Have you ever been in debt? It can be a seriously troubling time for anyone. It can also hit when you least expect it. You may feel lost or like you have nowhere and no one to turn to. One MP, in particular, wants to make a real change when it comes to this issue.
MP Stephen Crabb is one of a selection of cross-party MPs asking for a much-needed reform of the bailiff industry.
Both writing their say in a joint letter to Justice Secretary Robert Buckland, Stephen Crabb joined Labour’s Rachel Reeves and other members of parliament, in pressing the Government to ‘act now’ to change the outdated ways of debt collection with a clear focus on ‘bringing in stronger regulation and effective oversight’.
This letter in question also refers to the 2014 reforms which supposed to change immoral problems in the debt collection and explains that ‘83% of callers to National Debtline who had experienced bailiff action reported that the bailiff visit had a negative impact on their wellbeing’.
Adding on to this, the letter written by Crab and Reeves points out that ‘almost a third of people surveyed by StepChange Debt Charity said they had tried to arrange repayments by phone, but the bailiff insisted on visiting their home to take payments’, this practice, therefore, led to an extra £235 in enforcement fees added to their debt.
In an attempt to make the industry fairer for low-income families, Stephen has brought this issue up previously in parliament. He has met with many people that have suffered negative experiences when it comes to debt collecting and he feels there is an immediate need for urgent change.
He has also worked alongside debt advice charities and discussed everything from fees to interest percentages with them.
With the backing of other MP’s, we can hope that Stephen brings an important and positive change to the industry that will affect everyone (from the enforcement officers to the general public) in a good way.
Stephen Crab states:
”I have written to previous Ministers about this and I am pleased to add my support to this letter to the Justice Secretary now.”
He added, “The reality is that progress has been far too slow in driving up standards among bailiffs and debt collectors and I hope the Government listen to our concerns and bring in stronger regulation.”