Modern societies encompass a number of policies and programmes to prevent over-indebtedness and to alleviate its consequences. To put it simply, reversing the causes of over-indebtedness can help prevent it, while policies to tackle the consequences of debt problems may assist in alleviating them. This chapter focuses on three policy areas to prevent over-indebtedness, namely regulating financial markets, good lending practices and improving financial literacy. With regard to alleviating the consequences of over-indebtedness the chapter discusses swift debt discharge, debt counselling, debt collection practices and, finally, welfare state policies. The main focus of analysis is on swift debt discharge and possibilities to introduce the US model of swift debt discharge in Europe.
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