Personal insolvency rate in Sunderland has significantly increased since 2015
The rate of personal insolvencies in Sunderland has significantly increased over the last two years, official data has revealed.
In 2015, 24.8 adults per 10,000 were declared insolvent in Sunderland, according to Insolvency Service figures.
However, by 2017 that figure had risen to 28.1, an increase of 13.6%.
Insolvency is when someone cannot pay their debts, and has to arrange a plan with an official body to pay off creditors. This can include being declared bankrupt.
The England and Wales average is 21.4, with Stoke, in Staffordshire, having the highest insolvency rate of 45 people per 10,000 in serious debt.
The figures are comprised of people who have been declared bankrupt, those who have been given debt relief orders (DROs), which are a form of relief for people on low incomes, and those with individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs), which are a voluntary way of paying back creditors.
In Sunderland there were 627 new insolvency cases in 2017, up from 588 the year before.
IVAs were the most common form of insolvency, with 370 recorded last year.
Across Britain personal debt has ballooned over the past few years, with low interest rates and payday loans contributing to the rise.
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Consumer debt reached more than £200 billion by the start of the year, returning to levels last seen in the financial crisis.
In 2017 almost 100,000 new insolvency cases in England and Wales were reported.
Overall in England and Wales the insolvency rate increased for the second successive year.
The data shows women are more likely to be insolvent than men.
Young people are also struggling, with the biggest percentage of new cases among 25 to 34-year-olds.
Graham O’Malley, debt expert at Citizens Advice, said: “Unmanageable debt puts people at risk of insolvency that, in the most serious cases, can result in them losing their home.
“There’s debt advice out there – from organisations such as Citizens Advice – that people do not have to pay for.
“It’s so important people with money problems make sure they get this impartial advice before they even think about going down the insolvency route.”