Muras Matters: Breathing Space

On the 4 May 2021 the government launched a new free respite scheme for individuals struggling with debt problems in England and Wales entitled, Breathing Space.

Breathing Space will give those facing financial difficulties 60 days legal protection from creditor pressures, threats of enforcement action and what can be very distressing chasing letters that pile up. It will allow those individuals time to receive debt advice along with providing stronger protection for people struggling with mental health.

Acknowledging the link between problem debt and mental health issues, these protections will also be available for people in mental health crisis treatment for the full duration of their treatment plus another 30 days. If an Approved Mental Health Professional certifies that a person is receiving mental health crisis treatment, this evidence can be used by a debt adviser to start a mental health crisis Breathing Space.

Although interest and fees are frozen, Breathing Space is not a payment holiday or a debt relief method. People entering the scheme will still need to pay any ongoing debts and liabilities they have, such as their mortgage, rent and bills, while they work with a debt advisor to establish a sustainable debt solution for the future. An individual must contact a debt advisor who is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to offer debt counselling.

What Debts are included

Most debts will qualify for Breathing Space, including credit and store cards, personal and payday loans, overdrafts, utility bills, rent and mortgage arrears and government debts like tax and benefits.

Certain debts are excluded including fines imposed by a court , child maintenance and student loans.

Register of Breathing Space

The Insolvency Service as a government agency will maintain an electronic service used by debt advisors for starting, updating and ending a Breathing Space.

If you would like further information regarding Breathing Space please contact our Business Recovery Director, Mark Botwood.

Our Current working arrangement – We remain ‘Open for business’

Our staff have returned to office based working on a rota basis, each attending two days a week, whilst continuing to work from home at other times. They can still be contacted in the usual way either via email or by calling the office number where reception will divert your call to the appropriate staff member.

To see our other news items please visit our Muras Baker Jones – Blog.