Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Credit charity awareness drive as our bankruptcy rate tops UK list

Northern Ireland had the highest levels of bankruptcy recommendations in the UK last year, a credit charity has announced.

Clients there had the least amount of disposable income, at £55 less than they needed to cover monthly living expenses, the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) said.

Last year the charity said it counselled 2,177 people over the telephone.

CCCS external affairs director Delroy Corinaldi said: "Although anyone, whatever their background, age and location, can struggle with debt, there are parts of the country where people's debt problems appear to be more intractable.

"These debt cluster areas, such as London and Northern Ireland, need special attention in terms of helping prevent people from falling into unmanageable debt but also ensuring that those living in these areas are aware of the free debt advice and support available to them.

"Also, given CCCS's capacity on its helpline and online debt counselling, there is no need for anyone to pay for debt advice," added Mr Corinaldi.

The region with the highest percentage of CCCS bankruptcy recommendations last year was Northern Ireland, at 13%, followed by London.

London had the highest number of debt relief order recommendations, which help people discharge what they owe cheaply - a solution available in Northern Ireland from this June.