The Greater Merseyside Money Advice Project manages a network of 12 Participants and 37 debt advisors who are experienced in providing quality advice and assistance to individuals with debt issues and is committed to improving the provision of free, confidential advice in Greater Merseyside. GMMAP is funded by the Money Advice Service.

Trained debt advisors can help with a variety of debt solutions to suit your individual needs.

Advice may be given face-to-face, by telephone, email or a home visit can be arranged in some circumstances.

You will be interviewed in private with the advisor who has been allocated your case. This is a confidential service.

GMMAP is committed to protecting your privacy. All information you share with us will be kept confidential. Your personal information will not be shared with outside parties without your consent.

Debts to deal with first are your mortgage/rent payments, your rates or fuel bills (gas and electricity). These are known as priority debts.

Unsecured credit is where you have been lent money that has not been secured against something that you own (i.e. your home or your car). If you fall behind repaying unsecured credit, the creditor cannot take any of your property or goods unless in extreme circumstances they take court action.

A DRO is a new form of insolvency which is similar to bankruptcy but is cheaper and will help those who have relatively small debts.

This is an agreement made between you and your creditors. You will need to complete an income and expenditure to determine if you have income left over then this will be shared among your creditors. The payments are worked out by the amount you owe to each creditor (known as pro rata payments)

Bankruptcy is one way of dealing with debts that you cannot pay. To be able to make yourself bankrupt, you must owe at least £750 and you must petition (apply) to the Court on the ground that you cannot pay your debts. You must fill in a bankruptcy petition and a form giving full details of your income and expenditure and details of any property and goods you own. Once this is down, the court will decide whether to make the bankruptcy order which will place all of your finances with the Official Receiver who will carry out an overall assessment of your situation. You do not have to become bankrupt just because you are in debt, there are other options available.

Missing a mortgage payment does not mean that you will lose your house. Contact your lender immediately if you have missed a payment to make them aware of your financial situation. If you continuously ignore the problem, your lender could start legal proceedings to evict you from your home. This is known as repossession. If your lender has started legal proceedings, it is not too late to come to an arrangement with them. You should seek advice.

You should speak to your landlord as soon as possible to let them know that you are in financial difficulty and try to negotiate an arrangement for future payments. In extreme cases, your landlord may start legal proceedings to evict you from the property. You should seek advice.

You should get notice in advance that a bailiff is likely to call. When bailiffs visit, they should show you identification such as a badge or ID card, when you request it, so you know who they are. If you know that a visit is likely, make sure that you do not leave any windows or external doors open. In most cases, bailiffs should not force entry to your home if they have not been in before. You do not have to let the bailiff into your home if they have not been in peacefully before.

For further information on bailiffs:

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