Archive for July, 2016

Priority debts being ignored ahead of other arrears

Over a quarter of people would prioritise non-priority debts over priority debt arrears that could trigger bailiff visits or see them go to prison.

Research from the Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) has revealed that 28% of people would prioritise payments to credit cards, loans and overdrafts before their rent, mortgage, utility bills and Council Tax.

Of those analysed:

  • 15% would stop paying their rent or mortgage before credit card repayments
  • 27% would stop paying Council Tax before their credit card repayments
  • 5% would stop paying their gas bill before a store card.

Since 2011 there has been a shift in the types of debt which the CAB has had to deal with the most.

While credit card debt and personal loan issues have decreased, there has been an increase in matters relating to Council Tax and rent arrears. This also goes hand in hand with an increase in bailiffs being instructed by local councils – based on research by the Money Advice Trust.

According to the CAB some people do not prioritise household bills because they are unaware of the consequences of non-payment. In other cases consumer credit creditors such as credit card companies or other lenders often ‘shout the loudest’. This makes people believe they should be repaid first.

“Falling behind on household bills can have serious consequences.”

“From getting the power cut off to bailiffs knocking at your door, to losing your home or even prison – failing to pay household bills can put people in vulnerable situations.”

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice

By not prioritising household bills the CAB warns people are placing themselves at greater risk of eviction, visits from bailiffs, being cut off from energy supplies and even prison.

Did you know that colleagues form the One Advice Group help schools and colleges locally to deliver Financial Education for Future Generations.

The One Advice Group provides a range of professional financial services, debt resolution, personal insolvency solutions and legal claims and advice.

If you’re currently worried about your finances, have unsecured debts from personal borrowing and would like to speak confidentially to an advisor who can talk to you about the benefits and considerations of a range of debt solutions and personal insolvency solutions, then please get in touch by calling 0800 048 1764. If requested, during an initial call, advisors can help you to identify your priority debts.

You can also visit www.harringtonbrooks.co.uk to request a call back at a time to suit you. By requesting a call, you are under no obligation to use our services. Harrington Brooks provide solutions to customers living in England, Scotland and Wales.

Should you choose to undertake a plan or arrangement, there may be consequences to consider, including restrictions on future expenditure, lending and on your ability to obtain further or future credit. Fees, terms and conditions apply. For further information and advice please visit www.harringtonbrooks.co.uk.

The services that we provide may be available at no cost from other government and charity based providers. Further information can be obtained from the Money Advice Service at https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/where-to-go-to-get-free-debt-advice

Also part of the One Advice Group, OpenDoor (Legal Services) Ltd specialise in providing debt litigation advice and representation which covers matters including county court judgments, all types of enforcement proceedings, including bailiff and eviction notices, possession claims and much more. This service is provided free of charge to existing, active customers of Harrington Brooks, otherwise fees and terms and conditions may apply.

Visit www.open-door.co.uk for more details, or to request a call back at a time to suit you. We can give advice at any stage of legal proceedings but strongly advise customers to make contact as soon as possible. If you are a new customer to Harrington Brooks, and have outstanding legal proceedings, then please call us for immediate advice and forward the paperwork to us direct, without delay. We can be reached on 0330 102 0110.

OpenDoor will ensure that you will receive the clear, pro-active, and impartial advice you need to get your situation resolved, paying close attention to your individual needs and circumstances. We will work with you to map out the most appropriate and robust plan of action at a cost you can afford.

Brands in the One Advice Group are authorised and regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), The Insolvency Practitioners Association (IPA) and the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Bank of England FPC warns on threats to consumer indebtedness

Bank of England

The Financial Stability Report by the Financial Policy Committee (FPC) has underlined the potential risk to vulnerable households in the current post-referendum climate.

When asked about the number of UK households that were vulnerable to an economic slowdown the bank’s Deputy Governor, Jon Cunliffe, said that the cohort of vulnerable households would be closely monitored.

The report said:

“Persistently low levels of borrowing rates have been supportive of debt-servicing costs. But the ability of some households to service their debts would be materially affected in the event of weaker employment and income growth.”

It adds:

“High levels of household debt may amplify risks to the financial system or wider economy. Highly indebted households are particularly vulnerable to unexpected events that increase the burden of servicing existing debts, such as an increase in interest rates or a fall in incomes. In response to shocks that increase their debt-servicing ratios (DSRs), vulnerable households may cut back sharply on other spending in order to continue servicing their debts, with adverse implications for economic activity. Alternatively, vulnerable households may default on their debts, testing the resilience of lenders.”

One of the moves made by the BoE was to relax requirements on the amount of capital they should hold – with a view to boost lending by UK banks. While this is one of many ‘tools’ at the disposal of the BoE it almost seems certain that a cut in interest rates could follow at one of the forthcoming MPC meetings. This is despite inflation being tipped to rise because of the weaker pound.

“In my view, and I am not pre-judging the views of the other independent MPC members, the economic outlook has deteriorated and some monetary policy easing will likely be required over the summer.”

Mark Carney, BoE Governor

The report had identified areas where the referendum posed risks to financial stability. These included the commercial real estate market, subdued global growth and household indebtedness.

“While there is some economic turbulence in store, the Financial Policy Committee’s report underlines the risks that are faced by financially vulnerable households in the UK. With the prospect of rising inflation due to imports costing more due to £ weakness, there will be those that need help and even breathing space to cope with any sudden shocks to their everyday finances.”

Matthew Cheetham, CEO, One Advice

You can read the full Financial Stability Report on the BoE website.