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Hartlepool is bucking the national trend over personal insolvencies, figures reveal

Increase in insolvency in Sunderland. Picture by Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Increase in insolvency in Sunderland. Picture by Peter Byrne/PA Wire

The rate of personal insolvency in Hartlepool has decreased over the last two years, bucking the national trend.

Across England and Wales personal debt has ballooned since 2015. Low interest rates and the rise of payday lenders have aided this, with insolvency rates increasing in every region.

However in Hartlepool it has actually gone down, according to Insolvency Service figures.

In 2015, 25.7 adults per 10,000 were declared insolvent.

By 2017 that figure had dropped to 23.2, a decrease of 10%.

That is still above the England and Wales average of 21.4. Stoke, in Staffordshire, has the highest insolvency rate of 45 adults per 10,000.

Insolvency is when someone cannot pay their debts, and has to arrange a plan with an official body to pay off creditors.

The figures are comprised of people who have been declared bankrupt, those who have been given debt relief orders (DROs), which are a form of relief for people on low incomes, and those with individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs), which are a voluntary way of paying back creditors.

In Hartlepool there were 169 new insolvency cases in 2017.

IVAs were the most common form of insolvency, with 106 recorded last year.

Across Britain consumer debt reached more than £200 billion by the start of the year, returning to levels last seen in the financial crisis.

In England and Wales almost 100,000 new insolvency cases were reported in 2017.

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.”