Archive for December, 2015

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM BELL & COMPANY

It’s the time of year when we over indulge and spend time with family and close friends and from us all at Bell & Company we wish you a very Merry Christmas.

I would like to take time to thank the team here at Bell & Company who continue to work incredibly hard and achieve life changing results on a regular basis, I wish them all a Merry Christmas and hope they take the time to recharge and approach 2016 refreshed and ready to go.

To clarify the office is closed from 24 December 2015 to 4 January 2016, but we understand that some you of you will need to contact us in this period. We know the Banks will likely send out bad news at this time of year trying to pressurise clients over the festive period. Do not succumb to their childish games and contact the team member assisting you.

We would ask you don’t expect the team to call you straight back but perhaps pen a text or an email with your enquiry and we will do our utmost to contact you as quickly as possible. Please ensure you have the team members contact details including mobile phone number and email address.

As highlighted above despite this being the time of year for good will many individuals across Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland will still be suffering the burden debt pressures bring over Christmas. Don’t delay and feel free to contact as us anytime. Over the festive period our landline will not be manned but feel free to send an email to [email protected] and someone will be in contact. Alternatively connect with us on Linkedin and we can come back to your enquiry and arrange a free initial consultation as soon as possible.

Have a great Christmas.

Terry Bell

WE CLEARLY HAVEN’T LEARNT – UK CREDIT CARD DEBT

You’d have thought that UK consumers and lenders alike will have learnt from 2008 Global Financial Crisis. It seems not, as a nation we are still incredibly credit hungry. You cannot dispute the below figures:

The Financial Conduct Authority states the Credit Card Market as a whole works well for the majority of borrowers but has recently expressed concern for the 1.6mn borrowers who are only making minimum payments to their Creditors. If you continue just to make minimum payments on your credit card the FCA predict it could take you up to ten years to pay off your Credit Card Debt.

Credit Cards are not the only form of Consumer credit to boom recently. In October 2015 borrowing on Personal Mortgages hit £3.629bn up from £3.562bn and a rise far higher than what was forecasted. In fact this was the biggest rise in Mortgage Borrowing since April 2008 and we all know what happened then!

The Financial Policy Committee was set up following the crash and crisis of 2008 and they have told the Bank of England that whilst economic growth is typically regarded as good they need to ensure that this growth is not a debt fuelled boom. The FPC set up the Mortgage Market Review last year to ensure loose lending did not occur again but nonetheless Consumer Credit continues to rise.

For their part the Bank of England and Mark Carney has advised the Monetary Policy Committee are having to take into consideration high indebted households when making their decision over an Interest Rate Rise in the future. We have already commented the negative consequences that ultra-low interest rates have had on the economy and the longer the decision to increase is withheld these will exacerbate.

Bell & Company can assist borrowers who have high levels of unsecured personal debt such as Credit Cards and Personal Loans. We can put a debt management plan into place and in some cases attempt to negotiate a settlement. Another option is Personal Bankruptcy and we would ask you refer back to previous post on Bankruptcy but armed with the best advice.

At Bell & Company we understand and empathise with the pressures of debt. Appointing an intermediary removes emotion from the situation and can bring a focus and conclusion. To discuss any debt issue please call the team today on 02895 217373 to arrange your free initial consultation.

James Bell

INTRODUCING OUR FINANCE PARTNERS – ADELAIDE COMMERCIAL FINANCE

Many of you will have met William Davey through Bell & Company as he manages the Resolution Department and may be the first voice you hear when considering your Negative Equity Debt route forward. William has been with us for a number of years and is an excellent manager for the team offering excellent knowledge and calmness which rubs off on our younger case managers.

William’s background was in Finance prior to him joining Bell & Company. In a discussion at the start of the year William and I noticed the lack of Commercial Finance available for businesses in Northern Ireland. The pillar lenders in the country may advertise that they are lending to businesses but realistically securing funds is bordering on impossible –  the amount of criteria you have to meet is simply unrealistic given where the economy in the country currently is.

Given many of our Corporate department clients are looking for new forms of finance which can work with their business we decided to incorporate Adelaide Commercial Finance Limited. William has been working incredibly hard along with his role as Resolution Manager to search for Lenders willing to assist businesses in Northern Ireland. In order for the economy to grow and develop businesses need financial products which benefit and work for their business offering flexibility and obviously offering affordability.

In light of this we have approached lenders across Ireland, Northern Ireland and mainland UK. Adelaide Commercial Finance can offer businesses a variety of financial products, including:

William has developed a fantastic relationship these lenders and they are genuinely looking to lend to businesses in Northern Ireland. Providing our client meets their criteria, which is far less than your standard high street lenders, then the money is typically released relatively quickly.

If your business is looking to refinance or to borrow funds to expand then contact Adelaide Commercial Finance today on 02895 211037. Obviously we would say this but utilising a broker vastly improves your chances for gaining finance and this is statistically proven with 50% loans approved when applications are made directly by the borrower and 90% through a broker. It also takes out time and hassle which when running your business is incredibly valuable.

We look forward to financing your business and fuelling business growth in Northern Ireland.

Terry Bell

 

November Settlements

Another month has flown by here at Rosemary Street and the Bell & Company team continue their excellent work. Despite us approaching Christmas and the festive holidays things aren’t slowing and we have excellent settlements already close to completion despite the month being a mere few days old. We look forward to reporting these settlements once they are confirmed.

The Corporate team continue to make progress with all lenders in both Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland and assist business owners who are personally liable for debts often due to signing of Personal Guarantees pre-2008 Global Financial Crisis.

An example of a result achieved is outlined below:

Joint Loan Account          £50,000

Personal Guarantee        £43,097

TOTAL LIABILITY               £93,097

Settlement                         £   5,000

SAVINGS ACHIEVED        £88,097

 

The above settlement was achieved on a Full and Final basis. The couple can now concentrate on running their business debt free. A timely boost before Christmas.

As with the Corporate department, our Resolution team continue to work hard on Regulated Mortgage Debt cases particularly with those suffering from Negative Equity – which as we described in our last post is still prevalent. Bell & Company continue to work with lenders across Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and United Kingdom in achieving settlements. Please see the examples below:

  1. A lady approached Bell & Company under significant stress and pressure, her son who lived overseas had fallen seriously ill. Understandably she wanted to move close to her son to care for him. Unfortunately, our client felt trapped in her home due to Negative Equity and when approaching the sub-prime lender herself found them to be unforgiving to her situation. When appointed Bell & Company secured a consensual property sale which resulted in a c£57,000 shortfall. This was settled on a Full & Final Basis for £5,700. An excellent result given the trying circumstances.

 

  1. Following a property repossession our client was approached by a Debt Collection Agent acting on behalf of a leading UK Building Society. They demanded repayment of £66,000 which was the shortfall balance following the sale of the property in possession. Through protracted negotiations and evidencing the client’s dire situation a Full & Final Settlement was agreed at £4,000. A terrific saving of £62,000.

The team will continue to finish 2015 on a high and we look forward to assisting more borrowers in 2016.

Should you require Independent Insolvency Advice then please call Bell & Company today on 02895 217373 to arrange your free initial consultation.

Bell & Company Winter 2015 Newsletter – Read here

Bell & Company Winter 2015 Newsletter – Usually we send our Newsletters by post across Ireland but in the spirit of Christmas we have decided to donate the print and distribution costs involved in this to three hospices around Ireland.

We believe that this will go to a greater cause. So, on behalf of Donegal Hospice, Letterkenny, Co Donegal, Marie Curie Hospice, Belfast Co Antrim, Mayo, Roscommon Hospice Foundation, A big thank you for choosing to view our Newsletter online!!!

Negative Equity – Still Here

When you read, listen or watch the news you may believe that Northern Ireland has turned a corner and the property market is back in business and showing growth. To an extent it is true, however these reports are very Belfast-centric and we are only seeing signs of tepid growth. The rate of growth is not high enough to make any impact on the decline in property values since 2008. It is estimated that there are c60,000 borrowers in Northern Ireland still in Negative Equity. At Bell & Company we continue to assist homeowners blighted by the burden of Negative Equity and mortgage shortfalls on a daily basis.

As we stated the small increases we are seeing in property value are largely within the Greater Belfast area and many making these claims forget that properties located out of Belfast and in the country have suffered the biggest losses. The Belfast increase can be attributed to demand for property in the city which is thriving whilst the demand for rural properties is not as high. Accordingly, we are approached by clients all over Northern Ireland to assist and we are putting the miles in on the road to meet and assist as many of those effected as possible.

Too many homeowners feel trapped in Negative Equity and many use the term “mortgage prisoners” to describe their situation. It is key borrowers in debt understand their options – and there are options available. At Bell & Company we understand the current scenario with all lenders and the protocol in which they operate. We can therefore tailor our advice to give you realistic options in attempting to alleviate your negative equity or mortgage shortfall problem.

We assist borrowers in different stages of the process. Some still live in the property and have paid their mortgage up to date, others are in arrears whilst some have seen the property repossessed, sold and have been handed a “bill” asking for repayment of the shortfall.

Why Northern Ireland finds itself in this situation is largely down to loose lending practices by Banks during the boom period. At Bell & Company we aim to assist clients by looking forward, looking back at what the Banks did and the decisions you took to borrow the money will only anger you and cloud your judgement. By appointing an intermediary such as Bell & Company this removes the emotion from the situation and leads to amicable agreements being reached and often achieving settlements of hundreds of thousands of pounds for clients.

The team are also working on cases in Republic of Ireland where Negative Equity is still a major issue for many households. With the lack of a sound insolvency system many borrowers in Ireland find it difficult to work a route forward. We deal with the key lenders in Ireland and achieve settlements regularly. Bell & Company’s Resolution team are regularly on the road and can meet you where it suits to discuss your case.

Should you or anyone you know feel like a “mortgage prisoner” or be affected by Negative Equity in any way then please call Karen today on +44 2895 217373 to arrange your free initial consultation. We look forward to meeting and assisting you.

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