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Help Yourself
You can help yourself when dealing with your debts:

Keep in contact with your creditors

Do not ignore letters from creditors, answer them promptly by letter or by telephone. If you promise to contact someone by a certain date, make sure you contact them even if only to tell them when you are going to make a payment to them or advise why there is a delay. Communication is the key to successful negotiations with creditors.

Remain calm

Always remain polite and courteous even when you feel you are being treated rudely. If someone is acting negatively with you and you react negatively, it will always make the situation worse. As a debtor you need to persuade someone to be sympathetic to your circumstances. It never pays to get angry with anyone, even when you feel you are justified in doing so.

Get everything in writing

Always create a paper trail. Keep paper records such as invoices, credit card statements, letters written and received and offers made. Make a note of every telephone call, the date and time and to whom you have spoken and if necessary confirm all conversations or offers in writing.

Do not bluff

If you make an offer to pay back a certain amount, make sure that you can do what you have agreed. Do not tell creditors what you think they want to hear. Tell them what you really can do making sure you do it.

Do not threaten creditors with bankruptcy

This will not help. Most creditors and their agents hear these types of threats every day. Creditors are more likely to become aggressive if threatened and their standard reply is “go ahead and file”. However rather than threatening, you can infer that bankruptcy may be a possible alternative if the creditor does not accept your offer.

Be clear how much you can pay and by when

Explain why you are facing financial difficulties and then come to the point and make an offer. Be precise, how much you can pay and when. Then stick to it.

Remain realistic

Only offer what you can actually afford. Ensure your statement of means is as accurate as possible. Include all you expenses such as school expenses, child minding, cigarettes, TV license etc. The majority of creditors are fair and will expect realistic payments within your budget.

If you cannot pay contact the creditor straight away

If you are unable to pay after you have negotiated terms, contact the creditor immediately. Attempt to send a portion of the funds you promised with a proposal to make up the balance, or renegotiate the entire proposal. Do not wait to contact the creditor until after you have missed a deadline for payment.
YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE OR ANY OTHER DEBT SECURED ON IT.
THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE SECURING OTHER DEBTS AGAINST YOUR HOME.

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