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StepChange Debt Charity opposes increased use of charging orders by HMRC

20 March, 2013

StepChange Debt Charity is opposed to the proposal contained in today’s Budget that HM Revenue and Customs will increase its use of charging orders to secure tax debts against debtors’ assets.

The charity is concerned that the use of charging orders will prompt other creditors to take similar action, putting further pressure on many vulnerable consumers at a time when creditors should show patience and forebearance.

The charity believes that the increased use of charging orders will undermine the debt advice process. Many of those affected will have a broader debt problem and prioritising certain debts through charging orders may damage attempts to resolve these wider debt issues.

Self-employed people are some of the most likely to be affected by this move. StepChange Debt Charity’s research shows that its self-employed clients have significantly higher debt levels than those in full or part-time work. Securing debts against these people’s assets would set the wrong tone as the government seeks to support the strivers.

StepChange Debt Charity’s external affairs director Delroy Corinaldi said: ”Charging orders represent an aggressive form of debt collection. Today’s announcement will make it harder for the government to make demands on other creditors to show forebearance.”

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