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‘Breathing space’ debt respite available to those in mental health crisis

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Written by: Paloma Kubiak
25/04/2018
People in serious debt who are in hospital or under the care of a community crisis team won’t have to attend debt advice meetings to be eligible for ‘breathing space’ from fees, interest and charges.

It is estimated 23,000 people in England struggled with problem debt last year while they were in hospital for their mental health.

This group are likely to receive calls and emails from banks, credit card companies, local authorities and other creditors despite suffering distress and potentially feeling suicidal.

Under previous government proposals, people in problem debt would be given a fixed period without fees, charges or interest if they seek debt advice.

This would allow people to get on top of debts before they spiral out of control, but it wouldn’t apply to those in mental health crisis who are too unwell to manage their finances alone, or to seek debt advice.

But yesterday, an amendment to the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill passed in the House of Commons means people using NHS mental h

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