Government ‘plans to help debtors’

The Ministry of Justice has issued a consultation document designed to discover the best ways to help those suffering from debt issues.

With an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 people entering debt management schemes each year, justice minister Bridget Prentice commented that the government plans to “benefit both debtors and creditors”, through ensuring that debts are paid “without the vicious cycle of charges, interest, fees, confiscated assets and relentless creditor contact”.

The consultation paper will explore various ways to help debtors, including the implementation of more consistent charges and protection from creditors’ enforcement procedures, unless court permission has been received by the lender.

Other schemes to help indebted people include homeowner mortgage support, which allows borrowers to reduce their interest payments to affordable levels for a maximum of two years.

Earlier this month, Chris Tapp of Credit Action warned people that joblessness, coupled with rising prices and interest rates, would see debt problems continue for a long time, with a slow recovery of household wealth.

By Sarah Adie

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