A new ‘breathing space’ – taking a break from debt

News – 15 April 2021

From 4 May 2021 the government is introducing a new debt respite scheme called the ‘breathing space’, which you can only access by working with a recognised and authorised debt advice agency – like ours!

How does it work?

If your debt advisor agrees it’s suitable, they can put you forward for the standard breathing space scheme. This means most of the companies you owe money to (creditors) are not allowed to contact you about the debt you owe them for 60 days. They also cannot take any enforcement action.

This gives you breathing space to work with a debt advisor on a long-term solution. This could range from setting affordable payment arrangements to formal options like insolvency.

It is important to note you still have to pay your ongoing bills and arrangements during the breathing space as well as stay in contact with your debt advisor; not doing so could result in the breathing space ending early, although this is at the debt advisor’s discretion.

There is also a mental health breathing space scheme – this is available to you if a mental health professional provides evidence you are having crisis mental health treatment, and you are in debt. This breathing space stays in place for as long as you remain in crisis treatment, plus 30 days. Unlike the standard breathing space, you are not obliged to make payments or stay in touch with a debt advisor – it’s designed to give you time to get past the crisis before dealing with your debt.

You cannot have a standard breathing space more than once in 12 months, but you can have as many mental health breathing spaces as you need.

If you have problem debt you would like advice with, please contact us on 0300 123 5544 and ask to speak to a debt advisor.