Letter: Debt in itself cannot lead to prison

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The Independent Online
Sir: The headline "Catalogue debt sends women to prison" (17 July) is misleading. Because of the 1974 Consumer Credit Act, having a catalogue debt in itself cannot lead to imprisonment.

The power to imprison for debt is used by magistrates as a last resort against people who refuse to pay fines, council tax or child maintenance. This will only occur once the debtor has been given many opportunities to pay by instalments.

People with debt problems can always receive help in coming to an agreement with their creditors by visiting their nearest Citizens' Advice Bureau.

MIKE HERSCHELL

Money Adviser

South Shropshire Citizens' Advice Bureau

Ludlow

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