20th July 2017
Freed from £20,000 of debt!
A client of the Bishop's Stortford Money Advice Service (BSMAS) was recently granted a Debt Relief Order for this large amount of debt they could not possibly repay. One of the debts was subject to a court order that allowed the creditor to charge interest of 8% per year on the debt, so the amount owed was continually increasing. With this weight lifted from their shoulders they were more hopeful and more able to cope with their every day life.
BSMAS is a group of Christians from various churches in Stortford who want to be part of bringing in God’s Kingdom in the town by helping people with their money issues. BSMAS opened our doors in 2009 and works with clients to find out what their income is, make sure that they are receiving all the benefits they are entitled to and to get the best value for the money they have. The service is free and we listen to them without judging and help them to take control of their finances. Many of the people we see have found themselves in financial difficulty because of changes in their circumstances or mental health and/or learning disabilities.
Demand for our services doubled in the last year due to a combination of factors such as a further squeeze on disposable income, cuts to benefits, and Circle Anglia (our local Housing Association) reducing their support staff and referring tenants – including those in danger of repossession – to us. Unfortunately, 2017 is also the year when the number of advisers have fallen to their lowest ever and we had to start a waiting list for potential clients for the first time. To continue to be able to help people with their money issues and cope with the rising demand we need more volunteer debt advisers and budget coaches and help with the administration of the service.
Please pray that we will be able to continue in this vital ministry and if you would like to volunteer to work with us or want any further information, please contact the church office.
Posted by Maureen Hopkins