My pick of last week’s news is the BrightHouse story.
Tweet of the week
“Are you lonely?”
“Yeah, no-one’s ever asked me that before… I am, very”@vicderbyshire has been to meet those sleeping rough in London’s financial district
— Victoria Derbyshire (@VictoriaLIVE) February 27, 2020
Rent-to-own giant BrightHouse on brink of collapse Sky: BrightHouse has put Grant Thornton on standby to handle an administration that would put 2,400 jobs at risk, Sky News learns.
- and my article with background on this story: BrightHouse “close to collapse” because of increasing affordability complaints.
‘Dark clouds’ for Amigo Loans amid rising compensation costs and loan defaults Independent: problems are mounting for sub-prime lender Amigo, as more borrowers struggle with repayments, complaints pile up and the share price languishes 80 per cent below its peak.
Debt “help” firm accused to taking bad situations and making them worse Mirror: Customers of Debt Compare paid monthly fee and still got chased by creditors.
“£4,000 bank charges made my debts spiral out of control” Guardian: the new rules will require banks to charge only a simple annual interest rate on overdrafts without additional fees. It won’t compel them to cap charges or refund them retrospectively.
A dark place. Unaffordable energy costs and how low income households cope CAP report: up to half of PPM [pre payment meter] customers have self-disconnected, experiencing an interruption in their energy supply because they had no credit on their PPM.
Buy now, pay later ‘growing fast’ amid debt fears BBC: Klarna has announced that seven million people have used its services in the UK, twice as many as a year ago.
“I’ve been financially controlled for most of my marriage – I want to tell my story’ MSE: How was I going to pay off all of these debts, which were now over £60,000 (more in my name, as I’d had the better credit score)?
Council tax debts leaving thousands of families with just £7 left to live on a month Mirror: An average council tax payment of £167 in the first month of the financial year can escalate to a debt of more than £2,000 in just nine weeks, Citizens Advice said
“I fear for my daughter as payday loans pile up” Times (paywall) This is the second case in the Question of Money column: Your daughter gets just £1,200 a month in benefits, so how three payday lenders justified lending her £1,900 is a mystery.
Benefits & other news
Legal victories over ‘No DSS’ letting agents BBC: Amanda Staples and Emma Loffler both won out-of-court settlements against “No DSS” letting agents, on the grounds of indirect discrimination.
Universal credit linked to rise in psychological stress, study finds Guardian: Failure to modify benefit is likely to increase pressure on NHS, researchers say