The weather was apalling for a bank holiday at the end of May, so we went round to our friends Bryan and Elaine, ordered in pizza and played The Big Taboo, which has extra 'taboo' categories, including one you have to act out with a furry puppet called Bob. (One of the actions you have to make Bob mime is breastfeeding a baby. Fun!)
Elaine is currently unemployed having been laid off by a struggling finance company, who are suddenly discovering that if you lend money to people who have managed to get themselves into debt, they might have trouble paying you back. Apparently, Elaine's former employers aren't the only ones.
Rumour has it one loan/mortagage provider tried to sell on their debts, but people wouldn't buy the whole company, so now they've got to get themselves out of the mess. And many of the companies who always said they'd never repossess a house (they'd just sell the debt on to some bastard who would!), are having to start taking property over in order to get their money back.
So, she's philosophical. Maybe it's better to be laid off and get paid for a further month while looking for a new job, than to stay in the job and get nothing if the company went under. Also, she'd be the first to say that nobody's really going to cry if loan companies start going to the wall.
For a long time these companies offering their 'lower monthly fees' and 'consolidation loans' have traded on people's anxieties to actually shove them further into debt. The 'easy credit' mentality has seen people rack up unprecedented levels of personal debt. I know several people who have simply ended up in an unmanageable situation and had to resort to IVAs or other desperate measures in order to get out of debt.
It's harsh, but the loan companies - and Carol Vorderman who promotes one of them on TV - have been complicit in offering vain hope of a way out of debt by adding to your debt, but not really explaining to people what 'combining all those debts into one easy payment' implied. Call it karma. Call it justice. Whatever you want to call it, it's coming back to bite people.
A few days ago I read a Proverb which said: "He who leads the upright along an evil path will fall into his own trap." Or, to put it another way: 'if you trick people into debt, you'll end up ensnared by debt yourself'.
The only problem is the people who will really get boned by this are the (almost) innocent people who work for the companies doing admin and other ordinary jobs.
...and those of us who probably can't get the mortgage we want as a result of all this...boo.ReplyDelete
Sorry to hear that about Elaine though :( my hairdresser was telling me her husband was laid off from a financial company recently too.. seems it's affecting many! :)