We support ‘Stop the #DebtThreats’
There are over three million adults in the UK with both mental health problems and financial difficulties, and this number is growing as the economy slows. As the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI) have found, people in problem debt are three times more likely to have considered suicide than people who are not in problem debt, and over 100,000 people in debt attempt suicide each year in England.
Long-term factors such as persistent poverty and financial insecurity can increase the risk of people becoming suicidal, as can sudden triggers like the intimidating and threatening letters people receive from lenders.
Debt threats are intimidating and threatening letters, sent from creditors and lenders who are owed money. These aggressive, intimating letters often feature complex language which is difficult to understand, and which is out of date, being prescribed by the Consumer Credit Act, nearly 45 years ago.
These aggressive letters can elicit fear and a sense of hopelessness in people, making it even more difficult to seek out help, as well as increasing the risk of suicide. That is why these intimidating and threatening letters are at the core of the new ‘Stop the #DebtThreats’ campaign.
Stop the #DebtThreats Campaign
As you may be aware, Martin Lewis and MMHPI have been campaigning for better treatment of those with both mental health and money problems. In their most recent campaign, they have been campaigning to ‘Stop the #DebtThreats’ and in particular for:
- The government to update creditors’ letters to make them less threatening, easier to understand, and more supportive
- Regulators to explore the ethical implications of using customer data to identify those at risk
- Public Health England to improve their guidance to local authorities about the role of financial difficulty in preventing suicide, and add data on financial difficulties to tool-kits
- Essential services providers to offer suicide prevention training to staff and improve referral pathways to support services.
How we support the Stop the #DebtThreats Campaign
We couldn’t agree more with Martin Lewis and MMHPI, and how important the Stop the #DebtThreats campaign is. We understand how hard it can be for our clients, especially those with mental health problems, being in debt and things are only made worse when they receive demanding, confusing and hostile letters from creditors and lenders.
One of the advantages we can offer our clients in an IVA is that of legal protection against further creditor action or harassment, meaning an end to the letters. You can find more of the advantages we offer to our clients here.
We also offer all our clients a comprehensive wellbeing package, including 24/7 professional support and self-help services, meaning our clients always have someone to talk to.
We promise our clients to go above and beyond to ensure any threatening or demanding letters stop once they enter into an IVA, and we will often get in contact with the creditors who are sending the harassing letters to ensure peace of mind for our clients.
The 'Stop the #DebtThreats' campaign is as important as ever, as new information from Citizens Advice suggests that 1 in 3 people who are contacted by bailiffs have seen them break the rules, whilst 1 in 5 have reported that bailiffs acted unsympathetically towards people will illnesses and disabilities.
We believe better protection is needed for vulnerable people in debt and support the #BailiffReform called on by MP’s to make the rules and regulations in the bailiff industry more robust. We also offer advice and tips on our website about what bailiff harassment looks like, what your rights are and also what you can do if you are being harassed.