UK households owe almost £19 billion to essential service providers and government in arrears according to Citizens Advice
Citizens Advice is calling for better regulation of unaccountable bailiff firms as it reveals households have fallen behind on their essential bills, such as council tax and utilities, by an estimated £18.9 billion.
Figures from the charity show:
UK households owe £18.9 billion to essential service providers and government in arrears. This includes tax credit overpayments of almost £7.5 billion, £2.84 billion owed to local authorities in council tax arrears and £2.20 billion owed to water companies.
Household debt has now overtaken consumer credit as the key money problem people bring to Citizens Advice.
Last year Citizens Advice helped people with 690,000 household bill debt problems, compared to 350,000 consumer credit issues.
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:
“One person every 3 minutes come to us for help with bailiff issues. Families are living in fear of a visit from the bailiffs, and small missed bills can skyrocket through excessive enforcement fees.
“Our evidence shows aggressive tactics by bailiffs cause huge distress and can even push people further into debt. Families are going without essentials like food or electricity to meet their payments.
“The Ministry of Justice has already announced a call for evidence into aggressive collection practices by bailiffs. They must use this to take strong action and introduce an independent bailiff regulator to fix this broken system.”
Read the latest press release dated 21st August 2018 from Citizens Advice in full click here.