Councils send over 2 million debts to bailiffs

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Councils used bailiffs more frequently in 2104/5 to collect council tax arrears, parking tickets and other debts. Money Advice Trust has collected figures from councils across the country that show: councils referred 2.1 million debts to bailiffs in 2014/5 - up 16% on 2 years ago; over half of these, 1.27m, were council tax arrears; there is a huge variation between councils. Use varies … [Read more...]

IVA firms – 2015 “League Table”

largest IVA firms 2015

Here is the "League Table" for IVA firms in 2015, showing all firms that registered more than 500 IVAs in the year to end July 2015. This includes new IVAs and IVAs that have been re-registered by a firm if they have taken over a book of existing IVAs. Joint/interlocking IVAs are counted as two, not one. The figures were supplied by the Insolvency Service to Louise Yates. Last year's table is … [Read more...]

Debt news – PPI, court fines and DWP fictions – Aug 23

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My pick of last week's debt news is the £130,000 PPI payout one person has received. I've seen several over 30k, MoneySaving Expert's record is I think 43k, but this one tops the lot! Debt Chef's massive £130K compensation - and he DIDN'T use a PPI  claims firm. ... and is the next wave of mis-selling claims about to start? Low payouts but huge numbers affected: Two million credit card … [Read more...]

When to call the Insolvency Service enquiry line

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The Insolvency Service has announced that its Enquiry Line opening hours are changing from September 2015 so that it is only open between 9am and 5pm. Just another unhelpful help line? You may be skeptical about calling a government "help line", expecting your call to be answered by call centre staff who aren't going to understand your situation. But the Insolvency Service enquiry line is … [Read more...]

Is your name in a fraud database?

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There are two UK databases aimed at alerting lenders to possible fraudulent applications for borrowing: National Hunter and CIFAS. Many people will go their whole lives without ever needing to know anything about them, but there are three situations where you may want to find out more: if you are being asked to supply a lot of extra information whenever you want to borrow some money; if you … [Read more...]

Debt news – bailiffs, overcrowding, evictions etc – Aug 16

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My pick of the week is the bailiff story - closely followed by the Dickensian housing conditions. Debt ‘I blocked a bailiff – and paid the price’   After brawl with bailiff police arrest man. CPS later conclude it was the bailiffs who were trespassing and the man was entitled to use reasonable force. Member of staff and woman whose husband had suffered stroke threatened with court action … [Read more...]

Winter is coming – for mortgages and debts

Can you cope if your mortgage rate increases?

If you are a Game of Thrones fan, you will know the phrase "Winter is coming". Ominous and foreboding, it is the motto of the House of Stark. In Westeros, there can be many years of easy weather but these are always followed by a long, harsh winter. At the start of the series the "long summer" has been going on for nine years, but the signs are that the climate is about to change. In … [Read more...]

Debt news – benefit statistics, CAB closures, debt collection etc – Aug 9

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A very varied collection of news items caught my eye last week. There are a raft of interesting articles on benefits (DWP doesn't think a JSA applicant is vulnerable if they "only" have mental health problems?), an important report from StepChange on trying to encourage savings and depressing news about CAB closures but my pick of the week is the item entitled "A little less … [Read more...]

Policy changes that could help promote savings

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On 6 August 2015, the charity StepChange published a discussion paper: Becoming a nation of savers: Keeping families out of debt by helping them prepare for a rainy day. This looks at which families are least likely to have any savings (people on low-to-moderate incomes, people in rented accommodation and people with younger children), the financial and social benefits of having savings and … [Read more...]

Debt news – student loans, Brighthouse, ESA etc – Aug 2nd

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From Brighthouse's extortionate "bargains" to the cost of PhDs - it's another varied week for personal debt news. My pick of the week is CPAG's online guide to ESA problems - definitely one to bookmark. Debt Sutton Trust report on Student Fees " while the number of students applying to university has not been significantly affected by the new fee regime, certain groups within the system, … [Read more...]

Should I keep paying an old debt?

Do you have to keep paying a really old debt?

People often ask if they have to carry on making payments to an old debt. This can happen as it's too easy to get stuck in a long-term Debt Management Plan (DMP), paying little each month so the debts are take forever to repay. This article looks at questions about debts in long-term DMPs. Do I have to pay a debt that has dropped off my credit file? A debt drops off your credit file six … [Read more...]

How PPI can get you out of debt

how PPI can get you out of debt!

Debt advisors don't usually encourage clients to dream about winning the lottery or inheriting a fortune from a long-lost aunt... but for many people there really could be a pot of PPI gold and they just have to claim it, not hope for a rainbow to appear! Often having PPI loaded on top of borrowing was what turned manageable debt into difficult debt, resulting in more borrowing and often more … [Read more...]

Debt news – welfare reform, payday loans, credit card tricks and more – 26 July

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Housing and Benefits dominate my selection of last week's news - but my pick of the week is the piece on Citbank US credit cards and the things it tried to get away with. Debt Loan shark fear amid payday lending crackdown or, to put it another way, desperate payday lenders try scare-mongering.  This Independent article has a series of good quotes from debt charities. From America: Did You … [Read more...]

The 0% deal that actually costs 11.25%

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I've got a Barclaycard, so I was interested in the news of a new facility they sent me: the Barclaycard Purchase Plan. This offers a 0% deal on a single new purchase for an up-front fee, all run as part of your normal credit card account. It's not yet live - it's probably being launched in August - but I've found out a bit more about how it works and there are a couple of things to be be careful … [Read more...]

Debt news – budget analysis, interest rates, PPI, parking and more – July 19

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Rumblings about interest rate rises grow louder, but for me last week's debt news was still dominated by budget analysis - and if you only have time for one article, I suggest The Homelessness Budget. Debt “Don’t just do something, stand there”… (and think) speech by David Miles reflecting on his time on the Monetary Policy Committee. Attempts to quantify "the new normal" for base rates: … [Read more...]