The UK Government have introduced legislation called The Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020, which came into effect on 4 May 2021.
The purpose of this scheme is to offer people who receive professional debt advice, and are resident in England and Wales, the opportunity for a ‘Breathing Space’ period on their qualifying debts, such as their mortgage or personal loan. During this period, interest, fees and charges are frozen and enforcement action is paused in relation to these qualifying debts.
Breathing Space comes in two forms:
- A Breathing Space Moratorium, providing a borrower respite from their qualifying debts for 60 days
- A Mental Health Crisis Moratorium, providing a borrower respite from their qualifying debts for as long as their mental health treatment continues for, plus 30 days
How do I apply for Breathing Space?
Breathing Space is only available to borrowers via Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approved debt advisors. These are independent advisors who will make an assessment of your circumstances and advise whether Breathing Space is an option for you. To find a debt advisor, please visit the Money Advice Service.
We are only able to offer a Breathing Space period to a borrower if a FCA approved debt advisor advises us that this is the right course of action for you. If this is the case, we will then write to you to confirm how Breathing Space impacts your accounts with us.