Hi, I feel like I am verging on a financial crash...
Significant MPS has been awarded against me (about a third of my net income). I don''t think this is justified even with the "broad brush" nonsense - my barrister thought it was shocking the way the judge behaved towards me, and the award was very clearly made because of personal feelings rather than rational analysis of what was fair.
Anyway, in addition to the MPS, I also have my rent to pay, plus interest payments on credit card debts, loans (all incurred as part of legal proceedings), child maintenance, and my travel costs to get to work. These costs, i.e. just fixed costs that I have no say over (vs food and so on) adds up to more than my net income, so basically I am having to put everything I can on credit cards with minimum repayments. Never mind legal bills!
My credit cards are starting to max out now, and I''m going to get to a point where something has to give. What should I do? As I see it the only things that can vary are my rent (go homeless again) or the MPS - don''t pay it and risk further issues in court and irritating the judge who will then further punish me in any settlement. Any ideas? It''s a very depressing situation...
This is a very difficult question to answer and I''d just say this.
There are debts and debts. The advice I always gave was to concentrate on what we called priority debts. These were things like rent, Council tax ( have you investigated whether you are entitled to benefits ? ), in other words, debts where something nasty can happen to you if you don''t pay.
Debts like this were always regarded as having a higher priority than credit cards. We always despaired when people seemed to prefer paying the Avon lady rather than the rent.
I think I''d suggest a consultation with the CAB. In particular, you should never go bankrupt without taking advice. I know it''s one legal way of dealing with the situation that arises when your debts exceed your assets, but there can be problems and I recommend you strongly to take advice before going down this route.
Thanks LittleMrMike. Yes I was just checking out the appointments at the CAB earlier funnily enough. I take your point about prioritising debts, it''s just frustrating that I feel like there''s nothing I can do about this and I''m heading for a crash. I''ll get some advice.
I think I earn too much for benefits - I''m happy with my salary, it just doesn''t go around paying for two houses in full. My ex used to work full time but has mysteriously gone part time just as the financial proceedings kicked off in court. Of course, it''s all "for our child".
And as for bankruptcy, I will do everything I can to avoid it, and I think it is avoidable, but essentially I need to go back to court and point out that the MPS is unsustainable. Not that I expect the judge to be interested.
It is of course difficult to make any comment at all without going through your finances, but you should not be left in such a situation whereby you can only buy your food by using a credit card.
I think an appointment with a CAB might be helpful, even if only because they have computer programs which will enter details of your debts, and your income, and work out some sort of scheme for repayment, it''s all done in a very neat manner which should be a help if you find yourself in an enforcement hearing.
You do need to remember your (ex) wife may be entitled to benefits, and it maybe that if your MPS is reduced she may make up the shortfall by claiming benefits.
At the end of the day, you cannot pay money you do not have.