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I was browsing the Internet when a couple of items hit me in the face. ‘Reduce debt payments by 85 per cent’ said one. Though not living with any debt myself, this seemed too good not to investigate further. I clicked on the button and was asked for details to check my eligibility.
With a little imagination, I was assessed as a person on benefits, owing £5,000 between 3 creditors. Guess what – although I felt mine was a poor case, I was accepted for help. I am afraid I cannot go further with how this worked, as the next step meant identifying myself and my e-mail and I was not prepared to provide those kinds of details.
It does, of course, depend on the help required. If the aim was to assist the many people who sadly find themselves in a situation of unmanageable debt, then I was an ideal candidate, but surely it is more ethical not to reduce outstanding debt but to help people to manage it?
I cannot say that any of those advertising this and like schemes were identical to one which an acquaintance became involved with, but it probably ran on the same or similar lines. This consolidated all debt and then calculated how much the debtor could reasonably be expected to pay, over a term of 5 years. Credit cards and further debt accumulation were forbidden, and the Debtor has paid his debt to his creditors.
You may ask, if the debts are consolidated with a more reasonable, single payment being made, is the calculated payment enough to clear the debt in 5 years? Perhaps sometimes, but often, the balance still outstanding no longer stands as a debt. 5 years and the Debtor is debt-free and, hopefully, having learned his lesson, will not fall into debt again.
But what of the Creditor, who has accepted payments over 5 years and may still find themselves short? The debts will have been prioritised and I would hope that debts to a private landlord would be settled as a priority, having provided the debtor with a home.
This seems fair, as many landlords provide good quality accommodation and the rent allows them to service the property or properties they own. Rent of £600 per month is more useable than a debt that is re-paid at far less than that, over 5 years. Arrangements along those lines would find some landlords unable to continue in the private sector market.
Debt is a major issue today – advertisements like the ones I saw are too many not to indicate that debt and the ‘I want it now generation’ attitude are increasing and creating problems.
‘Generation Rent’ has gained a lot of sympathy as home-ownership is occurring later and later; there is a need for extremely good, high-quality properties, favoured as the second-best option for the working. Yes, deposits are high but so is expectation. An earlier generation expected to start at the bottom, in a flat or terraced property; now a detached is the desired option.
Private landlords give your properties the ‘wow’ factor and don’t be surprised to get good tenants who want to stay long-term.
For advice on buy to let issues – Ask Sharon