This month I recommend a couple of longer than usual blog posts, but I feel the read is worth it. My first recommendation is a guest post by Dr Joseph Spooner on Debt Camel.
The article is written by an Assistant Professor of Insolvency Law at the London School of Economics. In his post he provides an opinion on how the ability and amount to be paid by a debtor in insolvency is determined.
Dr Spooner suggests that the secrecy surround the spending guidelines and trigger figures in the Standard Financial Statement is unhelpful. In his opinion withholding these figures from the public is disempowering for individuals because it deprives them of key information that is vital to assessing options and may inhibit negotiations. He then goes on to describe a recent development in Irish insolvency law where standards of reasonable expenditure have been made more transparent.
The post also has comments from the Money and Pensions Service and a number of experienced debt advisers. What’s your view?
Read the full article here: https://debtcamel.co.uk/transparency-standard-financial-statement/
In other blogs:
Many advisers will be well aware of certain fields of law where more unscrupulous businesses operate. A fairly common perception of personal injury law is one of “ambulance chasers” or claims management companies (CMCs).
Giles Peaker takes a look at another area, housing disrepair, that is seeming to attract CMCs. These companies are often not legal practices and the staff usually possess no legal qualifications but they sometimes charge fees for “referrals” to a panel of solicitors. Interestingly, some of these companies appear to be linked to solicitors or solicitors’ firms who have an interest in the claim’s management companies. He provides a description and screen shots of his attempt to contact one of these companies, and a solicitor, to understand the relationship.
Giles argues that these claims farmers may be affecting people with rent arrears. They seem to fail to disclose fees, or that there may still fees owing when the work is undertaken on a “no win no fee” basis and possibly that expert and termination fees remain outstanding even when a claim doesn’t progress to completion. It is not regularly explained to tenants, it seems, that any award in damages can be set off against arrears outstanding, or that legal aid may be possible where there is threatened or actual repossession proceedings.
You may be forgiven for thinking that now the deadline for PPI claims has passed, you wouldn’t hear much more about PPI. However, you would be wrong. Martin Lewis advises those people that have had a pay-out to also reclaim tax. Tax is automatically deducted from PPI awards even though most people don’t need to pay it. He explains why tax is deducted and how to apply for a refund.
Also have a look at the blog from Iain Porter from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. He argues that a redesign and more inclusion of choice for Universal Credit claims would make it more flexible and get rid of the 5 weeks wait.
Have you read any good blogs recently? Let us know in our discussion forum. More blogs next month.
In other news
Did you catch the excellent webinar by Michael Egan on charitable grant applications? Watch it here: https://www.i-m-a.org.uk/directory/webinars/
We have set up a folder containing lots of useful information on raising funds for clients, including a piece written by Michael on Acts 435, an organisation that facilitates public giving to help others.
We have also established a discussion forum to share information about how you can help to raise funds for clients. Michael contributes regularly and is happy to help with any questions from advisers.