March debt news – know your rights

posted by in Budgeting, Debt news

March debt news

March debt news

March came and went and with it the official start to summer.

While we wait for the sun, here’s this month’s debt news…

Bailiffs are dead, long live bailiffs

From April 6th bailiffs are getting a name change. They’ll be forever known as enforcement agents.  This is part of the changes to bailiff law which intends to make the whole process clearer and easier to understand.  Much of the legislation has remained the same for hundreds of years. Medieval language will be replaced with plain English terms and terms like ‘warrant of execution’ will be dropped.

What’s changed? How do you know a bailiff is coming? What can they take? How much can they charge? Visit our bailiffs and enforcement agents page to find out.

George Osborne’s 2014 Budget

March saw the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne deliver his 2014 budget. Will it really affect the money in your pocket? Well yes, literally. A new twelve-sided £1 coin was announced. You can earn more in a year before the Taxman comes calling. Beer tax was reduced, there were big changes to pensions and it was definitely a budget for savers.

Here are the key points of the 2014 at a glance

FCA to get tough on rogue payday lenders

New regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has vowed to shut down payday loan lenders who do not follow new rules. There’s a belief that companies have been making profits by lending to those who cannot afford it. To combat that there are new limits to how many times a loan can be rolled-over and better affordability checks.

The intention is to help people avoid falling into a cycle of borrowing because they were lent money they could not afford to repay.

If you’re struggling with payday loans we can help you get debt free.

Dud debt management plans

The FCA are at it again, this time warning fee-charging debt management firms who take advantage of people in debt. The regulator says some plans, costing as much as £620 a year, are unsuitable for those already struggling to ‘make ends meet’. Under new regulation, firms should tell customers how they can get free debt advice, from someone like us.

SSE put a freeze on prices

Energy supplier SSE have frozen their prices at current levels until 2016. It’s thought the move could be in response to Labour plans to keep prices at the same levels for 20 months if they win the next general election. Most of the ‘Big 6’ UK energy firms raised their tariffs at the end of last year, and are likely to do so again.

Check if you can save money by switching your energy supplier for free online.

And finally…

Not debt related but thought you’d like to read about a missing cat that spent four days trapped in a sofa donated to a charity shop. The owners of the curious moggy are said to be ‘delighted’ to have him back safe and sound.

Now that could have been a cat-astrophe. Sorry.

See you next month!

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At StepChange Debt Charity we want you to be free of debt and save money.

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  • lauralouise90

    The FCA needs to get even tougher on payday lenders too – I’m surprised it’s taken this long for the ASA to ban a payday loan advert. Laura @ EMCAS PPI Claims

  • Seb

    More must be done to ensure future financial products are not mis-sold. However if people were mis-sold, they can at least get their money back. Whether you were mis-sold PPI, an Endowment, a Packaged bank account, an FSAVC, an Investment, a Whole of Life, a Payday Loan or a Pension, you can always get your money back!