Huge numbers of British borrowers are overextended and their debt problems are potentially very serious, credit cards nationally are at their highest debt levels ever recorded, many people are struggling to pay their mortgages, and even the basic monthly bills.
People generally do not want to face bankruptcy and try to find alternative methods to pay off their debts without losing their home. According to the Debt Resolution Forum (DRF), who is a pressure group dealing with insolvency problems. Banks and credit card companies and not being very co-operative with people who wish to resolve their debts with these large corporations.
The DRF claims that many banks and other lenders are not co-operating fully with what are known as Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs). By which individuals make arrangements to freeze loan-interest and lower repayment amounts in exchange for continued payment until the loan is cleared.
Individuals approaching companies are having little success; in fact, there were 15% less IVAs in the last quarter of 2007. The DRF claim that the reason for this is there are tighter conditions being imposed by credit card companies and banks who advise their clients that IVA is not available for them.
A possible better option is to seek professional advice from a broker who has connections with these large companies and can arrange for debt consolidation or possible remortgage.
Banks and other lenders are trying to push for higher payments from these borrowers who are in distress. There is a whole industry built around individual's insolvency. They will certainly have a lot of work on their plate this year, the DRF believes that the debt crisis looming this year could explode. This could mean more trouble for the big companies who own these debts.
The terms of an IVA mean that 75 percent of the creditors must approve the implementation of new debt arrangements. What this means in practice is if a bank refuse the agreement there will probably be no chance of a deal being reached.
The banks deny that they are making it more difficult for people to make these arrangements, and say that they want more acceptable returns from creditors. They also claim that the average fee charged by these companies is 7,500, which they believe is excessive.
In comparison, a debt consolidation loan or other remortgaging options cost considerably less and do not involve the banks are other companies approval.
The UK is borrowing problems are continuing to spiral, personal debt is seen as a percentage of income nationally, has gone up from 105% back in 1997 to 164% during 2006. With new figures not yet available, it is obvious that we will again see record debts and they will continue to rise.
Amazingly that is the highest percentage recorded anywhere in the world. Therefore, it is no wonder that so many people have debt problems.
More than 160,000 people have contacted the charity Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) in the last quarter of 2007, that's over 18% up on the same period the previous year.
There were just under a quarter of a million consumer debt, CCJ's (County Court Judgments) in the last quarter of last year, the highest ever recorded figure. Repossessions have homes in the UK has reached its highest level in nearly 10 years, up 30% in the last 12 months.
Many fixed-rate deals, taken out over the last few years, will expire soon, adding to the monthly mortgage fee and debt headaches for hundreds of thousands across the country.
People facing such serious debt problems may want to consider an IVA. Nevertheless, at the moment it does not seem that banks and credit card companies are being very co-operative.
If you are trying to tackle this kind of debt problem, you may want to try debt consolidation with a reputable broker. That way you can see if they can arrange a loan at payments, you can afford so that you can clear your debt problems and make a fresh start.