to pay off outstanding debt, such as other personal loans or credit cards.

The Two Types of Debt Consolidation Loans

There are basically two types of debt consolidation loans, the secured loan and the unsecured loan.

Secured Debt Consolidation

With the secured debt consolidation loan you can usually get enough money to consolidate all of your personal debts, such as loans, credit cards, store credit cards, etc. The loan will be secured with an asset, usually a home that you own. Although you can often get larger loans if you have a house to use as collateral, if you are not able to make your loan payments you will run the risk of having your house repossessed. Due to the fact that this type of debt consolidation loan is secured with a home, this option is not open for tenants.

With a secured loan you can frequently get a lower interest rate than what you are already paying for you’re unsecured debt that you want to consolidate; this means that you will actually be saving money and possibly paying less each month than what you are now. The only real problem with using a secured loan for debt consolidation is that it is risky if you are not absolutely sure you will be able to make your loan payments on time each month.

Unsecured Debt Consolidation

You also have the option of getting an unsecured loan for debt consolidation; this type of loan may provide you with enough money to consolidate all of your debt into one payment. The advantage to the unsecured loan is that you will not be risking your assets; the disadvantage is that the interest rate will be higher than if the loan was secured. Even though the unsecured debt consolidation loan will come at a higher interest rate, it may still be lower than what you are paying now.

The best time to think of debt consolidation is before you find yourself in financial peril. Consolidating all of your debt into a monthly payment that is more manageable is a better choice than being forced into an IVA or bankruptcy.

Credit Card Debt Consolidation Loan: What The Benefits Are

First, this type of loan offers individuals to take out a secured (or unsecured in some cases) loan to pay off the balances of other debts. Those that have credit card debt are most likely to benefit quickly and easily from this type of loan. They will be able to pay down all the credit card debt they have within a month. They are then ready to get back on track.

Best Company Consolidation Debt

Here are some of the benefits to consider about a credit card debt consolidation loan.

•    Debt is paid off. All of the credit card debt that you have, and include, will be paid off. You are not going have to make monthly payments to them anymore. You will be able to get a clean start quickly.

 •    It works fast. The process of securing the credit card debt consolidation loan can be completed within a matter of days. You can be well on your way to being debt free on your credit cards.

 •    Lower your monthly payments. In a credit card debt consolidation loan, you will only have to pay back one lender, your loan lender. You do not need to make several payments. This means that your payment is likely to be much lower. Also, you will not have instances of late payments, over the limit fees and annual fees to worry about.

•    Improve your credit score. Clearing your credit card debt through a consolidation loan will immediately benefit your credit. Then, you can work on paying off your loan on a timely manner and that will enhance your credit score even more so. If you get back on your feet, you can begin to apply for and use credit cards again to help with the reestablishment of your credit as well.

•    Stop the hassles. If you are tired of the credit card companies calling you looking for your payment, you can find help in these loans. Your credit cards are paid off so that you do not have to worry about these anymore.

Probably the most beneficial reason to secure a credit card debt consolidation loan is that you will now be less stressed and worried about your debt situation. With the high interest rate credit cards, you will be able to get back on track and not have to worry about it every day. Many individuals find that working with these loan options is not only a benefit, but that is has changed their lives for the better.

Don’t Lose Hope – You Will Walk Out of Debt Eventually

Trying to get out of debt can feel like an impossible mission that not even Tom Cruise could work his way out of — expect it really doesn’t have to be that way at all. If you’re in debt up to your eyeballs right now, it’s pretty safe to assume that you’re stressed out, you’re frustrated, and you feel like there’s really no way out of your situation. You have to change your thinking and realize that a lot of people have walked out of debt, and you can do it too. You just need to have a solid plan for walking out of the debt quicksand without losing everything that you have.

First and foremost, if you are currently spending outside your means, that’s the first thing that you’re going to have to stop right away. You have to make sure that you’re focusing on the bigger picture and not losing yourself in a lot of things that really have no merit or value. You want to always be sure to think about what you can actually do and what you might have to step back from eventually. That’s the real key to success.

Another thing that you want to do is make sure that you get some help. You might be able to have a friend be your accountability partner, if you feel comfortable enough with them to share. Getting a budget and sticking to it can be hard in the beginning, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth doing. You have to limit your spending and try to save as much as possible. There are plenty of sites online now where people share how to be frugal on limited money, and it can give you ideas on how to lower the amount of money that you have to spend on the necessities of everyday life.

What can you change in your life to make it easier to stop spending? What can you do to help your family reach their financial goals faster and easier?

Working with your creditors might be an option, but it’s one that you might need help with. Make sure that if you do decide to work with the credit card company hat they aren’t the only one that has any idea of the conversation. Do everything in writing and make sure that you get confirmation that they’ve received your letter. Ask the phone representative to give you their best address for this type of correspondence so that it doesn’t have to be forwarded all over the company.

Once you do these things, you will be able to get back on track much easier. Also, you will want to make sure that you aren’t ignoring the signs of an impossible situation. Sometimes people just have too much debt to keep carrying on with life. This means that they have to look into bankruptcy or bankruptcy alternatives. If you find yourself in that situation, getting credit counseling is definitely a good idea, so don’t skip over it.

Either way, regardless of what path you take, there is a way out of debt. If you can give it enough time, you will go very far. Good luck!

Debt Consolidation Loans

The concept of a ‘debt consolidation loan’ is whereby one will take out a loan in order to service the interest for or pay off other loans. The merit that could be perceived in doing this is in order to obtain a lower interest rate than might be otherwise being paid. Additionally, it might be to consolidate multiple loans into one item. They can be on the one hand from various unsecured loans into one individual unsecured loan. However, perhaps more popularly they may be to secure these debts against an asset in the sense of using it as collateral – a common item in this regard might be a house. In this example a financial device known as a ‘mortgage’ is used to secure debt against the equity of a house.

The benefits of that to the borrower would be that the rate of interest would be lower perhaps – this could be because of the perceived lower risk of default to the lender. In the instance of lending against a house for example, the borrower would agree to the ‘foreclosure’ / forced sale of the asset in question to pay back the money owed to the lender should the situation arise where they would not be able to continue to service the debt.

In the instance where the borrower is in danger of bankruptcy, the lender might ‘discount’ the amount owed in an attempt to avoid that scenario. Moreover, there might be the potential for the debtor to seek around for those who could give the highest savings in this regard. However, by undertaking consolidation this might affect the debtor’s potential to claim bankruptcy, so that particular tack should be undertaken with careful consideration.

A particular situation where this might be considered of most interest would be in the situation of credit card debt when the rates of interest might already be considered exorbitant – in that situation even when the loan is unsecured it might apparently be less than that is required for the credit card repayment amounts. As a result of having to pay less money on interest, the debtor could then focus more money into repaying the debt that was owed in the first place.

In terms of this situation there has been a lot of negative press about this type of payment in recent years. For instance, although the repayment monthly amounts may be reduced in actual fact, the total amount that may need to be repaid could be higher than would otherwise be the case. Thus this type of alternative whilst apparently appealing on face value might actually not be the best option for all people when they have considered all the potential options that are at their disposal.

Other options that might be able to be considered as opposed to the option of debt consolidation loans could include credit counseling, debt settlement and personal bankruptcy. Moreover, some debt consolidation loan lenders may negotiate with the creditors on behalf of the debtor in the same way as a credit counselor might.

Dealing with debt

Over the last few years the UK has developed a ‘spend now, pay later’ culture thanks to the easy availability of credit. According to a recent survey the most common source of debt was credit cards with 1 in 3 people owing money to credit card companies.

Are you one of the many that now find themselves in debt? If you are not sure then it is time to find out by comparing your income with your expenditure to find out how much you overspend or save each month.

Net monthly income/expenditure

The first thing to do is to calculate your monthly (or you can do it weekly/annually) income by listing the amounts of money you receive each month, for example, salary (after tax), income support, child benefit, bank interest, dividends etc.

Next you need to identify all your monthly expenditure, such as, rent, telephone, rates, TV licence, electricity, petrol, groceries etc.
By deducting your expenditure from your income you will calculate your net income or net expenditure if your out goings exceed your income.


Once you know how much debt you are in you should list all your debts and should include bank loans, credit cards, store cards. You should also list the interest rate for each of these so you can see easily which is the most expensive and hence which needs to be reduced first.

Reducing the debt

In order to free up as much money as possible to pay off your debts you should consider:-

•    obtaining a better deal on your credit card debts by transferring them to a low-interest rate card or if possible a card offering a 0% introductory period;

•    using any money you have saved to reduce your debts as these savings are likely to be earning only a fraction of the interest you will be paying on your debts. For example, if you have £1,000 in savings earning 4% interest you will earn £40 a year in interest, whilst if you owe £1,000 on a credit card debt at a rate of say 15% a year you will be paying interest of £150. By using your savings to pay off your credit card debt you will save yourself £110 a year.

•    consolidating your debts by taking out a personal loan at the lowest possible interest rate. It is possible to get a personal loan for under 6% which compared to paying interest on a credit card of 15% would save you a significant amount of money;

•    releasing some of the equity in your home by remortgaging.

If you’re not in a position to do any of these things then it’s time to prioritise. You should try to at least meet the minimum monthly repayments and then to use any spare money to pay off your debt with the highest interest rate. Keep paying off your most expensive debt until it is paid off while making minimum payments on the others. Then pay off the next most expensive debt and so on.

You may think it is easier to pay off the smallest debts first, irrespective of the interest rate. However, you must resist this urge as it may take you longer to clear your debts unless the smallest ones happen to charge the highest interest rates.

Individual Voluntary Arrangement Experts Are Waiting To Help You Dramatically Reduce Your Debts

Like most people, you probably have one resolution that keeps getting made every year — you want to get out of debt, and you want to get out of debt soon. No matter how your debt came into your life, the next steps are clear — you have to get rid of it if you really want to reach any of your financial goals.

This isn’t something that’s just wishful thinking — it’s the truth. Thankfully, there is one big option that’s growing in terms of popularity. You want to make sure that you check out the Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA).

A lot of people get confused by all of the alternatives to bankruptcy, but instead of asking more questions they get bogged down in the raw details. You don’t have to try to figure out all of this stuff on your own. It would be a lot better to make sure you get quality Individual Voluntary Arrangement Experts on your side, right away.

When you really break it down, expertise is actually what gets people the power to get out of debt. It cuts down on incorrect information, which is the number one thing that keeps people in debt. They hear about what their friends are doing, not realizing that their friends are making incorrect choices as well. It would be better from every angle if you reached for your own goals, rather than just doing what someone else did because it might have “worked for them”.

By working directly with an IVA expert, you’re going to get the path to correct information the first time around. It’s their job to tell you exactly what you need to know from the beginning.

It’s also a good time to get support. You might feel a little out of place tackling your debts, while your friends are still spending money. However, when you’re finally out of debt and they’re still struggling, it will be obvious who gets the final laugh, right?

Right! But it’s not about that for IVA experts — they want to make sure that you are on the right track from here on out. What do you have to lose with a free consultation? Check it out today!

Improving your Credit with Debt Consolidation

For many individuals nowadays, bad credit continues to haunt them. Debt consolidation has been a solution for many people and others wonder if it is even going to make a difference to help with improving their credit score. Many individuals find they can better manage their finances and begin rebuilding their life when they no longer have massive amounts of debt to worry about.
Before you can get started with debt consolidation, you need to understand what it consists of. There are a few different ways to go about getting debt removed from your credit, and you need to take the time to determine what option is going to fit your financial needs the best.

Consolidation Loans

Using a debt consolidation loan allows you to pay all of your debt down at once. This loan is secured and is through a lender and therefore you need to determine what your risks are. You are going to need to use collateral which can vary based on the amount of money you are going to borrow.

Consolidating debt through loans like this helps to stop the collection calls immediately and can eliminate the loans from accumulating even more interest each month. Also, rather than dealing with numerous lenders you are only going to deal with one lender. You only pay a single payment each month which can actually save you money.

Once your debt loan is approved you still are obligated to pay the lender that has paid off all of your debt and creditors. You need to keep up with all of your payments to help prevent any loss of property or what was used as collateral.

Debt Management

Along with loans, there are other methods to help reduce debt and improve your credit. Debt Management Programs are designed to allow you to make a single payment each month and then the company distributes the money to each creditor. If you cannot get a loan, this is a great method to consider especially with debt that is overwhelming. You need to research though to ensure the company you are working with is legit and has your best interest at heart to help improve your credit and to eliminate unwanted debt.

Transferring Credit Card Balances

Another option many people do is apply and get approved for a credit card that offers a lower interest rate than their other cards. They then take all the balances off their other cards and place it on a lower interest card leading to one monthly payment. There are some cards that offer a 0% APR rate and this allows you to pay down your debt faster without having the additional charges.
Consolidating your debt can be a great way to get out of debt faster while improving your credit score. Nowadays, you can’t get approved for anything unless you have a great credit score. The sooner you take the steps to get out of it, the better off you are going to be to live the life you want without having creditors breathing down your back.