To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have introduced a telephone campaign offering to assume responsibility for all the debts of qualifying individuals applying before 6 April; and what assessment they have made of the effects of the campaign on heavily indebted persons. [HL2838]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the funds at the disposal of the promoters of a telephone campaign, claiming to be made by the Government and offering to assume responsibility for all the debts of qualifying individuals applying before 6 April, are derived from HM Treasury; if so, how much is available; on what terms; and for how long. [HL2839]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the terms under which, in a telephone campaign claiming to be made by them, qualifying individuals applying before 6 April are offered to be relieved of all of their personal debt. [HL2840]
There is no government telephone campaign offering to assume responsibility for all debts of qualifying individuals. Any government scheme would not involve cold calling consumers, nor would it encourage consumers to seek to evade their debts.
The Government are aware that there have been some instances of misleading and unlawful cold calling practices. In some cases, consumers have been misled into believing that they were one of the “few chosen individuals” contacted as part of a government scheme to help wipe out consumer debt. The Office of Fair Trading last year ordered six debt management businesses and four cold calling companies to stop using unsolicited and misleading calls to advertise their services. Follow-up formal enforcement action has been taken against some of those companies.