Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) is intended to help people with the cost of their mortgage if they aren't working. SMI has been given as a benefit so far, but from April 2018, it will only be given as a loan. SMI has been an important part of the UK benefits system since it was introduced in 1948. It only helps with the interest part of the mortgage repayments, not the capital. Who … [Read more...]
Debt news and policy
Debt Camel articles on what's happening in the world of personal debt in Britain.
For my collections of other news items, please see Weekly News Summaries.
On July 17th Lloyds Bank announced major changes to the way it charges for overdrafts - a massive simplification. The new charging will be introduced in November for 20 million Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland accounts. Most customers will gain. This includes three million people in old style basic bank accounts - they are winners in the new system, a group that has been badly treated by … [Read more...]
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is proposing a definition of persistent credit card debt and a set of actions credit card lenders will have to take with people who are in persistent credit card debt for 18 months or more. Recent news highlights why the FCA is worried about credit card debt. In June 2017, £67billion is owed on credit cards in Britain and that is increasing at 9% per year. … [Read more...]
In 2015 the Competition and Markets Authority said that payday lenders have to advertise on at least one payday loan comparison website and provide a "prominent link" to the comparison site from their own website. The FCA consulted about what a payday loan comparison website should be doing and these were its decisions. This has now gone live. On Thursday 25 May 2017, the BBC reported: New … [Read more...]
Registry Trust has published the statistics for CCJs for the first quarter of 2017. They are shocking, with almost 300,000 consumer CCJs, the highest number for ten years. The details are: 298,901 CCJs were registered against consumers in England and Wales from January - March 2017; this is an increase of 35% on the same quarter in 2016; the average size of a CCJ fell to … [Read more...]
The Institute of Money Adviser's Certificate of Money Advice Practice (CertMAP) is a qualification for people who are already working or volunteering as money advisers. You need to have a year's full-time experience or two years part-time. The course is provided by the IMA jointly with Staffordshire University. About 1,300 people have attained the CertMAP qualification, which is accredited by the … [Read more...]
In March 2017, the Court of Appeal decision in the Green v Wright case was published: Mr Wright's IVA firm was allowed to collect PPI after his IVA ended, even though he hadn't consented to this before his completion certificate was issued. As questions about this continue to arrive, I thought it would be useful to summarise the current situation: what is clear and what is less clear. The … [Read more...]
Wonga has started contacting 245,000 customers on 8th April 2017 by email to warn them their personal and financial details may have stolen. Professor Alan Woodward, a cybersecurity expert, said it was "looking like one of the biggest" data breaches involving financial information in Britain. A few days later it also started sending out text messages. This problem isn't just affecting people … [Read more...]
Mr D asked: I was contacted by company called Creditfix to clear my debts in an IVA. I have about £30,000 debt (two loans, some credit cards, overdraft) and the advisor calculated my options. I was told 2 and half years of paying £150 a month, then get a £4,500 loan to pay rest. Is that ok??? * I don't know if an IVA is a good option for Mr D. He needs to decide if he can commit to the IVA … [Read more...]
In March 2017 the Pre Action Protocol for Debt was at long finalised, it's here: Debt PAP. It comes into force on 1st October 2017. It has taken many years of negotiations, consultations and delays to get here. I've asked a couple of experts for their reaction to the news. Tim Lett, who has been involved for the last four years in getting this protocol agreed, writes: I am very … [Read more...]