Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  

 

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

27/5/2019
Highland Council secures largest ever Salix loan in Scotland to fund energy improvementsThumbnail for article : Highland Council secures largest ever Salix loan in Scotland to fund energy improvements
The Highland Council has secured a £3.5m interest-free loan from Salix Finance to invest in energy efficiency measures across the Council estate.  The loan, which is the largest Salix has awarded in Scotland, match-funds the Council's self-financing investments in energy efficiency to create a £7 million Energy Efficiency Fund.  
22/5/2019
Water scarcity - Council supporting users of private water supplies
The Highland Council's Environmental Health Team is advising users of private water supplies to take preventative steps to preserve their drinking water.  Following a mild Winter and Spring, there is increasing pressures on water supplies.  
21/5/2019
Impact on PSA posts significantly reduced to under 12 across Highland
There will be minimal impact on PSA posts due to extensive work done to protect staff through the holding back over 50 vacant posts and identifying other opportunities within the council.   We have committed to avoiding compulsory redundancies.  
20/5/2019
Free forum event for Highland landlords
The Highland Council, in partnership with Under One Roof Scotland, are inviting all private landlords to a special seminar specifically to look at issues surrounding common repairs and building maintenance in flats and how to deal with any problems that may arise.   Under One Roof Scotland www.underoneroof.scot is an impartial online information site for flat owners and their advisers.  
17/5/2019
Highland Council Final Accounts For 2018/19 Show Improved Position
A greatly improved financial position is to be reported to the council's Corporate Resources Committee meeting next week for the financial year 2018/19.  The position reflects the overspend reducing by £3M due to management actions in recent months.  
16/5/2019
Highland Council confirms commitment to Food For Life
Already leading the way when it comes to providing nutritional school meals, The Highland Council has reaffirmed its commitment to put more local fresh seasonal food on school dinner plates.   Catherine Pendreigh, Food for Life Partnerships Manager at the Soil Association gave a presentation at today's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee on the accreditation already awarded to Highland Council's school meals and how this could be further developed in the future.  
16/5/2019
Town Centre Funding Of £265,290 For Caithness
Members of The Highland Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee have welcomed new funding to stimulate economic investments in Highland town centres to help them diversify and flourish.   In partnership with COSLA The Scottish Government have provided £50m capital to set up the Town Centre Fund 2019-2020.  
15/5/2019
Council Warning Over Illegally Imported Puppies - Think About It
The Highland Council is warning anyone considering buying a puppy to ensure they buy from reputable sources.  Concerns have been raised that people are illegally importing dogs from Europe to sell without the correct health checks or paperwork.  
14/5/2019
Car Parking Charges Have Begun - Watch Where You ParkThumbnail for article : Car Parking Charges Have Begun - Watch Where You Park
Parking Enforcement is coming to a street near you.   With the Decriminalisation of Parking Enforcement, and establishment of the Highland Council Parking Services in 2016, the local authority has committed to the roll-out of enforcement activities across all population centres in Highland.  
14/5/2019
Progress For Inverness Castle TransformationThumbnail for article : Progress For Inverness Castle Transformation
Progress in the transformation of Inverness Castle to become a new visitor attraction for the city was marked today with the announcement of contracts awarded to the architect and the creative director for the project.   The Inverness Castle project forms part of the Inverness and Highland City-Region deal.  

[Printer Friendly Version]