Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Paying too much for broadband? Move to PlusNet broadband and save£££s. Free setup now available - terms apply. PlusNet broadband.  

 

Only Santa Should Be In The Red This Christmas

11th December 2006

Christmas could break the bank for the more than 6.6 million people already behind on payments, the Legal Services Commission (LSC) warned today launching its Christmas debt awareness campaign. The campaign asks shoppers to think of the debt they may be racking up ahead of January when the bills arrive. The LSC pays for legal aid, including debt advice, and last year calls for debt help to the Community Legal Service Direct phone line in January doubled the calls logged for December.

In 2006 debt became a more serious problem in the UK than ever as households struggled to cope with debt totalling 1.1trillion, that's more than 16,500 worth of debt for every man, woman and child in the UK.

6.6 million people reported being three months or more behind with payments on their regular commitments. Individuals declaring themselves insolvent have risen 95% Bankruptcies are up by nearly a third. Home possession orders have jumped 66% and repossessions 47%

The average personal debt of visitors to advice agencies has topped 30,000.

Only Santa should be in the red this Christmas in around 5,000 locations such as pubs, church halls, Christmas markets and job centres. Caroyln Regan, Chief Executive of the Legal Services Commission said:"It's difficult to avoid expense at this time of year but tackling debt problems early is the key to staying afloat. Keep track of your spending, know how much you owe and if you are in trouble call for help now. Getting help now can help you avoid bailiffs, eviction and disconnection from utilities in January.

Fifty percent of households with serious debt problems have an annual income of less than 7,500. That means Christmas debt can mean a choice between not eating or having the power cut off when January bills arrive." Pensioner, Arthur Finch (not his real name) couldn't afford to eat when his creditors pushed for higher monthly payments on his debts worth more than 30,000. He was threatened with a bailiff's visit when he told two of his creditors there was no way he could increase payments. He lives in sheltered accommodation and has no assets.

After getting free civil legal aid from the Legal Services Commission, Arthur * is back on top of his finances. "I never should have been offered so much credit. I can't afford it. I took the loans the bank offered me because Christmas is an expensive time. When I finally called an adviser I was actually frightened and upset. My creditors were pushing me for higher and higher payments, sending threatening letters * and on my pension there was no way I couldn't afford it. I'd already sent them my electricity money. I would recommend my adviser to anyone. She talked to everyone I owed money to and my bills came down to a fair level."

Tips for a debt free Christmas
Using credit or catalogues can be a good way of spreading the cost ofChristmas but you don't want to be paying for this Christmas this time next year.

Don't take on more repayments than you can afford in full within the next few months.

Don't be tempted to keep buying more, set a budget and stick to it.

Gas prices have gone up this year so make sure you budget accordingly. If you are on benefits or over 60 you may be eligible for help with your fuel bill. You might also be able to get a grant to help pay for heating and insulation improvements.

Make sure you know the penalties you might incur if you fail to pay your credit card bill. You could consider switching your balance to a 0% interest deal.If you are having problems paying, let creditors know. They may be able to extend the time you have to pay.If you find yourself in debt problems get advice.

Don't let the bills mount up unopened.

The earlier you get help, the easier and less stressful it will be.

The Legal Services Commission who operate in England And Wales issued this warning but figures apply equally to Scotland

For advice on Debt in Scotland go to -
www.adviceguide.org.uk/scotland.htm

Highland Council also run a Money Advice service that is also free of charge and is good place to start for any one in the Higland area with concerns about finances or debt.
See
www.highland.gov.uk/livinghere/consumeradvice/moneyadvice.htm

Tel
Inverness (01463) 228709
Wick (01955) 607752
Fort William (01397) 707005

 

Related Businesses

 

Related Articles

16/10/2017
Council gets tough on unlicensed HMO
Last week, The Highland Council issued rent suspension orders (RSO) in relation to a number of properties being operated as unlicensed houses in multiple occupation (HMO).   The orders, which have been served on the owners and tenants, mean that the tenants are no longer under any obligation to pay rent to their landlord.  
14/10/2017
Council Leader Welcomes Scottish Government's Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund
The Leader of The Highland Council Councillor Margaret Davidson welcomed the First Minister's announcement of a Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund to deliver much needed improvements to tourist infrastructure to support the rising numbers of visitors to the Highlands.   This comes the week after figures were published for August which showed Highland visitor attractions were performing 17% higher compared to August last year, a result that is backed by accounts from residents and businesses that the area has been hugely popular with visitors this season.  
14/10/2017
Highland is ready for winter - are you?Thumbnail for article : Highland is ready for winter - are you?
The Highland Council is ready for winter and prepared to grit council roads as the council's winter maintenance programme starts on 14 October.   Trunk roads in Highland are the responsibility of Transport Scotland and their operators Bear Scotland.  
9/10/2017
Trading Standards are looking for Test Purchasers
Trading Standards are looking for young people to take part in test purchasing exercises.  We want to find out which shops are breaking the law by selling age restricted products to young people under 18.  
3/10/2017
Killimster Moss Road OpeningThumbnail for article : Killimster Moss Road Opening
Caithness Civic leader Cllr Willie Mackay (centre) cuts the tape at the opening of the newly refurbished half mile Killimster Moss stretch of the B876 Wick to Thurso road.   Looking on are some of the Highland council workers praised for the project which was done on time and within budget.  
3/10/2017
Praise for B876 Killimster Moss road refurbishmentThumbnail for article : Praise for B876 Killimster Moss road refurbishment
Caithness Civic Leader Cllr Willie Mackay has welcomed the reopening of the B876 Killimster Moss Road.   A stretch of the Caithness Wick to Thurso road at Killimster Moss was refurbished over a four week programme of improvement and reopened on Friday 29 September.  
2/10/2017
Consultation on review of Highland polling stations
A chance to have your say.   Voters are being invited to have their say on a review of polling places throughout the Highland Council area The Council has today (Monday 2 October 2017) launched a consultation over its review of election polling districts and polling places.  
30/9/2017
£1 million for school libraries over 3 years
The Scottish Government is allocating £1 million to improve school libraries over the next three years.   Launched today by the Deputy First Minister, the School Library Improvement Fund will be open for education authorities to apply for funding on behalf of school libraries in their area.  
29/9/2017
Highland Council responds to SPA decisions on the Inverness Police Control Room
The Scrutiny Lead for The Highland Council, Cllr Matthew Reiss responded to the decisions made today by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) at their meeting in Inverness.   He said: "We are naturally deeply disappointed by the decisions today to close the Inverness Control Room and to spread the National Database Enquiry Unit between Inverness and Govan.  
29/9/2017
Independent councillor returns in by-election - Tain and Easter Ross by-election resultsThumbnail for article : Independent councillor returns in by-election - Tain and Easter Ross by-election results
The by-election for a councillor to represent the Tain and Easter Ross Ward on The Highland Council has been won by Alasdair Rhind (Independent) who was one of six candidates who contested the vacancy.   The bi-election was brought about by the resignation of Jamie Stone following his success in the Westminster elections He joins Councillors Fiona Robertson (Independent) and Derek Louden (SNP) in representing Ward 7 on The Highland Council.  

[Printer Friendly Version]