Man rebuilding his career after failed business praises Business Debt Service for expert assistance

A business owner whose finances were catastrophically hit last year has praised the expert advice received from the Business Debt Service within Advice NI during a “dark time in his life”.

The Full Picture

Income from the man’s company came largely from one organisation and when it ended, his work dried up and income was lost which meant he was experiencing financial hardship.  

He phoned Advice NI’s Business Debt Service to explore his options. From running a sole trader limited company, he had found himself on Universal Credit and struggling to make ends meet. His company was eventually dissolved in August 2019. 

When he called the helpline, benefits were his sole income but he has since been able to secure work through an employment agency. Whilst, his income has increased it was still not enough to provide for a family and his own personal expenditure. Total amount of non-priority debt was £28,000, along with an outstanding mortgage of £198,000 with £250,000 of equity in marital home.  

The client was separated and his ex-wife and three children continued to live in the marital home while he moved into rental accommodation. It was his wish to provide for his ex-wife and family, but as a result of low earnings, increased debt and increased personal expenses this has proved difficult.

His wish was for the children to remain in the marital home until his youngest child turned 18.

How We Helped

The adviser listened to his circumstances and talked him through his options. With his consent, she issued holding letters to all creditors, which allowed the client time to secure extra income. It was always client’s intention to obtain better paid employment and become financially stronger.  

After consideration the client decided he wanted to apply for an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) which would deal with all his unsecured debt as there was some monthly surplus income available. With the Home Equity clause, this should provide security for his main asset, the home. The adviser was able to refer the client, with his consent, to an IVA provider to progress his case.

The Outcome

Creditors have reacted positively to holding letters and provided informal ‘breathing space’ to give the client time to work through next steps. The client has been extremely appreciative of all the help and assistance provided from Advice NI clearly stating he couldn’t have got through this dark period without the expert and supportive help of his Advice NI business debt adviser.

For help accessing FREE money and debt advice, including the Business Debt Service, call 0800 915 4604 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) or email