My pick of last week’s news is my article on BrightHouse.
Tweet of the week
Do you have a bag of unopened bills and letters from creditors? Our brave client brought 2 bags like this today and opened all of them to start the process of dealing with debts. #wecanhelp pic.twitter.com/GqKAPPRBdE
— Havant (@HavantCAB) March 8, 2018
The true extent of Britain’s household debt crisis: why we need a Jubilee Centre for Responsible Credit: The report proposes a package of measures to address this emerging crisis, based on the principle of eradicating ‘unjust debt’. This is defined as debt which is causing harm to borrowers because it is creating a debt trap; causing material deprivation, or is exploitative in nature.
BrightHouse and the return of the never-never My article – 50% of BrightHouse contracts don’t complete, also BrightHouse allows returns at any point and no longer repossesses goods.
Help to Buy mortgage borrowers face £1,050 a year hike in fees as interest-free periods start to end next month Mail: The first swathe of buyers — thought to be around 2,000 borrowers — who took out Help to Buy loans five years ago will be hit with the extra charges from April.
Energy watchdog to ban back-billing by utility firms Guardian: Bills for energy used more than 12 months ago will not be issued if customers acted in good faith.
Police inspector £103k in debt ‘killed his detective wife after she confronted him about finances’, court hears Telegraph: In a text she wrote: “You liar! Just got back a loan application with my passport and my name…I asked you and you promised. Fluent finance? Who are they? Are we in such a mess? Why again? The kids need clothes and shoes, what’s going on.”
Court closures: sale of 126 premises raised just £34m, figures show Guardian: ‘Ideological’ sell-off limits access to justice, says Labour, leaving many far from their nearest court
Millions of families on brink face deepest benefit cuts in years Guardian: According to new research by the Resolution Foundation thinktank, the changes from April will save around £2.5bn and … affect around 11 million families.
What would a ‘well-functioning market’ look like for vulnerable consumers? StepChange: “Simply having choice isn’t enough if none of the options meet your needs, and are likely to cause you harm.”