In October, the UK Government agreed with campaigners that the wording used in letters chasing people for debts must be changed to be less threatening language to avoid causing distress to those in crisis. It also agreed that bold lettering would be reduced, legal terms would be simplified into more straightforward language and people would be steered towards debt compliant and transparent support services.
Research by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute discovered threatening letters can have a catastrophic impact on people with debt problems leading to poor mental health and even loss of life caused by suicide.
The Money and mental health policy institute advise that if you find yourself in debt crisis the first place to seek help is from a charity or non-profit debt counselling organisation – only have a one-to-one session with someone paid to help you, not to make money out of you and ensure that if you speak to any organisation looking to help you reduce debt that they provide you will full transparency of fees.
The agreement between the UK Government and Credit Services Association, the body that represents debt collecting agents, gives new powers that guarantee debt collectors won’t contact you for at least 30 days, provided you’ve sought debt help or can show you are trying to repay your debts. The debt counselling service will inform collectors, which will then give you a month’s breathing space to get yourself on a better footing.”