How Will My Spouse’s Debt Affect Me?

If your personal finances are largely or completely separate from those of your spouse, you are only legally liable for debts in your name. In other words, you are not responsible for your spouse’s debts if your name does not appear on the original credit agreement.

There are one or two exceptions, including council tax debt in England and Wales, but generally unless a debt is in your name, alone or jointly with another person or group of people, the debt is not yours in the eyes of the law.

In this article we will discuss various elements to this discussion, however this is only an outline guide and is not financial advice. If you’d like to find a financial adviser, please look at official government websites which list regulated individuals who may be able to assist you.

Joint Liability

If you open a joint bank account or enter into any joint credit agreement, such as a mortgage or personal loan, with your spouse, you are equally and jointly liable for the whole outstanding balance of the debt. In the same way that the money in a joint bank account is jointly owned, regardless of who put it into the account, responsibility for a debt is shared among all those who signed the credit agreement. If you fail to repay the debt, a creditor can legally pursue you or your spouse, or both, until the debt is cleared in full. This mechanism allows a creditor to attempt to recover the debt if you or your spouse refuse to pay or cannot be contacted. Similarly, if you act as a guarantor for your spouse you are liable for the debt if he or she fails to repay it.

Debt Management

It may be possible to discharge your liability for a joint debt through bankruptcy, an IVA or a debt management plan, but this may still affect your spouse. If a lender accepts a change to an original credit agreement, they may issue a default notice, which appears on your credit report. Lenders are required, by law, to report all payment history on joint accounts on both credit reports, so your spouse may have difficulty in obtaining credit in the future even if he or she isn’t experiencing financial difficulty.

Legally speaking, you are not obliged to tell your spouse if you agree to a debt management plan, but unless your finances are completely separate it may become difficult not to.

If you or your spouse goes bankrupt, the official receiver will require a breakdown of who contributes what to household bills, even if you have no joint debts or assets.

Ultimately, as any good finance book will tell you, it’s better to be open and honest when communicating with your partner about your finances. Shoring up secrets will only risk resentment, confusion at a later date.

Notice of Disassociation

Note that your credit report connects you to your spouse and any other members of your household who are registered to vote, even if there is no financial connection, such as a joint credit agreement, between you. In this case, you can provide the credit reference agencies with what is known as a “notice of disassociation”, which explains that the only connection between you and your spouse, or anyone else in your household, is a shared address. You’ll need to provide your full name, the full name of the person from whom you wish to be disassociated, your dates of birth, your relationship to that person and any addresses you’ve shared.







Government Solutions To Write Off Debt In A Post COVID-19 Environment

Many people are suffering with debt issues at the moment, and the current worldwide coronavirus issue is making this more and more challenging with people losing their jobs and the unemployment rate rising more and more each day.

There are a range of different solutions to help people to become debt free, however there are only two options which are government supported, one such option which has the legislative power to write off debt is the Government IVA (Individual Voluntary arrangement).

What Is This IVA Which Can Write Off Peoples’ Debts?

The IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) is a debt solution which enables people to make reduced debt repayments over a period of time, which reduces the burden on people to repay the entire balance of the debt, with the entirety of someones’ debt being renegotiated into a new payment plan, in which the person can repay only what is affordable.

How Can The Government IVA Write Off Debts?

The Government IVA has legislation from the insolvency act 1986 which enables an appointed representative (insolvency practitioner) to renegotiate debt repayments over a period of time, not only this, but after the period of 60 months, the remaining debt left over is written off and there are no longer any repayments due into the IVA (the debt is considered settled.).

The debt is written off as an extended function of the IVA, it has legal support from the authorities and is recognized by the UK Government, therefore it cannot be contested in court unless the terms of the IVA are broken (which usually takes place in the form of a default or a non-payment by the debtor).

How Much Debt Can Be Written Off In An IVA?

There is no numerical limit as to the amount of debt which can be written off in an individual voluntary arrangement, and more than 85% of debt can be eliminated and wiped clear once the IVA is completed.

Are There Other Ways In Addition To The IVA To Wipe Debt Clear?

Bankruptcy is another solution for people who are struggling with debts, however this is not recommended for people who have an income, because the IVA enables people to avoid many of the unpleasant side effects of bankruptcy, such as the advertising in the London gazette, and the devastating effects that bankruptcy has on an individuals’ credit rating.


How to Budget During a Global Crisis

Most of us can agree that our lives are being lived very differently now than before the current global crisis began. Socialization, working, grocery shopping, and holidays look wildly different than they did before the social distancing began to change our worlds forever. These changes have caused many of us to have to think a little bit differently about our financial situations for various reasons.

Many have suddenly found themselves with a significant pay decrease or have even lost income altogether. This can make a stressful situation even more stressful than it already was. All of these factors make the global crisis situation even more of a factor to consider some major changes to your monthly budget in an effort to reduce stress.

This article is going to outline some steps that you can take to make your budget go as far as possible during a major crisis. Each situation is unique and there is no one-size-fits-all solution to your budget situation. However, there are some interesting insights that you can apply to your unique situation to make a serious change in the way you manage your money.

Step 1: Take Stock of Your Situation

Understanding how to best handle your budget is going to require you to take a long hard look at where you stand financially as it is. Before you can plan for the future, you have to take a long hard look at the present.

Evaluate your income as it stands. Are you still working? Have your hours been cut? Are you going to be bringing in less money each month? Is your spouse still working? Has anyone had their hours cut? All of these questions should be your first stop for taking an accurate account of what you are working with financially.

Financial experts agree that having an emergency savings account is key for situations like this one. These same experts estimate, however, that less than half of the American population is equipped with enough money in a savings account to cover even a $1,000 emergency. You should definitely consider how much money you have in savings to help stretch your money during this uncertain time.

If you are used to having income from additional sources, you should also consider that those sources may no longer be an option or may slow down significantly. For example, if you earn money selling a product for a certain company on the side, that income may slow down significantly as people across the world learn to manage their finances a little more tightly than they ever have before.

Once you know where you stand financially, you can begin to work on a plan for moving forward and dealing with this unfamiliar territory.

Step 2: Stop Saving & Overpaying

During a global crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic we are currently experiencing, it is important to have access to your cash. This means that you should stop all saving efforts until further notice. This is especially true if your money goes into a savings account that cannot be immediately accessed. You may need that cash during the pandemic and you need to be able to access it quickly.

This same concept suggests that you should stop overpaying on your debts to make them smaller at this time. Your best bet is to pay only the minimum on any debts you currently have. Again, hoarding cash is necessary during a crisis such as the one we are experiencing this year.

Step 3: Prioritize the Bills

A global crisis is one of the only times that financial experts will agree it is okay to prioritize the money that goes out of your bank account. In fact, there may actually be programs in place for those who are affected by the crisis. This means that you should focus on paying only the essential bills for your survival before you pay anything else.

Essential bills and expenses are the bills that go toward keeping things turned on that you need in order to survive. This includes your shelter, utilities, and your groceries. Below, you will find a list of the essential bills in the order we think most important:

  1. Mortgage/Rent
  2. Utilities (power, water, phone)
  3. Grocery
  4. Healthcare Costs (Doctor Visits/ Medicine Expenses)
  5. Insurance Premiums
  6. Other Bills/Debts

If you cannot afford to do all of these, start at the top of the list and go as far as you can. You may also consider calling the people who are responsible for your bills to see if there is assistance available for those who are affected by the crisis.

Step 4: Reduce Extra Spending

While it might be necessary to have certain payments be made, we can probably all stand to take a long look at our budget and make a few cuts here and there. Some of the things that we spend our money on are simply unnecessary expenses that we can easily cut out of the budget and continue to survive just fine.

Entertainment expenses such as Netflix or Hulu are expenses that can easily be cut out of your monthly budget. You may also consider ordering less take out, or reducing your cable package to make your payment each month a little smaller. Cutting your budget can make a huge difference in your ability to survive through this difficult time.

Step 5: Take a Look at Your Debt Options

Most people are putting some chunk of their paycheck toward paying off debts that they have accrued in their adult life. While this might be perfectly acceptable, it can be a frightening burden during the midst of a crisis with no known end in sight. There may be some options that can significantly reduce the amount of money that leaves your paycheck each month to go to paying off your debt.

These options include:

  • Debt Relief
  • Debt Consolidation
  • Debt Settlement
  • Debt Negotiation

To determine which option may be best for you, you will need to be sure that you discuss your particular situation with an expert in the field of debt relief. However, these options can be a great tool for easing the burden of living during a​ time like a global crisis.

Final Thoughts

Perhaps the scariest part of this whole new situation is the fear of the unknown. We have no idea how long this new lifestyle is going to last in order to combat the spread of the pandemic. Further, we have no indication of how extreme the impact on our economy will be in the end. All we can each do is our part, by budgeting your money, you are doing your part to secure your economic stability.


What is a Debt Collecting Agency

Debt Collection Agencies is not a new term and chances are that you or people around might have had an encounter with them, once or more times if their credit history is unstable. Debt collection agencies are basically companies that are responsible for collecting debt which is typically 60 days or more overdue. The debt can be related to any industry e.g. business debts, student loan debts, medical debt, or personal debt. However, the debt collection agencies are stereotypically associated with banks for credit card debts and bank loans.

Firstly, there are mainly two types of debt collection London agencies; the first party agencies and then there are the third party agencies. The former are a branch of the creditor company and are merely doing their job by extracting the home company’s money back. Whereas the latter are the companies, creditor companies outsource their debt collection to and are independent debt collecting companies on their own.

While it very simple how the first-party agencies work, there are two ways the third-party agencies ideally operate. The very mainstream way of working is by taking contracts from creditors and then taking it upon themselves to settle the debt from the debtor. Agencies who work this way take their payments by having a fixed percentage on the amount they have to collect. However, there is another, more professional way opted by bigger debt collection agencies. The bigger names often buy debts from companies. They pay an amount less than the original collectible amount and then get to work to collect the original amount from the debtor. The difference of the amount they pay to buy the debt and what they collect is their profit from the business. One of their basic rules is that the older the debt is the cheaper they buy it because the older the debt becomes, its collection chances decrease.

The typical image of the debt collection agencies is a very dreadful one and call from such an agency is usually assumed to be a start of an abusive interaction. This may be true in some cases where the companies first get in touch using the contact information the original creditors provide them with. If that doesn’t work, the debt collecting agencies then try to trace through investigators or technological channels. These agencies also immediately carry an investigation to check the creditor’s ability to pay the loan off. Once these agencies have an access to the creditor who doesn’t seem willing to pay off, they creditor is taken to the court and if difficulties still prevail, creditors bank accounts and vehicles are sealed and sometimes it gets as bad as the creditor having to sell off their assets.

On the other hand, more professional agencies are nothing like the types mentioned above. They make sure that the law comes first and like to abide by all the consumer protection laws. They go by proper channels of investigation and if they can’t verify the debt, they’ll request the creditor to remove the record. Also, they won’t proceed with the collection activities till a decided time and won’t make calls at any time without the creditor’s permission. They are also willing to draw solutions to make things easier for the creditors by either decreasing the debt or dividing it in installments.

With increasing business activities and bank involvements all over the world, there is an appreciating need of the debt collecting agencies worldwide which play the same roles but have extremely different ways of operation.


Effective Debt Management After Reaching North Of The 50 Year Mark

Debt management is a demanding task during the lifetime of an individual. More so if the person has reached the winter of his life and is to consider retirement soon. Such people, in the above 50 age group, have a life of retirement to look forward to and many a times, a host of debts to service.

Effective management of the debts is necessary to ensure that the life of retirement does not become burdensome. The growth of debts should be curbed when a person is fit and earning, more so when the person is above 50 years of age. Certain steps to ensure the same have been described.

Proper insurance of the biggest financial requirements

Life insurance is an investment whose benefit can be reaped later on in life. Individuals must make sure to get themselves and families insured so that when they reach retirement, they have substantial amount to their credit. Individuals above 50 should ensure that they are insured against medical ailments and have proper mediclaim to their names. This is because as age increases, the spending on medicines and hospital bills is more than that for personal upkeep. Good bank policies, insurances and investments in right places would help in the long run after entering the fifties.

More focus on yourself rather than your dependents

During his adult days, a person has to fend not just for himself but also for his family including children. However, once entering fifties, more focus should be given to one’s own upkeep and savings rather than giving to the children. As by that time, the dependents would no longer be so in the true sense of the word. And it would be more apt to look after oneself independently rather than being dependent yourself. A track of personal finances, savings, investments and claims should be kept. The sooner this can be done, the better it is for your future as well as the children’s present.

Beware of scams that target aged people

Scammers understand the importance money holds for people in their old age and their requirement for the same. As a result, they target the aged section of the society with their fraud schemes and gimmicks, promising to return a higher amount for some initial investment. People should be aware of these fraudulent schemes and not fall into the vicious tentacles of the fraudsters. Money lost in this way is a huge loss given that the earning power of the person is not very high anymore


Do not take more debts

Taking debts at such age should be avoided because it would put the burden of servicing either on the debtor or the co-debtor. This would not be good as the person’s age would have reduced his earning power which in the end would transfer the burden to the co-debtor. Debts that are taken should have a strong back-up and proper means to service the same.

As old age approaches, more stress should be on relaxing rather than on servicing debts. Hence, proper planning and early debt servicing would go a long way in helping people lead a peaceful retired life.


Everything You Need To Know About Cash Registers!

Concealments of recipes and impressions of receipt of cash without preservation of the act of purchase. This measure is aimed at combating VAT fraud through permissive payment systems.

1) What is a cash register?

The law obliges a trader to keep track of all transactions over 25 € TTC . If the amount is less than this amount, editing a note is mandatory only if the client requests it. A note must be in duplicate. The first must be handed over to the customer and the second must be kept for the commercial accounts. At the opening of a restaurant or a business, all the managers ask themselves the following question: “With what system of cash register to equip my establishment? “.

In fact, the cash register allows you to automatically edit your detailed sales receipts and also allows you to calculate VAT much more simply.

It consists of a keyboard, a calculator, two printers and a cash drawer. It is often associated with a barcode reader. However, there are many models with different functionality.

Among the models certified for 2018 are the cash registers on IPad.

More and more, merchants and mainly restaurateurs are equipped with these boxes. Lighter, more mobile and easier to use, these cash registers are directly connected to a central body.

2) Why does the state want to increase the security of cash registers?

Article 88 of the Finance Act for 2016 is intended to combat tax evasion. Indeed, an average of 17 billion euros do not come into the coffers of the State because of tax fraud. The main cause, the so-called “permissive” cash register. This fund does not allow certain receipts to be declared in cash.

In order to counter this, the State has decided to oblige traders to bring cash registers. These must comply as of 1 st January 2018. Traders will have to have a fraud software to VAT, as detailed below.

The credit union will now have to satisfy conditions of inalterability, security, preservation and archiving of the data.

After considering the application of this system to all companies, the Ministry of Action and Public Accounts finally announced in early June to have simplified and refocused this obligation. This device will only concern users of cash registers . In other words, it only concerns merchants .

3) What obligations for traders in the coming months?

From January 2018, merchants equipped with cash registers will have to certify that this is in compliance with the law of finance 2016. From now on it will be necessary to call on a software certified , that is to say a software secure, unalterable , which will have to keep the data and obviously archive them.

The ministry stresses that ” companies that have not yet made this compliance of their cash software have six months to ensure “.

In order to prove the compliance of his cash register, the merchant must provide documents. In particular, it may request an attestation from the software publisher certifying its commitment to comply with the requirements of the finance law for 2016. In addition, the merchant may request certification from a third party organization.

In case of inspection, the absence of attestation will be subject to a fine of 7,500 € per software or non-certified system, the offender having to regularize his situation within 60 days.