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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 November 2006, 10:41 GMT
Charity sees surge in debt cases
A debt signpost
They (debt enquiry figures) suggest that a growing number of people are getting deeper into unmanageable debt
David Harker, Citizens Advice

Charity Citizens Advice has advised 1.4 million people in debt difficulty during the past year, an 11% increase on the previous twelve months.

The number of people turning to Citizens Advice for debt help is double the figure of eight years ago.

People struggling with mortgages, credit card, council tax and utility bills made up the bulk of enquiries.

If the Bank of England raises UK interest rates on Thursday, this may force more people to seek debt help.

"Our debt enquiry figures are deeply worrying," David Harker, Citizens Advice chief executive said.

"They (debt enquiry figures) suggest that a growing number of people are getting deeper into unmanageable debt it will be difficult to recover from."

One in five of all enquiries dealt with by the nationwide chain of Citizens Advice offices related to debt.

Getting worse

Last week, government figures showed the number of people going insolvent running at record levels.

Citizens Advice alone dealt with 65,000 bankrupts during the past year.

Things maybe about to get a lot worse for debtors.

On Thursday, the Bank of England is expected to announce a 0.25% increase in interest rates from 4.75% to 5%.

As a result, millions of mortgage holders will have to make higher monthly repayments.




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