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Frequently Asked Questions

General Help
Help! My outgoings are more than my income. What can I do?

About HDAS
Who are you and what do you do?
Who can you help?
How do I get in touch/what are your opening hours?
How do I arrange an appointment with an Advisor?
What should I do while I am waiting for my appointment with you?
Can you give advice on consolidation loans/obtaining further credit?

Arrears
I have mortgage arrears. What should I do?
I have Council Tax arrears. What should I do?
I am in arrears with my gas/electricity/phone bill. What should I do?

Benefits
Where can I find out how much benefit I am entitled to claim?

Financial Statement
What is a Financial Statement?
Will my creditors stop charging me interest?
Do my creditors have to accept the payments I offer them?

Bankruptcy Advice
What is Bankruptcy?

Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA's)
What is an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)?











General Help

Help! My outgoings are more than my income. What can I do?

You can contact Horsham Debt Advice Service on 01403 258040 and ask for an appointment. We will then be able to provide you with good advice tailored to your individual circumstances.

Alternatively you can e-mail us on hdas@gmx.com

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About HDAS

Who are you and what do you do?

Horsham Debt Advice Service (HDAS) provides a free and confidential advice service to anyone experiencing personal (not business) financial problems. Clients phone us on 01403 258040 and make an appointment to see an advisor, at that meeting and, if necessary, at subsequent meetings a full review is undertaken of a clients financial situation. Wherever possible, a budget is drawn up and an affordable repayment plan is agreed with the client's creditors.

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Who can you help?

Our help is available to anyone experiencing personal financial difficulties, regardless of the level of debt or financial status..

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How do I get in touch/what are your opening hours?

Advisors are on duty at various times from Monday to Friday. Contact us by using our phone number 01403 258040, leaving your details on our answer phone service if necessary.

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How do I arrange an appointment with an Advisor?

Phone us on 01403 258040 and we will arrange a convenient appointment for you to see an Advisor at our offices. If the phone is unattended then please leave your name and phone number on our answer phone service and we will then contact you as soon as possible.

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What should I do while I am waiting for my appointment with you?

The most important thing is to ensure that wherever possible you maintain payments to your priority debts. Priority debts are so called because non-payment can result in severe consequences, such as loss of your home, liberty or essential goods and services. They should always be paid before anything else. The following debts fall into this category:

Other debts are called non-priority debts. You should contact each non-priority creditor informing them you have an appointment booked with the HDAS. If a payment is due and you cannot afford what they are asking, make a payment of what you can afford. This demonstrates that you are committed to repaying the debt and can be as little as £1 per creditor.

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Can you give advice on consolidation loans/obtaining further credit?

We cannot give advice about consolidation loans or obtaining further credit. If you are considering one of these courses of action because you are having difficulty maintaining your contractual payments to your creditors, we suggest you arrange an appointment with us so that we can review your overall financial situation. This will help you make the right decision.

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Arrears

I have mortgage arrears. What should I do?

For the majority of people the house is their most important possession and needs to be given top priority. Contact the lender and explain your situation. Try to reach an agreement to pay something extra each month to clear the arrears and which you can afford. Ensure that you are not paying unsecured creditors such as bank loans and credit cards instead of the mortgage. We also advise that you contact us for an appointment to discuss your overall financial situation. You can call us on 01403 258040. If legal action has commenced for repossession of your home, then you must see a solicitor without further delay.

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I have Council Tax arrears. What should I do?

Non-payment of Council Tax can have severe consequences. So if you are behind with your payments, it is important that you contact your Council Tax office as soon as possible and try to come to an arrangement to repay the arrears and in a way you can afford. Ensure that you are not paying unsecured creditors such as bank loans and credit cards instead of the Council Tax. We also advise that you contact us for an appointment to discuss your overall financial situation. You can call us on 01403 258040.

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I am in arrears with my gas/electricity/phone bill. What should I do?

If you are in arrears with your gas, electricity or phone bill you can be disconnected, although you should be notified in writing before this happens. You should contact the company and try to come to an arrangement to repay the arrears. Gas and electricity companies must take notice of customers in need and should allow you to pay back what you owe at a rate you can afford. We also advise that you contact us for an appointment to discuss your overall financial situation. You can call us on 01403 258040.

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Benefits

Where can I find out how much benefit I am entitled to claim?

As this is largely dependent on each individual's circumstances, you are advised to contact your local Citizens Advice or local council welfare rights office who will be able to examine your circumstances in detail and offer advice accordingly.

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Financial Statement

What is a Financial Statement?

A Financial Statement is a simple and effective way to show you your income, expenses, priority and non-priority creditors. Your Advisor will work with you to compile this statement and from it will calculate the amount you can afford to pay your creditors after giving consideration to your priority debts - mortgage, utilities, council tax etc and day-to-day living expenses. Please note this can only be compiled with an Advisor. To organise an appointment please call us on 01403 258040.

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Will my creditors stop charging me interest?

Some may continue to charge interest but we receive excellent cooperation from many creditors and this can have a significant impact on your ability to clear your debts. However, you should be aware that they are not legally obliged to do so.

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Do my creditors have to accept the payments I offer them?

No, they don't have to accept the offer - but we will have prepared a budget with you that should demonstrate that you are paying your creditors what you can reasonably afford. They will also receive details of payments being made to all the creditors to show they are all being dealt with fairly.

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Bankruptcy Advice

What is Bankruptcy?

We cannot give bankruptcy advice over the internet or phone. If you wish to discuss possible bankruptcy as part of reviewing your overall financial situation, we suggest that you contact us for an appointment. You can call us on 01403 258040. If not you can obtain full information at The Insolvency Service.

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Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA's)

What is an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)?

We cannot give IVA advice over the internet or phone. If you wish to discuss IVAs as part of reviewing your overall financial situation, we suggest that you contact us for an appointment. You can call us on 01403 258040. If not you can obtain full information at The Insolvency Service.

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