Interview with Turn Debt Around part of Invocas Group

Tell us a little about Turn Debt Around

Turn Debt Around is part of Invocas Group who has over 14 years experience in the debt sector. Our team of advisers are there to ensure our customers receive the best advice and are recommended a debt solution which is right for their individual circumstances, whether they have debts of thousands of pounds or tens of thousands of pounds.

What is the toughest part about having a debt problem?

It’s the psychological effect on the person and how that impacts their work and home life. Many people experience denial and ‘bury their head in the sand’ hoping that their debts will disappear.

Even as financial pressure builds, sometimes over many months, it usually takes a trigger for them to seek help such as loss of employment, relationship breakdown, illness or a cut in income.

Why do you think so many people are getting into trouble with debt today?

A combination of reasons is to blame for the high numbers of people in debt today.

Historically, the ease of obtaining credit meant that some people were living beyond their means and racking up debt. In recent years, due to increased inflation and therefore increased petrol, utility and food prices, household budgets are being squeezed and many people are now finding it difficult to pay for the credit they’ve got.

In the wider economic context, most people are affected by job cuts, pay freezes and salary cuts and therefore managing their finances is becoming far more difficult.
In addition, with a tightening of lending criteria, there now isn’t the readily available credit for people to easily consolidate debts or move debt to cheaper providers, as they could in the past.

Financial education and awareness is also an issue and we believe this should start in schools. In fact, a recent bit of research showed that 63% of those surveyed wished they had received financial education at school while 65% of thought financial education should be provided in the workplace.

There has been an increased interest in student debt from the media. What is your company’s view?

It is a burden on any individual to have a high level of debt. Before embarking on a college or university course, students must understand how much debt they will expect to have when they graduate and when this will need to be paid back.

They should avoid being tempted by any offers of credit cards, loans, store cards or overdrafts after graduating to ensure the debt they have is of a manageable level.

What does Turn Debt Around offer to help people who are in financial difficulties?

Turn Debt Around offers a professional, confidential and friendly advice service for those in debt. Unlike many companies, we advise on the full range of debt solutions so customers can be confident that they’ll be recommended a solution that suits their individual situation.

We also don’t charge for the advice we give, however, it’s important to know that fees may be payable should you go ahead with a debt solution.

The number of Individual Voluntary Arrangement cases seems to be increasing faster than those of Bankruptcy. Why do you think this is?

Bankruptcy is usually considered as a last resort although we recognise that for some people, this can be the only solution for them. There are a number of consequences of bankruptcy:

  • Any valuable assets that you own will usually have to be sold.
  • You may struggle to obtain credit in the future and your credit rating can be affected for many years.
  • Your bankruptcy will be advertised in your local paper.
  • You are not permitted to start up or be involved in the day-to-day management of a limited company.
  • You cannot act as a Member of Parliament, and there are certain other restrictions, for example acting as a member of a local council or school board, etc.
  • You may not practice as a chartered accountant or a lawyer, or act as a Justice of the Peace.
  • Any hire purchase agreements that you have may have a clause which automatically terminates them if you become bankrupt.

Therefore, unless it is the only option left, many people would prefer to be placed in a solution that doesn’t have as severe consequences on their financial, personal and work life.

In addition, the launch of Debt Relief Orders (DROs) in April 2009 may be contributing to the decreasing number of bankruptcies.

DROs do not involve the courts but are granted by The Insolvency Service and are for people who do not own their own home, have little surplus income and assets and less than £15,000 of debt.

Given the general increase in the number of people in debt, where do you think people are finding information about debt solutions such as IVAs?

As with most financial solutions and services, people are finding information through TV, the internet, newspapers and perhaps through friends and family. However, what we’ve found is that those looking for a solution for their debts do not necessarily shop around.

Once they start talking to someone about their debts, they tend to stay with that company so we need to make sure that when a customer comes to us, we give them the best advice and the most suitable recommendation in a trusting and reassuring manner.

Is there a common denominator amongst your clients?

In a word, no. Our customers come from a diverse mix of social demographic groups, from low income families to households with higher than average incomes. The age range and the reason for getting into debt varies widely too.

Some last words of advice from Turn Debt Around

It’s important to know that if you have debt problems, you’re not alone. Don’t bury your head in the sand and think it will all go away, it won’t.

You must seek advice and get help as soon as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you want to ensure you fully understand the benefits and the consequences of going into a debt solution.

Finally, make sure you get advice from a company who advise on the full range of debt solutions. By doing so, you’re far more likely to be placed in a solution that fits your individual needs.

You can be in touch with Turn Debt Around at:

Phone number: 0141 341 5510
Email: turndebtaround@invocas.com

For more information visit:
http://www.turndebtaround.com

Notes: this page is not sponsored by Turn Debt Around; our aim is to provide useful opinions from the experts.

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