Our Court outreach provides Free, Impartial, Confidential advice on all debt-related matters, including housing possession (eviction) for money owed and general court enforcement.
Most people have some element of debt, but it only takes one change in life circumstances – loss of job, family breakdown, long-term ill health – for that debt to become unmanageable and tip into crisis.
More than any other issue, debt negatively affects lives – including mental health, relationships, and increased poverty and homelessness.
Our evidence shows that more than 5% of our cases (over 300) were initiated at the Court as clients presented as “litigants in person” to face legal action, having received no legal advice before the date of the Hearing. Therefore, at the critical point of the court hearing, our immediate aim is to prevent or delay the possession of the rented or mortgaged property and to assist clients with other debt-related matters involving the court.
At the critical point of Court action, our immediate aim is to prevent eviction, the enforcement of a charging order, unnecessary bankruptcy, or the repossession of the family home.
Face to Face Court representation is at the spearhead of our effort to address head-on the effects of poverty and injustice in our communities. r County Court Judges accept that we provide an invaluable service; the following comment by Judge Thomson is not untypical:
“I can only describe the effect the presence the CAB at court has had as remarkable. They have assisted a large number of otherwise unrepresented litigants, particularly in housing/ debt cases. Their assistance goes beyond the court hearing. The CAB appears to be able to help claimants sort out benefits and other debt problems which, in many cases, prevents an eviction and keeps a roof over their head. I have no doubt that, without their help, there would be at least several (probably many more`) families who would have become homeless.
From what I have seen, their presence in the court building court has been a total success and should continue.
The standard of representation/assistance in hearings has been excellent and carried out in a wholly professional manner”.
Robert Thomson District Judge
The professional relationship we hold with Court staff, Local Authority housing teams and others mean we can request an adjournment of final action whilst we work with the client to consider their legal options and responsibilities. whilst the court remains impartial in its decisions, our specialist advisers have developed professional relationships within the court setting, allowing us to negotiate successful outcomes for our clients. We aim to enable the client to manage their money and meet their obligations moving forward, which might be:
- Helping people to become debt free – our specialist Caseworkers are registered Authorised Intermediaries with the Insolvency Service authorised to advise on bankruptcy, Debt Relief orders and “Breathing Space.”
- Renegotiating debts and agreeing to affordable repayment plans
- Income maximisation via benefit applications or challenging mis-sold credit agreements
- Re-prioritising debts and budgeting skills, raising awareness of credit and building our clients’ financial confidence.