Christmas debt queries ‘set to soar’

The number of people seeking debt advice over the Christmas period looks set to rise, an industry expert has predicted, expecting the festive season of 2009 to be the “busiest on record” for her charity.

Debt adviser for Money Advice Trust Beccy Boden Wilks noted that, for the first ten months of 2009, 175,929 calls were taken by the National Debtline – a rise of 23 per cent on the same period in 2008.

And she observed that mortgage arrears appear to be the most pressing concern for debtors in the UK, as more people contact the organisation for help regarding this.

“Over the last two quarters, the number of callers who are behind with their mortgage payments has risen by over 15 per cent,” she said.

Ms Boden Wilks’s comments come in response to figures released by NMG Financial Services Consulting, which – as part of the Bank of England’s Quarterly Bulletin – showed that for high loan-to-value mortgage holders, the number of those in difficulties had risen to nine per cent from four per cent a year ago.

By Sarah Adie

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