With the average total debt of £58,658 per household in July 2018, based on these figures the total interest on payments over a 12-month period stands at just under £50 billion.

On a more relatable level, the celebrity Katie Price is allegedly three weeks away from bankruptcy.  Katie is due to attend an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) meeting on October 30th we thought we’d look at the steps that should be taken if you owe money and can’t afford to pay.

Overdue Payments

When you realise that you can’t pay a bill or that a direct debit payment will bounce you should pick up the phone and engage with creditors, let them know what you can afford and arrange an agreeable payment plan as soon as possible. If you can include with this a personal budget that outlines your regular income and expenditure and request that interest on the balance is frozen.


You should always alert your creditors if you are vulnerable, and most larger creditors such as utilities firms and banks will have a specialist team who can advise you and should bear in mind any issues around your vulnerability when speaking with you about your debt and negotiating payment plans with you.

Seeking appropriate advice

You can use the free online debt advice tool here https://www.stepchange.org/Debtremedy.aspx

It might also be worthwhile to meet face to face with an Independent financial advisor (who may charge you for their time) to assess your situation and help you:

  • Cut down on unnecessary costs
  • Reduce monthly spending if possible
  • Take on more hours at work if possible

Over the coming newsletters we will be covering the options available to debtors and would welcome guest articles from insolvency practitioners covering IVA, CVA, Bankruptcy and debt relief orders including the pros and cons and suitability for each type of arrangement. Please get in touch with Ewan Chesterton ewan.chesterton@thesheriffsoffice.com if you’d like to be involved.

David Asker

David is an authorised High Court Enforcement Officer and our Director of Corporate Governance

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