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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 October, 2004, 12:51 GMT 13:51 UK
MP claims debt led to man's death
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The dead man owed 15,000 on credit cards and a loan
A 21-year-old deaf man is thought to have committed suicide after piling up debts on credit cards and a personal loan, a committee of MPs heard.

The man, who was not named but came from north-east Norfolk, owed 15,000 at the time of his death in August.

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb told the story of his constituent during evidence to the Treasury Committee.

He said the Halifax had employed debt collectors to recover money even after his constituent's death.

Seasonal worker

The committee, which is investigating credit card charges and marketing, was hearing evidence from James Crosby, the chief executive of the Halifax parent company HBOS when Mr Lamb raised the case.

"A 21-year-old lad took his own life when he was 15,000 in debt" he explained.

Mr Lamb said the man had managed to borrow the money even though he was a seasonal worker at the time of his death.

"His father feels convinced that the size of the debt was part of the pressure that he was under and he feels passionately about the need to lend responsibly.

"In this case he had been in all sorts of problems with a Halifax credit card and was then given a personal loan by the Halifax."

Mr Lamb said the father had notified the Halifax, but the debt collectors had continued to send letters and interest had continued.

Mr Crosby, referring to the case, said: "It is far from what we would expect. We will look at our performance in the wider area."

No inquest has yet taken place into the man's death.

Card firms face grilling by MPs
18 Oct 04  |  Business
Growing debt drove man to suicide
01 Oct 04  |  Cambridgeshire

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