Debtors may be given more ‘breathing space’

23 Mar 2018

A recent announcement by the Treasury means that people in severe debt who can show willingness to seek advice could be given more “breathing space”. This follows the Government’s promise to implement such a measure in its 2017 manifesto.

This proposal would offer individuals legal protection of up to six weeks from further interest and charges, or enforcement action being taken against them on unpaid debts. To benefit from this “breathing space”, individuals with serious debt problems would need to show they are actively seeking debt advice.

Whilst this could be a great incentive to make people seek the advice they need and at an earlier stage than current statistics suggest is happening at the moment, this ‘space’ already exists through the Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims, which came into effect on 1 October 2017. Furthermore, creditors such as banks and building societies will often suspend interest and charges to allow customers in financial difficulties time in which to seek advice and/or make arrangements to repay.

Although the Government’s proposals currently extend only to those in “serious financial difficulties”, a number of debt groups and charities are pressing for these proposals to extend to anyone accessing psychiatric inpatient care or the care of a Crisis Resolution Team for mental health.

Draft legislation could be published by the end of this year or early 2019.

Find out more :

Further reading

IP in pole position in 2021

Victoria Watt takes a look at a hat trick of car-related cases that concluded last autumn that place IP firmly in the headlights
Read more Read

Happy New Year for leasehold property owners

Blog, Legal Updates
Lawrence Morley looks at government reforms that will make it easier and cheaper for leaseholders to buy  their homes
Read more Read

Mission accomplished! DMH Stallard completes charity trek to and from the North Pole in aid of St Catherine’s Hospice

Blog, News & PR
DMH Stallard completes Christmas charity trek from the North Pole to St Catherine's and back, raising money for a fantastic cause.
Read more Read

(Supply) chain reaction

Blog, News & PR
It’s no time to shy away from chasing debt when it’s your cashflow under pressure. Kelly Mills provides the focus.
Read more Read
  • Brighton Office

    1 Jubilee Street


    East Sussex

    BN1 1GE

  • Gatwick Office

    Griffin House

    135 High Street


    West Sussex

    RH10 1DQ

  • Guildford Office

    Wonersh House

    The Guildway

    Old Portsmouth Road



    GU3 1LR

  • Horsham Office

    Ridgeland House

    15 Carfax


    West Sussex

    RH12 1DY

  • London Office

    6 New Street Square

    New Fetter Lane


    EC4A 3BF

  • Get in touch