Tag Archives: debt law

How you helped us get Breathing Space back on the agenda

posted by in Debt, Inside StepChange Leave a comment

Last month over 1,000 of our clients emailed their MPs asking them to support a Breathing Space scheme for people in debt in England, Wales and Northern Ireland*. If you helped, thank you. If you didn’t, there’s still time.

A scheme like this would mean that when people in debt get advice they’d have fees, charges and interest on their debts frozen, along with a break from enforcement action. It would allow them time to sort out their finances without seeing their debts spiralling upwards. Continue reading »

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How much is your overdraft costing you?

posted by in Debt, Debt Law Leave a comment

Do you know how much your bank charges if you go into your overdraft or if you go over your limit? Many of our clients pay hundreds of pounds to their bank as a result of unarranged overdraft charges. In some cases it can be more expensive to go into unarranged overdraft than it would cost to take out a payday loan.

We’ve carried out research that shows that overdraft charges are adding to the debt worries of our clients and the costs of having an overdraft might be higher than you’d expect. We believe that the FCA should take action to limit unarranged overdraft charges. Continue reading »

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Know your rights: June’s debt news

posted by in benefits, Debt, Debt companies, Housing, Money saving Leave a comment

What a month we’ve had in the world of debt news! It’s been a pretty hectic few weeks, from warnings about identity theft and changes to our credit files, to debt management companies closing down and Wonga launching its new look.

If you’ve not had chance to keep up with it all, don’t fear! This bumper debt news post will get you right up to date.

What are you waiting for?! Grab a cuppa, stick your feet up, and have a read…

Continue reading »

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Council tax arrears on the rise: Tell us your story

posted by in Council tax, Debt, Priority Household Bills 4 Comments

This week we launched our latest report on Council tax debt (PDF), which shows a worrying rising trend in the number of people getting in touch with us because they’re in Council tax arrears.

Back in 2010, 13,353 people who contacted us were in arrears to their council; by 2014 this number had risen to 63,016 – a staggering 372% increase.

The consequences of falling into Council tax arrears can be serious. Although councils can’t add charges and interest to Council tax arrears, they have a lot of power to make people pay.

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Bailiffs get a makeover: what’s going to happen?

posted by in Bailiffs, Collection Process, Debt Law 16 Comments

Bailiff changes

Bailiffs are changing

Bailiffs have been part of debt law in England and Wales for over a thousand years.  In fact the oldest law that’s still on the books in England, the 1267 Statute of Marlborough, concerns stopping bailiffs taking too much property.

Of course a lot has changed over the centuries and bailiff law has grown into a complicated subject. Now for the first time, the government have revised all of this legislation, and starting from April 6th bailiff law in England and Wales enters the 21st Century.

(Nothing’s changing if you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland though. The laws there are nowhere near as convoluted as bailiff law in England and Wales!)

If you’re worried, we can provide expert bailiff advice. Here are a few of the questions we get asked about this much-maligned profession, and what the changes in April will mean to you.

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Payday loans: add your voice to the bill

posted by in Debt Law, Payday Loans Leave a comment

Your voice is needed

Your voice is needed!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll no doubt have seen a lot of news about payday loans recently.

You may have recoiled at the high interest rates, or heard nightmare stories about people getting their bank accounts raided when they said they couldn’t afford the loan.

As a debt charity, part of our job is to campaign for change…but now we want you to make your voice heard.

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Overpayment of benefits – are you getting too much?

posted by in Budgeting, Debt, Debt Law, Welfare Benefits 15 Comments

filling in tax credit forms can be daunting

Filling in tax credit forms can be daunting

You’ve had a gut feeling you’ve been receiving more unemployment benefit, tax credits or council tax discounts than you may be entitled to for some time now.

The tax office mentioned something about letting them know straight away if you have a change in circumstances. But a few more pounds a week in benefits are far from ‘public enemy number one’ material, right?

If you don’t know a lot about the tax system and how it works it can be downright bewildering. You might end up thinking, “surely they won’t know I’m getting more than I should? Even if they did, what could they do about it?”

As it turns out, there’s a lot they can do about it. Don’t worry, there’s also something you can do to put things right.

Continue reading »

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