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What are the risk factors? We Asked the Lawyer – The Big Issue

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However, Rycroft argues that there is a clear difference here.

He said people are revolting against what could be called civil disobedience—what the government imposes directly—and essentially a distinction must be made between civil law agreements between businesses and their customers.

Legally, this is a radically different situation. The bottom line is that you have a contract with a customer and an energy company.

He explained: If you do not pay, the business has the legal right to stop supplying energy to you. It doesn’t happen immediately. There are many safeguards in place, but ultimately courts will have no trouble deciding in favor of the business. Those who do not pay may no longer have energy.

Second, those who do not pay are in debt. If you enter into a contract with a business and provide services and you do not pay, that business may take enforcement action with respect to its debt. If there is a debt judgment against you, you will be found liable for the debt and will not only have to pay the amount, but will also have a greater impact on your ability to get credit in the future.

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Organizers of Dont Pay UK claim that gathering a huge number of people promising to cancel their bills can show strong power to the energy companies and governments that are taking us.

However, Rycroft argued: Legally, there is nothing in that claim. To say that the law somehow allows it once a certain threshold is reached is a misconception and a misinterpretation of the law. There is absolutely no legal basis for that claim.

Richard Lane of StepChange, a debt charity, added: Missing or overdue payments can have serious consequences. If you do not pay your gas or electricity bills, your supplier may use a debt collection agency to collect your debt. They may also get a court warrant to enter the house to fit a prepaid card meter.

Overdue amounts are added to the meter and a set amount is deducted each week. This means that you will have to pay arrears or lose supply in a set weekly amount. It is possible for the supplier to remove the meter and shut off the supply, but fortunately this is very rare.

Dont Pay UK acknowledges that energy providers may contact customers who do not pay for gas or electricity supply cutoffs and that the first port of call may attempt to install a prepaid meter. But they are a powerful force that can protect everyone involved in the campaign.

Dont Pay UK is a campaign urging 1 million people to cancel their bills in October. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Dont Pay UK did not respond to a request for comment, but the website states: When an energy supplier tries to disconnect people, it must first contact thousands, tens of thousands, or even more customers about the possibility of disconnecting the supply. 28 days have passed. Then, in most cases, you should give the court an opportunity to plan your payment before filing for a warrant. It paralyzes and creates a backlog for months.

The organizers are anonymous and have no official affiliation with any organization, but they have broad support. A spokesperson for the campaign group Fuel Poverty Action said: “We understand that failure to pay bills can lead to problems such as increased debt or bad credit scores, and risks some people getting into prepaid meters or being charged extra. I understand. It is important that those involved in the campaign are fully aware of these risks.

But the truth of the matter is that in the coming winter, millions of people have no choice but to pay their bills regardless. Therefore, we encourage everyone to review their personal situation before participating in the campaign, but we understand that drastic measures must be taken to address serious problems in the energy system. In the Dont Pay campaign, people are joining hundreds of thousands of people refusing to pay these bills instead of having to pay for themselves.

Rycroft said: This is a question that needs a bigger answer from a higher-level person with powers beyond the individual. There are actions that governments can take at various levels to address this.

https://mobile.twitter.com/dontpayuk/status/1538280864232128512

Lawyers have advised people to contact their energy suppliers if they are having trouble paying their bills. He believes that a million people writing to energy companies saying they are struggling and can’t pay their bills would be a more convincing argument than saying they won’t pay their bills.

Citizen Advice also says energy companies have a duty to help if they are struggling to pay their energy bills. The advice page states that you should negotiate a deal that works for both. There are many energy companies that offer subsidies and plans to help people with additional financial needs.

But Dont Pay UK activists argue that we cannot rely on governments or energy companies to solve the problem. They say on their website: We know that the government will not step in and provide people with the support they need.

Energy companies won’t lower prices in kindness of mind. We cannot expect the Labor Party or the trade unions to take the necessary steps to take action that demands living expenses. The stake cannot be higher than this. Thousands of people will freeze to death at home.

Stop mass homelessness Help stop mass homelessness

If we don’t act, the UK faces a homelessness crisis this fall.

Rycroft agreed that government intervention was necessary and praised campaigners for speaking up for people’s concerns about the cost of living crisis. But he said: I am about making an informed choice. No one can dispute that you want to take that position if you, as an individual, understand and understand what it means to be blocked if you don’t pay your gas bill. What worries me is that people who sign up may feel they have some sort of immunity from the law.

A spokesperson for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition added: Only a full program of emergency financial aid, rapid expansion of energy efficiency programs, and a promise to provide cheaper renewable energy will help keep people warm this winter and into the future.

The coalition advises MPs and city councilors to engage the public by informing them of their experience of raising energy rates and urging action. A new campaign, Warm this Winter, will also launch this summer, providing the public with more campaigns and ways to engage to end fuel poverty. Fuel Poverty Action is also running an Energy For All campaign, requesting free energy bands to cover the basic needs of each household.

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