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We are giving a licemce to people to run up irresponsible debts then avoid paying their debts as and when they fall due!

Methinks Cameron doesn't understand how business works!!!!

If you can't pay your debt then sell the product (house/car/TV) that you couldn't afford in the first place and repay!! Its the christian thing to do.

Excellent, well done.

This is trying to shut the door after the horse has bolted. Proposals like the first of these will just push more businesses under and lead to greater unemployment and bankruptcies.

If people don't want to sell their homes when they have taken £25,000 of someone else's money which they can't repay then they can remortgage. If they don't then they cannot expect to have the right to short-change those who did them a favour by lending in the first place.

This is an excellent suggestion. Bailiffs from debt reclaiming agencies that profit from the amount of hassle they can cause (more 'work' for them to add to your bill) who intimidate, bully and vandalise are one of the most abhorrent parts of modern britain.

Having experienced this first hand (a clerical error resulted in bailiffs being 'sold' a debt to reclaim from my address) I can say that for a law abiding citizen to be helpless under the law to protect your property is quite distressing.

Of course people should not get to 'keep' unpaid for goods, but neither should they lose their house or car or receive disproportionate charges, vandalism and intimidation for small bills or fines they have not found the money to pay yet or had time to address.

'Outsourcing' debt recliamation was a practical step, but these unnaccountable privately employed agents must be kept under the tightest of leashes. Allowing them to 'break and enter' is no more acceptable than allowing a licenced doorman to break your legs for jumping the queue.

Good news on the detail.

But it should be supported by a clear statemen tof the 'conservative principals' that it is reinforcing.

"An englishmans home is his castle"

Tories support families being secure in their homes - a small blip in an individuals finances should not be allowed to snowball into homelessnes."

re: Elaina Brier
You seem not to have actually red the piece - it included the phrases 'unsecured loans', 'small debts'...

Excellent policy - we should have announced it much sooner.

Yes its good news. We also need an end to the fire sale of assets. This theft has gone on far to long already. Reality check:

A mans private goods should include more than a bed and a cooker regardless of his ability to pay up.

We are the party that protects private property not the one that belives such assests are part of the security of debt.

The lender’s rights should be inversely proportional to their interest rate. They might then be keener to pass on interest rate cuts.

Card lenders who seek out subprime customers to charge them 35% APR deserve nothing when that customer lives up to their credit rating.

"We are the party that protects private property not the one that belives such assests are part of the security of debt".

The private property in question is surely the capital borrowed from someone else in the first place. The borrower promised to pay it back in full with some interest for the risk involved in lending it.
People who believe otherwise are either dishonest or Communist.

So what exactly would a Cameron Tory government do about defaulters? Send them a nice letter on Smythson stationary?

So much for the party of individual responsibilty.

I have sympathy with the arguments of people like DCMX and David Webb, but at the same time a lot of debt collection agencies seem to feel themselves above the law. Like rationality I too suffered an administrative error that led to some debt collectors believing I owed money - over £1,000 - when in fact I owed no such sum. They ignored and refused to answer letters, phone calls and e-mails and kept sending ever more threatening letters. It took a long time to clear up and was a lot of stress, even when I had done nothing wrong. I'm normally against over-regulation, but this is an industry that needs to be much more tightly controlled.

"So what exactly would a Cameron Tory government do about defaulters?"

Are you seriously suggesting that businesses can't collect from defaulters today? Two of these announcements simply preserve the status quo by not giving new rights to lenders and bailiffs. The other point reverses a provision that has been abused by lenders, with people being ordered to sell their homes over credit card debts as low as £1,000. Existing powers to seize and sell the debtor's assets are more than enough to cover this kind of debt.

The trolls hereabout can pretend not to understand 'proprtionality' if they wish, but this is about people with small unsecured loans not being made homeless (and then probably costing the local council many times the value of the debt in re-housing etc...)

Personally, I (probably unusuall) think all debt is evil and shoud be treated in the same way as gambling debts - this would make everyone rather more careful.

However, realistically for this world, this is a good start.

Whilst we should certainly not be seen to condone people getting into debt they cannot afford it is absolutely right to limit the powers of Bailiffs most of whom are simply licensed thugs whose stock in trade is demanding money with menaces.

The solution to the increasing level of unaffordable debt lies not in Bailiffs and making families homeless but in making credit harder to get and making lenders behave considerably more sensibly than they do now.

There are a lot of people that don't understand qualified things like 'small' etc - it's all or nothing with them.
I'm not sure if it's because they are ignoring the possibility of a grey area on purpose or if they are just bipolar.

The plans sound good to me given they are qualified with 'small' etc, as they are.

Intervention with freedom of contract. F- for Cameron.

Why do so many people rush in with negative and unpleasant posts. These and many other small but good ideas deserve a better, reasoned approach. Liebour announce the crisis they are mainly responsible for is therefore one one only they can fix. Cue sychophantic adoration for this brilliant pouring of petrol on the flames. A more measured understanding that more of the same is a recipe for a deeper, more savage nightmare and hey! you must be mad to rail against the glorious leader.
It is pathetic. The next election, in a deep, dark, foreboding misery that is just a blip away from the typical Socialist/Stalinist climate of the present will see the death of this Country or a re-birth of good old fashioned decency and Conservatism. Free market ideaology has not failed. It is the cretins behind the lack of control who have used debt and borrowing to fund election gains. One day history will show how enormous the pain was and will be.
Oh how I wish this Government of awfulness were gone.
Come Gordonbraveheart, call a General Election now. Lord Mandy wants you to!

Good ideas. That point three is outrageous! And how typical of this lot of fascists to try to implement it.

Excellent idea. More please. This is giving ordinary people a chance to try to put things right. Its difficult times and we are on the side of working people.

So much for the party of individual responsibilty.

Resident leftie, you are quite right: we are the party of responsibility.

You forget, though, that responsibility falls to both sides of the contract; to both borrower and lender.

The lender, who has charged lucrative interest rates because the debt is "unsecured", should take responsibility for their errors of judgement. Instead, your government – you know, the one that stands up for "hard working families" – is quietly changing the definition of "unsecured". You should hang your head in shame that this new route to homelessness is your party’s doing.

Posted by: Mark Fulford | November 07, 2008 at 20:14
The lender, who has charged lucrative interest rates because the debt is "unsecured", should take responsibility for their errors of judgement.

I'm glad you are now standing up for corporate responsibilty, too. That's always been sadly lacking in Tory policy.

I haven't got the complete picture of this legislation; it appears to allow appointed private firms to enter properties without the presence of a officer of the court, I suppose to cut back on wasted police time. I'm against this, if this is the case. I'd rather have a police officer present.

"Why do so many people rush in with negative and unpleasant posts."

Because this is a discussion, not a cheerleading session. I try not to be unpleasant but I am rather negative about the Conservative Party at the moment as it seems to put out such dogs' dinners of policy when we badly need to state our clear positions on all major issues very soon.

I understand the principles behind this - more or less - but it still suggests to me that it has been poorly thought through how this will appear to people who don't understand the fine print. The problem with the Conservative proposals coming out of CCHQ at the moment is that they are too detailed and too equivocal. We need some broader and clearer policies that don't get bogged down in detailed, intellectual discussions and speeches that sound as if they are made by think-tank wonks rather than people the public can trust or relate to.

Cameron may know what he's talking about here and regulation of bailiffs is important, but we need to be saying this alongside big fanfare policy strategies (e.g. the Right to Choose of summer 2004) and making the headlines, rather than the "News in Brief". The time for this is when we are in government discussing new legislation, not in opposition trying to grab people's attention.

Good god a policy. I almost passed out.

While I feel there is a significant risk of encouraging irresponsible debt and we end up sheilding people from bad choices I do feel that debt collectors are scum of the earth and we didnt have enough protection before this odious law and labour and removed all the stops.

More needs to be done to facilitate repayment. At the moment, you either have the choice of taking the hit or having your debts written off. That is no good.

Peoples circumstances sometimes change for the worse and sometimes it can take a year to be in a position to start making repayments. I feel measures to allow people to defer debt without incurring punative charges would help.

Several states in the US have laws that limit the liability of mortgage borrowers to the value of the property. This shares the responsibility between lender and borrower. It discourages foreclosure and fire sales of the property as the lender stands to lose out. It would be worth considering for the future.

Restraint of the medieval powers of bailiffs is long overdue. The practice of increasing a debt by adding penalties does not make it easier to pay, obviously. Yet this is what banks and bailiffs do.
Breaking down debt into smaller packages over a longer period and NOT adding interest is the humane way to get it back.
Breaking down the door and grabbing stuff like some caveman is not.

David Cameron is quite right, and he is to be congratulated on turning his attention to this important matter in a detailed way.

It is astounding that the government is in favour of these powers.

I've been in a situation several times where other people's unpaid debts have been left on the address. It can be absurdly difficult to get the companies to amend their records, and they go on chasing it on the assumption that someone living there has to know. One feels that if they did break in, you'd be totally on their own trying to get any redress.

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