How to document your debt situation, your statement of affairs

by admin on 8 September 2007


In order to tackle your debt problem, you need to organize and gather information on your personal financial situation into a document called a “statement of affairs”. This article explains how to construct your Statement of Affairs (SOA) and offers pointers on some of the downloadable tools and examples that you can use to help you. For example, there is a link to a budget sheet from the National Debt Line that you can download, print out and complete in pencil. Alternatively, if you are comfortable completing your Statement of Affairs online you can use the “Debt Remedy” tool from the CCCS.

Caculating your statment of affairs

How to Prepare a Statement of Affairs
The steps to preparing your statement of affairs have been broken down and explained below.

  1. Make a complete list of all your unsecured creditors.
    List the name of the creditor, names the debt is under and the current balance
    Include all Debts
    Include everyone in this list not just credit card companies but also individuals, family and friends.
  2. Make a complete list of all your monthly outgoings
    Don’t include the amounts you pay your creditors but do include mortgage and car hire purchase payments etc.
    Three sets of Figures
    It is really important that you list all items of expenditure. To save time later, I suggest that you make three separate sets of figures on separate sheets for your monthly expenditure. One set should be a generous estimation of the expenditure, one a tight estimation and another reasonably accurate estimation. Obviously figures for some items such as rent or mortgage payment will be the same for each list.
  3. List your monthly income.
    Include all income
    Any benefits including children’s allowance and disability benefits constitute income. Unless all your debts are held by you only, you must include your spouse’s income.
  4. Compute Your disposable income
    Subtract your total monthly income from your total monthly outgoings to calculate your disposable income.
    Disposable income is less than zero?
    If you are insolvent and your disposable income is less than zero then you are simply living beyond your means. You need to cut your expenditures or increase your income. The sooner you do this the better.

Resources, Budget Sheets and Statement of Affairs
When it comes to constructing your own Statement of Affairs you have lots of options:

  1. Use the on-line application “Remedy” from CCCS which allows you to edit your Statement of Affairs on line.
    One of the great advantages of using Remedy is that you can change your budget and income details any time you want and then create a new Statement of Affairs document automatically.
  2. National Debt line has a Budget sheet that you can download and edit on your computer.
    It’s available here:
  3. If you prefer to write up your budget in pencil, download and print off the National Debt Line’s Personal Budget sheet below.
    There is an example budget on page 11 of the self help pack.
  4. Credit Action’s budget sheet includes guidelines and advice.
    It breaks up your budget into categories such as housing costs, everyday expenditure and others.
    There is also an Microsoft Excel version of the budget sheet on the advice page:

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