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Financial Guidance and Claims Act 2018

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6Debt respite scheme: advice to the Secretary of State

(1)The Secretary of State must, within three months of the establishment of the single financial guidance body, seek advice from the body on the establishment of a debt respite scheme.

(2)A debt respite scheme is a scheme designed to do one or more of the following—

(a)protect individuals in debt from the accrual of further interest or charges on their debts during the period specified by the scheme,

(b)protect individuals in debt from enforcement action from their creditors during that period, and

(c)help individuals in debt and their creditors to devise a realistic plan for the repayment of some or all of the debts.

(3)The matters on which the Secretary of State may seek advice include (but are not limited to)—

(a)the appropriate person to administer the scheme (and the single financial guidance body may recommend the creation of a new body for this purpose);

(b)whether the scheme should apply in England only, or whether it should also apply in Wales or Northern Ireland (or both);

(c)the scope and design of the scheme, for example—

(i)the types of debtors and the types of debts it should cover;

(ii)the types of protections it should give;

(iii)the time period for which the protections should apply;

(iv)what the obligations on debtors and creditors should be during any period for which protections apply, including any period of a repayment plan;

(v)the consequences of a failure by a debtor or a creditor to comply with a repayment plan;

(d)how the scheme should work, for example—

(i)how an application should be made for the protections given by the scheme;

(ii)suitable arrangements to keep creditors informed;

(iii)whether there should be a central register of persons admitted to the scheme;

(e)how the scheme should be implemented.

(4)The single financial guidance body must provide the advice sought within 12 months of its establishment.

(5)The Secretary of State must publish the advice.

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