My pick of last week’s news is the Citizens Advice report Making Ends Meet.
Tweet of the week
The @financialombuds statistics for Q4 2019 show VERY high affordability complaint uphold rates.
90% guarantor loans – 86% home credit – 75% instalment loans – 73% payday loans. Time for all the lenders to learn from FOS decisions as DISP says! pic.twitter.com/wZDYEdBjXY
— Debt Camel (@DebtCamel) February 12, 2020
Making Ends Meet – The impact of the benefits freeze on people in debt Citizens Advice report: “from April to August 2019, 40% of people we helped with debt who claim income-related benefits had a negative budget. ”
Husband of business minister Amanda Solloway in 11-year ban Times (paywall) The department now run by the newly promoted minister disqualified her spouse from running a company until April 2029.
- he was disqualified for his role in Compass Debt Counsellors, see this 2016 Mail article: Hundreds of lives left in ruins as debt management firm run by Tory MP’s husband goes bust: At least 500 households facing the loss of large sums of money
Decision against Birmingham City Council (18 017 200) LGO: “The Council is at fault for wrongly sending a council tax case to Enforcement Agents. It is also at fault for not properly considering if the complainant was vulnerable or if she needed reasonable adjustments. It also failed to properly investigate complaints made to it and the Agents. The Agents threatened action they could not take.”
Fake advisers exploit flaws in UK insolvency regulations FT (paywall): Almost invariably, lead generators — including legitimate, regulated companies as well as unscrupulous imposters — seek to steer people to a provider of Individual Voluntary Arrangements.
- and an example of one of thee “fake advisers” – Website parasites target people in debt – Mirror.
Complaints over new high-cost loans more than triple Guardian: UK ombudsman gets tough with lenders amid mounting concern over successors to payday loans.
‘My court record only emerged when I got a job’ BBC: The Registry Trust… said the rise in CCJs for low amounts can be explained by banks and phone companies selling off smaller debts to specialist debt collection agencies.
“I’ve had to sell my car to cover HSBC’s new 40% overdraft charges” Mirror: “[HSBS’s] only support was to ‘avoid using my overdraft’, or, ‘apply for a credit card to pay the overdraft back’, neither of which feel like feasible options right now.”
Post Office spent £320,000 pursuing legal case against postmaster over false suspicions he stole £25,000 Mail: About 550 postmasters affected by the defective Horizon system over the 20 years it was in operation are now sharing a £58million settlement from the Post Office after some were jailed for fraud, made bankrupt or hounded out of their jobs.
- Home repossessions jump 17% after years at basement levels – and the picture is worse for buy-to-let landlords Mail: While this may seem a hefty jump, UK Finance stressed this stemmed ‘from a very low base’, with 59 in every 100,000 homeowners with mortgages affected.
- Help to Buy bungle has left thousands of homeowners in arrears and could cost them hundreds when they come to remortgage Mail: overwhelmed by the volume of queries from homeowners once they started redeeming their loans and paying interest. At one point, approximately 25 staff were dealing with some 20,000 customer enquiries per month.
- Age UK quits equity release after Telegraph investigation Telegraph (paywall): Charity was under pressure for commercial tie-up which had left customers confused.
Benefits & other news
Shares in betting firms plunge over suggested £2 cap in online casinos Guardian: The Gambling Commission’s chief executive, Neil McArthur, told a cross-parliamentary group of MPs (APPG) investigating the harm caused by betting that it would consider their proposal to cut stakes over the next six months.