Frequently Asked Questions
(click on the questions to see the answers below)
- What advantages does EuroDebt offer to help me with my debts?
- Do I have to borrow more money from EuroDebt to pay off my debts?
- Will I need to inform my creditors that EuroDebt will be acting on my behalf?
- Who do I need to contact if I have any questions concerning my finances?
- How will I know my creditors are being paid?
- Will this affect my credit rating?
- What happens if a creditor contacts me?
- What happens if I want to stop working with EuroDebt?
- Are there any incentives for me to recommend EuroDebt to friends or family?
- Can you help with credit card debt?
- What is a Debt Relief Order or DRO?
- I understand that the government has asked lenders to give debtors 30 day's grace if they are using a Debt Counsellor - how will this affect me?
- What is an IVA?
- What is a Scottish Trust Deed?
- What is a Charging Order and how does it impact me?
- Can you help with my CCJ?
- Who is Registry Trust?
- How do I satisfy a CCJ or Administration Orders?
- How do I satisfy a CCJ or Administration Orders?
- My bankruptcy has been discharged and I am trying to make a new start, but my credit reference report is still showing the bankruptcy, why is this?
- What happens to the defaulted accounts still showing on my credit report now that I have been discharged from my bankruptcy, do I need to do anything and can I apply for credit again?
- Why doesn't my credit file show that my bankruptcy has been discharged, shouldn’t this happen automatically?
- I am on an IVA that has been extended to over 72 months, will this stay on my credit file longer than 6 years?
- Can a debt management plan help with council debts?
What advantages does EuroDebt offer to help me with my debts?
EuroDebt is a specialist Debt Management Company. Our policy is not to encourage people in unmanageable debt situations to borrow more money. We will, however, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of re-financing if this remains a viable option, based upon your circumstances.
Our service is very personal, including, in almost all cases, a home visit by an Advisor who is likely to be based local to you and the appointment of a Personal Case Manager once you are on a EuroDebt plan. You will always receive a monthly statement. In addition, if you wish, we will send you diary notes of all correspondence relating to your account in the previous month.
Key features of our service are:
- It is confidential and non-judgemental, YOU are our client
- We will arrange an appointment for you with a local Advisor as soon as you contact EuroDebt by telephone. Our aim is for an Advisor to meet you within 2 working days of you contacting us.
- Urgent processing of court documentation. This is crucial to try to stop baliffs entering your property or to get a variation order on any judgement debts you may have. Around one in four of our clients face these sort of circumstances.
- Upon approval of your Debt Management Agreement (DMA) or your IVA Support Agreement, EuroDebt will promptly contact your creditors to advise of our appointment and to request up-to-date credit account balances and 30 days breathing space on your account to stop further debt recovery action. We will also request that interest & charges be frozen.
- We have a dedicated Creditor Liaison Manager and their role is to ensure that we deal with the right contacts within each creditor organisation. Moving your account from the collection department or a debt collection agency’s “hardship unit” can be a very important first step.
- Providing debt solutions is EuroDebt's core business - we know how to talk to creditors and who to talk to. On average, our clients have 8 creditors and around £22,231 of unsecured debt, though it is not uncommon to see clients with over 20 creditors and £100,000 of debt. In such circumstances, dealing with so many creditors can be very difficult without professional and experienced support.
- Your Debt Management Plan (DMP) can sometimes be made up of one or more payments per month which are paid into a client account that EuroDebt manages and then is responsible for promptly distributing to your creditors. This payment includes EuroDebt's monthly management fee. We offer many of our clients an Allpay payment card that allows them to make weekly or ad hoc payments at the Post Office or any shop showing the Payzone sign. We also accept payments over the Internet or over the telephone. Flexibility is very important when administering payments when you have the funds available.
- EuroDebt also aims to help our clients take advantage of the cheaper purchasing channels such as by telephone and the Internet which would not normally be available to someone in serious debt. Our goal is to reduce the stigma of being in debt. EuroDebt clients or any UK resident can apply for a Prepaid Current Account that can be used anywhere displaying the MasterCard® brand mark. This is not a credit card and is offered in association with Secure Trust Bank, part of a long established banking group. Your salary or wages can be paid into your current account, with all the normal banking facilities. Charges are low and totally transparent, with no fees for failed direct debits or standing orders. There are no credit checks and you are eligible even if you are on a DMP, an IVA or subject to Bankruptcy. More information on the EuroDebt Prepaid Current Account, click here.
- Whilst EuroDebt is not bound by Distance Selling Regulations, we do offer a 14 day "cooling off" period after you sign the DMA. Alternatively, if you elect for an IVA then we offer a 7 day "cooling off" period after you sing the IVA Support AgreementYou will be offered the opportunity to waive this right if you want to immediately move onto a plan and for us to take action on your behalf.
- We have an excellent record of our clients staying on their Debt Management Plans and consistently making creditor payments. On average our clients stay on a EuroDebt plan for 57 months, which is an important factor in us encouraging creditors to continue to freeze interest and charges and agreeing to full and final settlements if your circumstances materially change.
- We offer to negotiate full and final settlements with creditors with the objective of reducing the final balance paid to settle the debt. This would then be shown as a "satisfied" balance on your credit file, which for many lenders has the benefit of improving your credit standing. This is most common where someone entered a Debt Management Plan because of major adverse changes in personal circumstances (e.g. divorce, bereavement, illness, accident), but their position positively changes during the term of the plan.
- We offer regular financial reviews. These take place no less frequently than the anniversary of you joining the plan or your last annual review. Creditors' may also request reviews which we will deal with at short notice.
- We are happy to work with clients that are self-employed, retired or on benefits.
- We will support you in dealing with arrears on priority debts like your mortgage, rent, council tax or utility arrears.
Do I have to borrow more money from EuroDebt to pay off my debts?
We do not lend you any more money (you do not need to do this) and we do not pay off your debts for you. Our Debt Management Plan allows you to pay off your debts at a rate you can comfortably afford.
Will I need to inform my creditors that EuroDebt will be acting on my behalf?
No, once you have given us all of your details and ensured that we have all your latest account information and statements we will be able to deal with your creditors directly. We will contact your creditors and ensure we have a complete picture of your finances and from that point they will be aware that EuroDebt will be dealing with your financial matters. We also then request all further communications to be through EuroDebt.
Who do I need to contact if I have any questions concerning my finances?
Each of our clients is given their own designated Personal Case Manager. Whenever you have any questions you will be able to discuss these with them personally, if they are unavailable, any member of the Client Services team can deal with your query.
How will I know my creditors are being paid?
You will receive a fully itemised statement every month. This statement will clearly show the monies received from you and how much each creditor has been paid on your behalf. Furthermore you should normally continue to receive statements from your creditors.
Will this affect my credit rating?
If you are experiencing debt problems and you are, or have been, behind with your payments it is probable that most of your creditors will already have recorded information concerning this with the UK consumer credit reference agencies, who are Callcredit, Equifax and Experian. If you opt to ignore your financial problems, hoping that they will sort themselves out, the credit reference agencies will almost certainly be informed by the creditors or via the courts if legal action is taken against you. If you attempt to borrow more money when you are already in financial difficulty your applications for credit will also be recorded on the credit reference agency files. Recent attempts to obtain credit, whether successful or not, may be taken into consideration by creditors when deciding whether to accept reduced payment proposals.
Whilst entering in to a DMP may adversely affect your credit rating, it is our general experience that those who approach us already have an impaired credit record. Over the term of the DMP it is our objective to ensure that your credit file reflects regular payments to an agreed plan with each of your creditors. Where we are able to settle accounts we aim to ensure that these are shown as satisfied on your credit file. Each credit agreement on your credit file can be marked to indicate that you are on a Debt Management Plan and that a payment arrangement is in place. At the very least your credit file should demonstrate that you have taken a responsible attitude towards tackling your current financial difficulties.
What happens if a creditor contacts me?
Simply forward any correspondence to us. If you get a telephone call, ask the caller to 'phone EuroDebt and speak to your Personal Case Manager. Any calls/letters will usually cease once a regular payment system has been established.
What happens if I want to stop working with EuroDebt?
You are free to give written notice to terminate your Debt Management Agreement with EuroDebt at any time during your plan. However, we request that you give us at least two weeks notice so that we can formally inform your creditors that we are no longer acting for you. You may also ask to have copies of your paperwork returned to you.
We will also advise you of the probable consequences of ending your EuroDebt plan before you have repaid your debts or put in place alternative arrangements with your creditors. Creditors are not duty bound to freeze interest and charges, so one immediate consequence of cancelling your plan early may be that collection calls and letters will resume once your creditors are told that you have cancelled your Debt Management Plan.
Are there any incentives for me to recommend EuroDebt to friends or family?
Most definitely. We survey all of our new clients after they have been on their Debt Management Plan for 6 months. 78% of the respondents confirm that they would recommend EuroDebt to someone in similar circumstances. When you sign your Debt Management Agreement your local Advisor will leave you with a EuroDebt folder which will hold all of your key documents. It will also include several Referral Vouchers. You will be paid £20 for every appointment that is undertaken with someone that you have referred and who has given us permission to contact them. If they subsequently become a client then you will receive a further £100. This money can be used to accelerate the repayment of your debts or you can be sent the money in High Street Vouchers for any purpose of your choice. Your local Advisor will leave their business card in the folder for ease of contact.
Can you help with credit card debt?
We can help you with your credit card debt problems, as well as your other debt liabilities, by offering advice to help resolve your current financial difficulties.
What is a Debt Relief Order or DRO?
Debt Relief Orders (DROs) were introduced by the government in April 2009 and are intended to provide debt relief for vulnerable people in England and Wales who are unable even to pay relatively low levels of personal debt.
- You owe £15,000 or less to your creditors
- You are not a home owner
- Your total gross assets do not exceed £300
- Your disposable income, following deduction of normal household expenses, must not exceed £50 per month
There are additional restrictions on who may enter into a DRO. A Debt Relief Order will lead to the debts being discharged after one year. During the year that a Debt Relief Order is active, the applicant will be protected from their creditors and subject to similar restrictions to bankruptcy. If the applicant's financial circumstances change during the order, then they will be expected to make arrangements to repay their creditors. There will be civil and criminal penalties for anyone abusing this system.
You will usually be allowed to keep a car if it is worth less than £1,000 or it has been adapted for you because you have a physical impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
EuroDebt may advise you to contact a 'competent authority' with a trained 'intermediary' to deliver your Debt Relief Order, if this is the most appropriate debt solution. The approved intermediary will apply to the official receiver for the DRO. They provide a low cost access to debt relief for those overwhelmed by relatively low levels of debt. The cost is £90.
Currently, if someone has a pension that is over £300, they are not eligible to apply for a Debt Relief Order. This is currently under consultation.
Debt Relief Orders will therefore only be available to a very restricted category of debtors. Your Eurodebt Advisor will discuss this option with you at your meeting if you meet the criteria above.
I understand that the government has asked lenders to give debtors 30 day's grace if they are using a Debt Counsellor - how will this affect me?.
BIS has asked creditors to give debtors 30 days grace in pursuing recovery or collections action if the debtor has approached a debt counsellor to help them resolve their problems. In our experience when we tell creditors or their third party debt collectors we are acting for you most of them are willing to give us time to put repayment proposals to them and accept them when we do.
What is an IVA?
An IVA is a formal agreement made between a debtor and his creditors about how the debts will be paid (either in full or in part). To enter into an IVA you need to apply to a court and an insolvency practitioner has to be appointed to supervise the arrangement. An IVA is an alternative to bankruptcy.
The insolvency practitioner will help you to put down your proposals to your unsecured creditors. If 75% (by value of debt) of your creditors who are represented at the meeting (in person or by proxy) vote in favour of the proposals, the IVA will be implemented. Once the proposal is approved it is then binding on all creditors. Whilst an IVA is in force, unsecured creditors cannot take any debt recovery action against you.
At the end of your IVA, typically in the fifth year, you may be required to release equity in your property to repay some or all of your outstanding debt.
Your Eurodebt Advisor will discuss this option with you at your meeting.
What is a Scottish Trust Deed?
A Trust Deed (more properly a Protected Trust Deed) is the Scottish equivalent of an IVA. It is a formal arrangement that is used in Scotland where a consumer grants a 'deed' in favour of the trustee which transfers their assets to the trustee for the benefit of creditors. It will normally stop legal action and protect you and your home. Provided certain conditions are met, the Trust Deed may be registered as "protected", thereby preventing creditors from petitioning for the debtor's sequestration.
The main disadvantage of a Trust Deed is that existing arrestments and other diligence may continue to be effective, home owners would require to release the equity in their home. The advantages are that the debt is frozen on the date the Trust Deed is signed and the balance of debts are legally written off once the Trust Deed is brought to and end.
Upon completion of the 36 month period any balance of debt is written off and creditors cannot pursue you for interest or the balance.
If you live in Scotland your Eurodebt Advisor will discuss this option with you at your meeting.
What is a Charging Order and how does it impact me?
A Charging Order is one of a number of enforcement methods available to creditors to ensure that judgment debts are satisfied. A Charging Order can only be applied for where a County Court Judgment (CCJ) has already determined that you owe money to the creditor, and payment under that judgment is not forthcoming. The original debt will usually have arisen under a consumer credit agreement. If a debt is sold then the debt buyer may still apply for a Charging Order. This has been a common collection method used against homeowners.
Once a Charging Order is obtained a 'charge' can be placed on the asset specified in the order, usually your property. If you decide to sell your property the amount due is repaid out of the proceeds. A charging order does not require you to sell their property. However, the creditor can make a further application to the court requesting that an order should be granted to enable the property to be sold sooner to repay the debt. This is called an 'order for sale'. This currently happens in a very small proportion of cases.
If a Charging Order is placed on your property by a creditor then it means that if the property is sold, the charge has usually to be paid first before you receive any of the proceeds of the sale. Whilst a Charging Order does not compel you to sell your property creditors are becoming much more aggressive in enforcing them for example, by going to court, when the interest and charges they add to your debt reach a significant amount. Given the level of charges they may charge this can happen with frightening rapidity.
At the moment creditors can apply for a Charging Order only if someone has defaulted on a loan and has a County Court Judgment (CCJ) against them. However, the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act of 2007 removes the requirement for someone to have defaulted on a CCJ before a Charging Order can be applied for. The government has currently deferred implementing this element of the Act. Concern is also being caused by sub-prime lenders who, having charged high interest rates for unsecured loans, are now effectively converting them to secured loans (at the same interest rate) by obtaining Charging Orders and then enforcing those Charging Orders and forcing the sale of the property.
There is evidence that the sub-prime mortgage debacle in the USA, and to an extent here in the UK, was caused by lenders lending unrealistic sums in the expectation that they could foreclose and recover their money on the back of ever-rising property prices. Useful information on Charging Orders can be found at the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) website. The OFT has conducted a wide-ranging review of the use of charging orders as a method of enforcing judgment debts because of the reported rise in numbers of charging orders being granted, where the debts originally arose under regulated consumer credit agreements. Their initial results indicate that there may be potential problems with the way in which some creditors use charging orders as part of their debt enforcement activities. The OFT want to ensure that consumers are not the subject to unfair business practices in relation to the use of charging orders and orders for sale.
If you have, or are being threatened with a Charging Order, please contact us immediately - we may be able to help stop it before it is too late.
Can you help with my CCJ?
Yes we can. If less than a month has elapsed since the date of your judgment then you have the opportunity to get the CCJ deleted from the credit reference agency files. The credit reference agencies (Callcredit, Equifax and Experian) receive these updates from Registry Trust Limited.
Once a month has elapsed since the judgment date then it is only possible to ‘satisfy the judgment’ and this will be added to your CCJ record. This stays on your record for six years from the date of your judgment. If you are unable to afford to pay the judgment debt in full, which may well be the case as the average judgment debt in England & Wales is currently over £3,000, then EuroDebt may be able to assist you by applying for a Variation Order. We may be able to reduce the monthly payment to a level that you can afford with interest & charges frozen. This payment would then be included in your Debt Management Plan or your payment arrangement with your creditors.
Useful links to find the contact information for the court that holds your record:
To enable the court to locate your CCJ, you will need to provide them with the Judgment/Decree case number and for Scottish courts; the full date of the Decree may be required. This information is provided in your Credit File. If a Judgment/Decree is set-aside or recalled, the relevant court will notify Registry Trust, who in turn will advise the credit reference agencies and this information will be removed from your credit file.
Defendants having a Judgment listing the court as Northampton (except for those with case numbers starting NN) can contact the Northampton Bulk Centre on 01604 601636 for further information.
Who is Registry Trust??
Registry Trust Limited is a non-profit making company, contracted by the Lord Chancellor's department to maintain the statutory public Register of County Court Judgments and Administration Orders issued by the county courts in England & Wales. As well as also holding public Registers covering money Judgments/Decrees in Scotland, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland and Jersey, Registry Trust acts as a clearing house for Judgments registered in Eire. Details of all these Judgments/Decrees, and any subsequent amendments, are passed to the credit reference agencies (Callcredit, Equifax and Experian) for inclusion in their files about you.
EuroDebt electronically receive information from Registry Trust on a daily basis and are able to access the information regarding your judgment if you are notified about a new CCJ.
How do I satisfy a CCJ or Administration Orders?
The procedures governing court Information vary depending upon the geographical areas and the court jurisdiction, as detailed below:
England & Wales
When a CCJ has been paid in full, your Credit File can be amended. To do this you must supply the court with proof of payment, enclosing the court fee of £15. The court will issue a Certificate of Satisfaction, which, if the debt was repaid within one calendar month of the Judgment date, will authorise the removal of that Judgment from the register and your credit file. If repaid outside the one-month period, the Judgment will be marked as 'satisfied'. Notification of any such changes will automatically be sent to Registry Trust Limited who will then advise the credit reference agencies (Callcredit, Equifax and Experian). The appropriate amendment will be made to your credit file normally within one month of payment.
When an Administration Order has been paid in full, you can pay the court fee of £15 and obtain a Certificate of Satisfaction. However, this will not satisfy any CCJ contained within that Order. A separate certificate is required and can only be issued if the full amount of the judgment debt has been paid.
When a Scottish Decree, issued in the small claims or summary causes sheriff court, has been paid in full, your Credit File can be amended once proof of payment has been supplied to Registry Trust with a search fee of £8.00 (per named person or company at a specified address). You must make sure you provide details of the address where the Decree is held if that is different from your current address. The proof of payment must be an original letter or receipt from the pursuer (the creditor you owed the money to) or the pursuer's agent/solicitor, confirming the following:
- Sheriff Court concerned
- Amount of Decree and case number
- Date of Decree
- Date paid in full
Registry Trust will notify the credit reference agencies and your respective credit file will be amended to show the Decree as 'satisfied'. If the debt was paid within one calendar month from the Decree date, the Decree will be removed from the Scottish Register held by Registry Trust and from your credit file. This amendment will happen within one month of Registry Trust receiving your proof of payment.
These judgments relate to unenforced small claims and default judgments received from the individual county courts in Northern Ireland. When a judgment has been paid in full, your credit file can be amended once proof of payment has been supplied to Registry Trust with a search fee of £8.00 (per named person/company at a specified address). As with Scottish Decrees, you must make sure you provide details of the address where the judgment is held if that is different from your current address.
The proof of payment must be an original letter or receipt from the creditor/plaintiff (the creditor to whom you owe money) or the creditor's solicitor, confirming the following:
- Name of the Northern Ireland court
- Amount of the Judgment
- Date of the Judgment
- Date paid in full
Upon receipt of this information, Registry Trust will notify the credit reference agencies and your credit file will be amended to show the judgment as 'satisfied'. If the debt was paid within one calendar month from the judgment date, the judgment will be removed from the Northern Ireland Register. This amendment will normally be completed within one month of Registry Trust receiving your proof of payment.
EuroDebt’s debt advisors and personal case managers are trained to deal with court paperwork and assist you in dealing with CCJs, Administration Orders, Time Orders, Charging Orders and other county court procedures relating to your personal debts. Our legal support team deal with thousands of cases every year and we are able to assist you with presenting paperwork to local court desks.
What is a Time Order?
A time order is a way of asking the court to give you more time to pay a credit agreement (regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974, as modified by the Consumer Credit Act 2006) if you have fallen into arrears. It can change:
- The amount you have to pay each month.
- The duration of the agreement (i.e. generally extend it)
- It is possible to change the interest rate applicable
A time order is particularly useful if you have a secured loan or HP agreement and the lender is threatening to repossess your home, vehicle or goods. First mortgages for your property are not covered.
EuroDebt have trained debt advisors and a legal support team to assist you with applying for a Time Order if this is seen to be in your best interests.
My bankruptcy has been discharged and I am trying to make a new start, but my credit reference report is still showing the bankruptcy, why is this?
What happens to the defaulted accounts still showing on my credit report now that I have been discharged from my bankruptcy, do I need to do anything and can I apply for credit again?
Yes you do. You need to send proof of your discharge to all the lenders included on your Statement of Affairs. The lenders whose debts were included in your bankruptcy should then mark the entry on your credit reference file to show that you no longer owe money on that account (perhaps by marking the entry as 'partially satisfied’ or ‘partially settled’ or in some other way).
Once the lender has changed the information on the entry, if you make any new credit applications the prospective lender will be able to see that you do not owe any more money on that account. The credit agreement remains on your credit file for six years from the date that the account was defaulted. Both the bankruptcy and the defaulted credit agreements will show on our file and this make it difficult for you to be granted new lines of credit until the information is deleted from your file.
Why doesn’t my credit file show that my bankruptcy has been discharged, shouldn't this happen automatically?
IT doesn’t happen automatically. The credit reference agencies (Callcredit, Equifax and Experian) will not know when your bankruptcy was discharged unless you have paid The Official Receiver to publicly advertise your discharge from bankruptcy. If you didn’t ask the Official Receiver to advertise your discharge and you want it to be recorded on your credit file, you will need to send confirmation of your discharge (for example, documents from the Court or Official Receiver) to each of the credit reference agencies above and ask them to update your credit reference file.
I am on an IVA that has been extended to over 72 months, will this stay on my credit file longer than 6 years?
Yes it will. It stays on record for at least 6 years from the date of the Individual Voluntary Arrangement and will stay on file until completed or defaulted.
Can a debt management plan help with council debts?
Council debts are priority debts and would not be specifically included in the Debt Management Plan (DMP), however, the Debt Adviser should make provision in your income & expenditure (or statement-of-affairs) for both payment of on-going council payments and any arrears on these. If you have sufficient disposable income then a reasonable allowance will be made for a repayment arrangement to the Council and model letters are available to assist you present your circumstances following the visit or call with the debt adviser. If there is disposable income (e.g. over £80) remaining after allowing for any repayment arrangement for priority arrears then a Debt Management Plan may still be suitable to deal with any unsecured creditors you may have. As a guideline, you would have over £3,000 of unsecured debt with more than 2 creditors, otherwise self-management may be a better option with some initial debt advice.
Local authorities can be aggressive at using bailiffs and other forms of enforcement (they generally do not use 3rd party debt collectors ), so taking advantage of the legal support services offered by leading debt solution providers can help immensely, as this can be very stressful and very few consumers fully understand the powers that enforcement officers have in relation to council and local authority debts.
Important points to remember:
- Whilst lenders are not obliged to freeze interest and charges, in 92.9% of the current cases we have referred to them they have done so*. Where a lender does not freeze interest and charges the amount you owe and the period over which you repay that credit account may increase, though we will continue to request interest and charges be frozen once several payments have been made to your DMP.
- Whilst entering into a DMP can adversely affect your credit rating it is our experience that those who approach us already have an impaired credit record. By entering into a DMP you will be showing your creditors that you are taking a responsible attitude to resolving your financial problems and this could help you in the future.
* Figure accurate at the start of October 2012.