Death by Debt
The issue of debt has always been in the world, however in the last year or so debts have accumulated to the point that more people cannot afford to pay it back. The figure of those who go bankrupt or lose their houses is on the increase. The most alarming trend which I can’t help ignore these days, is the amount of people taking their lives because of it. They just feel there is no other way out. There are many stories below - you could choose one or just read the captions:
- (UK) A farmer who was bankrupt and facing eviction and the break-up of his family committed suicide by breathing in deadly fumes from a pesticide, June 2010. Full story.
- (UK) A former soldier committed suicide because he could not face the shame of going bankrupt, June 2009. Full Story.
- (US) Man Who Killed Wife, 5 Children & Self was in Debt & Jobless, Jan 2009. Full Story.
- (Turkey) Teenager commits suicide over unpaid family debt - because his mum was sent to prison for owing the debt. April 2010. Full Story.
- (UK) A MAN killed himself in his blazing car after the pressure of mounting debts got too much for him, May 2010. Full Story.
- (UK) Most recent - Family found dead in Hampshire home were deeply in debt. Husband killed his wife and 2 daughters before hanging himself – July 2010. Full Story.
- Then there are some who die of heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure due to the stress of accumulating debt.
There is a lot of useful info on the internet about how to deal with debts but some people are in so deep that they are practically drowning in it. Some are also in so deep and don’t even have jobs to pay off any of the debt, let alone look after their families.
What are your thoughts? Should Government do more?
a) Do you think the Government should give people a Debt break? Example, pass a law that gives people a year or so before they start making payments to their debtors, (maybe giving time to find work), meanwhile the people who are owed could claim a little compensation from the government?
b) Do you think maybe lenders should cut down the amount of loans they give or just lend people very small amounts?
c) Should the Government make it compulsory for people to have monthly medical check ups. Doctors would be able to identify depression/stress and offer support to help subdue suicidal thoughts?
d) Government should stop Banks/Lender making unnecessary charges. Example, If I miss a mortgage payment - I will get charged about £35 "admin fee" for a letter sent out, to say "you missed payment!" Also, if you have an overdraft of £500 and it goes over by £500.01p the bank can charge from £25 - £35 for going past the limit. I think £5 should suffice in both cases. It's not as if people broke the Bank...
e) LessTax payments deducted from Salaries? Or do you have any other advice for people who are in such situations and think there is nothing to live for anymore?
** Some of the above might sound silly, but the trend is worrying and could even affect people we know. (who appear normal on the outside and then you hear they committed suicide)
Are you in Debt?
Please if you are in debt, seek legal advice immediately. Example in the UK, there are laws that cover the homeowner and also there is government help. In Jan 2009, government introduced SMI – (support for Mortgage interest) whereby your mortgage is paid if you are not working and this reduced the amount of repossessions. More info on SMI (UK)
Seek help immediately. Its good to be positive that things will work out (like I did at some point) but take some action too. You’d be surprised that some companies would accept a very minimal payment (a token payment) and might even write the rest off in 5 years.
An extremely useful Charity that gives good Legal Advice/Support is:
I haven’t got websites for other countries but all you need to do is a search with keywords e.g “legal Advice” or “help with Debt” and similar websites should pop up.
It would be interesting to read your views on this sad issue…
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