Debt is an issue that touches many people’s lives and it’s an issue that we’re all too familiar with, here at IVAorg.
I’d like to start this blog by introducing myself and IVAorg to you and talk a little about who we are and what we do. My name is Iain Wrenshall and I’ve been helping people deal with their personal debt problems for nearly two decades.
I’ve always had an interest in helping people. All through my life I’ve been engaged in customer facing roles, working initially within the aviation sector and then running my own successful retail business – 20 years of priceless, wide ranging experience that now stands me in good stead.
I first became interested in personal finance and, more accurately, issues with problem debt after a close family member experienced severe financial difficulties of their own. They found a solution that provided them with an escape route, one which helped them take back control, avoid bankruptcy and changed their life for the better.
Witnessing their personal journey had a profound effect on me and set in motion a chain of events that has led me to helping people deal with personal debt problems ever since.
Whilst well versed in all the different debt solutions, I am primarily an Individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) specialist and over my career I’ve directly assisted many thousands of people achieve debt freedom, and many through the successful completion of an IVA.
Why start a blog?
The main purpose for starting this blog is, primarily, to offer guidance and clarity to anyone who is trying to establish whether entering into an IVA is in their best interests, or whether a more suitable option exists that would better serve their situation and needs.
IVAs are just one solution to be considered out of a whole range of different options, so gaining an understanding of how IVAs compare to the alternative options is, I believe, the most important part of the decision making process.
We’ll be discussing all the different options in detail in future blogs, but I feel it’s essential to point out, right from the very beginning, that IVAs can be right for some people, yet, not for others.
And this blog is also about helping to empower you to be able to recognise the differences between the alternative solutions and to provide you with the information you’ll need to be able to decide on the right debt solution for you, based on your personal circumstances.
This blog isn’t about trying to ‘sell’ you an IVA, it’s about helping you make an informed decision of your own.
IVAorg CIC is an FCA regulated, ‘not-for-profit’ debt advisory organisation that provides free, balanced and impartial advice to anyone seeking help with their problem debt.
I founded IVAorg in 2013 and my motivation for starting the company was to form a debt advisory organisation specialising in IVAs that was free of the commercial incentives that has all too often led to the exploitation of the vulnerable.
I wanted IVAorg to be an organisation that was run for social benefit rather than shareholder’s returns.
Being free of commercial incentives is so important when you are seeking to remain impartial and I wanted to establish a trustworthy platform that could provide clear and reliable information that would help lift the lid on the IVA process, whilst dispelling the myths that surround it.
Commission driven advice gives no consideration to the importance of accuracy, balance or impartiality and, in my opinion, should have no place in the debt advisory sector.
Receiving balanced and impartial advice is really important if you are going to find the right solution to suit you and, at the time I formed IVAorg, there was a huge groundswell of emerging marketing companies, all ‘selling the IVA dream’ for commercial gain, whilst making no attempt at remaining balanced or impartial.
You may not realise it now, but anyone who’s in debt is extremely vulnerable to being exploited, because they’re in unfamiliar territory.
Throughout my career, I’ve been saddened to see so many people being manipulated by ‘so called’ advisors without realising it, where the advice they’ve been given has been sugar coated in order to affect a quick ‘sale’.
It’s this type of sharp practice by others that motivates myself and all my colleagues at IVAorg to try to make a difference.
It strengthens our resolve to explain, in layman’s terms, how IVAs actually work, without brushing over technical aspects, or elements that might make an IVA less palatable to you.
We want you to have the benefit of our collective experience so that you have all the information to see the whole picture, not just one small part of it, enabling you to determine whether or not an IVA is the right option for you.
Is this blog for you?
If your debt has been piling up, I imagine that you’re feeling frightened. You’re feeling alone and isolated.
Even though you may have your family or friends around you, you’ll often feel as though you have nobody to talk to, or nobody you can confide in. Chances are you’ll also be feeling vulnerable and, possibly, even harbouring a sense of guilt for allowing things to get so far out of control.
If you feel any, or all, of these things then this blog is for you. We want to help you get things back on track.
Understanding the Impact of debt
Society is becoming more and more aware of the damage that severe debt problems can bring and we will be talking more about the social impact of debt in future blogs.
Financial health is undoubtedly linked to physical health and mental wellbeing and there have been hundreds of case studies that make clear connections between them.
Indeed, it is well documented that the health of our society suffers massively under the effects of poverty.
As standards of living fall – financial exclusion increases – which can lead to impaired decision making – poor physical and mental health – and, in extreme cases, an increase in family breakdowns, excessive alcohol consumption and, perhaps, substance abuse.
Indeed, most of our clients are already experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety that significantly impact upon their daily lives. Carrying the burden of debt is often extremely depressing as well as being exhausting.
In fact, debtor’s fatigue is the name we give to that sense that there is no light at the end of the tunnel that, no matter how hard you try, you simply can’t break free of your debt.
If this sounds familiar – then rest assured, help is at hand.
Knowledge is power
Finally, this blog is about empowerment.
It’s about giving you the information that you lack so that you can start to have an impact on the course of events as they unfold. I know how quickly things can spiral out of control and it can be shocking.
If you feel helpless, like the passenger in a car that’s on collision course with disaster, I want to teach you how to take avoiding action and help guide you away from that car crash and how to move on, towards a more empowered and debt-free future.
I’m really looking forward to sharing my knowledge and experience with you through this blog and I truly hope you find it useful.
If you’ve found this blog useful, or if there’s anything you need to know that isn’t covered in this blog, always feel free to contact us on 0800 8568569 or via our contact form.