Actually, strike that.
We have spent the last forty-eight hours going over our finances in detail and taking advice. We have concluded that the best way forward is for us to go bankrupt. If we stay here and have an IVA then B will have to work twice as hard as if we pursue bankruptcy. That seems like a really bad plan. He sees little enough of Leo as it is.
- With an IVA, you have a five year plan to pay back as much as you can. With bankruptcy you have three years.
- With an IVA you make an agreement with your creditors for a fixed sum - they usually want to to take 100% of your surplus income after your household expenses and you have to keep to that figure. With bankruptcy, the Official Receiver will take 70% of it and it's more flexible. Also, your creditors get off yoru back.
- With an IVA, we would stay here - but we would still end up being liable for all of the mortgage, as IVAs apparently only count for unsecured loans. With bankruptcy, we can walk away from the house debt which will become part of the overall amount owing to our creditors.
The downside of all of this is that it's pretty likely that we will have to vacate the house once this happens. It takes a week or two once you put it in train - and we just want to check on Monday with Benign Accountant and the Solicitor that there's nothing that we've forgotten or overlooked. We have taken advice from the CAB and from Payplan, we are aware of what happens afterwards re all your bank accounts being closed, your credit rating being stuffed for six years, etc. etc..
We need to find somewhere to live. I can board the chickens out with a friend; but I would really like to take them with us. And the cats. And landlords LOVE cats, don't they? The baby is due in eight weeks - we need to be settled before then.
I feel a bit sick.
Leo is watching the Olympic Opening Ceremony on BBC iPlayer. He thinks it's great.