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NEWS

 (Dec 2023)

Monthly Debt News looks at debts and the causes of debts in Britain from diverse sources to simplify the debt sector for a broad audience.

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This month’s Debt News includes a 5% energy price cap increase, Ofgem reviews energy standing charge, EDF issues debt warning, billions of welfare cuts planned and charities condemn the cuts, a rise in council tax in struggling boroughs, a pensioner had sleepless nights for recieving demands to pay £12,  gender gap and debt crisis. And finally, bitesize stats to get an overview of the causes of debts in Britain.

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Debt News

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Ofgem announces 5% energy price cap increase


Energy regulator Ofgem has announced that the energy price cap will increase by 5% on the previous quarter from 1st January to 31st March 2024.

The cost for an average household paying by direct debit for dual fuel equates to £1,928, a rise of £94 for a year – around £7.83 a month. The price cap, updated every quarter, sets a maximum that can be charged to customers for energy bills.


More here: Link

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Energy standing charges review after anger at rises


Billpayers, charities and businesses are being urged to give their views on daily standing charges on energy bills, as part of a review.


Regulator Ofgem said it wanted to open the debate over the charges, including opinions on how to change the system


More hereLink 

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EDF Energy customer issues £4,500 warning and says 'it is just horrible’


A disabled woman has been hit by a £4,500 energy bill - and says she was branded "entitled" by customer service. EDF Energy customer Mel is classed as 'vulnerable' due to living with fibromyalgia and was left feeling degraded when a customer service worker was heard calling her 'entitled' while contesting a £4,500 energy bill.


More here: Link

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Welfare cuts worth billions planned by ministers


Ministers have drawn up large benefit changes for people who are unable to work due to health conditions, the BBC has learned. The changes, affecting hundreds of thousands of people from 2025, would save £4bn from the welfare budget.


More here: Link

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Charities condemn Chancellor’s threat to cut benefits 


The Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, has been criticised by charities for threatening to stop paying benefits to people who have not looked for a job for six months.

Mr Hunt announced the policy as part of his autumn budget, which he presented in the House of Commons on Wednesday. 


More here: Link

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Eye-watering council tax increases by almost £100 

Council tax bills increased 5.1 percent in the past year with one area seeing their bills go up by almost 14 percent.

Analysis from RIFT found average bills for Band D properties went up from £1,966 last year to £2,065 this year. London saw the biggest increase, as bills went up 6.2 percent to £1,801 a year.


More here: Link

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Rogerstone pensioner sent debt letters over missing phone

A pensioner and his wife say they have had sleepless nights after receiving letters from a debt collector on behalf of their phone provider when owing just £12.


More here: Link

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Gender gap revealed in debt crisis data 

New research from StepChange Debt Charity reveals the increasing financial hardship and surge in women seeking debt advice, highlighting a gender imbalance in household finances.


More here: Link


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 (Nov 2023) - Debt Talk: Alternative lending & Debt (Podcast)

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Bite Size  Stats

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 In 2023/24, the expenditure of the United Kingdom government is expected to reach 1,189 billion British pounds, with the highest spending function being the 341 billion pounds expected to be spent on social protection, which includes pensions and other welfare benefits (Statista)

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After seasonal adjustment, the number of individual insolvencies from July to September (Q3) 2023 was 6% lower than in Q2 2023. (GOV UK)

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 The number of debt relief orders (DROs) was the highest quarterly number since their introduction in 2009. Bankruptcies also increased, but individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) were lower. The total number of individual insolvencies was 15% lower than in Q3 2022. (GOV UK)

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Compared to the same quarter in 2022, mortgage possession claims increased from 3,681 to 4,185 (14%), orders from 2,480 to 2,923 (18%), warrants from 2,473 to 2,289 (7%) and repossessions by county court bailiffs decreased from 758 to 622 (18%) (GOV UK)

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When compared to the same quarter in 2022, landlord possession claims increased from 21,007 to 24,938 (19%), orders from 15,350 to 17,977 (17%), warrants from 8,573 to 9,753 (14%) and repossessions from 5,464 to 6,080 (11%) (GOV UK)

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 (Oct 2023) - Debt Talk: The cost of fuel (Podcast)


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THE END

(November 2023)

Monthly Debt News looks at debts and the causes of debts in Britain from various sources selected for professionals to make the debt sector simple.


This month’s Debt News includes high rents pushing renters out of cities, one million universal credit claimants, a couple charged £18K without a gas bill,  an angler refusing to pay a water bill due to sewage pollution, drivers successfully appealing all penalty charges in London, Santander warns borrowers over high-interest rates and defaults. And finally, bitesize stats to get an overview of the causes of debts in Britain.

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High rents and benefit cuts push poorer renters out of UK’s cities, report finds.


The social fabric of the UK’s biggest cities is being transformed by sky-high rents and cuts to housing benefits as thousands of low-income private renters are pushed out of central areas, accelerating the “suburbanisation” of poverty, according to a study.

More here: Link 

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Almost one million Londoners are claiming Universal Credit, according to latest data from the Department for Work and Pensions.


In September, 977,966 Londoners were receiving Universal Credit, an increase of more than 30,000 people - or more than a 3% rise - since May.


More here: Link


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Tamworth couple charged £11k for gas after 18 years with no bill.


 A couple who had not received a gas bill for 18 years were left in shock when they were sent an invoice for nearly £11,000.


More here: Link

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Angler refuses to pay bills in sewage protest


An angler from Lewes has joined a group of campaigners refusing to pay their bills to protest against water pollution. Mike Deacon has labelled Southern Water a "criminal organisation" after a series of illegal sewage spills. He is currently only paying £1 a month to the water company.


More here: Link

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Greenwich Council: Drivers succeed in every penalty charge notice appeal


Drivers appealing against penalty notices in a London borough were successful every time for more than a year, the BBC has found. Figures showed that, from July 2022 to September this year, Greenwich Council did not contest a single appeal - citing "no evidence" in every instance


More here: Link


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Bank Santander issues warning to everyone with a loan, mortgage and overdraft


High street lender Santander UK has cautioned that higher-for-longer interest rates are hitting householders - and urged people to keep an eye on their finances. The banking group said many people who have mortgages and personal loans were getting behind with payments - and said interest rates were the issue.


More here: Link


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 (Oct 2023) - Debt Talk: The cost of fuel (Podcast)



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Bite Size  stats:


Private renters on a median household income could expect to spend 26% of their income on a median-priced rented home in England, compared with 23% in Wales and 25% in Northern Ireland, in the financial year ending March 2022 (ONS)


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Fraudsters stole £580 million from British consumers and businesses in the first six months of 2023 (UK Finance)


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Growth in household debt levels accelerated from early 2016, so that the debt-to-income ratio rose again to 136.3% by mid-2017. In Q1 2023 it was 128.9% (Research Briefing - Parliament)


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There were 26,390 individual insolvencies in England and Wales in Q2 2023, 2,254 fewer than in the previous quarter. The largest increase since the current series began in 2010 was seen between Q2 2020 and Q3 2020 (Research Briefing - Parliament)


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 (Sept 2023) - Debt Talk: DRO or IVA? That is the question...(Podcast)


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(October 2023)

  Monthly Debt News looks at debts and the causes of debts in Britain from various sources selected for professionals to make the debt sector simple.


This month’s Debt News includes concerns over paying energy bills, a household debt time bomb, a call to write off student debts for nurses, debt collectors chasing a footballer,  dentists using debt collectors to recover debts,  Windsor and Maidenhead Council bankrupt and the highest mortgage debts since record began. And finally, bitesize stats. 

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One in four concerned they won’t be able to pay their energy bills

Latest data from, energy efficiency platform, Snugg has found that many people feel they are wasting money on energy bills because of their home’s poor energy efficiency. And while most would like to make their home more efficient, there is mass confusion over how and what help is available.


More here:  Link 

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How can we defuse the household debt time bomb?

Mortgage borrowers may have breathed a sign of relief this week as interest rates appeared to reach their peak. But look beyond the headlines and a much nastier, harder-to-solve debt problem is lurking.

More here: Link

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Government urged to wipe student nurse debt to curb attrition


Nurses’ student debt should be cleared after 10 years of service to tackle the drop-out crisis taking place in the NHS, a think tank has urged the government.


More here: Link

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Premier League star ‘chased by debt collectors after refusing to pay for a £25,000 set of veneers’


A Premier League star was chased by debt collectors after refusing to pay for a £25,000 set of dental veneers, it has been claimed.

More here: Link

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Dentists are turning to debt collectors to go after patients as post-Covid rise in non-payments sinks teeth into profits


One dentist in Purley said some patients just walk out of the door without paying, with it being suggested the introduction of the rent-relief scheme by the Government saw some think they did not have to pay for anything.

More here: Link

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Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead on 'bankruptcy brink' with debts of £200m


The Berkshire council has overspent this year by more than £7 million, councillors heard on Saturday


More here: Link

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Bankruptcy is spiking among UK borrowers – but there are debt relief options if you are struggling financially


UK households have one of the highest debt levels in the world. Steadily increasing in the last two decades, the average total debt per household (including mortgages) is £65,619 as of August 2023. This is £34,644 per adult, or around 103.5% of average earnings.


More here: Link

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Bite Size stats:


Across the UK, more people from Black, Asian, and other minority ethnic backgrounds, are likely to be in poverty (i.e., have an income less than 60% of the average household income) than white British people (Health Equity in England)

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Growth in household debt levels accelerated from early 2016, so that the debt-to-income ratio rose again to 136.3% by mid-2017. In Q1 2023 it was 128.9% (Research Briefing - Parliament)

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There were 26,390 individual insolvencies in England and Wales in Q2 2023, 2,254 fewer than in the previous quarter. The largest increase since the current series began in 2010 was seen between Q2 2020 and Q3 2020 (Research Briefing - Parliament)

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England has the highest percentage of rented properties. Here, 15.29% of all homes are privately rented, compared to 14.9% in Scotland and 14% in Wales and Northern Ireland  (confused.com)

THE END

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(Sept 2023)


Monthly Debt News looks at debts and the causes of debts in Britain from various sources selected for professionals to make the debt sector simple.


This month’s Debt News includes further welfare cuts, the rise in council tenant rent arrears,   loss of benefits due to overpayment recovery, and a man in debt due to dental costs abroad. And finally, bitesize stats. 

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Welfare cuts loom after forecast for inflation to climb again


Jeremy Hunt has been told that the increase is likely to have been driven by surging wages and an increase in the cost of clothing. The Treasury is braced for a surprise increase in inflation this summer, posing a headache for Jeremy Hunt in his attempt to curb government spending.


More here: Link  


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Council housing rent arrears rise significantly, survey finds


Four in five council landlords are seeing significant rises in rent arrears, a survey has found.


More here: Link


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Thousands lose benefits after tax credits overpaid


Campaigners fear thousands more people face benefit deductions because of tax credit debts they didn't know about.


In excess of 800,000 households on universal credit received less money last year because they were previously awarded too much in tax credits, the BBC has found. More people will go on to the scheme from September.


More here: Link


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Man who pulled four of his own teeth is now thousands of pounds in debt


A man has spoken of how he was left to pull out four of his own teeth with string because he couldn't get an NHS appointment. A report says one in 10 Brits have resorted to DIY dentistry.


More here: links 

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Bitesize stats:


In 2022/23 approximately 2.99 million people used a foodbank in the United Kingdom, an increase when compared with the previous year. Between 2008/09 and 2020/21, the number of foodbank users increased in every year, from just under 26,000 to more than 2.56 million (Statista)   

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Compared to the same quarter in 2022, mortgage possession claims increased from 3,478 to 3,986 (15%), orders from 2,368 to 2,536 (7%), warrants from 2,446 to 2,654 (9%) and repossessions by county court  (GOV)

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Increases in possession claims have been recorded in all regions. Private and social landlord claims remained concentrated in London (with 7 and 5 of the highest 10 claim rates respectively  (GOV)


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The rising cost of living has had an impact on saving for retirement, with almost one in five (18 per cent) LGBTQ+ people surveyed saying they have cut contributions into pension plans and similar schemes recently – compared with 12 per cent of the wider population. (Pink Paper)


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(Aug 2023)


Monthly Debt News looks at debts and the causes of debts in Britain from various sources selected for professionals to make the debt sector simple.


This month’s Debt News includes: the cost of living increase in shoplifting, families struggle with the cost of child care, a rise in the number of clients seeking breathing space, a man in debt for driving in London’s low emission zone, student debt 3 times high in England than Scotland and car repossession rise. Finally, bite-size stats on insolvencies, Breathing Space registration, crisis due to food cost and disqualification of directors by insolvency services.


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The cost of living crisis sees supermarket shoplifting SOAR by 75%


Desperate Brits are resorting to pinching essentials as data shows police saw as much as a 75% hike in shoplifting reports - use our interactive map to see how your area was affected. Shoplifting callouts to supermarkets rose by as much as 75% last year as the cost of living crisis saw hungry Brits turn to stealing, it can be revealed.


More here: Link

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Families struggle with the rising cost of summer childcare.


A mum of three has told the BBC she has had to go into debt to pay for childcare. Jane Carmichael who has three children said affording summer childcare was “impossible". Research shows London parents pay a weekly average of £177.13 per child for summer holiday childcare, 25% more than the figure in the east of England.

More here: Link

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Leap in numbers seeking debt breathing space - as corporate insolvencies hit highest since 2009

Official figures show more people are using a mechanism to secure legal protections from creditors and how the end of COVID aid is hurting businesses in the tough economy. The Insolvency Service data covering England and Wales during the second quarter of the year showed 6,342 companies were registered as insolvent in the three months to the end of June, 13% more than a year earlier.


More here: Link

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Man in debt after driving motorhome through London’s low emission zone


Geoffrey Eaton, 53, was hit with a £2,000 bill after driving his motorhome to a campsite within the M25 and failing to pay the low emission charge. A 10-mile trip plunged a father-of-two into credit card debt by costing him £2,000 after he drove his motorhome to and from a campsite in London’s low emission zone (LEZ) on Easter weekend “without knowing” he was being charged.


More here: Link

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Average student debt three times higher in England than Scotland, new figures show


The SNP, which commissioned the analysis, said young people were being forced into "obscene levels of debt" as it criticised Labour for dropping its pledge to scrap tuition fees.

More here: Link

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Car repossessions rise to the highest level for nearly two years


Voluntary terminations (VTs), voluntary surrenders and repossessions for cars rose in May 2023 to the highest level for nearly two years according to the Motor Auction Group (MAG).


More here: Link

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Bite-size stats


During Q2 2023, there were 26,390 (seasonally adjusted) individual insolvencies, as shown in Figure 1, comprised of 17,458 IVAs, 7,106 DROs and 1,826 bankruptcies (Insolvency Service

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There were 21,232 Breathing Space registrations in Q2 2023. This is 26% higher than in Q2 2022. Of the 21,232 Breathing Space registrations, 20,919 were Standard Breathing Space registrations and 313 were Mental Health Breathing Space registrations (Insolvency Service

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The 59% of adults who said that their cost of living had risen in the previous month were most likely to say that rising food costs were a reason for this. Of those, 97% said that a rise in the price of food shopping was a reason why their cost of living had gone up - (ONS)

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During 2022/23, 932 directors were disqualified under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 as a result of the work of the Insolvency Service. The number of director disqualifications in 2022/23 was higher than in 2021/22.   (Insolvency Service)

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(July 2023)

Monthly Debt News looks at debts and the causes of debts in Britain from various sources selected for professionals to make the debt sector simple.

This month’s Debt News includes: Debt collectors illicitly obtained French citizens data -  Ofgem brings measures for debt recovery - UK household pay down mortgage and use savings - FCA introduced mortgage breathing space - UK Govt renationalising Thames Water.  Finally, bite-size stats on student loans, universal credit fraud, financial exclusion and renters in poverty.

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Debt collector of UK fines ‘illicitly’ got data of drivers in France

That is the claim of 102 plaintiffs who have filed a complaint over fines relating to low-emission zones in London 


More here: link 

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Ofgem proposes £13 allowance in PPM price cap for energy suppliers

The measure is part of Ofgem’s new plan to protect PPM customers and help energy suppliers recover bad debts. Energy regulator Ofgem has today announced new measures to enhance rules protecting struggling prepayment meter (PPM) customers and addressing debt-related costs 

More here: Link

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UK Households Pay Down Mortgage Debt and Raid Savings

Britons made a net repayment of mortgage debt for a second month in May and withdrew a record amount of savings as higher borrowing costs added to the cost-of-living squeeze.


 More here: Link

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FCA enable firms to provide mortgage breathing space

The FCA has moved quickly to make changes to its rulebook to support key commitments made by lenders at last week’s mortgage summit held by the Chancellor. 

More here: Link

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UK government looks at nationalising Thames Water as crisis deepens

Ministers on standby to intervene in debt-laden business a day after the abrupt exit of chief Sarah Bentley.


More here: Link 

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The loan sharks profiting from the pain of soaring prices


"D", not his real name, has worked as an illegal moneylender for two decades and says business has never been so good. 


More here: Link


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Bite-size stats

The average (student) loan in England at $18,200 was substantially higher than in any other country included in the analysis. The next highest was Norway at $11,900. 96% of students in England received loans, again above any other country (Australia and New Zealand were the next highest at 83% and 76% respectively. (Hansard

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Under-declaration of income from work undertaken (Earnings/Employment) remained the largest source of Fraud (for universal credit), despite decreasing from 3.9% in FYE 2022 to 2.9% in FYE 2023. (DWP)

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Around 7.1 million people (one in seven, or around 14% of the adult population) in the UK fall into the definition of ‘financially excluded’, meaning they could struggle to access affordable and fair financial services.(LexisNexis)

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Social and private renters have poverty rates of 46% and 34%, respectively, compared with 12% for owner-occupiers. And they are also far more likely to be materially deprived or to live in food insecurity. (IFS)



(June 2023)

 Monthly Debt News looks at debts and the causes of debts in Britain from various sources selected for professionals to make the debt sector simple.

This month’s Debt News includes FCA ban debt referral fee  -  Students sell sex to pay for Uni - man fined for smashing a debt collector - UK household highest debt ever - imprisoned mortgagees as high interest increase - benefit debt increase foodbank use and finally - bite-size stats.

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FCA set out our new rules banning debt packagers from receiving referral fees 


FCA are banning debt packager firms from receiving remuneration from debt solution providers. This will remove a strong incentive for debt packagers to offer advice which does not have regard to the best interests of the customer...


More here: Link

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One in 20 students sell their bodies for sex to pay for university, according to survey


Students are selling their bodies for sex in order to slash their debt and pay for their cost of living, a major new study claims. According to research done by Swansea University, a staggering 1 in 20 students had worked in the sex industry while studying for a degree.


More here:   Link (Daily Mirror)


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Man sentenced for smashing up Debt Collector’s van


A man who smashed up a debt collector’s van and threatened staff when they came to his property has been given a community order. Stuart O’Connor, 42 and of Oswestry, pleaded guilty to two offences of criminal damage under £5,000 and using threatening/abusive words and behaviour...


More here: Link


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UK household debt swells past £2 trillion for first time ever


Family debt has swelled past £2 trillion for the first time ever in a sign Brits are whipping out their credit cards to fund spending amid the cost of living crunch, new research out today reveals. 


More here: Link


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Serious risk' borrowers will become 'mortgage prisoners' as monthly payments cost more than half of people's income


We've spoken a lot about mortgages this week, and sadly it doesn't seem the situation around rates is going to get better anytime soon.  More than 367,000 mortgages are expected to come to an end of their five-year fixed rate deals in the next 12 months, according to Equifax's chief data and analytics officer...


More here: Link


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Cost of living: Benefit debt pushing people into ‘crisis’ as they struggle to afford food, government warned


Ministers have been urged to reform benefit debt rules over concerns almost half of households owing money to the Government...

More here: Link

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Bite Size stats:


Summary motoring offences accounted for 73% of all fines. There were 1.05 million offenders sentenced in 2022, a 9% rise from the 962,000 seen in the previous year – this is driven by a 13% increase in fines... (Ministry of Justice)


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Compared to the same quarter in 2022, mortgage possession claims increased from 2,889 to 4,035 (40%), orders from 2,288 to 2,540 (11%), warrants from 2,184 to 2,624 (20%) and repossessions by county court bailiffs increased from 579 to 718 (24%) (Ministry of Justice)

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February 2023, 6.18% of UC full service claimants subject to sanction as part of their conditionality regime. Prior to legislation changes made on 30 March 2020, the UC sanction rate was 2.51% (DWP)

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Last year, there was at least a 28% increase in the number of food parcels distributed by the food banks in our network in every region of the UK (Trussell Trust)

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(May 2023)

Monthly Debt News looks at debts and the causes of debts in Britain from various sources selected for professionals to make the debt sector simple.

This month’s Debt News includes DWP overpayment mistakes - the cost of living bites - homeowners trapped in high interest - opposition leader renegades on student fees - household time bomb - ethnicity and car hire insurance premiums - bite-size stats.

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The DWP is chasing the poorest for millions of pounds of its own mistakes - but one mum fought back (ITV X)

A single mum of two disabled children has fought back against the government after it tried to force her to pay more than £8,000 in benefits debt over its own mistakes.


More here: link

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Belfast food bank adds evening opening as cost-of-living crisis bites.


A food bank in Belfast has described the pressure it faces as a "tidal wave approaching".


More here: Link 

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The people trapped paying 8% interest on their mortgages: 'I lie awake at night and I'm petrified all the time'


Homeowners paying over 8% interest on mortgages they can't switch away from say "relentless" rate rises over the past year have destroyed their mental health and left them living as "hermits". 


More here: Link

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UK opposition Labour leader likely to scrap free university pledge


The leader of Britain's main opposition Labour Party Keir Starmer said on Tuesday he is likely to scrap his pledge to provide free university tuition, blaming economic circumstances for the probable u-turn.


More here: Link

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Households in debt time-bomb, says Citizens Advice


Fears of a "debt time-bomb" have been raised by Citizens Advice, which said growing numbers of households faced a "wild west" when seeking help.

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Household finances: Govt To Issue Blanket Ban On Financial Cold Calls 

The government announced today that all cold calls offering financial products will be banned to protect consumers from scams, writes Bethany Garner.

More here: Link

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Unpacking the controversial issue of an ‘ethnicity penalty’ in car insurance premiums

Insurance Times speaks to industry experts following Citizens Advice revealing that POC are paying more for car insurance than their white counterparts.

More here: here

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Bite size stats:


19.1% Increase in the price of food and drink in the year to March 2023, the fastest rate in over 45 years. (Money Charity)

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70% Percentage of Buy Now Pay Later users reporting that they are paying through this means as a direct result of the cost of living crisis (Money Charity)

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There were 29,017 individual insolvencies in England and  Wales in Q1 2023, 517 fewer than in the previous quarter. The most significant increase since the current series began in 2010 was seen between Q2 2020 and Q3 2020. (Bank of England)

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Public sector net borrowing (PSNB ex) in March 2023 was £21.5  billion, £16.3 billion more than in March 2022, and the second-highest March borrowing since monthly records began in 1993 (ONS)

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 (April 2023)

Monthly Debt News looks at debts and the causes of debts in Britain from a variety of sources selected for professionals to make the debt sector simple


This month’s Debt News includes rise in broadband, mobile phone and council tax costs - FCA’s support guidance for existing mortgage borrowers - Ofgem call evidence on prepayment meters - Citizens Advice on bailiff research - CIVEA responds to Citizens Advice research - Bitesize stats - mortgage borrowing reduced - company insolvencies increase - breathing space increase - gas and electricity arrears increase.


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Broadband, mobile bills and council tax rises threaten ‘awful April’ for householders already facing a cost of living crisis


Households battling the cost of living crisis are facing an onslaught of price hikes that could leave the average family hundreds of pounds a year worse off.


From April 1, millions will face increases to their broadband, mobile, water and council tax bills.


More here: Link

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Guidance for firms supporting existing mortgage borrowers impacted by rising living costs

FCA set out how mortgage lenders can help customers worried about, or already struggling with, their mortgage payments because of rising living costs. We also summarise feedback to our draft general guidance.


More here: Link

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Ofgem launches national evidence call on prepayment meters


Ofgem and Citizens Advice are launching a national evidence-call to ask energy customers to share their experiences of moving to a prepayment meter (PPM).

The eight-week partnership is a key part of Ofgem’s comprehensive market review of prepayment meters and remote switching, to ensure suppliers meet their legal obligations in protecting customers.

More here: Link

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Citizens Advice  researches on bailiff behaving badly stories from the front line


With costs soaring over the last 18 months, 1 in 4 people (27%) have fallen into debt. 


This has seen over 2 million people being contacted by bailiffs during the cost-of-living crisis. But rather than help people get back on track, intimidating behaviour and huge fees charged by bailiffs have pushed many households further into debt and left some afraid to answer the door or even leave their homes. 


More here: Link

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CIVEA responds to poorly interpreted Citizens Advice research on civil enforcement


Responding to research based on surveys by Citizens Advice, Russell Hamblin-Boone, chief executive of the Civil Enforcement Association, said: “CIVEA is disappointed to read today’s statement from Citizens Advice and will be interested to understand how this data was gathered and interpreted.



More here: Link


Bite Size Stats:


Net borrowing of mortgage debt by individuals decreased from £2.0 billion in January to £0.7 billion in February, the lowest level since July 2021 (£1.8 billion of net repayment). (Bank of England)


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The number of registered company insolvencies in February 2023 was 1,783.  17% higher than in the same month in the previous year (1,518 in February 2022), and 33% higher than the number registered three years previously (pre-pandemic; 1,345 in February 2020). (Insolvency Service)

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There were 7,312 Breathing Space registrations in February 2023, which is 26% higher than the number registered in February 2022. (Insolvency Service)

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Average debt level where there is no arrangement to repay the debt (arrears for electricity in Q3 2012: £440 (electricity) and £445 )(gas). In Q3 2022:  £1036 (electricity) £807 (gas) (Ofgem)


 

(March 2023)


Monthly Debt News looks at debts and the causes of debts in Britain from a variety of sources selected for professionals to make the debt sector simple


This month’s Debt News includes extended energy bill support - FCA expects the debt sector to implement consumer duty - students in debt - Surrey Council insolvent - Bitesize stats.


Energy bill support to be extended as price rise looms. 


Support for energy bills from the government is expected to continue for three months from April, protecting consumers from an average increase of £500. Sky News understands the chancellor will cancel a reduction in support that would have seen typical annual bills rise from £2,500 to £3,000. 

More here: Link (Sky)

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FCA wrote to COA/Director on  21 February of Debt Advice Portfolio to implement the Consumer Duty for the Debt Advice Portfolio

Consumer Duty is a significant shift in our expectations of firms. It introduces a more outcomes-focused approach to consumer protection and sets higher expectations for the standard of care that firms give customers. 

More here: Link (FCA)

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Student loans: A third of university  students plunge into double debt in cost of living crisis, ONS survey shows


Figures published on Friday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that 30 percent of students in England have taken on new debt in the past three months, with the majority saying it was because their student loan was “not enough to support their living costs”. 

More here: Link (iNews)

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Surry council on brink of insolvency with debts of nearly £2bn. 


A local council in Surrey has signalled it is close to effective bankruptcy after amassing debts worth almost £2bn to fund a property investment spree, raising fresh questions over the fragile health of local authorities after years of austerity. 


More on here: Link (Guardian)

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Bitesize Stats:


The proportion of UK families going without essentials due to the rising cost of living. Around 6 in 10 low-income households are not able to afford an unexpected expense, over half are in arrears and around a quarter use credit to pay essential bills. (Joseph Rowntree Foundation)

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Citizens Advice Bureaux across England and Wales answered 469,854 enquiries in January 2023, 18.4% up from January 2022. Debt was the second largest advice category in January 2023 with 79,448 issues, behind Benefits and Tax Credits (104,944). (Money Charity) 

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There were 26,538 individual insolvencies in England and Wales in November to January 2023, an increase of 0.8% from 26,328 for the same period in 2022. (Money Charity)


(February 2023)

Monthly Debt News looks at debts and the causes of debts in Britain from a variety of sources selected for professionals to make the debt sector simple.


This month’s Debt News includes: *** Courts wave through warrant prepayment meter - Bailiffs forced to wear body cameras -Ofgem review customer standards of energy suppliers - DWP admits court defeat and universal credit discrimination - FCA consultation on debt packers - a spike in late payments and small businesses - Bite-Size Stats: Repossession, Consumer judgments, arrears & student debts


Articles


Exclusive: Courts waved through warrants for prepayment meter fitting


Courts waved through applications by energy firms to forcibly install prepayment meters in people's homes, according to internal advice leaked to the BBC. 


Previous guidelines required careful scrutiny of warrant applications, but new advice to courts deems those rules “disproportionate". 

More on the Exclusive issue: link


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Bailiffs forced to wear body cameras under new law 

Bailiffs will be forced to wear body cameras to protect vulnerable people struggling with debt, the Government has announced. The move is aimed at safeguarding households from “rogue” debt collectors who deploy threatening behaviour on their visits to squeeze cash out of families.

More on the issue: link


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Ofgem review reveals that customer service standards of energy suppliers must improve

On Thursday 2 Feb 2023, energy regulator Ofgem has published supplier ratings from its fourth ‘deep dive’ into energy supplier standards. The Market Compliance Reviews are proactive, market-wide assessments of energy suppliers’ performance on key areas. 

More on the issue: link

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DWP admits court defeat after universal credit discrimination led to suicide thoughts

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has admitted repeatedly breaching the Equality Act, after a disabled man was left needing hospital treatment three times for suicidal thoughts caused by months of failures by universal credit advisers and jobcentres.

More on the issue: link

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FCA consults on debt packager referral fees ban

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has opened a consultation into a proposed ban on debt packager referral fees from debt solution providers, as part of its work to protect consumer outcomes.

The consultation will remain open until 2 March, during which time the FCA will update its analysis on the market. If the proposals are implemented, the measures would end the current debt packager business model.

More on the issue: link

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Small Business Survey reveals true effects of late payments on SME owners

A survey jointly conducted by two leading UK Debt Collection agencies has revealed the true extent of the effects of late payment on the nations local Small Business owners. There has been a spike in late payments to Small Businesses across the UK as the economy continues to remain unstable in the post pandemic era.


More on the issue: link


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Bitesize Stats

RepossessionUK Finance estimates that there were 700 homeowner properties taken into possession in the UK in Q3 2022, up from 420 in Q3 2021(Money Charity)

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 Consumer JudgementsThe total value of consumer judgments has seen an increase of 44% this quarter, from £355 million in Q3 2022 to £512 million in Q4 2022. This increase is the highest as compared to the past four quarters. (Register Trust Ltd)

Consumer judgments have seen an increase of 59% in the average value, from £1,833 in Q3 2022 to £2,923 in Q4 2022 (Register Trust Ltd)

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Arrears: According to the Financial Conduct Authority, at the end of Q3 2022 there were 150,462 mortgage loan accounts with arrears of more than 1.5% of the current loan balance (Money Charity)

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Student Debt: In England, the average debt for the latest (2020/21) cohort to enter repayment was £45,060, an increase of 12.6% on the previous year (Money Charity)

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(January 2023)

Monthly Debt News looks at debts and the causes of these debts in Britain from a variety of sources selected for professionals to make debt simple.

PERSONAL DEBTS:

New DWP figures out today show 107,000 families are facing escalating costs as winter bites with their benefits capped.  56,000 have kids aged under five.   And more than 32,000 of these capped families (over 110,000 children) are also subject to the two-child limit policy according to new FOI-based estimates from the Nuffield Foundation-funded Benefit Changes and Larger Families project.


More on this issue by CPAG: Link

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Sharp increases in the cost of living, coupled with a real-term fall in wages and existing Christmas spending pressures are causing high levels of financial anxiety, according to the December 2022 Money Statistics, produced by The Money Charity.


More on this issue by Money Charity: Link

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The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has today voted to increase interest rates to 3.5 percent, a rise of 0.5 percentage points. Joanna Elson CBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline and Business Debtline, said:


“Households are under pressure from all directions as the sustained impact of high food, fuel and energy costs continues to stretch peoples’ budgets to the limit. And with interest rates rising further, this will only add to the worries of millions of people as we head towards the New Year.'


More on this issue by Money Advice Trust: Link

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BITE-SIZE STATS:

- The average total debt per household, including mortgages, was £65,746


- 38.2 mortgage possession claims and 26.2 mortgage possession orders were made every day in England and Wales in April to June 2022


- 200 landlord possession claims and 157.4 landlord possession orders were made every day.


More of on the above data from the Money Charity: link




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