If you or a family member is in danger of going to prison, there may be a huge impact on your finances when this happens.
At times when you’re facing difficult circumstances, you might tend to neglect outstanding debt. Though this can be hard during this time of despair, learning how to cope up with the situation will prevent further problems in the future.
When you’re in debt and about to be sent to prison
If you think you might be due to be sent to prison, we suggest that you start drafting a plan ahead of time on how you can deal with your debts.
You must keep your creditors informed. If you failed to do so, it might be too late to find out that your debt is going out of control. It would be drastic dealing with it from prison once it gets worst. Even if your inside prison, your creditors can still impose further action to recover what you owe. In fact, they can seek court action or petition for bankruptcy. Thus, you must avoid ignoring your creditors and start planning on how you can pay off your debt real fast.
When you fall behind your priority bills, your creditor can still seek legal help, which may affect other people that you live with before you went to prison. For instance, if you have debts with your rent, your ownership could be terminated and you could be expelled from the property. If you have utility arrears, the provider could demand a warrant to fit a pre-payment meter or cut your supply.
Useful Tips for Court Hearings
Now, if you’re in great risk to be sent behind bars, we highly suggest that you do the tips below before the court hearing starts:
- Inform your creditors that you are at risks of going to prison and you are still uncertain of the circumstances
- Arrange with your creditor if you can have a member of your household or a trusted friend to act on your behalf in dealing with your account. This is easier to reach out to your creditor rather than maintaining communication with them while you’re inside the prison. Try asking if there’s an option for you to write your creditor or do the arrangement over the phone instead of through writing. This may be possible but usually, companies prefer to put everything in writing.
If you haven’t managed to contact your creditors before you go to prison try doing the soonest possible. You may have limited access to a phone, so ask someone else to do this on your account. Besides, when you’re in prison your income would not be adequate to pay your debts. A suitable option is to ask for a payment break until you’re released. You can use these steps to deal with your debts from prison.
Since we provide financial help via phone or online, it can be difficult for us to work with you while you’re inside. It would be better to discuss your circumstances and financial situation with your appointed family member or friend instead. You may also check if you have access to a local advice agency inside the prison. They can also offer help regarding your debts.
Is someone you know in debt and prison?
If a spouse or someone close to you has been sent to the penitentiary, they may necessitate your aid to handle their debts. You can reach out to their creditors if they have permitted their creditors to talk to you. If no, their creditors are unlikely to entertain you. You’re friend or family member may have to sign a document authorizing them to act on your behalf.
If you possess joint debts the creditor will normally communicate to you and require you for full payments of your debt. If you’re residing in one roof, you’ll have to suffice home costs or expenses such as a mortgage, council tax, and other arrears alone.
Moreover, you’ll find it exhausting to support someone in prison. This entails additional costs to cover travel costs for prison visits, or sending essential needs or money.
Financial Help To Cushion the Impact Of COVID-19 Pandemic
Several measures are considered to assist individuals who are coping with the effects of COVID-19 or Coronavirus Pandemic to their finances. These include payment breaks on mortgage and payment holidays for some unsecured debts and moratorium extension for residents in Scotland.
You may also read our guide: Financial Help Available During Coronavirus Pandemic and Payments for Car Loans and Finance During Coronavirus Outbreak.