Citizens Advice Bureau contacts local paper to combat unprecedented debt levels

Barrow In Furness residents are now in average debt to the tune of £19,275, up from £13,647 a year ago. Debt advisors, ClearDebt, claimed that these figures were low for the north-west region.

“Our database of more than 15,000 over-indebted individuals shows average debt for the north-west as a whole is £23,002 – well ahead of the CAB’s figure for Barrow,” said ClearDebt marketing director Andrew Smith.

“In fact, Barrow’s indebted individuals owe slightly less than England and Wales’ least indebeted region, the north-east, where our average debt figure is £19,415.”

“We have never dealt with anything like that level of debt in this area,” CAB debt supervisor Zoe Hurley told the North-West Evening Mail. “It’s an awful lot of money for this area. It is predominantly Barrow that we deal with. The level of debts is worrying.”

Debt levels are rising all over the country and the CAB has already had to increase the number of specialist debt advisors in its bureau in Cumbria due to such growth.

According to the article, Barrow’s CAB dealt with 306 new cases of debt between April 2005 and March this year, totalling nearly £6 million.

Blaming credit and store cards for much of the debt, the CAB’s action may help debt levels in the town to be reduced.