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Debt Collection News Roundup – October, 2017

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. 


If you have any stories you think we should be covering or if you’d like to comment on this or any of our other articles, please do so on our Facebook page or tweet to us on Twitter.

We’ve already covered the news that rebels in the House of Lord threatened to vote down the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill unless it was amended to include a breathing space for debtors of six weeks.

Government statistics for England and Wales show that applications for individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs), a means of managing personal debt, reached their highest level since they were introduced in 1987.  The sharp increase in the use of IVAs comes alongside a 10.6% increase in wider insolvencies since the end of June.  The Bank of England claims that personal debts have risen to levels not seen since the beginning of the financial crisis and now reach more than £200 billion.

Figures from the Scottish Housing Regulator clearly show that social landlords in Scotland took on nearly twice as much debt last year as the year before.  In the twelve months to 31st March, 2017, £504 million was raised by social landlords in Scotland – up a massive 82% from the previous year as housing organisation struggle to meet the government’s construction targets.  Ministers in Scotland have pledged to deliver 50,000 affordable homes by 2021 with 35,000 of those in the social rented sector.

A married couple have been nicknamed the “Vampires of Debt” after taking £7 million from thousands of customers who turned to their debt management company for help.  Much of the money was squandered on luxury holidays and cars and the couple has now been banned for life from operating in the UK’s financial services industry.   According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), by the time the firm was placed into administration in 2014, more than £7 million was missing from client funds and the 4,000 people who turned to the company for help to manage their debts have little chance of seeing any of their money returned as it wasn’t covered by a financial services industry compensation scheme.

It seems that even God is in debt in these challenging financial times – concerns over mounting debt and health and safety issues have forced the closure of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour church in Belfast.  With the church facing a repair bill of more than £700,000, the decision was made to close the doors for a final time.

Last of all, a cautionary tale from Manchester with the news that a man who owed a debt to drug dealers was jailed for five years after enforcers dumped two guns on his doorstep when he failed to pay on time.  The man was sent to prison after pleading guilty to firearms offences, though he claimed the weapons found at his flat were not his.