Cash confiscated from loan sharks to be given to savers

CRIMINALS’ money is to be given to residents who open a new credit union account.

Cash confiscated from convicted loan sharks will be paid as a bonus to residents signing up for a new account and saving for 10 consecutive weeks.

The offer of a £10 bonus will be made to the first 50 people signing up for the scheme at an advice day being held tomorrow (THURSDAY) in Stanley, County Durham to help residents avoid falling prey to loan sharks.

The event, organised by the England Illegal Money Lending Team, Durham County Council Trading Standards and Prince Bishop Community Bank, will be held at The Store, in Front Street, from 10am to 1pm. Anyone wishing to open an account must bring along two forms of identification.

People dropping in to the event will be given a presentation on the dangers posed by loan sharks and the opportunity for free, confidential advice on reporting loan sharks, housing, debt, welfare benefits, legal issues and consumer problems.

More than 300,000 households across the country are estimated to borrow from illegal money lenders, who charge exorbitant rates of interest, force people into a spiral of debt and often resort to violence or intimidation to force repayments.

Lesley Richardson, manager of the Prince Bishops Community Bank, said "We want people to know there is an alternative to loan sharks".

Tony Quigley Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team said:  We are cracking down on unlicensed lenders who make people's lives a misery, and using the profits they have made illegally to help others avoid falling into this trap".

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12:21pm Fri 8 Mar 13

Debjay says...

i am disgusted with a newspaper article that i have received today in my local advertiser paper inform people that the money confiscated from loan sharks has been gven to anybody who opens an account with the credit union, as i understand that this extra money will help but what about us loan shark victims that have eventually had the nerve to come forward this is something that has really got me angry as i already feel let down by the justice system because to me the loan shark i was involved with basically got off easy, i was awarded 1,500 pound which was to be paid by him yet i was paying him more than that a month i really dont think this is right i wouldnt feel this bad if it was giving to a deserving charity but no its going to people who do not know the effects of what it does to you, my case was 2009 - 2010 but yet im still suffering the after effects of it all. Im sorry if you think i dont understand why this was done but i think it is really degrading to people who have experienced loan sharks.

Thank you for listening
Debbie Wilson
i am disgusted with a newspaper article that i have received today in my local advertiser paper inform people that the money confiscated from loan sharks has been gven to anybody who opens an account with the credit union, as i understand that this extra money will help but what about us loan shark victims that have eventually had the nerve to come forward this is something that has really got me angry as i already feel let down by the justice system because to me the loan shark i was involved with basically got off easy, i was awarded 1,500 pound which was to be paid by him yet i was paying him more than that a month i really dont think this is right i wouldnt feel this bad if it was giving to a deserving charity but no its going to people who do not know the effects of what it does to you, my case was 2009 - 2010 but yet im still suffering the after effects of it all. Im sorry if you think i dont understand why this was done but i think it is really degrading to people who have experienced loan sharks. Thank you for listening Debbie Wilson Debjay
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