Debt problems place Hartlepool on hot spot list

Purse strings are being tightened as personal debt rates in Hartlepool are among the worst in the country.

Wednesday, 20th April 2016, 5:00 am
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Personal insolvency dropped by 18 per cent across towns in the north and Scotland according to new figured released by credit rating agency Experian.

However, Hartlepool still has one of the highest bankruptcy rates, with 46 households per 10,000 affected.

This places the town at number 11 on a top 25 list of the highest debt hot spots in the country.

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Joe Michna, manager of Hartlepool’s Citizen Advice Bureau, says the news doesn’t come as a surprise.

He said: “We see a steady stream of people visiting our debt advice team who have a range of financial problems.

“While for some people there are options available, but for many the only real answer is bankruptcy. There’s people who have between 60 and 90 thousand pound of debt and there’s no way they’re ever going to shift that in their lifetime.

“Each case is different and has to be looked at on an individual basis, but hopefully in the next few months Hartlepool will also see an improvement in its figures like other parts of the country.”

Experian’s Andy Wills said: “It’s encouraging to see an improving picture for personal insolvencies, particularly in the North of England and Scotland. However, there are still areas that are struggling and the potential for levels of bad debt to rise among those most vulnerable is high.

“The majority of people struggling with debt want to somehow regain control of their finances. However, it can be a very stressful and emotional time, and the embarrassment of speaking to someone about their debts can be a barrier to taking those first steps to recovery.

“This is why it is important for credit providers to understand the best way to communicate with affected customers, as well as understand what, if anything, they can afford to repay.”

Families with children living in low-cost homes and elderly people who mostly live alone made the greatest progress, according to analysis from Experian