The Debt Respite Scheme (breathing space) has come into force today and offers legal protection from creditors for up to 60 days for those trapped in problem debt; this includes pausing enforcement action, stopping creditor contact and freezing interest and charges on debts. Breathing space applies to residents of England and Wales.
Getting Breathing Space
Breathing space can only be initiated by an approved debt adviser, who is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (such as Angel Advance) or a local authority debt adviser.
The new rules apply to most unsecured debts, including credit cards, rent and council tax. This will offer the time and space to get debt advice, to decide which solution to go ahead with, and get it in place too. Most debt solutions can be set up within a matter of weeks, so there’ll be plenty of time to assess your options and set one up.
Under the new breathing space scheme, if a debt is eligible, the creditor will be prevented from charging interest, applying charges, or starting legal proceedings against you. If the debt is joint, both parties will be covered by the new scheme for that particular debt.
For Standard Breathing Space, you must be willing to work with your debt adviser to get a long-term debt solution in place. You’ll be expected to participate in a mid-way review with your adviser and notify them of any changes to your situation.
If you’re receiving mental health crisis treatment you can apply for Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space. This breathing space lasts as long as your treatment (plus 30 days) and a nominated person can apply on your behalf. Your debt adviser will need confirmation from an Approved Mental Health Professional that you’re receiving treatment and will need to communicate with them regularly to confirm the treatment is ongoing.
Getting debt advice
You can call us today on 01925 599400 to discuss your options and confirm if breathing space will help your situation.