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Debt Collection News Roundup – December, 2016

Here at Access Credit Management we ‘re committed to making sure  our readers are up to speed with what’s going on in the industry so once a month we publish a News Roundup.  This brings our readers all the latest news and important goings on within the sector so that you have a resource that keeps you fully informed at all times.  As 2016 draws to a close, this is the last News Roundup for this year and next week, we’ll be taking a look back on the whole of the year as we move forward into 2017.

Debt coaches in Oxford were alerting residents to the dangers of debt at a time when people who have already overspent at Christmas may be tempted by the January sales.   Cash-strapped families whose finances are fragile feel under so much pressure during the festive season that they are often tempted to turn to money lenders in order have a great Christmas. 

Meanwhile, Labour’s deputy leader, Alex Rowley is calling for council debt amnesty for councils across Scotland where he is the MSP for Fife.  Research revealed that local authorities face around £2.4 billion of pre-devolution deb liabilities with Scotland sending back a minimum of £3.3 billion in interest to the Treasury in interest payment on those sums.  Rowley’s motion for debate in the Scottish Parliament has received cross-party support as councils across Scotland face cuts from both Westminster and Holyrood.

Meanwhile, the Telegraph reported that the pressures on couples to opt for an expensive, fairytale-style wedding means that some people are still trying to pay of the bills when they get divorced!  As many as a quarter of divorce settlements are delayed by arguments over who should shoulder the responsibility for paying off the debts acquired during the marriage, often including the wedding expenses.  Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams voiced concerns recently on the “marketization of marriage” which he believes could lead to unrealistic expectations of a perfect relationship “crystallised in the perfect wedding day”.

Next up is the news that despite public sector borrowing decreasing in November, 2016, the UK national debt hit an all-time high of £1.65 trillion!  Although the actual amount borrowed was smaller than in the previous month (continuing the trend of gradual improvement in public finances), the national debt increased to an equivalent of 84.5% of GDP.  Chancellor Philip Hammond warned of this in his first Autumn Statement, revealing that the government would need to borrow more over the coming five years to compensate for a reduction in tax revenues following the Brexit vote.  The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has predicted that total government debt will peak at 90.2% in 2017-18 followed by a decrease to 89.7% in 2019.

The Citizens’ Advice Bureau has warned that the “Buy now, pay later” culture is leaving young people struggling to pay off their debts.  Thousands of people in their twenties who signed up to attractive offers are now struggling to pay backdated interest payments.  The deals which allow delayed payment for an agreed period of time ( usually six or twelve months) stipulate that failing to pay in full by an agreed date incurs interest charges backdated to the start date of the agreement.