Local and National Government Bodies ‘Among the Most Aggressive Debt Collectors’
July 5, 2018
People acting on behalf of local and national government bodies are among the most aggressive and frightening debt collectors currently operating in the UK, according to the charity group Christians Against Poverty (CAP).
Around 42 per cent of the people who’ve been in touch with CAP in search of help in dealing with debts feel “a lot more stressed” about their debts to government bodies than their debts with other organisations or service providers.
Council tax arrears and debts to HMRC or the Department for Work and Pensions cause problems for many thousands of British consumers and for some people the associated issues can be a source of real distress.
The CAP reports that a majority of people it has helped with these types of debt have felt ill as a result of pressure being exerted by debt collectors.
As many as 93 per cent of people who’ve contacted CAP and have debts to local authorities or national government departments have lost sleep as a result of these problems.
CAP chief executive Matt Barlow has said that there have been improvements within the private sector in terms of how debtors are pursued for money they owe but expressed concerns about trends within the public sector.
Mr Barlow wants to see those private sector improvements matched in the public sector and for the government to step in and legislate in ways that give debtors ‘breathing space’ from all their creditors if they’re really struggling to cope with debt problems.
“It is totally unacceptable that some of the most aggressive debt collecting behaviour in our nation comes from the hands of both local and national governments,” he said.
“The reality is, people on the receiving end can feel completely overwhelmed and unable to cope and our findings show they are not given sufficient avenues of understanding or support.
“Many have no idea why they owe what they owe and that’s both confusing and frightening.”
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