Debt helplines ‘in demand’

Debt helplines in Britain are likely to be fairly active at the beginning of 2010, according to one industry practitioner.

Ian Boden-Smyth of the UK Insolvency Helpline made this comment following a statement from the National Audit Office revealing that, at the end of November 2009, personal borrowing constituted 160 per cent of household annual pre-tax income.

It was also seen that, between July 2008 and July 2009, there was a 28 per cent climb in the number of Britons contacting advice providers.

Mr Boden-Smyth noted that, although the first quarter of the year is likely to be “pretty busy” for advisory services, lines will be quieter around holiday times such as Easter.

“If people have debts, they worry about it after holidays,” he remarked.

He went on to state that his organisation – which claims to be the biggest professional body of lawyers and accountants specialising in financial advice in the country – has witnessed “huge demand”, although he added that “95 per cent of calls get answered and dealt with”.

Group marketing manager for ClearDebt Jacqueline Cohen also commented on this issue, saying: “Since the announcement that the UK is officially out of the recession, we expect many people will take stock of their finances and make the decision to address their debt.

“Those who have been hiding their head in the sand will see this as the right time to take a deep breath and consider facing the music. Because of this, we need to ensure as an industry that we’re providing the public with fluid access to free and accurate advice, helping them to make key decisions about the right debt solution for them.”

By Sarah Adie

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