It’s time to get tough.

Well, it has truly kicked off….or more to the point, it is about to.

My ex-wife, as you all know, is a total and utter nutcase.  But this time, she has gone too far.   After suffering multiple more phone calls of her screaming abuse at me because we cannot agree on a child maintenance fee I can take no more.  What great timing for me to take a stand too as, from Monday, we will probably never speak again about anything other than the children.

So, a brief reminder of the issue, she is demanding a huge £400 for the children and £600 equity repayment A MONTH.  The maximum I will have to give is £300/month according to the state.   But, the only reason I have never paid this is I pay for EVERYTHING towards the kids, she doesn’t even give me money towards their school trips etc!

I have been called multiple bad names including “sh1t father”, “tight bastard”, etc.   Interesting isn’t it eh, the affair was discovered 5 years ago, and she left 3 years ago leaving me with shattered kids, a home to run, bills to pay and debts to clear.  What happened to her, oh she moved into her lovers home and got her sports car etc.  But it is what it is.

So, I have flipped this on it’s head.   My solicitor has issued a letter, to be delivered Monday, with the following summary:

1. She is no longer permitted to enter my home at her own free will, she has been gone over 12 months so I am allowed to request this

2. She is to be removed from the land registry record, this is no way affects her 50% of the equity but wipes her from all other issues with the house.  This also prevents her opening accounts or credit cards against my house

3. she is no longer permitted to contact me about anything other than the children

4. I am stopping her getting her 100% of the child support from the government, I have been entitled to 50% for the last 3 years

and a few other things.  The letter is matter of fact and she will kick off but in reality, if she had just left me alone this would not have happened.  It also protects me fully now and cuts all last ties with this lunatic.

We now also have a pathetic letter from her solicitor, demanding I present my financial situation.  We have declined this as nobody bar a judge in court can request this.  The letter also slags me off for not attending mediation!  Yes, the very same mediation she booked an appointment in my name, without my permission!   Of course, there is no need for mediation, there is only one asset!!   That asset is the equity.

So then, I know how this will go.  She will go absolutely mental when she gets the letter, but with every control freak if you remove their control, they cannot cope.

Watch this space, anyone who has been through this, or who is about to…watch and learn.  It’s time to fight back, and I intend to tear her apart this time.  I have had enough of this vile woman, it’s time she got brought down a bit.


Debt – why you must speak up

Recently I have seen a spate of desperate souls make the ultimate choice when it comes to debt, they can’t cope any more and the world loses another poor victim.  I read this article recently, made me very sad for numerous reasons as some were the same as my own.  The debt and the refusal of an ex to sign divorce papers.

I remember all of this of course, the increase on your debt by the payment to solicitors to try and force a childish, selfish estranged partner to let you go.   But the key to all this, it is always debt.  Debt is the one thing that truly wont go away, there is always someone on your back.  This is where the world just does not help, there are many places who assist with the debt, but nobody truly is there to say “hold on there, just leave him be for a while, can’t you see he is in real trouble here?”  No…that does not exist.  Businesses want their money back, nothing wrong with that though, they are owed that money.

What I find unacceptable, and from personal experience, is when you take the time to try and explain you are not avoiding paying the debt, you are trying to explain that your personal circumstances are in such a terrible state that you need some space.  There is just no flexibility in the world, sadly a lot of the problems are caused by the people who don’t want to pay their debt.

When your world is collapsing, and you are fighting for everything and trying to hold a family together…the threat of the debt drops down the list.  Unfortunately, it only drops down the list for you.  The people who want your money look at you as avoiding payment.

I would not change how I played any of this, I did my absolute best.  There were desperate desperate times, times I was so low I didn’t know what to do.  The sick fear of the postman coming, the stomach wrenching moments when the phone rang over and over again.  The threats that got worse and worse, and then the fact you knew you had had enough.  I knew when that was, my kids kept me going.  You just want to get everyone in one room and shout “Enough, please, I have nothing to give you right now, just give me some time please”.

The one part I learned and I will always advise this – speak up.  Do not hide, I did and it got worse.  Debt brings shame, we all know this.  My blog has always been written in the hope someone, who is in the position I was, reads it all and knows they have a kindred spirit.  There is advise on where to go, who can and cannot help you, ways to reduce the debt and so on.  But, you cannot make someone ask for help.  I found it so very difficult to do it.

When I keep reading about people taking their own lives, swamped by debt, I wish they had read my blog.  I wish I could have spoken with them and told them how to gradually make it stop.  But, sadly it is always too late.

Not for the companies who hound you day and night though, or their debt collecting firms they pass the debt on to.  No, onto the next poor soul to destroy.

When will the companies learn, perhaps when the tables turn.

Until then, anyone out there, there is always a way out.  It may be a small way, but there is a way.  I have been there, there is nothing more valuable that your life.  If you lose everything, you start again.

If you end everything, you have achieved nothing.

Misconception of Bitterness

Bitterness is a difficult emotion to describe, some would say you have to let go or be perceived as holding on to hatred.  But, I have to disagree.  Bitterness is not just about hatred and rage, for some people (like myself) bitterness is the blame associated to someone who has caused some of your issues.   Bitterness is more about envy.

April has been a tough month, a ridiculous amount of money spent out due to birthdays and bills.  So much so, I will be short this month but I have got completely used to that.   I am also well used to paying for everything as you know, despite my ex-wife coming after me for money.  A classic example is me being responsible for my son’s party and gifts, I paid 90% again.  So, how does this lead to bitterness?

My calendar is full, full of social appointments for work, myself and the kids (parties etc).  All of which have to be pre-planned and paid for of course.  I have 2 weeks off work in August but as much as I play around with figures, I cannot afford a holiday this year.  That is an utter waste and a tragedy, not all may be lost though as I am still awaiting a court case settlement for my car accident and a payout from the government for over-payment of taxes (oh the irony, see multiple previous posts).

Enter bitterness, my ex as always.  You will all know she walks on water, no Karma here people sadly.   But it seems to get worse, at Christmas when she was thrown out on the street I finally thought it could be her time.  Nope…

It seems that she has somehow talked ‘him’ around so much now that he is completely re-decorating again, but this time rooms for my kids.   At great expense too, whereas I scour auction sites for nearly new furniture for my kids rooms.   Not just that, she now gets a free holiday for “being down”.   Let me re-iterate, this is not jealousy here.  Envy yes, but mostly frustration.

I am not a religious man, I never have been but also have no feelings either way for believers on non-believers.  However, when I pass, and I do meet with whatever comes next I would like to ask the question of why some people are given an easy path whereas others fight tooth and nail to survive?  Does anyone else feel like this?

So it irritates me when people tell you bitterness is a waste of time.  That statement makes no sense, if your life is pushed downwards because of someone else you will always have bitterness.  How you quantify how much, is down to you.

I have said many times, when you struggle with debt and you throw in a divorce caused by an affair, it feels like you are always swimming upwards with a concrete block tied to your feet.

So yes, I remain bitter at her getting everything for free all the time.   Time tests my patience.

Make time to check your credit report

Up to 2 months ago I had never checked my credit report, there was no need to.  Well, actually, I feared it.   With all my financial issues I knew the report would be bad.   When I finally checked it, it was FAIR, which was an absolute result.  So, I signed up for alerts which has turned out to be a real blessing.

I got an alert saying that my credit score had dropped by 12 points, confused I logged on.  In the alerts was a ‘late payment’ to one of my creditors.  I knew who it would be immediately.

Long standing readers of this blog may remember that I have 3 of my bigger loans on a debt management repayment plan, this was done to maintain payments with the interest freed.  It has been in place for 10 months now and helped enormously, but only one of those creditors has ever caused issues.  Bank A as we will call them phone me every 2 months to say the payment is late, I then dispute it, they re-check and low and behold I am up to date.  What happens then is, with Bank A they have to transfer the money internally from the debt management account to my loan account.  This delay is then sometimes marked as non payment till they manually correct it.

What I didn’t know was they then INCORRECTLY marked me down as late payment, not missed payment, late payment.  Even though the late payment is caused internally.   I phoned Bank A and they didn’t know why the credit people had been informed by themselves either.   I was then transferred to the department that deals with the ‘debtor accounts’.

The net result is that it is an error but I have to write in and lodge a formal complaint with evidence to get the credit score corrected.  When I checked my history, Bank A have lodged FOUR (YES FOUR) incorrect late payment scores.  Thanks so very much!

So, this will be resolved but it does highlight something I was guilty of.  I buried my head in the sand a lot, not just with avoiding the mail and checking my bank balance but things like this.  Not that is has held me back as I haven’t applied for any credit.

It also shows that sometimes people do make mistakes, and they can be costly.  I am hoping this is corrected quickly, I can’t be bothered with another long drawn out appeal for something that isn’t my fault!

Helpful guest post

I chat a lot with Debt Therapy Scotland (@), sharing my experiences and reading some of their reader’s stories.  I have agreed to post something from them.  So many helpful links here, and I hope it helps some of you.  Perhaps if I have had access to some of this I could have progressed faster.

10 Best Personal Finance Blog Reads From Around The Web

We’ve been reading a lot of personal finance blogs lately and it’s high time we shared some of these excellent reads with you! There is so much useful information out there from UK personal finance bloggers on how to manage money, pay off debt and save money.

Here are our top 10 favourite blog posts in recent weeks:

If you’re looking for motivation to pay off your debt, check out how Ricky from Skint Dad is intending to kick debt’s butt. In this post, Ricky explains his financial situation in full and how he’s planning to tackle his debt.

If you’re living in Scotland and wanting to clear your debt, you might find Debt Therapy Scotland’s site useful. They provide all sorts of info on a trust deed in Scotland as well as Debt arrangement schemes and sequestrations.

Pauline from the Savvy Scot wrote about some ways to make money with what you already have. The great part about making money with things you’ve already acquired is that there is no risk or extra costs involved. Read Pauline’s post for some useful money making ideas.

Graham from Moneystepper wrote Britain’s Not Ready for Retirement! In this post, Graham takes a close look at statistics revealed by AXA Self Investor and explains why some people in Britain aren’t saving enough for retirement. He also provides a helpful formula for working out how much to save.

There was a helpful post over at Money Bulldog about what information doesn’t go on your credit report. Common misconceptions have been debunked about whether certain personal details are made available and whether council tax arrears and parking fines for example are included.

Abi from Bunny on a Budget wrote about cheap things to do at home with the kids. There’s no doubt that entertaining kids can be expensive, especially during school holidays. Yet there are many fun things to do at home with the kids which will not only keep them busy, but won’t drain your pocket either.

If you can relate to debt stress, you might like this post from Debt Spot on Dealing with the Stress of Debt. There are some good coping strategies in this article along with an important message about seeking help if needed.

Joe from Budget Breakaway highlighted some of the common reasons why you may not be approved for your mortgage. If you earn under £25K per year as an individual or are self-employed, you may be affected. Read his post to find out more.

Andy from Be Clever With Your Cash wrote about why you shouldn’t ignore spam text messages. He explained how he’d recently been caught out and lost money due to deleting spam messages without reading them. Please head on over to his site to read more.

Richard from Frugality Magazine wrote about 4 proven ways to accelerate your early retirement plans. If retiring early is one of your financial goals, check out this post to see whether these strategies could benefit you.

We hope you enjoyed these great personal finance reads as much as we did! Please check our blog again soon for more posts like this. In the meantime, you’d like to talk to someone about your debt, please get in touch.

Postman delivers utter rage

I am well used to dreading the mail coming, due to the HMRC issues but that all stopped a while ago.   But today, the mail delivery brought something took me a level of rage rarely encountered.

As I have mentioned, my ex is constantly pressuring me for money she is NOT entitled to.  It is non stop, and being how manipulative she is, I wondered what her next move would be.  She said before, how she cannot afford a solicitor so we should do mediation.  Should we????  says who??  I have repeatedly called her bluff by asking her to get her solicitor to contact mine so we can proceed.   But what did I get today?

AN APPOINTMENT WITH MEDIATION SERVICES….utterly livid.  The letter states I have been referred to them and that I now have an appointment in May pre-booked and to bring my ID and bank statements.  WHAT…hell no.

Firstly, it is a waste of time.  It is money for nothing, a good £350 worth of nothing.   She is playing a game here, she will not pay for a solicitor but will do this, well I can tell you something I am not going to be attending.  There is no legal obligation to go, what a cheeky cow she is.  Booking me in for that, who the hell does she think she is?

Do you know what, I have so much evidence to use including last week when I found out (completely by chance) she has a sly saving account with £4000 in it.  4 grand, yet she pleads poverty…unreal.

I don’t normally rant but seriously now, enough is enough.  She took everything from me, she left me to deal with the children and their emotions, a load of bills and mutual debt, and carried on with a new relationship.  They live together, she works for him, he bought her a sports car and personal license plate, he gives her money, what am I paying for here?  I pay every single thing for the children, gladly I will say, so why pay more?

Honestly, I am not going to lie to you all, I absolutely positively hate her.  I hate with her such passion I cannot believe we were ever a couple.  She is a greedy, lying, sneaky, manipulative vile creature and anyone who says Karma will step in, let’s see it.

I have been through hell to get myself back on a level, financially and emotionally, and still she won’t leave me alone.

I am so glad I have a punch bag, I have just utterly battered it.

Deluded friend

Hi all

Again been busy with work and travelling, this time Poland.  I admit I went with trepidation as I expected the worst but what a lovely city Warsaw is.  It was nice to relax for a few days.   The blog does get left a bit nowadays but things should settle soon enough, work has been ultra busy but that is always good.

So, I have managed some gym sessions recently and saw a friend I haven’t seen for a long time.  Nice guy but makes bad decisions, I mean my history isn’t amazing but this guy takes the biscuit.  Years ago we were working on the same sorting aisle at the Royal Mail, on my final week he was fired!   Fired for theft actually, for stealing money from cards.   When you heard why, you had to wonder how someone can let themselves be so controlled that they need extra money.  So why did he do it?  Well he met a girl who dreamed of champagne lifestyle yet he was on a fish and chip budget.  He went and promised her the world and had to steal to fund it, silly silly boy.  Inevitably, when the money stopped, she left him.  Sounds a bit like my ex actually!

So, back to the gym.  I saw him and had a good catch up and quite by chance we got onto finances where I explained what a nightmare I had had (without the finer details obviously) with the HMRC.  His eyes widened as he listened to how I managed to finally get out of it and then he butted it with “The HMRC are after me”.

Oh my poor boy, pray tell why?  So, he was self-employed for a while and then gave it up but didn’t factor in he would still have to pay tax.  He owes £15,000, which compared to what I owed them didn’t faze me at all.   He explained how he had ignored every letter and it didn’t matter as they all went to his parents address and he didn’t live there.

I tried to give him the words of wisdom needed, wisdom gained from personal experience as you all know.  They will find you I said, they will turn up at your parents address and so forth.   I felt sorry for him until I asked him if he had anything to sell, his reply was this:

“Nope, only my brand new Jag”.

Pardon me?   the brand new top of the range Jaguar sports car you are driving?   I asked why he didn’t sell the 40 grand car, pay off the HMRC and still then have enough for a top of the range car.  Sadly his reply is unprintable but along the lines of why should he.

You see, this is my big issue, why was I persecuted to the point of breakdown when I was actually making payments and had paid back an obscene amount of money yet this guy is giving them the middle finger and living the high life.  My issue is that the HMRC fails to treat everyone the same, I was once told they will target you more if they feel you have the money.  That is why they were on my case every single week.

My own ethics don’t allow me to tip them off, but I would love to.  I lost respect for him then and there, I struggled for years.

But, the poor deluded fool truly believes it will be this way forever.  It won’t…they will find you and they will take your car.

You cannot hide forever.

My ex really has issues

As most of you know, my ex wife has temper issues.  When things don’t go as she planned, she will throw her toys out of the pram like a school girl.  I put up with it for many years and have rather enjoyed, from a distance, her rows with her boyfriend.

Her life has been going down the pan, financially.  Again, pardon my smirk!   Sadly, as with every time, the minute that she is cornered she targets me.   A couple of weeks ago it was yet another veiled threat demanding money, money that she is still not entitled too so I declined yet again.

Things have been quiet, bar a couple of situations that have made me uncomfortable which are simply not worth going in to on this blog.  Today though, it was her turn to have the children for 3 nights.  Why is this an issue well my daughter has not been happy at hers and chose today to kick off about it.  Amazingly this caused a temper tantrum from the ex I have not seen in some time.

She was in the house about 90 seconds and in that short time I was accused of deliberately avoiding her birthday (this coming Friday), despite the fact we have been split up for 5 years and I always make sure she has cards from the kids and token gifts.  Then she kicked off as my daughter wanting to go to her was my fault, and that it was my fault “probably because you are jealous of my relationship and want it to fail”  I did well not to laugh at that point.

Then she stormed out, slammed my door harder than ever before, and left the kids and I stood there in disbelief.  The woman really needs help.

I truly have no real idea why the anger was directed at me or the children, but I did love that quote.  I love it as it demonstrates she still believes that somewhere I have some feelings for her.  I do not, I have no interest in her life or who she is with.  What I want is for her to disappear and that it is just then myself and the children.

The problem is, the children need their mother despite her displays of anger in front of them.   That’s life sadly, sometimes you are stuck with people for the majority of it.

March brings a major milestone

Hello again all

Once more I have spent weeks being busy with work and home, all good again.  Work is going very well but I have been chasing endless paperwork to bring extra money in.   I have finally been successful in closing down an old policy which was deducting a minor amount from my account each month.  This was the fabled PPI claim, I have been successful before but not on this one however I have now been able to stop the money coming out.  No refund sadly but no more payments, so still a victory.

So then, onto big news.  The March payday (26th) brings exciting news for me!   Avid readers of the blog (although the blog has been somewhat quiet recently) will know how huge this debt was and what lengths I have gone to to get rid of it.   Well, on this payday, 2 amounts of money go out of my bank account which are the FINAL payments on TWO loans.   Yes yes yes…2 loans both finish on March 26th.

This means spare income of £375 a month.  That is huge to me, and justifies the decision I made NOT to lower my payments or move to a weaker payment plan.   I cannot tell you the joy I feel but there is more…so read on.

I qualified for my bonus, which also pays out in March.  Readers will recall I was leant some money by family members which I have paid back all bar £1500.   I can now pay that back in one go, yes in one payment.

I am in the unusual position of having a large payment coming to me in March but using my debt management experience I am paying it straight out.  No nice treats for me, they will come later I hope.  It is better to pay things when you get extra funds.

So, 2 loans finish and a family debt completed returned.  That family loan was £6500 by the way.

I am getting there my friends, slowly the clouds are clearing.   I read so many other blogs around this subject of debt, mine was made worse by the affair and divorce and other issues, but if you fight hard enough you can make it.

Always chase every penny, sell what you can, win what you can, be savvy and you can make it.  I am so very close, so close in fact that I can tell you that by the end of the year I should only owe £9000.   That’s still a lot you say?  Is it though, my debt was over £100K.

I honestly cannot wait for payday, so see those final amounts go out and the direct debits drop to ‘finished’ state.

The path to financial freedom is almost available my friends, and when it is, I will step onto it and help whoever I can.

Feeling a bit lost.

I am not sure if it is purely because I have been so busy at work, but it seems my life is flying by.   Evidently, from the lack of blog entries, that has been obvious.  But, here we are mid February, and I am not sure how I got here.

I love my job, but it is ridiculously busy.  I find it hard to share the children too, I just want them to be home every day.  Although the dog is at the house, more and more I am finding the journey home un-invigorating.  Old feelings are surfacing, highlighted further by Valentines Day I guess.

I’m 40, and half the week I come home to an empty house.   Nobody to ask me how my day was, nobody (bar the dog) pleased to see me, no atmosphere, no ‘homely smell’ etc.  I am really not enjoying this at all.   I sat down and reviewed my debt situation, which is a lot better, but still highlighted where I am.   I’m 40 and alone.

I know what I want, more so I know who I want.  Not a person as such, but a type of person.  I am surrounded by other single parents and I wonder if they all think this.   I quite literally sat in my kitchen the other night, for quite some time, just wondering how on earth my life is this boring.

Another of my friends celebrated an engagement, and is genuinely happy.  Have I used up all my happiness perhaps?  I really hide my unhappiness so well.  It’s not unhappiness actually, it is definetly loneliness.  I am lonely, no doubt about it.

I have had many dates now, and some have progressed before I end it.  I just don’t seem to find what I am looking for, but I hope to find it some day.   But at this moment, the only positive thing is I saved a packet on Valentines Day.

What do others in my position do?  Do you come home to a quiet house and feel the same?  Is your life as unfulfilling as mine?

I have to wonder why my life is so very different, or what I could have done so very wrong to not be allowed to be happy.

How did I end up in this mess?