Debt service wins funding from Legal Aid Board

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A VITAL service that helps people struggling with debt and in danger of repossession, eviction and homelessness in the Scottish Borders has won another 30 months’ funding from the Scottish Legal Aid Board [SLAB].

Over £750,000 has been committed to the Shelter Scotland Housing Law and Debt Advice project so it can continue to run the service it introduced in 2009.

The additional funding means that two extra lay reps can be employed to give clients legal support and representation in courts in the Borders, Tayside and the central area. It will also be used to provide money and debt advice in all three areas plus solicitor support in Tayside and Central Scotland.

The jroject’s money and debt advisers help clients negotiate with lenders to make payment plans and its lawyers provide legal representation and advice on repossession and eviction. The advisers also help families and individuals to budget and maximise their incomes.

In the last three years the project has helped almost 700 families and individuals to keep their home and/or get their finances in order.

With each case of homelessness costing at least £5,000, the potential saving to local authorities and, ultimately tax payers, is at least £3.5million.

Eleanor Hamilton, Principal Solicitor at Shelter Scotland says:

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