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This is a question Debt pron

Watching TV the other day we caught one of these "Bank of Mummy or the Wife" type shows and we thought, "This is Debt Pron." I.e. peoples financial problems exploited for the voyeuristic pleasure of others. Then we thought, "We bet lots of people on B3ta have massive financial problems. Let's exploit them." So, confess them all. Dodgy credit cards, lending money to some bloke in the pub, visits from the bailiffs, using one card to pay off another. We want to wallow in your fiscal pain. So, what is your biggest money fuck up?

(, Thu 23 Nov 2006, 19:50)
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This question is now closed.

How I turned £42k of debt into a fresh start.
OK, picture this. In February 2004 I split from my wife (who was and still is the biggest cunt on the entire planet, I shit you not). At the time she was earning £15k per year, I was earning £24k per year and had personal debts of £20k, with a house that was mortgaged for £110k and worth £140k. At this point everything seemed manageable...however, horrid ex wanted CSA money on top of me paying all of my debts, 50% of the mortgage and a shed-load of other crap that came with my impending divorce proceedings.

Anyway, we came to the agreement that we'd put the house up for sale and in the meantime I'd service my debts by bouncing them between credit cards, leaving me with my wages to pay CSA and my half of the mortgage.

Great plan, thinks I, the house will sell in 3 months tops, I'll get my share of the funds and I'll clear my debts quickly.....

Nine months later and silly-bitch has only just put the house on the market, after stalling me using every legal (and illegal) trick in the book. By this time I've bounced my debts around that much that I've accrued a total debt of £42k, sending me into debt management with the CCCS.

One year later (October 2005) the house sells for roughly 2k more than it's mortgaged for (all that stalling by the she-bitch saw us land in the middle of seasonal price slump in the local area), and her solicitor demands 70% of the house sale profit in her side of the divorce settlement, leaving me with about £600 in cash and still £42k in debt.

Did I mention I'd also had a breakdown and been suspended from work on full pay in September 2005? No? Oh well, just thought I'd throw that in...

Fast forward to September 2006 and I resigned from my job (which by this time had an annual salary of £27k, which they still paid me while I was off sick), started a BA in Management and Marketing at Uni and three weeks into the semester I declared myself bankrupt.

In defence of the SLC, they knew what my plans were before my bankruptcy date and have been nothing but supportive. Their payments have been made on time, their communication is spot on and they weren't bothered about me having a shite credit rating.

Also...big thanks to Nat West for sorting me out with an account to use while I'm an undischarged bankrupt at Uni, which even came with a Solo card. Providing I can clear up my credit reference files after my discharge next year I'll be back on to a proper Switch Card, though I have no desire to get an overdraft!

With the exception of my student loan, I don't have any debts now. I pay rent to my parents (moved in to their house after my divorce), have enough money to pay my bills, to go out and to see my girlfriend (Who never complains about the length, just thought I'd get that one in there). Also, thanks to the UK Bankruptcy laws, my company pension fund (which ran from my 17th birthday up to my 32nd birthday...two weeks before starting uni) is untouched and stands at a healthy £27k - the only smart financial decision I've ever made - starting a pension early and having payments deducted at source.

The moral of this story - NEVER borrow more than you can afford to pay off in one month, NEVER rob Peter to pay Paul and NEVER marry a psychotic ginger woman.

For the record, of the £42k of debt I have nothing to show for it. Let this be a warning.
(, Mon 27 Nov 2006, 1:57, Reply)
Sorry for replying.
But to all the bank charges people: the banks do regually make you go to court now.
(, Sun 26 Nov 2006, 23:59, Reply)
Never + I hate AOL
I've never been in debt, but i have an aol account i don't use (came with computer) and i don't know how to cancel it. thus aol are taking 10:99 per month for me doing nothing.
not so good.
(, Sun 26 Nov 2006, 22:39, Reply)
Share Tip

Parmesan has just made me remember that I didn't buy shares in Corus (Steel firm) when they were 2p, they're now worth £5.05 - I'd've been set for life (or at least a long ol' time)

Still no debts and I've just submitted a whacking great expense claim so to settle Mr Visa down. My corporate AMEX will do from now on.

Shame I'm in the higher tax bracket though - Gordon Brown might as well swing by the house once a month to punch me in the face and take half my money. I'm not looking forward to when they sort themselves out and start taking money from me for my company car & fuel card tax.....

Not rich or a trustafarian either - I have a child which automatically makes me poor.
(, Sun 26 Nov 2006, 22:38, Reply)
My biggest financial fuck-up
was not taking action on a share tip.

No, I'm not rich and I'm not a trustafarian. I just work hard, don't spend beyond my own means and don't borrow.
(, Sun 26 Nov 2006, 21:57, Reply)
The launderette
Put stuff in dryer and only had a load of 20ps so I put one in and it rejected it so kept trying until it took it. Same happened for the next 4 I put in. After 5-10 mins I'd got enough for 20 mins of drying, except the machine didn't work and I didn't notice it wasn't counting up all the money I was getting in to the darn thing.
Never mind, only £1 lost and I managed to get a free wash off them for something entirely different.
(, Sun 26 Nov 2006, 21:25, Reply)
Manchester City Council...
...are bastards.

I get a letter from them, asking why I haven't paid a bill of £250. A bill, that, infact, I never recieved an actual letter for.
So, I explain this, and ask if I could be sent an actual bill as a record. Of course, they say, it should be with you in a week.

Except, they send me a summons. With an £80 court charge.

I fume. I call them again. After waiting 20 mins, I state that I want to pay, but I can't afford it in one, would £50 a month suffice?

Again, they say that's fine, send me out the direct debit forms, along with a form for my employer details (why? keep reading) , and I call them three days after posting to see if they've recieved them. Which they had.

So, everything is tickety-boo, right?


A month later, I get a message from the school bursar (I'm a teacher) asking why Manchester City Council are demanding £250 taken directly from my salary as I am a debtor and haven't been able to pay them, and they are about to send the baliffs round if they don't, and also the school will be liable.

Surprised, pissed off and ashamed (how embarrassing is the fact that someone else's fuck-up might get you sacked), I phone the council, asking why this is the case.

Them: "It appears your direct debit wasn't correctly set-up".
Me: "Well why wasn't I informed?"
Them: "That's not part of the policy on debt recovery"
Them: "We take it to the next stage, and we're not obliged to inform you"

In other words, if you can afford to pay a debt, and an error in the payment is found, Councils do not have to inform you and can send you directly to court or get a private firm to implement recovery proceedings. And you'll be none the wiser.

Be warned. Councils are bastards.
(, Sun 26 Nov 2006, 21:06, Reply)
Man alive you guys are in some debt. I feel very lucky only to have my little car to pay for.

Kind of ironic though...I need my car to do my job, and I need my job to pay for my car.

I just wanna hug some of you peeps!
(, Sun 26 Nov 2006, 19:11, Reply)
i always masturbate
to the Debt Matters adverts circling round on freeview channels nowadays.

Only a problem when stood outside Dixons on the high street.
(, Sun 26 Nov 2006, 18:47, Reply)
food who needs it
i have a very small amount of money till friday, no food or any of that bollocks but i do have 3 pills, a dj shadow ticket and half a bottle of wine, did i mess up my priorities here a bit?

course not
(, Sun 26 Nov 2006, 17:25, Reply)
H.S. Fucking.B.C
I went into hsbc because i'd been made redundant and was having trouble making cc payments. So to help me,they closed my overdraft,taking what little money i had left. Then sent me a letter giving me 7 days to pay the remaining cc balance of 3 grand. I went back to the branch. "How do you expect me to do that?" I said to the sour old cow behind the desk. "Thats not our problem." She replied.Her attitude cost them that 3 grand.That was 6 mths ago and i haven't paid them a penny.They didn't care so nor do i.
(, Sun 26 Nov 2006, 16:19, Reply)
It's not my fuck-up, but it's a pretty big one when someone decides to give me money. That's just asking for trouble.
(, Sun 26 Nov 2006, 15:47, Reply)
I couldn't get into debt if I tried.
A little off-topic, but it fits in well with some of the stories that have been posted so far. I'm referring in particular to those stories about banks who fall over themselves to offer credit cards, loans, and other debt-producing facilities to young people, almost pressuring them into signing up for these things. My experience is exactly the opposite.

Five years ago, I had two current accounts. One with Halifax, and one with HSBC. I was 18 at the time, and both banks had provided me with the latest piece of useless junk for banks to fob off young people with: the Solo card. Accepted precisely nowhere. Halifax had even provided me with a cheque book, which was next to useless because they didn't give me a cheque guarantee card to go with it.

Then one day, Halifax sent me a letter offering me a Switch card. I thought, "Excellent! I'll now be able to buy things online without pestering the parents any more." So I filled in the form and sent it back.

Weeks later, I'd heard nothing. I chased it up, and I got a letter a few days afterwards telling me my application for a Switch card had been rejected. One wonders why they even sent me the letter in the first place, but never mind.

So, I tried HSBC. Now, I should point out that there is a fundamental difference between Halifax and HSBC. Halifax are simply incompetent. I'm sure that in some way, they mean well, it's just that they can't run a financial institution. HSBC, on the other hand, are evil geniuses. They go out of their way to make life as difficult as possible for anyone misguided enough to have an account with them.

I wandered into my local HSBC branch, and uttered words to the effect of "Excuse me, I have this Solo card, which is all well and good, but it's not accepted anywhere. I've heard about your Switch current account, can I have one of those?" They sat me down on one of their gaudy-coloured sofas and had someone come out to speak to me. I explained to her that I had their crappy fob-off "current account" and I would very much like a real one. You know, one I can actually use.

"Oh, you've got a Solo card current account?"
"Oh," she said, in that "talking-to-a-toddler" voice. "I think that account's a bit too grown-up for you. I'll give you this leaflet about our 'account for 16-to-17-year-olds'."

See what I mean? Halifax said "no, we're not upgrading your account to the one we sent you a letter offering you", but HSBC went one better and said "no, we're not upgrading your account and we think it should be downgraded to an account whose very name should imply that it's not intended for 18 year olds, but hey, we're HSBC, and we like being as perversely annoying as possible."

So that's why I haven't gone into a branch of either bank for the last five years. I still have the accounts, they still have some footling amount of money in them, and they still waste resources sending me statements every month.

Incidentally, a couple of months later, I noticed that Nationwide let you apply for a Visa credit card online, so I thought I might as well give it a go. The application was accepted and the card arrived within a week. Of course, since I only wanted a debit card, I've always used the Visa card in the most boring way possible, by paying it off in full by direct debit every month, not spending money I don't have, etc. This is to be recommended, partly because it means you never get into any debt, but mostly because doing that really annoys the banks because you're using their credit card facility for free and they're not making any money off of you.

And yes, I know Solo cards are accepted in more places now, which is presumably why a couple of years ago Halifax thought "oh noes, we're now offering a service which is actually useful!" and swapped my Solo card (hardly ever used) for that completely unrecognised artifact, the Visa Electron card.

Insert smutty joke about length here.
(, Sun 26 Nov 2006, 15:26, Reply)
some people don't learn
i owe about 18000,most of which has been spent on beer and leisure pharmaceuticals,which has maxed out my credit. however,i've just seen a credit card ad at the top of this page. so woo hoo! merry xmas!
(, Sun 26 Nov 2006, 14:31, Reply)
Cut off my council?
I'm into the local council for about two and a half large from not paying my council tax. Every now and again they threaten me with the bailiffs and sometimes the twunts come-a-calling.
I've had a few 'chats' with big lads called Egon or Mungo through the letterbox, but basically as long as you don't let 'em in they can't do squat. Makes life a bit more 'fun' and it's all my exes fault. If she hadn't waltzed off leaving me with a huge mortgage to pay on my own things would be fine.
I'm just wondering when they're gonna 'cut off' my council services? Wouldn't mind if they did frankly. I don't drive, I've got no kids in school locally, I've never called the cops, and the olympics can go hang. All I'd lose out on would be the rubbish collection and the street sweeping and that's no big deal.
(, Sun 26 Nov 2006, 14:03, Reply)
taking the question overly literally.
I wanted to ejaculate an enormous load on a woman's breasts, but because I couldn't manage it I arranged to ejaculate half a cubic centimetre every month until it totalled an enormous load...sorry.
(, Sun 26 Nov 2006, 13:14, Reply)
Tax and more tax
It's one of those scary things, nobody tells you what to do with the tax man, you're always at fault and the Inland Revenue doesn't have any basic common sense.

Last year the Inland Revenue contacted my place of work to get in touch with me. It turns out that they had been sending me self assessment questionnaires to my old address for three years (even though they got a copy of my P60 yearly, which had my correct address on).

Resulted in a £2500 tax bill: a guess of £500 for each tax period and the rest in fines for "late" returning of self assessment questionaires. After phoning them (multiple times) and them sending out the questionaires, faxing a letter of complaint about the charges (which was never replied to) I returned the questionnaires refilled in (go on try to hunt back through tax statements for the previous 3 years - I dare you).

Then it went quiet until one day a bailiff from the Inland Revenue turned up on my door making threats to take stuff as the Inland Revenue "hadn't heard from me". This turned out to be due to the part of the Inland Revenue that assesses tax doesn't talk to the part that recovers debt.

Anyway, lots of shouting later, the result: £60 tax bill and a letter telling me that it wasn't worth me doing these questionaires every year.

(, Sun 26 Nov 2006, 12:30, Reply)
i am seriously fucked
so much debt.

bought a car on finance £12000 cant pay it back because of the drinking habit.

crashed the car cant afford the repairs.

insurance is up for renual cant afford that.

its an ongoing problem i would sell the car but its god damn sexual.

also i could go out and earn more money do a few private jobs but betweeen b3ta and the pub i dont have any free time.
(, Sun 26 Nov 2006, 11:32, Reply)
I was offered a Barclaycard when I was 18, which I accepted. I have never gone beyond 200 pounds of my 400 pound credit limit, and have always paid it off well in advance.
They have never offered to increase my limit.

Then again, I have never asked either....
(, Sun 26 Nov 2006, 10:18, Reply)
Bloody tutition fees
By the time I finish uni (I'm a first year at the moment), I'll be £18,000 in debt, assuming I don't cut into an overdraft.

(, Sun 26 Nov 2006, 10:02, Reply)
I've maxed out my overdraft

at the wank bank.
(, Sun 26 Nov 2006, 7:44, Reply)
Bloody b3ta
fucking b3ta
that was the link
saw the turkey drummers ad
decided "right, want some"
and just spent £25 in costcutter on crispy pancakes, arctic roll and various other retro bits.
This would be funny but I only earn £5.50 an hour.
(, Sun 26 Nov 2006, 3:43, Reply)
Not me but my sister
She's like a black hole for money. As soon as it touches her hands its gone. She owes so much money its not even funny. She's getting calls from debt collectors all the time. The pathetic part is I just lent her $1000. I am NEVER going to see it again. I would have a better chance of seeing my money had I flushed it down the crapper. She used all of it to pay bank fees. Damn you Wells Fargo, damn you and your overdraft fees.
(, Sun 26 Nov 2006, 1:25, Reply)
Debt pr0n?
I'd be about as exciting as the Amish then, or that scene in Star Trek: Voyager where the two Q made a baby. I'm not really attached to money, but I'm not at all irresponsible with it. Back in high school bought myself a fantastic motor bike for only $750, split the payment half and half with my dad then payed him the rest back over two years. Bought my first car last year that's actually mine...sure it's a Ford but it's in top shape, only a grand. My student loans'll be paid off next year, moved into a bigger and better apartment earlier this year, bought a sweet t-rex r/c heli a few months ago, got a few grand into GIC's, bills get paid the day I get them ...probably helps not being in a high tax bracket or something. I mean, in my mind, how hard is it to not spend money you don't have? My biggest money fuck up? Some time ago I blew the last of the money I had on me at anime north on a box set then realized I now had nothing left with which to buy dinner or breakfast the next morning when I was to leave. I chose anime over food. *hangs head in shame* I don't care for it that much anymore though, kinda grown out of it.
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 22:37, Reply)
I went bankrupt a couple of years ago
It was really easy. I just walked into the county court with a list of all my debts, filled in a few forms and then I was debt free. Hurrah!

I'd gotten into debt trying to feed my family on a tiny tiny income (various poxy jobs and benefits) and I still don't regret it. It added up to over 25k, although it was really for less than half that, due to multiple bank charges. It helped that I didn't really own anything of value.

The worst bit was a couple of weeks beforehand when a really dodgy bailiff called around and lied to me that he could take my wife's car, even though I could prove it wasn't mine. He thereby tricked me into inviting him in to sign various forms. I was terrified for a while that he was now able to break into the house and take stuff, but as well as a liar he was totally incompetent, and got me to sign the wrong bit! Huzzah!
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 19:35, Reply)
Debt through saving
My wife has shares in Tesco. She works there and gets some as a 'bonus'.

Last week she got a dividend cheque (sort of interest payment on them). We had to go to town anyway, so we paid it into the bank.

Debt? It cost £1 to park..... the cheque was for 80p
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 19:24, Reply)
Why do relationships always cause debt?
In March of 2000, having recently gotten my first credit card (£500 limit), an overdraft (£500), and a joint account with my girlfriend of the time (another £500), all with Lloyds, we decided it’d be a good idea to buy a house together. Mortgage sorted courtesy of Halifax, and £5000 loan, again from Lloyds, to buy furniture and stuff, since it was our first home. All well and good, but basically we ended up maxing them all out. Split up 6 months later, by which time we had another £500 overdraft, this time with First Direct.

I called Lloyds and FD to arrange repayments for the joint accounts. Made the same arrangement with both - £50 a month til it was clear. Since it was November, FD told me to leave it and start paying in Jan or Feb, once chrimbo was out the way. Very nice of them. Lloyds wanted me to start paying immediately, not as nice but also fine. Less fine was the £55 charges they applied to the account for the privilege of removing the bar on the account, accepting my £50, and reapplying the bar. So after I’d paid them I was worse off than I started.

My response – I wrote them a later, telling them that I wouldn’t be making any further payments until I had an assurance from them that I wouldn’t incur further charges for doing so. They never wrote back, so I never paid them again. I still owe them a little over £6000, which they legally lose their right to chase me for in January of next year. They no longer have my address, but they still have my mobile number, and every so often they call me. I refuse to answer the data protection questions, which means they can’t get as far as bugging me about the debt.
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 18:56, Reply)
Debt Pron
I always think I have fucking awful debt til I think of my friend. She got a loan from the Credit Union of €800, off we went to town shopping, her purse got robbed, went off to the Credit Union and got another €800. Still think shes only €800 in debt...I doubt theyd give you free money..

Im FINALLY getting mine sorted, paid off bastard credit card mostly, have only 350 left on it, and got a credit union loan to pay off money-grabbing bastards Bank of Ireland, with half the interest rate.Also paid off car insurance in one go, which is a big relief every month. Wages are shite here, and im hopefully starting in a vet nursing job soon, which is less money, but fuck it its what I want to do. So prob be in more debt soon.

But God bless Credit Unions. They rock.
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 18:29, Reply)
free money
This post is quite apt for this qotw.

All these banks who charge £30 for going £5 over your limit are not allowed to do it. Ask for it back and they HAVE to pay you back.

Basically, the OFT (Office of Fair Trading) have said that any bank that charges more than £12 in fees is taking the piss. So, you can write to your bank and reclaim them. Honest!!

go and read this site:


All you have to do is get a list of all charges made against the account in the past 6 years (you can't reclaim if it's older than that). Your bank is obliged to send you the information under the Data Protection Act.

Then, ask for it back. The bank will say no, then they will say no again, then they will say no some more. After that, you take them to the small claims court. They will then shit themselves and cough up the lot - plus interest - before the court case comes around.

You can do this on EVERY card and account you have.

Remember to click "I like this" so more people see it.

Together we CAN beat the banks!!.... well, maybe reduce their profits to less than eleventy billion dollars a picosecond.

EDIT: someone reminded me that some banks will close your account down after you claim your charges back, so you should open a second account - even just a "basic" bank account will do (if its just for paying in wages and dd's etc) - most banks offer them. (I am opening one with natwest - just in case!)
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 17:21, Reply)
Economics students - not always the brightest
An economics student in my houseshare at uni (long ago) was under the erroneous impression that the number of cheques he had represented the amount of money he had to spend. As he was working his way towards the end of the book his bank (apartheid era Barclays) was becoming increasingly worried, and after a few polite requests demanded that he clear his overdraft forthwith. Unconcerned, he calmly wrote out one of the few remaining cheques for the full amount and put it in the post.

He did play rugby too, that can't have helped.
(, Sat 25 Nov 2006, 17:13, Reply)

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