Ipswich seventh highest personal insolvency rate in England in 2015

According to figures released by The Insolvency Service, more than 400 people declared insolvency in

According to figures released by The Insolvency Service, more than 400 people declared insolvency in Ipswich last year. - Credit: PA

Ipswich had the seventh highest personal insolvency rate in the country in 2015, with hundreds of people unable to pay their debts.

But last night charity chiefs said this was a “brilliant” result for Ipswich as it meant more people were accessing the support they need.

According to figures released by The Insolvency Service this month, more than 400 people declared insolvency last year, with women and people on low incomes hit the hardest.

Nicky Willshere, chief officer at Ipswich Citizens Advice, said: “We were really pleased when this came out because it means that things are being really effective. It means we are actually doing something about getting out of debt, which is brilliant.”

The most common type of insolvency in Ipswich was debt relief orders (DRO), which can see people clear a debt of no higher than £20,000 for a charge of £90. Only people with very little disposable income and few assets can qualify for a DRO.

Mrs Willshere said: “The poorest people in Ipswich are being affected most because we are all paying the same amount for electricity and the same amount for food.

“Everyone has crises, the dreaded MoT day, the washing machine breaking down, school uniforms, normal everyday stuff that affects everybody. People are being pushed to loan sharks, high interest rate pay-day loans, etc, and it escalates.”

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The figures show that more women in Ipswich are struggling with debt than men, and the total insolvency rate was highest in the 45-54 age group.

Nelleke van Helfteren, deputy manager of Ipswich Citizens Advice, said many older women were now reducing their working hours to look after grandchildren so their own children could go to work because child care costs were so high.

She added: “What we want is for everyone in Ipswich to be a conscious consumer.

“They need to know how much money they have, to be able to work out what their income and their outgoings are, then to decide what they want to spend their money on.”

To contact Ipswich Citizens Advice, visit www.citizensadviceipswich.org.uk, email bureau@ipswichcab.org.uk or call 03003301151.