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Last Updated: Friday, 9 June 2006, 10:12 GMT 11:12 UK
Britain's Streets of Debt
From the hidden story of the elderly and debt, to the explosion of online gambling which is causing financial misery to thousands and the story of the loan sharks and doorstep lenders, BBC One's Britain's Streets of Debt explores five stories of individual debt.

Personal debt in the UK is over 1.1 trillion and is growing by 1 million every four minutes.



For the first time on British television, a senior banking executive reveals how high street banks deliberately target their customers and push borrowing.

People at cash machines
Monday 5 - Friday 9 June
BBC One, 0915 BST

It is a world where customers are given names like "revolvers" and "transactors" depending on their spending behaviour.

The whistleblower tells how the industry is driven by aggressive targets, uses hard-sell tactics and sophisticated marketing techniques, and profits from customers in financial difficulty.

No one knows this better than Marion McDonald. Her world stopped in January 2005 when her husband Mark's body was found on a railway line.

There was no suicide note but his back pack was stuffed full of bank statements relating a tale of massive loans. He was one of an alarming number of people who are killing themselves when their debt spirals out of control.

The insider shows how the suicides have exposed irresponsible lending practices and warns that consumers should be "very wary" of their banks.



Repossessions have gone up 70% in the last year, as many of the people buying into the home owning dream have ended up borrowing more than they can afford.

Ange and Steve
Ange and Steve are fighting to save their home
Ange and Steve are just such a couple. They have fallen behind with their mortgage and are about to lose their home.

Jeannette Sharratt lived under the threat of repossession for 16 years.

After borrowing 2,500, the extortionate interest charges meant the amount she owed grew to over 100,000 and the company wanted her house.

This film tells the story of two families fighting to save the roof over their heads while mired in debt.

A financial adviser explains how Britain seems to have the most lax regulatory regime anywhere in the developed western world.



Millions of Britain's elderly are up to their necks in debt and women over 60 are the fastest growing group of people seeking debt advice.

Margaret Roberts
Pensioner Margaret Roberts owes 10,000 on a credit card
Typical is pensioner Margaret Roberts, who owes 10,000 on a credit card which is more than her annual income.

Rita Hopkins spent almost 20,000, she did not have, trying to win a fortune.

Gwen Colbourne, at 72, had 3 store cards, 6 credit cards and 2 loans, yet had no assets and lived on a small pension.

This is the story of easy money and easy prey as banks and high street lenders offer an open invitation to get ever more credit to those who can least afford it.



Last year we gambled 53 billion and one million people bet regularly online.

Elaine Churchill and daughter Luisa
Elaine Churchill built up a 45,000 debt
Elaine Churchill is one of them, and she lost 45,000 gambling online during her maternity leave. It nearly cost her marriage, her daughter and her home.

Ex-postman Neil owes the same amount as his annual salary, money he lost internet gambling and he is attending Britain's only residential gambling addiction clinic.

Online betting is now so aggressively marketed that even the government has stepped in to curb advertisers.

But this has not stopped companies throwing millions in sponsorship to premier league football clubs in order to lure another generation into losing it all online.



Shiralee Doveston owes 9,000 and is desperate to go bankrupt but does not have the 310 administration fee.

Shiralee Doveston
Shiralee Doveston owes 9,000
Newsagents, Mike and Sue Finch owe 30,000, are losing their business and could lose their home.

They do not want to be made insolvent.

This is the story of those ensnared in a vicious spiral of debt, a world of door-step lending, pawn shops and loan sharks.

Britain's poor and vulnerable are paying through the nose for the privilege of borrowing.

Britain's Streets of Debt will be broadcast from Monday 5 to Friday 9 June 2006 at 0915 BST on BBC One.

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