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StepChange Debt Charity responds to insolvency statistics - January 2015

29 January, 2015

In response to today’s (January 29) insolvency statistics, StepChange Debt Charity’s chief executive Mike O’Connor said:

“The number of personal insolvencies in the UK remains above the historical average, but the news that it has fallen to under 100,000 for the first time in nine years is welcome, and reflects falling personal debt levels since the recession hit.

“Nevertheless, this is not a time for complacency. The credit market looks set for an upward turn, with personal borrowing growing at its fastest rate since 2006. Many people handle debt well but for too many it becomes a problem.  Many are living on the edge financially and, given the kinds of income shock people face, we may see increased levels of insolvency in the future.

“Many household finances are still extremely fragile, and 20% more people came to us for help in 2014 compared to 2013. Although the number of Debt Relief Orders - the cheapest form of personal insolvency - is falling, the number we are providing is growing.  We now provide 22% of all DROs.

“For many, though, insolvency is not an option, and few alternative protections are on offer to these families. We now need the government to take action to provide a more robust safety net for those facing short-term financial difficulties, and ensure they are given the breathing space they need to stop their debts spiralling beyond control.”

Notes to editors:

  1. StepChange Debt Charity has recently published its Action Plan on Problem Debt, highlighting what the next government can do to tackle problem debt in the UK.

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