The Debt Respite Scheme

25 Jun 2024

The Debt Respite Scheme, commonly known as the Breathing Space Scheme is designed to help those with problem debts. The scheme provides legal protections from creditor action while those affected receive professional debt advice to find an appropriate solution to their debts.

The standard breathing space scheme has a 60-day respite period during which individuals are protected from almost all enforcement action by creditors whilst they work with a debt advice agency. The scheme applies to almost all personal debts including personal and payday loans, overdrafts, utility bills, rent and mortgages arrears, credit and store cards as well a wide range of debts owed to government. The use of the scheme can help prevent debts from continuing to spiral by stopping the accrual of contractual interest, default interest, fees and charges during the breathing space period.

The same measures also apply to certain vulnerable individuals in mental health crisis treatment – for the full duration of their crisis treatment plus another 30 days. This scheme is known as the mental health crisis breathing space scheme.

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