Undisclosed debts? Need (sensible!) advice urgently please!

Discussion in 'Army Pay, Claims & JPA' started by AnnieB, Aug 28, 2013.

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  1. Apologies if this is the wrong place to ask this (or indeed if I am the wrong person to be asking it!)...

    I am the mother of a lad currently part-way though his Phase 2 training - and know he had run up debts prior to joining the army. I assumed that he had sorted and/or disclosed this when he applied - and on the couple of times I mentioned it since, he insisted it was all being dealt with. (As you would I suppose, if your mum was 'sticking her nose in' or nagging again! lol!)

    OK - so he's 22, an adult, and in theory it's none of my business... Except it now seems to have become my business, like it or not, as I had a visit from a couple of debt-collectors / bailiffs / scary-thug-looking types a couple of hours ago, who informed me that he still owed money, and hasn't been in touch...

    So - if he hasn't paid them, has he actually paid ANY of his creditors, or sorted ANY of it out?

    Yes, it's his problem, not mine - but having sent him a few texts earlier to tell him what had happened (ok, I admit it - and an email!), stressing how much trouble he might be/get himself in if he hasn't dealt with - it suddenly occurred to me that potentially scaring the shit out of someone running around with live ammo this week (I think) may not have been a particularly bright move! (I had forgotten all about that - and while he's not the sort to do anything stupid, I don't want his mind potentially being elsewhere either!)

    What should I do? Nothing, and leave him to sort it out or face the consequences? I know that during the talk on families day the religious bod from welfare said that if we had any concerns at all about recruits to phone welfare to talk about it - but on the other hand, I don't want to risk dropping him in it further or potentially make things worse or make my son think I have been doing things behind his back - which of course I would have been :(

    So my questions are...

    1) What should I do? Something, or nothing?
    2) If he hasn't disclosed his debts, but admits to them this late, what would be likely to happen to him?
    3) If he hasn't - and doesn't disclose them - I assume the agencies looking for him will eventually catch up with him. What's the likely scenario in that case?
    4) What would be the best advice I could give him, if he phones me (as I've asked)?

    I'd appreciate any and all (sensible) replies please... I'm not interested in smart-arses telling me he's an idiot and should have dealt with it all long ago - I know all of that already! :(

  2. He maybe dealing with It, he may also be sticking his head in the sand. If he doesn't sort things out then It will become a disciplinary issue for him and he may be kicked out (especially in these uncertain times) but having a bailiff come around to property that isn't his, they cant do anything to you, call the police if necessary.


    You could speak to CAB for advice too Citizens Advice - About bailiffs but remember of most things this is his fault not yours
  3. They'll find him eventually and he will eventually have to pay up. They cannot inform his employer, but they can tip up at the Guardroom and ask for him. That would make things a bit awkward for him. He needs to remove his head from the sand, make contact with them and agree a method of payment, over a period of time and stick to it. It's likely that they'll be accommodating as they'd like to see their money back and they'll agree to letting him pay in installments, but if he keeps up this pretence, it will catch up with him and it will have an affect upon his integrity, particularly if he's lied about existing debt.
  4. Tell him to get his head out of his arse if he has not already done so. I work in a phase 2 establishment and have an issue currently with a trainee who took a " buried head in the sand" approach to their personal debt. We now have 3 court orders for various amounts and a chain of command who are looking at the fact the individual was counselled on arrival at phase 2 and since and lied. An application for their discharge will be made and approved.
  5. Debts can also restrict what job you can do in the Army, such as those which require vetting. If your son is going Int Corps or certain Royal Signals trades, then there is a potential for him to be blackmailed by a hostile agency. They could threaten to bubble him, or offer to clear his debts if he gives them what they want.
  6. How do we know he hasn't paid.
    Some companies sell debts on and mistakes can be made.
  7. Many thanks for all your very prompt and helpful replies - I am extremely grateful!

    Desktop Commando: They and their van sat outside my house for a good 20+ minutes after I'd spoken to them - and in fact being the stroppy sort, I eventually went outside to ask them what exactly their problem was - since my 'army lad' had never lived here, and his younger brother had only been here for a couple of months last year! (The majority of debts are probably in joint names from a shared flat) Thanks for reminding me that it's still all down to him to sort it out though ;) I do keep trying to tell myself that, but it's bloody hard watching your offspring (however old!) repeatedly sticking their head in the sand - while you watch someone lining up to kick the s**t out of their unsuspecting arse! lol! I suspect he would never do anything to prove he is dealing with it though - because it's "none of my business - and he's not a kid still!" Hmmm....

    Biscuits_AB: thanks for that :) I was wondering what the bailiffs could or couldn't do while he was there. Nice to know that they can't inform his employer, but I had suspected that they might still be able to turn up and ask for him - presumably making his bad days get very much worse!

    Roadster280: I suspect he owes in the region of around £10,000 - but will never find out the truth from him since being a parent I am probably still 'the enemy'. Even worse, being his mother, I am no doubt an interfering nag, too! lol! I had forgotten the nice chap was a padre - but was loath to speak to anyone on camp about it, however nice that had appeared, for fear of interfering or risking pointing the flow of shit in the right direction! ;) And I may well have been practising that phrase ready for his next return, wore it not for that fact that my mother will probably be here that weekend. And if there's one thing that manages to cause me even more grief than my kids, it's her! lol!
  8. Laugh in the face of debt collectors, they can't touch you, your property, even his property unless they have proof it's his.
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  9. Sick_Smoggy, WolvoExPunk: Thanks - I pointed this all out to him earlier (although being female, a civvy AND his mum, was a lot less succinct! lol!) OK - I went on a bit :(

    17THSEPTEMBER1944: Yes, I would like to believe that this was a mistake - and in fact I am beginning to believe that in this particular case it was. (I've since found out his brother has already come to an arrangement to pay it - theoretically) However I'm fairly sure that there are other outstanding debts too.

    Oh well - maybe this may have been the wakeup call he/they needed :(

    Thanks again,

    Annie (aka nosey/interfering 'wot you chattin on about?' mother! lol!) :frustrated:
  10. OP - your lad owes me a tenner.

    Serious answer. Talk to him. You need to. He then needs to talk to his boss. It can possibly be sqaured away however he can't run from it and it needs to be faced. Bit of tough love I think they call it. Good luck.
  11. Lol Roadster - I had visions of that, and they weren't pretty! :eek:

    Bryan - if you know him, he may well owe you a tenner! He seems to owe most of his (ex!)mates! But hopefully the military will have done what I tried and failed to do - get him to grow up! I suspect my 'nagging and tantrums' would be music to his ears, compared to the reaction he would get there if he ever told his corporal he was "chatting shit" or "I'm alright thanks", when asked/told to do something! :frustrated:
  12. Top advice always used to be to call the Garrison or Regimental padre and get him to have words with people in that "man of god" way that they do.

    Annie, getting the padre involved generally helps make the individual a little bulletproof as no one wants to upset the padre [too much]. Your lad would get rifted, but no where near as much as if it all came out of the blue and landed on a commanding officers desk or if the problem came knocking at the guardroom door.

    re the debt collectors: If they come onto your property either owned or rented look them in the eye and say to them "yes he is my son but he does not live here, leave my property and stop harassing and inimidating me immediately or I will call the police now", wave a mobile phone at them and walk to their car and write down the registration number.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Not military, but my parents had an identical problem with my brother. Despite not having lived at their house for years, he used it as a forwarding address. When his business went bust and he was unemployed for over a year he ran up massive debts - tens of thousands. He buggered off abroad and wasn't around when the bailiffs started showing up.

    Which is by way of reiterating what's already been said: the whole idea of a bailiff from a private debt collection agency is a massive bluff. It's total bullshit, they have no right to do anything whatsoever. When they telephone or show up, tell them that your son doesn't live there and owns no property there either. You sound like you don't take any crap (I mean that in a nice way) so make sure they can see that you're not frightened of them in the least. Bullies can smell fear.

    One interesting thing I learned from that business with my brother is that once these 'bailiffs' can see they're not getting anywhere they actually give up quite quickly; their model seems to rely on a few weeks' pressure to get what they want. After that they'll cut their losses and move on to someone else. So although I can't comment on your son's position vis a vis the Army, if you just stonewall these nobs then one day you'll simply stop hearing from them. Best of luck.

    Edited to add: Oh and by the way, they can't record the debt against you or the homeowner or anyone at your address, whatever they say. The lying bastards.