Letter: Debt advice

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Amanda Davidson asks who will help those most in need of debt advice ("How to get out of a debt trap", 12 August). The answer is the Citizens' Advice Bureaux across the country. Trained advisers - almost all volunteers - help thousands every year completely free of charge and in the strictest confidence.

All general advisers have access to specialist debt support teams if necessary. As recommended in the article, they will help clients take stock of the situation, prioritise their debts (their home or their freedom may be at stake), reconsider their budgeting and negotiate with creditors .

Many serious debt problems arise from borrowing further to service an existing debt and the options to this must be fully explored to ensure that the client's home is not at risk and that the downward spiral is not accelerated. As Amanda Davidson points out, the irresponsibility of some bank lending is a cause for considerable concern.

SYLVIA STAGG

Lymington, Hampshire

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