What is Mediation?
The term "Mediation refers to any instance in which a third party helps others reach an agreement.
A mediation process involves voluntary participation from both parties, to put all their cards on the table, to find some common ground. The idea of giving a little to get a little, in order to come to a fair, confidential and private agreement.
How it works
You contact your creditors and negotiate an agreement to repay all or some of the debts. Negotiated agreements may involve either or both of these:
1. Payments from your income
2. Payments from lump sums you may receive, for example from family, friends or inheritance.
Your creditors may be prepared, at the start or later, to agree to write off part of what you owe them. If they do so, they should confirm this agreement in writing.
1. Payments from income: You need to work out how much you can afford to repay, after allowing for your essential household and personal spending such as your mortgage or rent, heating, utilities and housekeeping. You should offer to share any extra income among your creditors, based on the amounts you owe them. This means that all your creditors are offered their share of what you can afford. You should also ask your creditors to freeze any interest or charges. Your creditors will expect you to give them regular updates of your income and expenditure so that they can see whether you can increase your payments.
2. Payments from lump sums: You may make payments towards your debts from a lump sum you receive and which your creditors may agree to accept in settlement of what you owe - that is, they agree to write off the balance they are owed. However, if you do have extra income after paying your everyday expenses, they may expect you to make at least some payments from that as well.
If you can't make payments temporarily, for example because of a short-term illness, creditors may agree to accept no payments or token payments of say £1 a month, but only for a limited period.
➤ Pros of Mediation
- As debt is an affordability issue, you will only pay what is affordable for you;
- Fair and open way of sharing payments, widely understood by creditors;
- You can ask if you can reduce your payments if your situation gets worse or you face unexpected essential spending;
- You can avail of an independent professional debt advice agency to negotiate these payments for you;
- Creditors may be prepared to write off the balance of what you owe after a period of time if you have shown that you have made every effort to pay them back as much as you can and have maintained regular payments to them.
➤ Cons of Mediation
- Some creditors may refuse to agree with what you propose;
- Some creditors who do not agree, could take legal action against you;
- You are responsible for issuing all the agreed settlements to the creditors.
Please note that depending on personal circumstances, your credit rating may or may not be affected.
How Much Will Mediation Cost Me?
- GDP Equity Experts is a private commercial organisation and our services are offered in return for payment by the customer.
- GDP Equity Experts has a transparent cost structure and we always agree and clarify these fees with the customer before any services are provided.
- It is our policy to base our total cost around the projected time-scales involved with your case and also the value we would be adding to your position.
The GDP cost structure consists on an upfront instruction cost, a monthly retainer and a success fee ranging from:
- Initial Consultation: This is FREE with no obligation to proceed
- Instruction Cost: £300+
- Monthly Retainer: £300+
- Success Fee: 0-5% as a percentage of successful debt write off (only payable on successful conclusion)
- Actual case fees calculated for your case are issued in writing post a FREE Initial Consultation with the team
- It is only after the FREE Initial Consultation that we will then understand the complexity and quantum of the work involved.
- Please note that GDP Equity Experts is a trading entity of GDP Partnership Limited whose services are exempt from VAT as confirmed by HM Revenue & Customs.
- As such please note that no VAT will be applied to your costs.
- On occasions, and on a case by case basis, a third party professional may be required to assist in your case such as a Chartered Surveyor, Estate Agent or Solicitor.
- If third party professional assistance is required they would be instructed by you and they are an extra cost that is either met by the lending institution or you personally.
Not-for-profit debt advice
Free advice can also be obtained from the following not-for-profit debt advice bodies:
Citizens Advice Bureau – www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Debt Advice Foundation – www.debtadvicefoundation.org
Debt Advice NI – www.debtaction-ni.net
Housing Rights – www.housingadviceni.org
Money Advice Service – www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk
My Money Steps – www.mymoneysteps.org
Pay Plan – www.payplan.com
Step Change – www.stepchange.org
Please note, in circumstances when a customer is unable (in whole or part) to make payments to a lender it is likely the account will either fall into arrears or increase the existing arrears. Further note that Mediation is one solution for dealing with your debts.
Other options are available for you to explore:
- · Debt Management Plans through a FCA regulated Debt Management Plan provider
- · Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) through an Insolvency Practitioner
- · Bankruptcy through the High Court and the Insolvency Service.
GDP Equity Experts advising staff pride themselves on providing Real Honest Expert Advice – we have no conflicts of interest and no hidden agendas. If Mediation is not for you, we will tell you at the FREE Initial Consultation and our staff have experience and are suitably qualified to discuss with you other debt options but will ultimately refer you to the appropriate regulated professionals.
Please note free debt counselling, debt adjusting and providing of credit information services is available and you can find out more by contacting the Money Advice Service via www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk