Worldwide austerity has placed many of us in tricky situations. It’s no longer unusual for many to miss payments on debts owing. Credit cards, bank & payday loans, electricity, gas, water, insurance, car leases, mortgages… The list is endless…

Do you dread the ‘red’ envelopes arriving?

Your full balance is now owing. We may/will pass your account to a debt collection agency. We’re sending the bailiffs…

If you end up in this situation then a knock on the door becomes an event that gets your heart racing. You sweat, you tremble, switch off the TV and lights and hide behind the sofa like you did as a child when Dr Who came on.

Of course a lot of people can cope with financial dire straits. Able to pick up the phone, they will contact the organisations they owe money to and negotiate a repayment plan or get a hiatus until they can afford to settle the debt in full.

But many simply cannot bring themselves to do this. If suffering from depression and/or anxiety then they will take the ostrich option and stick their heads in the sand whilst an envelope ‘mountain’ grows daily in the kitchen drawer or on the living room table. Some will throw them under the bed which will affect their sleep because they now have a literal ‘bogeyman’ under there and this one is real.

There are solutions available. advocates and Citizen Advice Bureaus will make calls for you and help consolidate debts into affordable payments but many are too scared and/or proud to contact them.

Instead, they may prefer to seek temporary solutions like the ubiquitous ‘Payday Loans’ available from, I’m going to say it, bastards like Wonga. They’re, to me, a scourge on modern-day society. They literally are vultures, preying on the weak and vulnerable.

It’s horrible, and a damning indictment of the times we live in, that people become so scared of their financial predicament that they are afraid to open the door or pick up their phone. If caller ID shows ‘unknown’ or even worse, ‘withheld Number’, then forget it.

What to do? unfortunately I have no solutions other than those mentioned and can only hope that people can find the strength or a friend to be able to deal with the problem.

There is a bright side – you can always ask the Jehovah’s Witnesses to open your letters and make the calls for you. After all, they want to help you?

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