Accessing Debt Advice Services
Accessing Debt Advice Services Steve Wilcox Sheffield CAB Debt Support Unit The main strategies for dealing with debt…… Negotiating affordable or token payments Debt Relief Orders Bankruptcy Individual Voluntary Arrangements Debt Management Plans Who can you trust? Citizens Advice Bureaux and Advice UK Member Centres Independent and impartial. Free. Rights based advice. Advise on all options for dealing with debt. Will normally provide a full casework service. BUT….. don’t have sufficient capacity and can, therefore, be difficult to access. National Telephone Helplines National Debtline – 0808 808 4000 – telephone advice coupled with excellent written information. Community Legal Advice – 0845 345 4345 – full casework service provided – but must be eligible for “Legal Help”. Free Debt Management Plans Consumer Credit Counselling Service – 0800 138 1111 Payplan – 0800 716239 Fee Charging “Debt Advice” Fee charging companies are in the business of selling specific debt rescue products – IVAs, DMPs and consolidation loans. Can’t rely on them for impartial advice about all options for dealing with debt. Being a Registered Charity doesn’t guarantee impartial advice, or a quality service. Early Intervention Debt Advice Project Tenants with rent arrears often have other debts and/or problems claiming benefits. Rent arrears/evictions are costly for RSLs to deal with. “Early intervention” debt and benefits advice can deliver cost-savings for RSLs. Project being developed in Sheffield to deliver Quality Marked debt and benefits advice for RSL and Sheffield Homes tenants at £200 per referral.