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Anderson urges caution over Individual Voluntary (debt) Arrangements

12 June, 2009 - by Maeve McLaughlin

Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has urged people struggling with debt to take independent advice before considering an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA).

Ms Anderson said:
“I have been contacted by a number of constituents who have taken out IVA’s as a way of trying to resolve their debt problems.

“In the current economic climate, more and more people are struggling with debt. And while taking out an IVA may appear to be a way out, I would ask people to seek independent advise before doing so. Something that appears to be too good usually is.

“The problem with IVA’s is that they are often arranged by private companies who end up charging large fees for doing so. I am aware of one couple in Derry who ended up with £4,500 in fees on top of their debt repayments. IVA’s can also seriously affect your ability to obtain credit in the future.

“I know IVA’s can be very tempting and for many people they can offer a route out of debt.

“However, people should think carefully before entering into one. Free, independent advice is available from organisations such as Citizens Advice, National Debtline or Dove House Community Advice Centre in Derry and there are similar services available throughout the North. I would ask people to avail of these services before making decisions that could see them worse off in the long term. Alternatively, people are welcome to contact my office and we can put you in touch with someone who can help.”

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