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Over-indebtedness - European Consumer Debt Network calls decision-makers to take over-indebtedness seriously

31st of October: ecdn calls decision makers to take urgent action

The European Consumer Debt Network expects numbers of over-indebted people to grow and sends a letter to European decision makers to call for urgent action.

(Press Release) At least 20 million people are over-indebted in the EU. "With the increasing unemployment rates the number of people with debt problems can be expected to grow substantially over the next months", explains Hans Grohs, president of ecdn, an alliance of more than 40 debt advice organisations, consumer agencies and researchers. "Investments in preventing and tackling over-indebtedness have scarcely been included in the several billion of Euros that were spent on measures designed to tackle the current crisis. Measures have been put in place to help businesses access financing and cut red tape in order to survive the downturn and thus keep more people in work. These are effective measures for the prevention of over-indebtedness, but more are required."

In 2008 ecdn launched a European action day on financial inclusion to be held each year on the 31st of October. "This year we will send a letter to all head of states, the European Commission and Members of the European Parliament to remind them that many countries across Europe still lack specific debt regulation, legislation and specialized debt advice services as well as effective credit laws and regulations for responsible lending and to call for a coordinated European approach to tackle these problems."

ecdn's letter includes concrete recommendations to strengthen financial inclusion by introducing and improving debt settlement legislation and advice services, the right to a bank account and access to adequate banking services, installing guidelines for responsible credit, investing in financial education and better data collection on over-indebtedness and in a continuous and structured dialogue of all stakeholders.

Download the ecdn Press Release in EnglishGerman (pdf)

Open Letter to EU stake holders (pdf)

Now is the time for all decision makers to take urgent action:

1.  To introduce and improve legal debt settlement legislation and regulations in all EU member states.

2.  To install and expand high quality, free, independent and confidential money and debt advice services in all EU member states and to ensure that at least one debt adviser is available for 10,000 households.

3.  To further develop data collection procedures for the estimation of over-indebted persons by using an indicator system that combines information from different data sources

4.  To regularly publish figures on over-indebted persons on a regular basis

5.  To ensure access to a bank account and other basic financial services and guarantee the availability of social credits and loans

6.  To set guidelines for financial service providers to present their products in a standardized, transparent and understandable way.

7.  To implement effective credit laws and regulations for responsible lending.

8.  To invest in the development of sustainable financial education programmes, including the development of quality standards and a European framework curriculum.

9.  National governments are called upon to build national task forces with clear responsibilities for the fight against over-indebtedness.

10.  The European Commission and the European Parliament are urged to promote and support a continuous and structured dialogue of all stakeholders in the field, including civil society organizations that represent the interests of people experiencing over-indebtedness.

For further information contact:

Michaela Moser, +43-676-544 26 46 – -


p.S.: Please see below links to news-agencies in various countries which have been covering ecdn's press release.
You can refer to them when using your media contacts in relation to a letter some of you hopefully have been able to send or will be able to send to their head of states today ...


in der SCHWEIZ via news aktuell Schweiz über das Netzwerk der SDA:


in UK via PRNewswire:

Site name: EuroInvestor (UK)

Site name: European Internet Network
Audience: 6,000 Visitors/day *

Site name: Global Investor

Site name: ITnews / NICE S.r.l.

in FRANKREICH via PRNewswire:
Site name: Bolsamania France (Web Financials Group)

Site name: PR Newswire (United Kingdom)

Site name: PR Newswire France

Site name: Zebulon

in Spanien via Europa Press:
Site name: Bolsamania

Site name:

Site name: Invertia

Site name: La Bolsa

Site name: PR Newswire (United Kingdom)

in BELGIEN via Belga:

in Italien via Immedia Press:


ID: 44622
Publication date: 02/11/09

Link to ECDN web site with press release

Link to Over-indebtedness section of the ECRC website

Created: 02/11/09. Last changed: 09/11/09.
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