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Moon phases

Dire Consequences Of Debt

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Dire Consequences Of Debt

Post by assassin on Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:51 am

Aggressive debt collectors raise risk of suicide

More than 100,000 people a year in England who are mired in heavy debt try to end their lives, new research has revealed.

Intimidating and threatening letters sent by debt collectors, bailiffs and councils raise the risk of suicide by adding to people’s feelings of despair, the study found. The findings have prompted calls from mental health experts for an urgent overhaul of the tactics banks, utility companies, credit card companies and others use to pursue people struggling to repay money they owe.

One in 14 adults is in problem debt, meaning they have fallen very behind on paying bills or credit agreements or have been cut off by a gas, electric or water supplier in the past year. They are three times more likely than the general population to have thought about ending their life, according to research undertaken by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), Britain’s largest independent social research body.

NatCen analysed detailed NHS data about adults’ mental health undertaken for the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute. It found that 13% of people in problem debt – about 420,000 a year – think about suicide and 4% of them – more than 100,000 people – try to end their life.

Martin Lewis, the personal finance expert who set up and chairs the institute, said letters to debtors, who can receive several a day, are so ruinous to mental health that they are pushing people to consider suicide. He urged ministers to amend the Consumer Credit Act 1974, which obliges those seeking to recover debts to use an array of formal language, which many find terrifying.

“The fact a law set decades ago doesn’t just allow companies to use intimidating language when collecting debt, but near forces them to do so, causes tragedy,” Lewis said. “The last thing those struggling with debts need is a bunch of near thuggish letters dropping through the letterbox, in a language you can’t understand, threatening you with court action.

“And with such a tight link between mental health and debt crisis, we know that many of the people receiving these letters are extremely vulnerable. These letters are destroying lives.”

Samaritans, Mind and the Royal College of Psychiatrists are among those backing the institute’s campaign, which aims to persuade the government to change the legislation so such letters are much less threatening to those receiving them.

The last thing those struggling with debts need is a bunch of near thuggish letters dropping through the letterbox
Martin Lewis, finance expert
The pressures such letters can induce were highlighted by the case of Jerome Rogers, a 20-year-old courier who took his own life after bailiffs clamped his motorbike after two unpaid £65 fines for parking offences imposed by Camden council mushroomed to a debt of £1,019.

The institute’s report points out that the feelings often displayed by people who are thinking about suicide mirror the psychological responses of many people who end up in serious debt.

NatCen’s findings, based on its analysis of a huge NHS dataset called the adult psychiatric morbidity survey, also found that:
*People with multiple debts are five times more likely to have tried to kill themselves than those with one debt.

Almost a quarter (23%) of those who made a suicide attempt last year were in problem debt.

The “double stigma” around debt and suicide means many of those who are struggling do not tell anyone how they are feeling or seek help.

“This is harrowing new evidence that far from tackling the burning injustice of mental ill health, the actions of this government are pouring petrol on the flames”, said Barbara Keeley, the shadow minister for mental health.

“The continual rise in poverty, insecure work and the crisis of low pay brought on by the decision of this callous government to pursue austerity relentlessly is seeing shockingly high numbers of people in desperate straits attempt to take their own lives.”

Ged Flynn, the chief executive of the charity Papyrus, which tries to reduce youth suicide, said: “It is no surprise that debt may contribute to people’s thoughts of suicide in many cases. In young people, insecurity in employment, increasing and prohibitive rent, zero hours contracts and not being able to get on the housing ladder, often causing a downward spiral of debt, can make many young people experience despair.”

Vicki Nash, Mind’s head of policy and campaigns, said: “Behind these figures are real people – parents, children, siblings, colleagues and friends – whose lives are being devastated. Mind [has] found that half of people with mental health problems have thought about or attempted suicide as a result of social issues such as housing issues, debt, benefit support, and employment.”

A government spokesperson said: “Suicide is the most devastating outcome for people struggling with the challenges of life and we are committed to helping people in problem debt receive the proper support. We’ve increased funding for the Money Advice Service to over £56m, enough to help over 530,000 people get the debt advice they need.

“We’re also introducing a ‘breathing space’ from problem debt to give people time to get their financial lives back on track. Every suicide is a preventable death and we are working hard with our partners across government, businesses and communities to help tackle this problem.”

The institute wants banks, councils, utilities providers, public health teams and all credit providers to do much more to spot suicide risk in people in heavy debt, encourage them to talk about their situation and minimise the psychological harm involved.

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Re: Dire Consequences Of Debt

Post by daveiron on Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:40 am

That is the very reason the long term members here stay.
It may well have been 40 years ago ,but I still remember being unable to sleep night after night worrying
about a couple of debts. I for one would not wish that on anyone .

The government quotes above say it all . At the very best it is only a short term reduction in payments .
Short term relief will in no way solve the long term problem.
Council tax must be one of the biggest causes of such debt in this country .Councils have discretion regarding
council tax debt ,with the ability to even reduce it to zero. I have never seen anyone on this or the old site
report any such discretion being granted. All the platitudes from the places mentioned in that article above
are worthless regarding solving any problem,all they will suggest is setting up a payment plan.
Its my opinion that this and a couple of other sites are the only ones who may be able to really assist
folks who need help.
I for one would urge anyone who is successful clearing their debts due to help received here ,to stick
around to help provide help and support to those who also need it.


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Re: Dire Consequences Of Debt

Post by Ausk on Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:47 am

I am on this forum because of the memories that plague my mind of my mother crying because she had nothing to give us for tea at night sometimes. (1950'-1960')

My male parent was alcoholic and a town drunk so you can imagine where the money went.

Having little to no food in the house was a not a rare occurrence. There were many times when we ate the same seconds spuds as the pigs ate or we ate rabbits.

While she managed to scrounge something for us 6 kids it was a constant battle for her.

There was a time she started to talk to us about some people called the Child Welfare Department and that some of us might have to go and live with some other people.
When she said this she looked at me and my blood turned to ice because I loved my mum and she was essential to my life.

I make no apologies to anyone for trying to help people with debts.

When the poor steal from the rich, its called theft, but when the rich steal from the poor, well that's just business; and business is business. In fact they say; if you reckon I owe you money take me to court and prove it?

I ask my self "why should not the poor have the knowledge, the skills and the CONFIDENCE to say to the rich " listen mate, if you reckon I owe you money take me to court and prove it, come on, do it!.

As I see it, this is what this site is all about.


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Re: Dire Consequences Of Debt

Post by assassin on Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:25 am

What does the Protection from Harassment act say:

1 Prohibition of harassment.
A person must not pursue a course of conduct—
which amounts to harassment of another, and
which he knows or ought to know amounts to harassment of the other.
A person must not pursue a course of conduct —
which involves harassment of two or more persons, and
which he knows or ought to know involves harassment of those persons, and
by which he intends to persuade any person (whether or not one of those mentioned above)—
not to do something that he is entitled or required to do, or
to do something that he is not under any obligation to do.]


For the purposes of this section [F2or section 2A(2)(c)], the person whose course of conduct is in question ought to know that it amounts to [F3 or involves] harassment of another if a reasonable person in possession of the same information would think the course of conduct amounted to harassment of the other.

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Re: Dire Consequences Of Debt

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