More people in East Devon struggling to pay debts, new figures show
PUBLISHED: 12:00 06 August 2018
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The Citizens Advice Bureau says 'unmanageable debt' has contributed to a rise in personal insolvencies across East Devon revealed in new data.
According to Insolvency Service figures, in 2015, 19.3 adults per 10,000 were declared insolvent in East Devon. However by 2017 that figure had risen to 21.8, an increase of 12.7%.
Citizens advice has urged people to seek advice to prevent their debt get out of hand.
Insolvency is when someone cannot pay their debts, and has to arrange a plan with an official body to pay off creditors. This can include being declared bankrupt.
The England and Wales average is 21.4, with Stoke, in Staffordshire, having the highest insolvency rate of 45 people per 10,000 in serious debt.
The figures comprise people who have been declared bankrupt, been given debt relief orders (DROs), whish is a form of relief for people on low incomes.
It also includes people with individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs), a voluntary way of paying back creditors.
In East Devon there were 254 new insolvency cases in 2017, up from 187 the year before.
IVAs were the most common form of insolvency, with 142 recorded last year.
Across Britain personal debt has ballooned over the past few years, with low interest rates and payday loans contributing to the rise.
Consumer debt reached more than £200 billion by the start of the year, returning to levels last seen in the financial crisis.
In 2017 almost 100,000 new insolvency cases in England and Wales were reported.
Overall in England and Wales the insolvency rate increased for the second successive year.
The data shows women are more likely to be insolvent than men. Young people are also struggling, with the biggest percentage of new cases among 25 to 34-year-olds.
Graham O’Malley, debt expert at Citizens Advice, said: “Unmanageable debt puts people at risk of insolvency that, in the most serious cases, can result in them losing their home.
“There’s debt advice out there - from organisations such as Citizens Advice - that people do not have to pay for.
“It’s so important people with money problems make sure they get this impartial advice before they even think about going down the insolvency route.”