New debt relief orders come into force

Today sees new rules for some people struggling with debt management come into force.

The government has introduced debt relief orders, which give borrowers a 30-day period to sort out their finances after appointing a debt advice firm to assist them.

Creditors will not be able to pursue outstanding amounts for this duration once they have been informed that a debt help agency has been enlisted.

Commenting on the move, consumer minister Gareth Thomas noted that the orders will give people “breathing space” to allow them to start handling money matters.

“We know that many people are already struggling to stay on top of their bills and pay their debts, so we are taking action to ensure consumers are in control,” he remarked.

The rules were brought in following consultations between the government and the Credit Service Association.

Watchdog Which? has welcomed the move, stating that it could help those with unmanageable debt to avoid bankruptcy.

By Jamie Price

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