How are you doing? I really feel like I need a holiday, but my local area is looking like it’s heading for a local lockdown due to an increase in cases of Covid-19. Instead, in a random thought process too intricate to share, I’m going to spend the money on a new roof.
Looking on the bright side I have seen both of my sons, at social distance, in the park, and seen my first Grandaughter again. I’ll admit. I did blubber. I have seen her only 4 times since she was born and she is now 6 months old and cutting her first teeth. And in other good news, I have finished my last week of home-schooling my daughter. What a slog. The school have been brilliant though. The Head of Year has called round and brought me a box of chocolates for my efforts. How lovely was that!
Just like me, many clients have been using money from cancelled holidays to pay off their debts, carry out repairs or complete home improvements. Many have also reported spending less during lockdown and are now considering revising their habits. As we slowly emerge blinking back into our post-lockdown world, banks and mortgage providers have indicated that they are going to be a lot more careful about offering credit for a while. Non-essential shops, arts venues and public transport providers will continue to see a hesitant return to normal as people remain cautious.
Those people that were already living on, or close to, the breadline have not been lucky enough to have money spare to repay debts. Many are still looking at extending repayment holidays where they can. My first recommended blog is by Martin Lewis. He asks, “should we extend our payment holidays, just because we can?” The consequences of taking a payment holiday are explained very clearly and the main forms of credit are looked at individually. Martin suggests that the payment holiday options should only be used if absolutely necessary.
A looming issue for many vulnerable older people will be the removal of free TV licences for the over 75s. Those people in receipt of Pension Credit can continue to receive a free licence but they will need to register with TV licensing. All current free licences expire on the 31st July. Paul Lewis explains how the new licensing scheme will work, along with details about claiming Pension Credit.
Like us, other organisations are expecting a difficult winter, and are worried about how clients are going to cope with repaying deferred debts. Ian Preston from the Centre for Sustainable Energy looks at not only coping with deferred fuel bills, but also the toll on customers’ mental health due to an extended lockdown.
In other blogs:
In my last blog I mentioned the issue of landlords discriminating against those clients in receipt of benefits, often having “No DSS” rules barring application for properties. A court ruling in York has now confirmed that this is discriminatory. More details can be found in the blog from Maddy Moore at Shelter. It also has a video from the solicitor who represented in the case, Rose Arnall.
Finally, I couldn’t help but be nosy enough to read the blog on Nearly Legal about a case brought for breach of a lease on the basis that the flat was being run as a brothel. https://nearlylegal.co.uk/2020/07/adventures-in-forfeiture-brothels-and-specifying-the-breach/
Have you read any good blogs recently? Let us know in our discussion forum.
In other news
Have you seen the latest webinar from Shelter? It looks at benefits in insolvency cases and can be found on our website here: https://www.i-m-a.org.uk/directory/webinars/ The latest webinar recording from the IMA, “Supporting Clients with Borderline Personality Disorder” will be available on our website soon.
All the very best to everyone. More blogs next month.