Breathing Space – The Debt Respite Scheme

First Published: 30/04/2021

The Debt Respite Scheme, also known as Breathing Space, is a government programme, which aims to support people in debt from their creditors.

The scheme, which is being launched by the government on the 4th May, can only be accessed by seeking debt advice from a debt adviser.

If you are eligible you could get up to 60 days’ respite from interest and fees, and court action to reduce stress and give you more time to deal with your debts.





There are two types of Breathing Space schemes:

  1. Standard Breathing SpaceThis is available to anyone with problem debt. It gives them legal protections from creditor action for up to 60 days. The protections include pausing most enforcement action and contact from creditors and freezing most interest and charges on their debts.
  2. Mental Health Crisis Breathing SpaceThis is only available to someone who is receiving mental health crisis treatment and will need to be approved by a Mental Health Practitioner. It lasts as long as the person’s mental health crisis treatment, plus 30 days (no matter how long the crisis treatment lasts).

Johnnie Johnson Housing will be informed if you have been granted Breathing Space. If you require further information about the scheme, please visit:

StepChange Debt Charity

Official government website