My picks of last week’s news are Mum found dead beside starving baby and My working week: ‘I advise a client on universal credit who can’t pay their bills or support their kids’
Tweet of the week
Am reading @GlasgowCC proposals for funding cuts to law centres & advice agencies. Proposed cuts range from approx. 40% to 100% (i.e. zero funding). At this point in the pandemic I cannot comprehend how my City can afford to lose any capacity for free advice & representation?
— Mike Dailly (@mikedailly) August 28, 2020
My working week: ‘I advise a client on universal credit who can’t pay their bills or support their kids’ Guardian: I am a debt adviser for Citizen’s Advice. I listen to clients who are in seemingly impossible situations every day. People are struggling to maintain even the most basic living standards.
Post payment breaks – what next?
- FCA proposes the next stage of support for mortgage borrowers FCA: “Consumers in these situations will benefit from firms providing them with the tailored support that is normally expected.” – so that is no additional support then.
- FCA’s proposals “may not be enough” to prevent serious mortgage difficulty beyond October Money Advice Trust: “The Government needs to step up by closing the gaps in the mortgage safety net by reforming the Support for Mortgage Interest scheme”.
- It’s only the end of the beginning for Covid financial support needs StepChange blog: We strongly believe there is a case for ongoing support to help people deal with debts build up because of Covid, either through grants or zero interest loans.
- Coronavirus: Campaigners call for emergency cash for renters BBC: Shelter research suggests 322,000 people have fallen behind since the outbreak in March.
- ‘Arrears are not our fault’ Hackney Citizen: Hackney renters picket courthouse to demand cancellation of Covid-related debt.
- Here come the new rules, (not quite) the same as the old rules – Notice periods Nearly Legal: “lots of headaches for landlord and tenant advisors alike, and lots of fresh opportunities to get things wrong.”
High cost credit:
- FOS Q1 2020/21 data – complaints and trends: Guarantor loan complaints up 177% to 1,017. Home credit complaints up 77% to 1,166. Both with an uphold rate c. 85%
- Sub-prime lender Amigo suffers major profit slump amid boardroom battle, a blow from the pandemic and a backlog of customer complaints Mail.
Arrow Global’s warning shot of hardship to come Times (paywall): It was pushed into the red by a £133.6 million non-cash impairment charge that it has taken to account for the lower collections it expects to make in the next seven years as borrowers fail to pay back their debts as a result of the pandemic.
One in five Brits don’t know how much debt they’re in and don’t want to find out Mirror: A poll of 2,000 adults found 17 per cent would rather not find out the exact figure they owe, and 21 per cent don’t want to worry about something they feel they can’t do anything about.
Klarna racks up losses with its buy now, pay later model Times (paywall): net operating income rising by 37 per cent to SwKr4.6 billion. However, it has had to put more money aside to cover potential losses owing to the worsening economic backdrop.
Benefits & other news
Mum found dead beside starving baby in Glasgow flat Glasgow Live: Mercy Baguma, a refugee from Uganda, is understood to have been living in extreme poverty after she was no longer allowed to work.
Council to pay £1,700+ after London man housed in Birmingham forced to give up job LocalGovernmentLawyer: LGSC Ombubudsman said “I have previously talked about how the pre-conceived ideas of homelessness no longer ring true, and we’ve seen people in work come to us with complaints about their councils’ housing support. This is another example of the kind of problems experienced in today’s housing situation.”
A third of us ‘are overpaying for mobile phones’ via a loyalty penalty that can cost more than £400 a year, consumer watchdog warns Mail: Which? calculated that phone companies make around £182million a year from customers continuing to pay for a handset they already own.