Letter: Coping with catalogue debts

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your headline "Catalogue debt sends women to prison" (17 July) could cause unnecessary concern to millions of women who purchase from catalogue mail order companies. It has not been open to a creditor to seek the imprisonment of a debtor in the manner suggested in the article since the latter part of the 19th century.

The traditional catalogue mail order companies provide credit in a responsible manner and only after careful assessment of the application received. Should a customer experience financial difficulties, then generally, if the company concerned is contacted at an early stage, attempts will be made to come to a suitable arrangement, thus causing as little distress as possible.



The Mail Order Traders' Association