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Debt relief orders help nearly 600 people in Stroud

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Nearly 600 people in Stroud have applied for a Debt Relief Order in the last 10 years, according to newly-published official figures highlighted by the free National Debtline advice service.

National Debtline is predicting that many more Stroud residents who are in financial difficulty will soon become eligible for Debt Relief Orders, ahead of “welcome” changes starting this month.

A Debt Relief Order is a way of dealing with debt that is designed for people with low incomes and few assets – and can give people who are eligible a fresh start by writing off unmanageable debts after 12 months.  National Debtline’s analysis of new figures published by the Insolvency Service shows a total of 579 people in Stroud have applied for a Debt Relief Order over the last 10 years.

Changes announced in last month’s Budget will remove the long-standing £90 fee to apply for a Debt Relief Order from 6th April onwards. Further changes to eligibility rules from 28th June, include an increase to the maximum level of debt applicants can have from £30,000 to £50,000.  National Debtline says that these changes will mean Debt Relief Orders will become an option for many more people in future. 

Separate findings from the government-backed Money and Pensions Service suggest that 7% of Stroud residents are in need of debt advice right now, which National Debtline says shows the continuing impact of the cost of living crisis on local families.  The charity-run service is urging anyone in Stroud who is struggling to seek free debt advice by calling National Debtline on 0808 808 4000.

National Debtline provides free, independent debt advice over the phone and online, and is also able to register people who are eligible for a Debt Relief Order where this is the best option for them.

The charity has further information about Debt Relief Orders at: www.nationaldebtline.org/debt-relief-orders   

Steve Vaid, Chief Executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline, said:  

“Millions of people are feeling the impact of the cost of living crisis, and for many the effects have left deep financial scars.  With 7% of Stroud residents in need of debt advice now, our message to anyone worried about their finances is to seek free advice from National Debtline as soon as possible.

“No one has to face their debts alone – our expert National Debtline advisers are here to help, and will work with you to make a plan to tackle your debts.

“And with welcome changes to Debt Relief Orders starting from this month, this option will now become available to more people who are unable to repay what they owe.  Whether or not you are eligible for any particular debt solution, there is always something that National Debtline advisers can do to help – so I would urge anyone struggling to get in touch straight away.”

Eight in 10 callers to National Debtline last year saw their debts reduce or stabilise after receiving free advice from an expert adviser. 

Anyone worried about their finances, in Stroud or elsewhere, can speak to a National Debtline adviser for free, independent advice – including on Debt Relief Orders – over the phone on 0808 808 4000, or get advice online at www.nationaldebtline.org 

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