The condition of financial exclusion involves a very high number of people and companies in Italy. The pandemic and the consequences of international conflicts are accentuating this condition, with worrying unemployment rates and the spread of the phenomenon of usury and over-indebtedness.

There is active over-indebtedness, which can be traced back to a consumer’s careless choice, and passive over-indebtedness, where the causes stem from unforeseeable factors beyond the individual’s control. Among the most common are: sudden job loss, serious illness, family breakdown, loss of assets, and addictions (gambling, drug addiction). Over-indebtedness often has consequences that affect entire families, health, social relationships and the psychological sphere.

Working with a view to prevention and awareness-raising, promoting financial education as a tool for autonomy is a means of building an effective protection against the phenomena of financial illegality and crime.

In Italy, thanks to Law 3/2012 – Composition of over-indebtedness crises, it is possible to initiate a debt relief procedure for entrepreneurs and individuals. This procedure has a cost and requires tailor-made accompaniment.

Some of Ritmi’s members offer consultancy services in the management of over-indebtedness to those who find themselves in a condition of over-indebtedness, verifying the conditions of access to the procedures and proposing paths of accompaniment and exit from poverty or situations of temporary difficulty.

The Italian Microfinance Network has been engaged for years in the fight against social and financial exclusion, promoting financial education and local development actions at a national level by involving numerous private and public associations, solidarity, and charities, and developing territorial networks to support individuals and families.