Southerners ‘have greater debts’

Before applying for an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA), people in the north of England have average unsecured debts of £31,000, whereas those in the south have almost £45,000, according to research from Debtmatters.

The report from the company also reveals that those in the north who end up applying for an IVA tend to ask for help sooner than consumers living in the south.

“It’s interesting that people in the south tend to earn more than their northern counterparts, but we are finding they also owe more, have a higher debt threshold and a different perception of what represents a problematic level of debt,” says Michael Shirley, spokesman for the company.

He added that although people in the south have higher mortgage repayments and transport costs, which could explain the differences in debt levels of people applying for an IVA.

Government figures show that in the third quarter of 2006, there were 12,228 IVAs and 15,416 bankruptcies.

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