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What is Breathing Space?

The Government’s Breathing Space scheme intends to give an individual with debt problems legal protection from their creditors during the breathing space period.

From 4 May 2021, the government’s Breathing Space scheme went live. The scheme gives an individual in problem debt legal protection from their creditors during the Breathing Space period.

There are two types of breathing space; standard or mental health crisis breathing space.

A standard breathing space lasts 60 days from the approved application and a mental health crisis breathing space lasts as long as the treatment period plus 30 days.

How does an individual apply for Breathing Space?

Individuals can only access breathing space by seeking the advice of a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recognised Debt Advice Provider (DAP).

Anyone who cannot or is unlikely to repay their debts can apply to a debt adviser for standard breathing space.

All applications must be considered by the debt advice provider although the DAP may decide that breathing space is not appropriate for the debtor.

Mental health crisis applications can also be made on behalf of the individual by an appropriate representative such as a mental health professional.

If an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) certifies that a person is receiving mental health crisis treatment, the AMHP’s evidence can be used by a debt adviser to start a mental health crisis breathing space.