If you are interested in the future of debt advice, my pick of the week is my own article: Coronavirus – how the debt advice sector should be planning.
Tesco Bank customers get credit rating warnings after taking payment holiday Times (paywall): Jayne … was given a payment holiday at the end of March, but on Tuesday she had an email from Clear Score, a company that collates credit ratings, saying that her Tesco account was in arrears… Tescos is correcting these errors and Jayne has been given £100 in compensation.
- Relying on compassion isn’t working Generation Rent: Two in five renters who have lost income have [asked their landlord for help] and in just over half of cases the landlord has demanded full rent.
- Why the next 6 weeks are crucial for renters Citizens Advice: Renters face an evictions cliff-edge when existing protections end if government doesn’t act soon.
Mortgage holidays could last for a year Times (paywall) “The FCA will hold a call with senior bankers … to discuss what to do with the thousands of customers who have already taken temporary payment holidays on mortgages, credit cards and other loans. Those measures, announced in March, are due to come to an end in late June or July.”
Lockdown levy on drivers who can’t return PCP cars Times (paywall): Volkswagen Financial Services took money from the accounts of drivers who had wanted to give back their vehicles at the end of a personal contract purchase (PCP) finance plan. The payments were what the customers would have paid to buy their car outright.
Who wins and who pays? Rentier power and the Covid crisis IPPR: Without a drastic change of approach, the crisis is likely to significantly exacerbate existing structural inequalities – insulating creditors and asset-owners from the worst effects of the pandemic while driving many of the most financially vulnerable deeper into debt.
Personal Insolvency Update: Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Bill Lexology: Bill increases debt cap for the MAP process, increases debt amount for a creditor petition and reduces fees.
- Scotland must act to avert a problem debt crisis Scottish Legal News: Debt Adviser Alan McIntosh argues the bill should go further and prevent interest being added to debts and scrap bankruptcy fees.
‘NatWest shut our accounts out of the blue – and refuses to tell us why’: The bank customers who insist they’re victims of a Kafkaesque injustice Mail: Natalie is not a one-off. In recent months, a steady trickle of NatWest customers have had their accounts closed. Many have contacted The Mail on Sunday for help. By way of comparison, complaints from customers of other banks on the same issue have been few and far between.
Benefits & Employment
‘I could be forced to lose a job I love’ BBC: problems facing people whose employers want them back at work but who now have no childcare arrangements.
Pregnant healthcare worker sues NHS agency over employment rights Guardian: Lawsuit could become landmark case over contractual rights during Covid-19 pandemic.
- The benefit cap is undermining the government’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19) Shelter: a couple with two children in a typical two bed private rented home would have their benefits limited by the cap in more than one in eight areas of England. This includes are as not normally considered ‘expensive’ such as Luton, Northampton or Leeds.
- Mind the Gaps briefing CPAG: CPAG estimates that we are likely to see an increase of at least 50% on [the number of household affected by the benefit gap] as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
NEA calls for Government to prepare now for impact of COVID-19 in a cold winter NEA: Government should immediately signal an extension to the warm homes discount programme for another year while it consults on the next phase of the programme.
Unemployment Support post-COVID: Learning from the Job Retention Scheme CPAG: this blog examines the principles behind the coronavirus job retention scheme and considers the viability of introducing a similar scheme in the UK on a permanent basis, with lessons from other European countries.