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The Centre for Social Justice has just reported for the Conservatives on how much debt UK consumers have and how the poorest families need help the most. My concern is will this government actually listen and act on this report? I don't know if they will based upon past experience.

Just after they came to power the coalition increased the cost to go bankrupt for consumers in Eng & Wales by 40%, this means the fees are now £700 per person as against £200 in Scotland. Does this help a consumer that has no other option other than to go bankrupt?

Read more: People in debt need more affordable debt solutions

 

I am well aware of some people’s views on consumers who are in financial difficulty. “It’s their own fault, they could have said no and they are responsible for their own demise”

It’s worth bearing in mind that very few people run up debts with the sole intention of not repaying them and for the average consumer their fall is usually a result of an unexpected trigger such as a relationship breakdown, illness, an unexpected job loss or a similar life-changing experience.

Read more: Paul Bhattacharjee killed himself after being declared bankrupt - BBC News

 

The latest figures just issued by The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show that the number of homes repossessed during third quarter stands at 7,200. This figure, the lowest since since quarterly data began and is clearly helped by low interest rates which look to stay that way for a while yet. Good job too as this helps mortgage payers cope with otherwise hefty repayments and stay on top of their bills!

Read more: Latest Home repo stats

 

 

DebtWizard will be participating in the forthcoming FCA consultation on reforming the debt management sector and although pleased to see more stringent regulation for the Payday lenders in the offing would like to see a cap on interest rates and additional charges and the removal of the Continuous Payment Authority (CPA), something popular with gym memberships. Such payments should be made instead via the direct debit (DD) route but it is obvious why they are popular with Payday lenders as they know that most borrowers would struggle to meet the required DD monthly payments, I rest my case.

Read more: The cost of bad debt advice - Roll on April 2014

 

The coalition government has done a spectacular u-turn on the threshold level required before a creditor can apply a charging order on a borrower’s property.

Back in 2010 the coalition government hinted that the level of unsecured debt before a charging order would be considered would be set at £25,000 per creditor. Until now there was no fixed limit but they have stunned debt counsellors, vulnerable house owners and the debt management sector in general by setting the threshold to just £1,000. The new regulations came into force 6th April 2013.

Read more: New - £1,000 Payday Loan or Credit Card debt can now easily be secured on a debtor’s home

 

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) have just released details of the number of homes repossessed during 2012, which stands at 33,900 and is the lowest annual total since 2007. You can’t help asking though what the state of the market would be if interest rates were at the same levels as in 1991, when they were at their height with 76,000 repossessions, instead of the current nearly four year run of the Bank Rate being at 0.5%. 

Read more: So it’s all hunky-dory in the house repossession market, or is it?

 

The 2,000 registered bailiffs in England and Wales chase around 3.5 million enforcements, so there is an obvious need for this line of work. Unfortunately some act outside their powers and their activities have seen an increasing number of allegations of intimidation, bullying and aggressiveness on their part.

To have a bailiff call can be a harrowing experience, especially if they are looking to remove your property, so staying calm and making sure you don’t invite them in is essential. In some circumstances bailiffs do not have a legal right to enter the home and knowing this some employ a few tricks to do so. They are after ‘peaceful’ entry.

Read more: Bailiffs and the tricks of the trade used to gain entry

 

Bankruptcies are down yet again and in my view the reason is simple: with the Official Receiver’s (ORs) fee at £525 and the court fee of £175, totalling £700 people can’t afford the extortionately high costs involved in going bankrupt

Whilst some argue that bankruptcy numbers have been affected by Debt Relief Orders (DROs), first introduced back 2009, many wanting to do a DRO are barred from doing so because of the outdated and unrealistic qualifying procedure, set some nine years ago.

Read more: Don’t be fooled with the latest fall in consumer bankruptcy figures: thousands that need to go...

 

At last the government is to make changes to Insolvency law to remove the obstacles that banks say is the reason why they refuse to offer bank accounts to undischarged bankrupts.  Following the Insolvency Service’s recent public consultation it was revealed that nearly 20% of all bankrupts could not get their own bank account for the twelve months of their bankruptcy and were forced to operate on a cash basis or use someone else’s account

Read more: Time is running out for the banks who keep denying basic bank accounts

 

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