GMAC supports Citizens Advice

Amanda Jarvis

February 21, 2006

GMAC-RFC has been funding specialist money and debt advisors for Citizens Advice since January 2005 to help those facing a financial crisis and more specifically to help prevent housing repossessions and its help has seen Citizens Advice answer 43 per cent more calls.

Citizens Advice Specialist Support, partly funded by GMAC-RFC, provides money advisers on the ground with specialist and technical knowledge to help tackle more complex debt related cases. Citizens Advice Bureaux have seen a steady increase in debt related enquiries over recent years, rising from 800,000 in 1997 to more than 1.25 million last year (2004/05) and housing debt accounts for almost 10 per cent of these enquiries.

Home repossession in particular is now a growing concern in the UK with government figures revealing a steady increase in possession action since early 2004. This is reflected by the fact 23 per cent of the calls to the Citizens Advice Specialist Support Money Advice Service concerning debt issues are related to mortgage arrears and repossessions.

GMAC-RFC’s funding of the CAB is from its Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF), the only worldwide charitable body with the objective of helping to prevent repossessions wherever they may occur, and whoever the lender is.

David Harker, chief executive of Citizens Advice commented: “All too often unforeseen circumstances like divorce, illness, redundancy or bereavement can lead to a sudden drop in income that means people become vulnerable to mortgage debt. Free and impartial advice is vital for people who run into financial difficulties.

“By funding Specialist Support, GMAC-RFC is helping to protect people from the devastating effect of serious debt, with access to expert advice that can help save their homes.”  

Stephen Knight, executive chairman of GMAC-RFC, added: “We are proud to be the only lender in the world with a charitable foundation dedicated solely to helping borrowers avoid repossession, whoever the lender is, and delighted that the funds we have been able to provide for the UK Citizens Advice service have had such an immediate and positive effect on the lives of so many UK borrowers.”

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