The Debt Respite Scheme, also referred to as Breathing Space, is a government scheme that helps to relieve some of the pressure and stress caused by being in debt for residents of England and Wales. In Scotland, we have an alternative, similar short term debt relief equivalent known as a Statutory Moratorium.
It is important to note that neither the Debt Respite Scheme nor a Statutory Moratorium is intended as a long term, formal debt solution. Similarly, neither can be considered to be a payment holiday.
There is also an additional Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space (MHCBS) debt respite scheme. The MHCBS is available to residents of England and Wales with at least one qualifying debt to a creditor and if they’re receiving mental health crisis treatment. This means that the individual is either:
- Detained under the Mental Health Act (this is also known as being sectioned)
- Removed to a place of safety under the Mental Health Act
- Receiving crisis care in hospital or the community from a specialist mental health team such as the crisis team or the home treatment team
Mental Health Breathing Space lasts as long as the individuals’ mental health crisis, plus 30 days and currently there is no equivalent contingency included with Scotland’s Statutory Moratorium equivalent.