Mounting debts owed to catalogue companies resulted in 25,000 calls to Debt Help Desks in the past twelve months, according to figures released this morning.
The various help lines received more calls in relation to catalogue debts than calls related to rent, mortgages or even payday loans. There is also evidence that the problem is growing with over 7,000 calls received in the first quarter of this year.
Catalogue debt is the fifth most common problem debt dealt with by debt advisers, behind other issues such as energy debts, credit cards and council tax payments.
Joanna Elson, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, said catalogue debts go largely unmentioned in public these days, but advisers report hearing from almost 100 people every day struggling to repay such debts.
She added: ‘Many people might be surprised to hear we get more calls on catalogue debts than on things like mortgages, rent and payday loans. When buying from a catalogue, many people don’t realize they are signing a consumer credit agreement, which means the debt is enforceable in the courts’.
‘In addition, most people don’t realize that missing a payment on a catalogue debt will usually invalidate any special low or zero per cent interest deal’
The report was based on figures calculated from data measured in February 2016.