The penny has dropped and the heads at Westminster finally understand that for people drowning in debt, coming to terms with such an overpowering issue is not an easy task. And although the actual debt may be a mathematical problem, dealing with it, is an emotional one.
I’ve always believed the most difficult task of all when dealing with debt, is having the courage to face up to the problem, head on. So, to hear that Government are now giving people in this situation 30 days grace to get their ducks in a row, is great news – and time enough for a big sigh of relief whilst everything can be digested and a best route forward can be agreed.
The new legislation enables anyone in debt to have 30 days to organise their situation without the worry of being chased by creditors. So many times, we’ve had clients telling us about the repeated calls and letters they’ve had reminding them of the debt they can’t repay and the action which may be taken against them. When you’ve made the big decision to do something about it, agreed a solution and waiting for everything to go through, the last thing you need is more agro when everything, at that stage is completely out of your control and your 100% reliant on other people and the paperwork trail.
The Government have worked alongside the Credit Service Association (CSA) to create the new rule, giving 30 days of mind once an accredited advisor has been recruited to aid you with your problems. I’m a little concerned about the limited choice of advisors allowed under this scheme and, as Chair of the Debt Resolution Forum, I’ll be lobbying to widen that.
Consumer Minister, Gareth Thomas confirmed that this will now give people “breathing space” to try and sort out their finances. In a time when we’re trying to encourage everyone to take ownership of their debt situation and face it head on, it’s good to see, at least on some decisions, we’re all on the same page.