The big news this week was the eleventh-hour extension of the eviction ban in England for one month. My pick of the articles is the Toynbee Hall report on what needs to be done to resolve the problem, not just postpone it: Understanding relationships between landlords and their tenants during COVID-19.
Tweet of the week
Just over 1 in 3 adults who were unable to afford an unexpected expense had moderate to severe depressive symptoms during the pandemic.
— Office for National Statistics (ONS) (@ONS) August 18, 2020
- Eviction ban in England and Wales extended by four weeks Sky news: Ministers had come under pressure to extend the ban, amid warnings thousands of renters could lose their homes otherwise.
- Understanding relationships between landlords and their tenants during COVID-19 Toynbee Hall: clarity about the problem and practical recommendations – change UC to give more rent support, end refusal of support because of No recourse to public fund, stop landlords saying No DSS.
- From March to September – possession stay extended Nearly Legal: the best legal housing blog says “A four week blanket extension of the stay on all possession claims (save against trespassers) is in itself, virtually pointless, unless that time is used for something.”
- Six million people in UK are behind on bills due to coronavirus, study says Evening Standard: Citizens Advice research looks at who is most affected.
- Nicky Morgan: Ministers must act swiftly to avoid a disaster – bailiffs abusing vulnerable people over council tax arrears Conservative Home: “Despite glimmers of progress, council tax debt collection is in need of major reform.”
- Energy suppliers fear rising bad debts as furlough scheme ends FT (paywall): Centrica and Bulb concerned consumers will struggle to pay their bills.
- Lloyds & Halifax overdraft fees higher if your credit record is poor – unfair! My article.
- Scammers use lockdown to ramp up bank fraud Times (paywall): Victims may be distracted by changing childcare or workplace commitments and could be more vulnerable because they lack their usual family and friend support systems.
- Boss of the country’s biggest ATM operator calling for urgent overhaul of way cash machine network is funded so access to money is maintained Mail: Link says ‘It should not be down to banks and commercial ATM companies to decide whether a community gets free cash access, which is the position today.’
How HMRC treats customers who have a tax debt gov.uk: explanation of HMRC’s approach.
Follow the money: IVAs and the issue of misleading online ads Money Advice trust: proposes steps that “are needed to prevent people in debt being led down a route that is not suitable for their situation which can cause further financial harm down the line.”
Alternative & bad credit finance:
- Salary advance schemes: lockdown lifesavers or a trap into debt? Guardian: The FCA raises the red flag over these ‘wellbeing packages’ that allow employees to take part of their earnings before payday.
- Fear and Loaning – The Impact of Covid-19 on affordable credit providers serving financially vulnerable customers University of Salford/Carnegie trust: A survey of 60 CUs and CDFIs – This research shows that these providers are themselves vulnerable to the pandemic.
- Richmond Group has been clear that we welcome and support the return of CEO Glen Crawford Benamor blog: a new episode in the Amigo boardroom saga.
The mortgage prisoner penalty Times (paywall): Creditor adds charges for legal costs when customers lose a court mortgage mis-selling case.
Benefits & other news
‘My world came crashing down’: how 2020 took me from a six-figure salary to universal credit Guardian: My next step is to contact a debt management charity, though the thought makes me feel I might pass out.
Thousands of migrants denied help in the pandemic BBC: At the start of lockdown, NRPF barred [case study] from claiming any benefits, including child benefit for all three of his British-born children, although he had been paying taxes on his income for years.
UK families bereaved by Covid-19 lose eligibility for welfare benefits Guardian: Government’s Covid-19 £60,000 compensation payment breaches capital limits rules.