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West Kent Debt Advice
Debt Advice - Free, Impartial, Confidential
Centres in Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells
Registered Charity No. 1125756
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Resources

This page provides a collection of resources primarily for WKDA Advisers. They can also be used for self-help, for example if you want to get as much ready as possible before an appointment with us, or if you want to negotiate with your creditors yourself. These resources are entirely free to download, for you to make full use of...


Struggling with debt? (483 KB) - A4-sized leaflet (folds into thirds) which describes the work of West Kent Debt Advice: Who we are, What we do, How we can help, How to make an appointment, etc.

First Appointment letter (91 KB) - invitation to an appointment with
West Kent Debt Advice, our service is FREE, impartial and strictly confidential.

Documents to bring with you (88 KB) - a list which will help us understand your financial situation, including your income, benefits entitlement (if any) and your major expenditures.

Basic bank Accounts (213 KB) - a list of banks who provide Basic Bank Accounts (most up-to-date list is at Money Advice Service, full explanation at Money Advice Service here): vital to ensure control over your income if you owe money (loan, credit card etc) to the same bank with whom you have your current account, where monthly payments are often taken out of your account by Direct Debit.

Budget Forms (42 KB) - a set of forms in the same format used at West Kent Debt Advice, for recording your income, expenditure and details of any debts and/or arrears you owe. Also available in a fuller format (116 KB) devised by the Money Advice Trust. Also forms for keeping a record of daily spending and weekly spending.

Agreement Form (65 KB) - sets out what you can expect of West Kent Debt Advice, and also what we expect of you, if we are to help you in the most effective way.

Authorisation Form (66 KB) - a form which contains your signed consent for us to contact various agencies, including ones to whom you owe money, in order to negotiate on your behalf towards a satisfactory arrangement.

HMRC Authorisation Form 64-8 (135 KB) - a form which contains your signed consent for us to contact HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), in order to negotiate on your behalf towards a satisfactory arrangement regarding Tax or Tax Credits.

Budgeting Spreadsheet (761 KB) - Excel spreadsheet which enables you to input the figures from your budget forms to see your net disposable income, your budget to live by and how much you can afford to offer your creditors. The spreadsheet uses the same format as that used at WKDA.

Living Expenses Guide (1042 KB) - freely available on the Internet, lists all the expenditures you should consider when completing your monthly expenses budget, PLUS hints and tips about how to calculate each item, and the kind of budget limits you would most likely be expected to keep within for your budget to be acceptable to your creditors.

Entitlement to Benefits - check out the following documents:-
Benefits overview chart (49 KB) - shows benefits for which people in various categories may be eligible
Working Tax Credit eligibility - a simplified table (51 KB) showing eligibility for WTC for people in various categories
Non-dependant deductions - a table (28 KB) showing how much the local authority is likely to deduct automatically from Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit for non-dependants living at home (i.e. people aged 16+ and not in full time education)

About Bedroom Tax - an explanation for both Council/Social Housing tenants and Privately-renting tenants.

A JSA Hardship award may be made to a claimant where a sanction has been imposed, or JSA suspended or a decision is awaited and they would otherwise suffer hardship. It must be claimed on Form JSA 10 (136 KB), and the claimant must attend an interview with the JSA Hardship Officer in the Jobcentre. The payment will reflect a 20% or 40% reduction in the normal level of JSA.

Confidentiality Policy (252 KB) - West Kent Debt Advice is committed to providing a confidential advice service to all our users, and this document (primarily intended for our Advisers) sets out how we will do this. In addition we also have a Complaints Procedure (174 KB) - if we fail to provide a service of a standard acceptable to all our users we want to know about it; this will enable us not only to deal with the specific problem, but also to avoid it happening again. Our complaints procedure sets out how to take up matters that are thought to be unsatisfactory about the service received from us.

Standards of Lending Practice (353 KB) - latest (14 July 2016) version of this, also available from The Lending Standards Board website. Financial Difficulty (106 KB), which is of most interest to Debt Advisers, has been extracted into a smaller document (2 pages) for easier reference, also Consumer Vulnerability (102 KB, 1 page).

Also relevant are:-

Debt & Mental Health Evidence Form (DMHEF) is a tool that enables debt advisers and creditors to request clear, relevant and comprehensive information in a standard format from health and social care professionals. Creditors on receipt of the completed Form should be in a better position to make appropriate decisions about the debts of their customers. The Consent Form is to enable the client with mental health issues to give their consent for their health professional to complete the DMHEF on their behalf which will then be shared with their creditors. There are Notes for Guidance for Advisers and a Factsheet for GPs and other Primary Health Care Professionals which explains how debt can affect mental health. The DMHEF was developed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, MALG (Money Advice Liaison Group) and others and was launched in November 2012.

Debt Relief Order Resources:-
Getting a Debt Relief Order
DRO Advisers & Intermediaries Checklist (25 KB)
DRO FactFinder (43 KB)
DRO Client Disclaimer (61 KB)

Credit Reports - For a Debt Relief Order or Bankruptcy it's important to know all the debts that are deemed to be outstanding on the applicant's account. There are three credit reference agencies who can be contacted for these - Experian, Equifax, and CallCredit. Experian is the agency used by the Debt Relief Order Team when checking if an applicant’s total eligible debts are within the £15,000 limit.

It's possible for WKDA advisers to get all these reports without charge. However clients need to know that by requesting a credit report the credit reference agencies will be given their latest contact details, which can result in creditors contacting them again where they possibly did not have these details previously.

Simply download the forms from the following links and send to the addresses shown with (1) client's authorisation (2) WKDA letter:-

There is also a free online credit report website from Callcredit which anyone can sign up to, Noddle (http://www.noddle.co.uk) which advertises itself as 'the only genuinely free credit report on the market... free for life... Unlimited online access... Updated monthly'. The only downside appears to be that signing up to Noddle will also mean receiving regular emails inviting the user to ‘upgrade’ to CallCredit’s monthly fee-paying service.

 
  Bankruptcy Resources see GOV.UK website for Overview:-
Guide to Bankruptcy (223 KB)
Bankruptcy Link to Online Application
Form EX 160 - Help with Court Fees - Application (124 KB)
Form EX 160a - Help with Court Fees - Guidance (190 KB)

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This page was last modified on 6 February 2017