Helpline to aid consumers with debt problems

The Regional Money Helpline, a telephone and web-based advisory service designed to help UK consumers get to grips with debt, will launch Monday November 13 2006.

TRMH initially expects call volumes in the region of 200,000 to 250,000 calls a year and launches with the capacity to handle up to 460,000 calls with plans to expand as needed.

The launch of TRMH will be supported by a multi-million pound marketing and consumer awareness campaign over the next 12 months.

TRMH also plans to deliver its message and services to a wider UK audience by rolling out a TV campaign on both terrestrial and satellite daytime TV from mid-January 2007.

Chris Walker, director of public relations and communication for TRMH, says: “Personal debt in the UK is rising by £1m every four minutes, and currently stands at a staggering total of £1.3 trillion.

“Millions of UK consumers find themselves either in serious financial difficulties, or on the borderline of falling behind with their regular payments.

“Despite this, far too many people are unsure where to turn to for sound advice, help, or financial education.

“There is a growing need for professional consumer debt support, and for the public and private sectors to work hand-in-hand to alleviate the growing pressure and misery of personal debt.”

“The government has ambitious targets for educating borrowers and students to become more financially capable, and I am confident that the PMM system will prove a real asset in helping to achieve those targets.

“It will empower, educate and encourage people to take control of their finances, and not to bury their heads in the sand if they run into debt problems.

“It will help them to communicate clearly with the banks and lenders they have borrowed the money from.

“Our research showed us that people do not know how to approach their creditors – they think the people they have borrowed money from will not help them.

“This is not the case, and the correct course of action is to communicate with the lender directly.”