Who are we?
The Debt Advice Team form part of Housing Services. We are a free, impartial and confidential service which is focused on preventing people from losing their homes. We have been part of Housing Services since 2003 and have helped many clients remain in their homes, assisted them with their debt issues and increased their income by identifying an entitlement to benefits.
What is Debt Advice?
Debt Advice is defined as ‘problem solving advice relating to debts that individuals are unable to repay’. It is a series of tools and plans used to help clients with financial difficulties.
What are the Reasons for debt?
There can be lots of reasons for debt problems: redundancy or loss of income; illness; divorce or relationship breakdown; business failure; irresponsible lending; poor financial management to name a few.
Who can get advice?
We provide advice to all residents of Gateshead, whether you are an owner occupier, social housing tenant (council/housing association) or Private Tenant.
Rent and Mortgage Arrears
If you have arrears of mortgage or rent it is important that you contact us urgently as these arrears are classed as a priority debt which means you could lose your home if you simply ingore them. We can advise you on how to prevent losing your home by negotiating with the lender or landlord on your behalf and negotiate affordable payments of the arrears. We can support you, if it is neccessary, to go to court to defend possession proceedings. If we are unable to prevent you losing your home we can apply to the court for time to allow you to make alternative arrangements.
What can you do for me?
We will offer you a one hour diagnostic appointment where we will: -
Explore your debt problems;
Look at ways to increase your income;
Prepare a statement showing your financial situation (incomings and outgoings)
Explore all possible options for resolving your debt problems.
There are various solutions available if you are in financial difficulty including:
Debt Management Plans
Debt Relief Orders
Individual Voluntary Arrangements
Debt Consolidation Loans
National Debt Line
Stepchange Debt Charity (was the Consumer Credit Counselling Service)
Citizens Advice Bureau
Debt Advice Foundation
For further, more in-depth information regarding debt advice visit:
Direct Gov debt advice
The Insolvency Service