HOUSEHOLDS that fall into problem debt are to get 60 days to protect them from bailiffs or prosecution.
Under the “Breathing Space” plan, they will also have their debts frozen — so no interest can be added.
2 Households that fall into problem debt are to get 60 days to protect them from bailiffs or prosecutionCredit: Reportage – Getty
The scheme, due in 2021, is designed to give people time to find long-term solutions.
It covers a broad range of debts — including those owed to central and local government bodies such as council tax arrears, personal tax debts and benefit overpayments.
During the breathing space period, debtors must work with professional advisers to get back on track with repayments.
Anyone receiving NHS treatment for mental health crises will not need to seek the advice during the 60 days but will still be protected.
It is part of PM Theresa May’s outgoing pledge to help patients with mental ill-health. The regulations will be put before Parliament before 2020.
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Treasury Minister John Glen, who announced the plan, said: “Problem debt can have a devastating impact. No one should be stuck in an endless cycle.”
Last night Helen Undy, of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, said: “This scheme could genuinely save lives.”
And Phil Andrew, of the StepChange Debt Charity, said: “This will put people in a far less precarious position.”
2 Under the ‘Breathing Space’ plan, they will also have their debts frozen — so no interest can be addedCredit: Getty – Contributor
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