A new Breathing Space scheme will help to shield people in problem debt from further interest and charges.

Anyone receiving debt advice can apply for a break of up to 60 days to prevent them from falling into a spiral of debt.

A separate system for people receiving support for mental health issues lasts for the length of the treatment plus another 30 days.

Under the scheme interest and charges will be paused and no enforcement action can be taken, if a debt advisor agrees that a breathing space period is appropriate.

It can only be used once in a 12 month period and regular bills such as mortgage, rent, taxes and utility bills still need to be paid.

Citizens Advice’s debt advice expert, Lorraine Charlton, explains: “If you have unmanageable debts, the new scheme could give you the time to get the advice that will help, and to start taking action. Breathing space isn’t a temporary fix to simply keep your creditors at arm’s length. You’ll need to work with your debt adviser to try and make a plan to deal with your debts.”

For more information call our Adviceline on 0808 2787 806 or use our Advice by email service.

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