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Debt Collection News Roundup – May, 2018

Here at Access Credit Management we like to make sure we bring our readers interesting and relevant news about our industry so once a month we’ll be publishing a News Roundup.  This should keep you up to speed with all the important goings on within the sector so that you have a resource that keeps you fully informed of all the latest news.  It would be interesting to know what you, the readers, think of the stories that feature here. 

Please join in by adding your comments on our Facebook page, tweeting on Twitter or email us if you come across anything that you think we should include.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the long period of monetary policy easing has created an unprecedented global debt burden of $164 trillion which is double the world’s GDP!  Most of the debt is from advanced economies and China and the IMF warns that a sudden tightening of global financing could disrupt market access and jeopardise economic activity on a global basis.  The IMF initially expected a post-crash global economic recovery which has not happened and is uncertain whether the AI economy will generate more activity and wealth in the long term or simply lead to disruptive job losses.

A mother of twin daughters who both attended university has written to Education Secretary Damian Hinds to challenge the official interest rate on student loans, suggesting that current rates could be breaching the law.  According to legal advice, the Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998 states that the rate paid by former students should be “lower or no higher” than the commercial market rate which benchmarks suggest is 3.81%.  However, the highest rate (which is linked to the Retail Prices Index) is set to rise from 6.1% to 6.3% in September.  A spokesman for the Education Department has insisted that a rate of 6.1% does comply with the law, but the mother has pointed out that the current rate is double that of car finance and impacts the poorest students in the UK the most.  Graduates are leaving university with average loan debts of more than £50,000 which would have been unthinkable only 20 years ago when tuition fees were first introduced, a time when the average house price was less than £70,000.

A new BBC3 factual drama tells the true story of Jerome Rogers, a bike courier who committed suicide in 2016 after accruing a series of fines which became insurmountable.  The drama is a fictionalised account of the stress suffered from the growing debt and highlights the drawbacks of the gig economy and insecure jobs in 21st Century Britain.  It clearly demonstrates the heartbreak suffered by one family as a result of low income, unstable jobs and debt, an issue that affects so many people here in the UK.  The film is available on BBC iPlayer from 29th May.

Our final piece is the uplifting story of Jacques Ruffin who shared a 10-year old letter addressed to his mother that he found whilst cleaning out a cupboard.  The letter came from a music shop owner and dealt with the fact that his mother was struggling to meet the repayments for a trumpet bought for Jacques.  The music shop owner revealed that he too had been through economically challenging times and didn’t want Jacques to miss out on a music education due to lack of money so he cancelled the remaining debt.   Jacques was so moved by the kind gesture that he has set up a funding campaign to help support children to study music.