Simon Read: Debt solutions need to be investigated

The Money Advice Trust wants the criteria for people using the orders to be widened to kick-off a government probe

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The Independent Online

The government should investigate the solutions offered to people struggling with unmanageable debt.

The call has come from the Money Advice Trust, which runs National Debtline, amid worries that hard-up folk are ending up in problem debt with no escape.

Joanna Elson, chief executive of the Trust, said: “Debt problems vary widely and we need to ensure that an appropriate debt solution exists for every single person struggling to repay what they owe.

“No one must be allowed to fall through the cracks of a system that has grown in a piecemeal fashion over several decades.”

The Insolvency Service closed a consultation this week on Debt Relief Orders– a debt solution available for people with low incomes, few assets and relatively small debts.

The Money Advice Trust wants the criteria for people using the orders to be widened to kick-off a government probe.

“The kind of debt problems we are seeing on the frontline of debt advice is changing dramatically – and officialdom needs to keep up,” said Ms Elson.

“Making Debt Relief Orders available to a wider range of debtors would be a good start, but we need a full independent review of the whole debt solutions landscape.”

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