Bankruptcy and personal insolvency levels may be falling in general, but for some parts of the UK, it’s a different story. Seaside towns have always been more economically vulnerable than inland areas for a number of reasons and, as a result, were hit harder by the recent recession.
However, whilst most parts of the UK are now showing signs of financial recovery, figures released by Experian and seen by The Express indicate that the good news has yet to reach many of the UK’s best-known seaside resorts.
Towns such as Torquay, Scarborough, Penzance and Weston-super-mare all feature in Experian’s latest Top 10 of UK towns with the highest insolvency rates. Other key statistics from their report, which covers the first quarter of 2015, include:
- The overall number of personal insolvencies in UK coastal towns is still going up year on year.
- The UK’s ‘bankruptcy capital’ is Kingston upon Hull, with towns in the north of England generally showing the highest insolvency levels.
- The number of bankruptcies in the worst-affected areas has increased from 6 in 10,000 households to 7 in 10,000 since the first quarter of 2014.
- Even higher figures of 16 insolvencies per 10,000 households were reported for low income families.
- The second highest group was people renting in the private sector, who are experiencing 13 insolvencies for every 10,000 households.
Commenting on the statistics, Andy Gorton, Managing Director of insolvency advice service Bankruptcy Clinic, said: ‘The link between seaside towns and insolvency has been in and out of the news for the last few years. But it’s worrying to see that bankruptcy levels are still rising in these areas at a time when the UK average is at its lowest since 2005. It’s a factor that credit providers must take into account when making lending decisions, to help avoid making existing debt problems worse through irresponsible lending.’
So why are coastal areas so beleaguered with insurmountable debt problems? The decline of traditional British beach holidays is one obvious answer, with many people choosing to escape abroad for guaranteed sunshine – leaving our seaside resorts out in the financial cold. Weather is also a factor, with cold and rainy summers having a devastating impact on the revenues these towns can expect from day-trippers and holidaymakers alike.
The inevitable result of fewer visitors and lower incomes is a decline in the availability of jobs, with many of those that are available being seasonal and low-paid. In turn, this leaves local people out of pocket with no spare cash to cover essential living expenses. With nowhere else to turn, it’s not surprising that many people in this situation have run up high levels of unsecured debt as well as rent or mortgage arrears.
Says Andy: ‘It’s a toxic combination, but one that’s all too common in the UK’s coastal areas. People end up taking out new loans or credit cards to keep existing lenders at bay, eventually becoming trapped in a relentless cycle of debt. For many, the inevitable result will be bankruptcy. However, if the problem can be nipped in the bud soon enough, other debt management options may be available – the golden rule is to seek professional advice as soon as you realise there’s a problem.’
Find the best way forward with Bankruptcy Clinic
Bankruptcy Clinic gives you access to specialist advice and information on bankruptcy and other forms of personal insolvency, including Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs), Debt Relief Orders (DROs) and Protected Trust Deeds if you live in Scotland. However, if your circumstances allow, we may be able to arrange a Debt Management Plan – an informal option which means you can avoid insolvency.
The right solution for you depends on your individual circumstances: how much you owe, who your creditors are, the amount of your income and outgoings, and whether you own any valuable assets such as a house or flat. Our expert advisers will talk you through your situation in detail to ascertain which debt management services are open to you.
We’ll then explain your options in detail, arming you with the information you need to decide how to tackle your debts. And even if declaring bankruptcy is your only option, you won’t have to face it alone. Your adviser will be with you every step of the way: helping with the paperwork, advising on your court appearance and explaining how to work with the Official Receiver.
Contact Bankruptcy Clinic today
The sooner you talk to Bankruptcy Clinic, the sooner you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that you’re doing something positive about your money problems. Contact us today and take your first steps towards getting debt-free.
- Call 0808 168 7389 from a landline
- Call 01625 462 770 from a mobile
- Complete our online enquiry form
- Email us with your questions.