IVA PROVIDERS – THEY’RE ALL THE SAME AREN’T THEY?
We had a call recently from Bridget. Bridget and her husband, Steve had been in an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) for two years. The IVA had been set up and was administered by a large company call centre (a ‘debt factory’) with a very slick website and brochures full of smiling couples. The IVA company were based somewhere in the North of England.
The reason Bridget called us was because she didn’t understand what her IVA provider was telling her and she was very distressed. They were saying that the contributions had to increase following a routine review of her income based on the information she had provided. We went through the paperwork carefully with Bridget and it became clear she had inadvertently excluded certain elements of the household expenditure. “That’s the first time this has been explained to me – I’ve called them no end of times!” said Bridget “all the forms were done over the internet and we never had everything fully explained – but it seemed so easy at the time”.
Bridget actually works for a firm of solicitors in Walsall and the family live locally.
What really surprises me is why so many people who choose to enter an IVA use a faceless organisation miles from home. At Griffin & King we always have at least one face to face meeting with anyone considering an IVA so that they can fully understand and weigh up the pros and cons. An IVA is quite likely to last for at least 5 years - so getting to know each other makes it much easier to deal with any future changes in circumstances which can be difficult and stressful. Being local also helps – it’s easy to set up a meeting and talk through the issues with me, the Supervisor of the IVA.
Do you have any clients or contacts that are struggling to cope with personal debt – whether it is HMRC, business debt, bank loans or credit cards or a mix of debt? Please ask them to get in touch with me or Cheryl Gray for a free, confidential chat or meeting – we will be able to help!
* The names in the story have been changed to protect the individual’s privacy.
16th June 2015