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Debt

debt
Managing our debts, finances and tax can be difficult and often very stressful. These frequently asked questions can offer you practical help and advice in dealing with the people/companies to whom you owe money.

Common questions

I am receiving threatening letters / phone calls from my creditors, what can I do?

Further information on creditors and how they are allowed to contact you is available on the Citizens Advice website: Harrassment by creditors

I am being harassed by bailiffs, what can I do?

Citizens Advice has produced some useful information on bailiffs, available on their website.

I am struggling with my utility bills, is there any help available?

Age UK has produced a useful guide on saving energy costs around the home (pdf)

British Gas has a special trust fund which can make hardship payments to those struggling with gas & electricity bills. You do not need to be a British Gas customer – everyone is eligible to apply. For further details see: British Gas Energy Trust
United Utilities run a similar trust fund for those struggling with their water bills. Full details available at: United Utilities Trust Fund

What can I do to deal with my debts?

Both Citizens Advice Stockport and Stockport Council can help with specialist debt advice. To make an appointment with Citizens Advice Stockport please visit, or call, one of the bureaux in the borough. To make an appointment with Stockport Council’s Debt Advice Team please ring 0161 217 6003 from 9.30 am to 1.00 pm on weekdays or complete the Debt Advice Team appointment referral form .

The Citizens Advice website has a useful overview of how to deal with your debts: Options for dealing with debt

What is bankruptcy? Is it suitable for me?

Citizens Advice has a full guide to bankruptcy (pdf) available on their website.

What is a Debt Relief Order? Is it suitable for me?

Debt Relief Orders (DROs) are orders issued by the Official Receiver which enable people to write off certain debts. To help decide if a debt relief order is appropriate for you, see the Citizens Advice website for a full guide to debt relief orders: Debt relief orders

What is an Individual Voluntary Arrangement? Is it suitable for me?

An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) is a legally-binding agreement between an individual and his/her creditors concerning the repayment of debts. Individual voluntary arrangements can prevent creditors from taking enforcement action and often lead to debts being partially written off, although there are certain risks to consider. Further information about individual voluntary arrangements is available on the Citizens Advice website, including a checklist to help decide if an IVA is right for you

What is a Debt Management Plan? Is it suitable for me?

A DMP (Debt Management Plan) is an arrangement with creditors to pay back a debt over several instalments. Further information is available on the Citizens Advice website: Debt management plans

I am behind with my rent/mortgage payments, what can I do?

There are various options available to you – see the housing section for further details

I am finding it difficult to obtain basic household furniture, can I get help?

The Furniture Station is a local charity who can help provide re-used, good-quality furniture at low cost for eligible people in need living in Stockport. To use The Furniture Station’s services you must be referred from a local organisations such as Citizens Advice Stockport, Stockport Direct Local Centres, Housing Officers, health visitors & social services.

Am I eligible for a Stockport Foodbank voucher?

If you are facing a crisis then the answer is probably yes. A crisis will vary from one person to another, it may be for reasons such as benefit delays, unemployment, short working hours, illness, an unexpected bill – whatever your crisis go and talk to one of Stockport Foodbank’s voucher agencies.

Where can I get a Stockport Foodbank voucher?

To get a Stockport Foodbank voucher there are a large number of voucher agencies that you can visit, including Stockport Direct Local Centres, Job Centre Plus, Citizens Advice Stockport, Housing Officers, Children Centres, Health Visitors or Social workers.

Am I eligible for a visit to the Furniture Station for essential household items?

To receive essential furniture at low cost from The Furniture Station you must be a Stockport resident on a means tested benefit and be first referred by a local organisation such as Citizens Advice Stockport, Stockport Direct Local Centres, Housing Officers, health visitors & social services.

How can I obtain a referral to The Furniture Station?

To receive essential furniture at low cost from The Furniture Station you must be a Stockport resident on a means tested benefit and be first referred by a local organisation such as Citizens Advice Stockport, Stockport Direct Local Centres, Housing Officers, Health visitors & social services. Once an organisation has submitted your referral, you can make a flexible visit within 28 days to select your items at Furniture Station’s warehouse during their opening times Monday –Thursday 9am-11.45am.

Useful information

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice Stockport

Money Advice Service

National Debtline

Stockport FLAG

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